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How To Efficiently Organize Your Pantry Using Shelving Systems

Having a pantry in the first place is really great because that gives you plenty of room to store all sorts of things. Of course, in order for it to actually be efficient and for you to enjoy having and using it, a proper storage and organization system is needed.

Pantry Shelving Systems

With that in mind, today we’re going to be talking about pantry shelving and all the different ways in which you can customize this space.

30 Useful Pantry Shelving Ideas To Save Space

Put everything in boxes and containers

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Obviously, shelves are the way to go when it comes to pantries and storage spaces in general. That’s because they’re incredibly versatile and they’re also super easy to install. They can, however, get very messy very quickly. Avoid that by organizing all the items into boxes and containers. As it turns out, that makes a huge difference, as demonstrated by this makeover project shared on seevanessacraft.

Take advantage of the corner spaces

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Although in some cases the typical store-bought shelving system can work out really nicely for pantries and garages and other such spaces, they’re not nearly as great as custom-built shelves. Nothing compares to furniture that has been specifically designed to take advantage of the space that it’s a part of. These built-in shelves featured on centsationalstyle for example take advantage of the corner space in a magnificent way.

Improvise and build your own pantry

If you don’t have a pantry in your kitchen but there’s room for one, perhaps you could build it yourself. It takes a bit of planning and plenty of effort but if you go with a simple design this wouldn’t b nearly as complicated as you might think. For example, you could have some shelves built around your fridge, as a way to frame it and integrate it into the pantry itself. Check out younghouselove for more details.

Make the pantry multifunctional

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The pantry can also be a separate little space away from the kitchen but still easily accessible from various sections of the house. Also, the pantry can be a multifunctional space and can include more than just storage shelves. This of course is directly related to your own particular needs, the available space, layout and everything else. A good source of inspiration in this case can be the makeover project featured on elevengables.

Leave space at the bottom for larger items

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The ideal pantry would be both well-organized and good-looking. That’s actually quite easy to achieve. Pantry shelves can be placed along the walls and can also take advantage of the corners. You can leave a larger open space at the bottom for any big items that you might want to store and you can have everything else neatly lined up on the shelves. Consider putting some wallpaper on the walls or painting them in order to make this space look less boring. Check out willscasa for more ideas and inspiration.

Customize the shelves with different shapes and sizes

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If you’re building all the shelves for your pantry from scratch. it might be a good idea to take this opportunity to customize them. You can play around with different proportions, shapes and sizes and create storage modules designed to hold specific things such as trays, jars, bottles and of course storage boxes and larger containers. You could also install some pull-out shelves for various smaller things and perhaps some hooks on the walls or on the inside of the door as well. Be sure to check out homeonpoplarcreek for additional details.

Alternate between storage systems

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Another idea is to alternate between different types of storage systems when setting up your pantry. You could have some open shelves at the top and a few drawers or cubbies at the bottom, maybe even a small counter space as well so you can turn this into a small workstation. Shallow shelves that aren’t very deep are practical because they let you organize and keep everything visible and within reach. Check out gingerandthehuth for some inspiration.

Repurpose a bookcase into pantry shelves

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If you don’t have a pantry you can set one up by simply repurposing a couple of bookcases from Ikea. You should be able to turn them into a custom storage unit which can be your new pantry. This one which is featured on asavoryfeast has these glass cabinet doors which expose the upper section of the pantry and let you see the contents of the shelves. It’s a little detail that can help make the room around it seem more open and spacious.

Use the doors for more storage

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You can store a lot of things on the shelves inside a pantry but you can also use the doors in a similar manner. You can install hooks and small trays, shelves and other storage systems on the inside of the pantry where you can store and organize smaller items such as spice bottles, cleaning supplies and anything that’s not too big or too heavy. See this idea put into practice on cassandrajed-cassadiva.

Group similar items into baskets

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To keep your pantry clean and organized, consider using baskets and boxes and group up similar items. You can create various categories for different types of items and you can even label them so you can easily find what you need without having to open any containers. You can take some inspiration from this makeover project featured on thevintagewren.

