I Managed to Squeeze a Pantry Into My Entryway Closet — for Less Than $60

updated Jan 20, 2021
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Credit: Jill Chen/Stocksy

I love my apartment building! The location and amenities are great, the community is warm and inclusive, and the stunning NYC skyline views are simply unbeatable. But there’s a lot to be desired when it comes to the storage situation in the apartments themselves. I have lived in two different layouts (first a one-bed and now a two-bed), and both times, my kitchen has had just enough cabinet and drawer space to store my daily dinnerware, silverware, and a few pantry staples. I have had to get inventive over the past few years to get everything in, but this winter I finally came up with a brilliant solution: fitting a pantry in my entryway closet.

The stroke of genius was partly inspired by Kitchn’s studio food editor Amelia’s recent kitchen makeover, where she used large storage racks to create more shelf space. Since my entryway closet (and budget!) is a lot tinier, I ended up going with this compact yet roomy solution I found on Amazon. And for less than $60, I finally have a pantry with quadruple the storage space.

There are tons of storage racks out there, but I chose Homdox’s 6-tier storage shelf after hours of research and poring over every single review. For starters, it has a solid 4.4-star rating on Amazon (always a good sign!), and several customers have left glowing reviews, with one claiming: “Got this for my wife’s stockpiles and she loves it. It’s very sturdy and very easy to assemble, it is also adjustable. I’m planning to get more of this. Totally recommended.” (As a fellow-stockpiling wife, I know my own husband would 100-percent agree with the aforementioned sentiments!) Another fun fact? Most popular storage racks have either three or five shelves. This was one of the few options I could find with six shelves, giving me a lot more surface area, while the vertical design makes use of space that would otherwise have been wasted.

Credit: Sholeen Damarwala

The storage rack also seems to be designed specifically with narrow spaces in mind. From the sleek supports to slim shelves, it’s so compact that I was able to tuck it into one corner of my entryway closet while still having room to hang jackets and a hanging shelf to store winter accessories. The storage rack is also completely customizable, so I was able to easily adjust the height of shelves to suit my needs. During installation, I flipped the shelves so that the edges were facing upward, preventing items from tipping over. Plus, it comes with five hanging hooks that are handy to store items like napkins and utensils.

And despite the lightweight design, the rack is very sturdy! I use mine to store heavy appliances like my KitchenAid, Instant Pot, and food processor, along with pantry staples like large bags of flour, cartons of oat milk, canisters filled with pantry staples like lentils and beans, snacks, and so much more. So far the whole setup seems incredibly stable and sturdy. I even accidentally knocked into it when I was organizing the closet, and while I instinctively braced for an attack from my milk cartons, the shelf didn’t budge an inch.

While my next goal is getting bins to organize the racks, for now my new solution has proved to be the ultimate game-changer for my kitchen. I suddenly have so much countertop space and less clutter to deal with. And the best part? It cost me less than $60 to create the zen kitchen of my dreams!