Small Pantry Organizing Tips

Small Pantry Organizing Tips

photo credit freedigitalphotos.net

A small pantry might appear to be completely useless.   Too small to really hold what you want to put there or too hard to get to and therefore you just don’t use it well.  Small spaces beg for smart organization and I simply love that!  With very little wiggle room, you have no choice but to work with what you have and its a great reminder to make sure every item in the space counts. In 2012 I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Anissa Mayhew as part of The Organized Give.  One of the spaces in her home that needed the most attention was her small pantry.  More like a closet in a hall than a food pantry in the kitchen, it was time for a clean and well organized slate that including increased shelving and basket storage.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you evaluate your small pantry space at home:


Adequate Shelving

When evaluating how to include shelving in your small pantry, take it from the top all the way down to the bottom and accommodate things used very frequently to things use rarely.  Don’t clutter the floor or prime space your kids can reach with items not needed on a daily basis.


I love equipping a small pantry with baskets on a slide track that open and close effortlessly.  There are high use items for every day like pastas and rice and a second basket that is full of items the kids might want to get on their own. I love a basket option because it can provide adequate air circulation and therefore accommodate a variety of different foods including fruits and vegetables that don’t need to be refrigerated but stored in the proper place.


Small pantry organization works best when it invites autonomy, enabling each family member  to get what they need when they need it.  So think about this with every organized choice you make.

Include a Bench

Not just for children, having a small bench or folding step stool makes all the difference in making the most of the vertical space in your small pantry.  It enables you to truly maximize what you have and strategize for the most efficient use of space.

This small pantry truly is a great space and although its tight, it totally works.  Remember to go vertical with things like paper products you don’t use often and adults can grab them, go waist height for things that everyone might want like Mac N Cheese ~ perfect for an after school snack. And then hit the floor for random oversized items like Cheese Balls (everybody needs cheese balls!).

The key to your success in any small space is to think intuitively about how your family will use it and then give it the tools it needs to work with you instead of against you. That was the goal with this small pantry and with just a few special features, we completely transformed the space.

Are you tackling a small pantry organization project this Spring?

What do you hope to change?

If you are ready to take the Spring Clean plunge, we’ve got some great ideas on our Spring Cleaning Pinterest Board to get you started.  Check our our post on How to Spring Clean Your Kitchen, part of the March Spring Clean Series and GO MOM!® Organizing Tips all year long and don’t forget to check out our FREE Printables where you’ll find our Spring Cleaning Checklist waiting for you to get started!

Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!


Disclosure: I filmed this video while onsite at The Organized Give. This as part of my compensated series with The Stow Company. Its a great example of how to make a typical pantry that is more like a closet a work of organized art. I hope it inspires you to tame the beast!

Disclosure: This post may include images and/or links to products on Amazon.com. GO MOM!® Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.


  • Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} September 5, 2012, 9:46 pm

    I totally need that pantry! I have a tiny pantry with those wire shelves, and nothing stays put and I can’t move them around. Drives me nuts. I love seeing an example of a small pantry that works!

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