Visualize the design before building it

Visualize the design before building itView in gallery

If you decide to build the shelves for the pantry yourself, it can be very helpful to use tape in order to visualize your design and to make any adjustments in the beginning of the project. This way you can see how they’re spaced out and decide whether or not you’re happy with the layout and the proportions. Check out thecraftpatchblog for more tips and ideas.

Make the most of a small pantry

Make the most of a small pantryView in gallery

Don’t let a small pantry bring you down. Even if it has a tiny footprint you can still make the most of it. Install a bunch of shelves, use the corner spaces efficiently and use boxes and baskets to organize all the items into categories and to maximize the storage capacity of each shelf. Also, using bright colors and lighting up the space can help to make it look a bit bigger. This tiny but also stylish pantry featured on jenron-designs can be your source of inspiration for this project. As you can see, there’s a lot going on here but still, the pantry looks neat and organized.

Make an organizer for commonly-used items

Make an organizer for commonly-used itemsView in gallery

There’s some things in the kitchen that get used more often than others, things like spoons and forks and condiments and so on. It might be a good idea to have all these things grouped up and stored in the same place so you and anyone else using the kitchen can easily find them. This wall organizer featured on letsdiyitall might be just what you need for that.

Turn basic boxes into stylish organizers

Turn basic boxes into stylish organizersView in gallery

Those basic wooden crates and boxes that you usually find in stores are really practical for storage but they don’t really impress with their looks. Also, if you fill them with lots of items they can be quite heavy and difficult to maneuver. Both these issues can be easily fixed and all you need is some paint and a set of four casters for each crate in order to transform it. Check out these rolling wood crates featured on alittleofthis—alittleofthat if you want to give this a try yourself.

Keep an inventory sheet

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If you often forget about certain things in your pantry or you can’t keep track of what you have and what needs to be bought, maybe it would be a good idea to keep an inventory sheet for your pantry. You might also want to clean up the pantry while you’re at it. Take everything out, make the shelves look nice and pretty (maybe put some new shelf liner on them) and then start organizing everything. As you do this, make notes on a sheet of paper and then hang it on a clipboard on your pantry door. We found this clever idea on iheartorganizing.

Make use of the door space

Make use of the door spaceView in gallery

This is an idea we’re seen before and a really clever and practical one as well. The interior of the pantry door is pretty much free real estate and you can use this space to add more storage and organizer for things like sheets of baking paper, bags, a few jars and so on. Check out shanty-2-chic to see how you can make custom organizers for them.

Use simple and cheap containers

Use simple and cheap containersView in gallery

There’s a lot of storage boxes and containers that sure look nice but are massively overpriced which might make you think it’s not worth using a bunch to organize your pantry. But there’s also plenty of cheap container that you can find at the Dollar Tree Store that you could use instead. These can be labeled and kept on open shelves. Check out diycandy for more info.

Try a mix of things

Try a mix of thingsView in gallery

If your pantry is not actually part of the kitchen but positioned somewhere in the middle of the house for example, filling it with all sorts of different things is probably inevitable. Turn this into a flexible storage area and use a mix of storage options like open shelves, containers, drawers and so on. You can see a similar strategy being used in this pantry design from manhattan-nest.

Make a chip rack

Make a chip rackView in gallery

This is a clever and fun accessory that you can add to your pantry or your kitchen. It’s a vertical rack with clips which you can use for snacks and chips but also for all sorts of other things including some utensils. It takes up almost no space at all and it’s easy to make so check out 11magnolialane if you want to find out more about this.

Label everything

Label everythingView in gallery

Ok, maybe labeling absolutely everything is a bit much but the base idea remains a very practical one. Take your pantry for example. Open shelves work a lot better in here if you label the containers that you put on them so you can easily grab the one you need instead of digging through them all and making a mess every time you want something. You can find some useful tips on classyclutter in this regard.

