8 Smart Storage Ideas for Teeny-Tiny Pantries

updated Jun 9, 2019
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If this looks like a palace compared to your pantry … (Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Maybe you don’t have the pantry of your dreams (read: a walk-in one with counter space and shelves galore)? Maybe you have a little reach-in pantry or you just have a cabinet dedicated to storing ingredients? Hey, either of those options is actually better than nothing!

Here are some ways to make the most of your teeny-tiny pantry space.

1. Adjust your shelves.

This is a must for any storage space — and especially for little pantries because you don’t want to waste any precious real estate. Figure out what you want to store where, and adjust the shelves up or down to accommodate. Just don’t forget that you’ll need room to be able to reach in grab the items.

(Image credit: The Home Edit)

2. Use bins to your advantage.

We don’t love telling you that you have to buy special stuff just to get organized, but when it comes to pantries, the more bins you have, the better. (Note: You can also just recycle empty boxes to save money!) Use the bins to group like with like (snacks, granola bars, baking stuff, etc.) and label them, so you can always find what you need. Just check out this pantry from The Home Edit for inspiration.

3. Add a light.

Small pantries can actually be darker than larger ones because there’s less space for light to come flooding in. If you can’t rewire the space to add an overhead light, you can always hang a battery-powered option. Or stick up one on the bottom of each shelf if you really want to be able to see.

(Image credit: The Homes I Have Made)

4. Think in a U-shape.

Instead of loading up the cabinet back to front, as we tend to do, leave yourself some clearance in the middle, like Megan of The Homes I Have Made. This makes it easier to see everything that’s in there — even the items in the way back.

5. Work in levels.

Load the tallest stuff in the back and the shortest stuff in the front — and use shelf risers if you have to. This way, you’ll be able to see everything in a glance.

6. Use the back of the door.

The back of your pantry door can hold spices, pot lids, and all sorts of other small stuff.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

7. Don’t let any wall space go to waste.

Ashley over at Domestic Imperfection hung wire drawer organizers on the side of her pantry. Now she can store spices in a space that would otherwise go to waste. You should do the same!

8. Install pull-out shelves and drawers.

The best (but also priciest) solution: Replace your stationary shelves with pull-out shelves and drawers to make it easier to access the items in the back. (I have these in mine and they’re a great solution — although we still tend to use the items in the front the most.) You can find them from various manufacturers at the big hardware stores.

Do you have a small pantry? If so, do you have any tips to add?