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Smart and Simple Pantry space saving ideas

Have a small pantry that is always a mess? Let’s get it organized! Here are a ton of smart and simple DIY pantry space saving ideas!

Having a pantry can be a real game changer for your kitchen. Even a small pantry is great – you just need to know how to maximize your storage space.

Today I want to chat about some of our favorite pantry space saving ideas and share hacks for keeping your small pantry organized and efficient!

Smart and Simple Pantry space saving ideas

Pantry space saving ideas

Here are some smart strategies for maximized pantry storage.

Strategic Categorization and Consolidation

If you don’t have a ton of space in your pantry, you certainly don’t want to waste it on items that you don’t want or use. That’s why we always suggest starting any pantry organization project by pulling everything out. Yes, everything!

Go through and sort out anything unwanted. If you have two open containers of the same thing, combine them. Look for any place where you can consolidate.

Then, categorize everything. I like to categorize like items together. For example, I put all of my cans together and all of my boxes together.

However, some people like to sort by meal. We use small acrylic bins in our pantry. If there’s a meal with a lot of specialty ingredients, we will do a bin just for the ingredients for that recipe. That way, we don’t accidentally eat them before we make the meal, and everything is ready to go when it’s time to cook.

Just figure out what system works best for you and saw your items that way.

Pantry Makeover - Charleston Crafted

Vertical Utilization Tactics

If you have a small pantry, you want to make the most of the space that you do have. One space that is often overlooked is vertical space.

Assess your pantry. Could you fit in another shelf or two? Sometimes moving shelves closer together with me, and you can feel a lot more in the same space.

Our Complete Pantry Remodel - Charleston Crafted

I also highly advocate for a super high shelf. They seem impractical, but are really good place to keep items you very rarely use out-of-the-way, but still accessible.

When placing items on the shelves, put your most used items on the center shelves, so you don’t have to bend or reach too often. Lesser used items can go up high or down low.

Don’t forget the floor, either. You can place large, heavy, or bulky items on the floor below you bottom shelf. Use a bin if they are smaller items that could get knocked around.

touch lighting in a small pantry

Clever Shelf Management

Once you have your shelves set, you want to make sure that each shelf is organized as much as possible.

This is easiest if you use some kind of bins, baskets, or containers. For small spaces, I like:

If you have small items on a shelf, consider putting them in a basket or box. This will keep them contained and from being a mess. You can choose skinny, tall bins to take up less horizontal space.

Accessorizing and Completing our Pantry Remodel - Charleston Crafted

Innovative Space-Saving Tools

Think outside the box when choosing storage options for your space. Here are some super innovative small pantry storage solutions:

Accessorizing and Completing our Pantry Remodel - Charleston Crafted

DIY Solutions for Small Pantries

Don’t want to spend $$$ on tons of bins? I totally get it, it adds up.

There are plenty of inexpensive pantry storage solutions. I suggest:

  • re-using cardboard boxes (wrapped in paper for extra credit)
  • larger tupper wares to corral smaller items
  • hang things from command hooks or a nail on the wall to clear up shelf space
  • repurpose baskets or bins from another room
  • vases work great for holding items like reusable straws or chopsticks
  • check thrift stores for canisters and other large containers

Don’t stress about matching or a perfect aesthetic. Get it functioning first, you can slowly purchase matching upgraded pieces down the line if it still bothers you.

After images of organization inside DIY pantry

Streamlined Labels and Inventory

When organizing your small pantry, labels are essential for keeping it organized. Having a labeled container or spot makes it 10x more likely that people will put it back in the right spot!

You can use a label maker, cut labels with a Cricut or similar machine, or simply use tape and a sharpie. I suggest keeping it simple so it’s easy to update and keep correct down the line!

Need help organizing your pantry?

Pantry Inventory Printables mock up (1)

Click here to grab our FREE pantry inventory printable!

  • Simple 2 page PDF printable
  • Stop wasting money on food lost in the back of your pantry!
  • Create a simple system for using up or disposing of expired food!

Need to organize & declutter your whole home?

Be sure to download our free 30 day decluttering challenge workbook!

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