19 Super-Clever Pantry Ideas for Small Kitchens

published Jan 18, 2023
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Sometimes, our real-life kitchens are far from Pinterest goals—like when they lack a pantry. While cleverly organized cabinets can maximize tiny-kitchen storage space, sometimes you need even more spots to stash your food. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite small kitchen pantry ideas for you to try the next time you’re looking to do a storage edit in your kitchen. Even if you’re working with a tight budget (and an even tighter space!) there’s a good chance one or even a few of these ideas could work for you. 

Below, 19 small kitchen pantry ideas to keep your kitchen clean and organized. 

1. Utilize cabinet space. 

If you’re in a situation where you have no pantry but plenty of cabinet space, simply repurpose a whole cabinet to use as a pantry like @decormylife1 did. This pretty setup is not only well organized, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing. We love OXO’s airtight POP containers for pastas and cereals, and these Laramaid jars for grains and seeds (which we reviewed here!).

2. Organize your drawers. 

When you’re short on space, organization is crucial for making things work. We love these drawer dividers shown on @sortandstore’s page. A place for everything, and everything in its place. 

3. Purchase pretty baskets.

Sometimes not having a pantry means your belongings are front and center, whether that’s on the counter, on top of the fridge, or on an open cabinet. If that’s the case in your space, simply buy or make some attractive baskets to corral clutter and food items, like @thesimplifiedmama did. It’s a great way to group things together, too. 

4. Carve out space. 

Any open space, like a corner meant for a hutch or even a broom closet, can be used as a small kitchen pantry idea for extra storage. Here, @mcdanielmeadowsfarmhouse transformed an old broom closet into an open pantry with beautiful storage options. 

5. Bring in moveable storage.

This multi-tiered cart used by @ourspanishfarmhouse is one of our favorite small kitchen pantry ideas for spaces where no closet or nook exists. Here, there’s room for plenty of pantry staples and even a few small appliances. 

6. Use cube storage. 

Cube storage systems, like the IKEA KALLAX, are the perfect moveable small kitchen pantry. Use only a few, or add a couple systems together to create an entire storage wall if you’re lacking a pantry. 

7. Store items under a staircase. 

We’ve all heard the saying, “get in where you fit in,” and that applies to pantry storage as well. Here, @rikkeluvesplants shows that storing pantry items under the stairs makes for a perfect small kitchen pantry idea. 

8. Install floating shelves

If you’re looking for small kitchen pantry ideas, you can use any small corner to install floating shelves, as Imogen did in her kitchen. Just fill pretty jars with your essentials so they double as décor.

9. Create room

Jazmin Fuentes had her washer and dryer moved out of the kitchen to create a spot for open shelving in lieu of a pantry. She also utilizes decorative jars and baskets for a tidy design.

10. DIY a pantry cabinet

Laura at Lyttelton Interiors completely refurbished a rustic cabinet into a moveable pantry. The result is très farmhouse chic.

Credit: Chris Kim

11. Repurpose a TV stand

Believe it or not, this freestanding pantry actually used to be an IKEA BESTA TV stand. Spouses Chris and Jenny added cane webbing, painted the chest a warm gray, and added new legs and pulls to complete this makeover. What a great small kitchen pantry idea.

(Image Credit: Feeling Nifty)

12. Find a new use for a bookcase

Bookcases make great stand-alone pantries, which this IKEA BILLY hack demonstrates beautifully. Jasmine has them in her kitchen with baskets. 

13. Utilize a cabinet edge

If you’re lacking wall space and need some small kitchen pantry ideas, you can even hang open shelves on the ends of your cabinets, as Jen Rothbury did. We love how she accessorized her open shelves with more than just pretty food jars.

14. Go custom

If you have a truly unique, awkward space, you can always build around it! Vineta needed a cabinet in a non-standard depth, so she went to her workshop and made this custom piece — complete with a knocked-out bottom shelf to store her automatic vacuum. Her blog has a ton of practical tips, like checking your proportions with existing cabinetry.

(Image Credit: DIY Passion)

15. Consider a pull-out pantry

To maximize your pantry potential, keep an eye out for unusual storage places. You can purchase pull out pantries from big box stores or create a DIY pull-out pantry. It’s perfect for those small, always-lost items or the awkwardly tall ones that are difficult to reach from the back of shelves.

(Image Credit: Ashley Poskin)

16. Hang baskets

Turn any wall space into a mini pantry like Ashley did by using hooks and dollar store wire baskets to store loose items like onions and potatoes.

(Image Credit: A Night Owl Blog)

17. Make a pantry cart

Speaking of baskets and produce, how cute is Kimberly’s pantry cart? It includes a separate section for each item, making it easy to keep organized. She uses the top of the cart for snacks.

(Image Credit: Mommy My Way)

18. Try the open shelf + hanging basket combo 

Nikki’s home had no pantry to speak of, but she did have a nice blank wall. She cleverly used a mix of open shelves and hanging baskets to create a system for all her dried goods, plus some storage for appliances.

19. Utilize your dining space

Your pantry floating shelves don’t need to live in the kitchen. Scarlett of Fork & Flower has hers with decorative jars above the dining table.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 19 Small Kitchen Pantry Ideas You’ve Got to See to Believe