5 Ideas for Organizing a Small Kitchen Pantry

13 Ideas for Organizing a Small Kitchen Pantry

In many ways, the pantry is like a closet for your kitchen. However, instead of housing shirts and shoes, you’re storing soup and cereal. And just like a bedroom closet, you want to make sure your kitchen pantry is organized so that you can easily access everything that’s inside it – in this case, your grocery staples and cooking supplies.

When it comes to organizing your small kitchen pantry, be sure to consider the following tips and tricks:

  • Be Flexible
  • Reach New Heights
  • ‘Bin’ There, Done That
  • Repurpose With a Purpose
  • Dare to DIY

Keep reading for 13 simple solutions that are sure to whip your small kitchen pantry into shape!

Be Flexible

When space is at a premium, you want to be sure to maximize every available inch. Consider installing pantry pull-outs that help keep everything within easy reach. There are a variety of options available, including sliding baskets, wine bottle racks, and spice racks designed to work within a custom pantry, as well as numerous comparable products available at big box and home stores.

Don’t let precious space go to waste. An under-desk tray from the office supply store can attach to the bottom of a shelf & provide extra storage space. Its small, slender size is perfect for storing granola bars and other snacks.

The home design gurus at HGTV suggest organizing your pantry shelves in a U-shape. By placing items around the perimeter, you will be able to read product labels and reach items more easily.

Kitchen Pantry Shelving

Reach New Heights

One of the keys to staying organized is being able to easily see and access your pantry items. A set of tiered risers will let you store spices or canned goods at increasing heights. This way, you can read each label without needing to move everything around.

Another hack is to put tall items (like cereal boxes) towards the back and shorter items in the front so that nothing is blocked from sight. Not only will this trick from thekitchn.com help keep you organized, but it can save you money too. By storing your pantry items according to height, you will be able to keep an accurate inventory and won’t end up buying duplicates at the grocery store. 

‘Bin’ There, Done That

When it comes to organizing a small pantry, bins are your best friend. They are a terrific way to store similar items together. For instance, you can place all of your salty snacks in one bin, cookies in another, dried fruits and nuts in a third, and so on.

By organizing everything into bins or baskets, you can quickly find exactly what you are searching for. There’s no longer a need to move a million things just to find the teeny tiny bottle of vanilla when you know it’s safely stashed inside your baking supply bin.

You can save a great deal of space by repackaging items into clear storage containers. Just be sure to label everything – you wouldn’t want to mix up the salt and sugar when baking your child’s birthday cake.

Another option is to use mason jars or canning jars to store dry goods such as rice, beans, or oatmeal. Their airtight seal keeps food fresh and prevents bug infestations . After all, there’s nothing worse than finding a trail of ants streaming from your sugar bin. As an added bonus, the uniform sizing of these jars allows you to pack plenty of products into your small pantry.

The Happy Housie is a strong proponent of using clear or matching bins and storage containers because they create a clean, cohesive look that can give even the smallest pantry the illusion of greater size. 

Mason Jars

Repurpose With a Purpose

Don’t be afraid to use the pantry door for storage if you are tight on space. A hanging shoe organizer is the perfect place to store small items such as spice jars, sauce packets, or snack bars. These products tend to get lost in a packed pantry, but they will be easy to find and grab whenever you need if they're hanging right before your eyes.

A Lazy Susan is another common household item that can pull double-duty. They are great for storing condiment bottles, jars of sauce or salsa, and even cans of soup. Just give it a whirl and you can quickly see what you have in stock when making your grocery shopping list. Plus, everything will be at your fingertips when it comes time to prepare dinner.

HGTV suggests upcycling upright magazine holders to hold pantry staples. It’s best to store these grocery items in a cool, dark, and dry place so the pantry is perfect! Readily available in plastic or a metal mesh, magazine holders are perfect for corralling your products without creating a stuffy environment. 

Dare to DIY

Don’t be afraid to get crafty when it comes to kitchen pantry storage. Eleven Magnolia Lane crafted a custom chip rack in the narrow space between the pantry door and the shelves using just a small strip of wood and curtain clips. This is a super simple storage solution that keeps individual serving packets of potato chips on hand for a grab-n-go snack or when packing school lunches.


If storage is at a premium in your kitchen pantry, then you need to get creative when organizing your small space. Between ready-made products, repurposed items, and easy DIY projects, there are plenty of ways you can maximize space to fit all of your groceries and cooking supplies. 


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