Come up with your own system

Come up with your own systemView in gallery

As inspiring as some of the projects here are, you should keep in mind that a storage system that works for someone might not be well-suited for someone else. Come up with your own system based on your habits, the items that you want to store and the space available. If you look at this pantry design from alysonhaley you can see that each little section is meant for something specific.

Go with a classic shelving unit

Go with a classic shelving unitView in gallery

A lot of the ideas that we mentioned and that you might also have don’t really have much to do with the actual shelves themselves and focus more on what comes after that. That means something basic like a metal shelving unit like this one from the Amazon Basics Store should be a good starting point for your pantry makeover.

Maximize the storage capacity of your cabinets and shelves

Maximize the storage capacity of your cabinets and shelvesView in gallery

Some shelves and cubbies are too big to merely store a few cans of food on them. Usually, the problem is the spaces are high enough to hold more but there’s no practical way to do so. That’s when organizers like these stackable shelves from the Deco Brothers Store come into play. They allow you to maximize the storage capacity of your kitchen cabinets and pantry and they’re versatile and easy to use too.

Use stackable shelves in different situations

Use stackable shelves in different situationsView in gallery

Since we just mentioned stackable shelves, here’s another model that you might like. These organizer racks from the Beeloving Store can be used in a variety of different spaces like inside the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, in the pantry or even on the counter. They’re really nice for organizing and storing spices, jars and cans of food as well as various other things.

Make good use of freestanding shelving units

Make good use of freestanding shelving unitsView in gallery

Freestanding shelving units might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to pantries but they can be super useful here. Designs that that of this one from the TOOLF Store look really nice while also being super practical and versatile. This is a 4-tier foldable shelving unit which you can use as an actual piece of furniture for your living area, bedroom or office but that you can also put inside the pantry or the closet. It has casters so you can easily move it around.

Play around with modular cubbies

Play around with modular cubbiesView in gallery

You may have come across these things before and thought they were interesting. Well, perhaps you’d like to give them a chance and bring them into your home. This set of 6 storage cubes from Amazon Basics has a minimal and modern-industrial aesthetic and allows you to connect the modules in whatever configuration you prefer based on your storage needs or the space available.

Try an over-the-door organizer

Try an over-the-door organizerView in gallery

Over-the-door organizers, as mentioned before, are super practical especially for small spaces and kitchen pantries because they give you more space for storing things without having to expand or reorganize anything. This one for the Home-Complete Store has 9 shelves which can hold anything from snacks to cleaning products, jars and whatever else you keep in your pantry.

Keep it simple with floating shelves

Keep it simple with floating shelvesView in gallery

Of course, while all the alternative solutions and all the accessories can be great additions to your pantry or your kitchen in general, that doesn’t mean the good old floating shelves should be forgotten. These are great if you prefer a clean and simple look and you want something that’s equally practical and nice to look at. Check out these versatile shelves from the under Stated Store if you want something simple and sturdy.

Repurpose a bookcase

Repurpose a bookcaseView in gallery

As you’ve probably figured out yourself, bookcases can hold a lot more than just books. In fact, they can even be repurposed entirely and considered a valid alternative to other types of storage shelves. So keep this in mind when searching for furniture for your kitchen or pantry. A design that we really like is that of this industrial-style bookcase from the Little Tree Store. The combination of wood and metal looks wonderful.

Try adjustable mesh shelves

Try adjustable mesh shelvesView in gallery

Going back to some of the more common storage options for pantries, garages and utility rooms in general, check out this organizer from ClosetMaid. It’s wall-mounted which means you can save a bit of space and leave the area below open and it has four metal mesh shelves which you can position at the desired height. This allows you to easily re-adjust their configuration based on your storage needs.

Get some Lazy Susan shelves

Get some Lazy Susan shelvesView in gallery

Corners are notoriously difficult and annoying because they don’t really make it easy to reach or see what’s there without having to move things around. We’re talking about pantry shelves and also kitchen cabinets in general. An accessory that could really make the experience easier and more enjoyable Lazy Susan shelf like this one from TB Home. You can also use this in a variety of other spaces and for various other purposes.