Of course, having a nice, roomy pantry would make organizing a small kitchen easier to achieve, but just because you don’t have one doesn’t mean you can’t get inspired by some of the best pantry organization ideas. Get a little creative with your small kitchen design and storage ideas, and you’ll reap the same benefits, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.
Good storage takes on a new priority when the kitchen is small. From deep, wide drawers and pull-out shelves to replace standard cabinet interiors, to clean cabinets to become canned-goods pantries, and open shelving for jars, bottles, and spices, even the smallest of kitchens can be well-organized with some smart thinking,” George Forsyth, director of Drew Forsyth & Co. (Opens in a new tab)
Organizing a small kitchen without a pantry
We quizzed the experts on the best space-saving ways to organize a small kitchen without a pantry; From helpful tips and organizational tips to steal-worthy small pantry ideas, find their suggestions below.
When organizing a kitchen without a pantry, an efficient and well-arranged food storage system remains key. Whether you store food items in cabinets, drawers, or anywhere else entirely, a good structure, regular disassembly, and some space-saving pantry ideas can make all the difference in how smoothly your kitchen runs and how tidy it is too!
1. Be tough with backtracking
When organizing a small kitchen without a pantry, decluttering is the best place to start—you simply don’t have the luxury of wasting storage space on items you don’t need. Inspect every can, package, jar, and bottle and get rid of anything that’s past its sell-by date or that you’re not likely to use (be sure to recycle/donate what you can). Do the same with other kitchen items as well.
“As with all clutter disposals, it’s crucial that you think through each ingredient and ask yourself if you really need it—ingredients included.” Unless you cook huge feasts regularly, it’s surprising how little you actually need to run a well-functioning kitchen. It’s a matter of getting rid of those things you might use once in a blue moon, says professional organizer Laura Price, and making use of a smaller set of essential tools. (Opens in a new tab) home organization.
Craig Hoarrow (Opens in a new tab)APDO (Opens in a new tab) Member and Owner of A Tidy Mind London agrees and adds; “Look at collapsible tools like bowls, colanders, cutting boards, and mixing bowls that can be stored flat when not in use, giving you more space to store other things.”
Laura Price’s goal is to help others experience the benefits of living an organized life after discovering that organized homes have brought her peace when raising three children in a crowded home. Hence the birth of The Home Organization, a dedicated team of professional organizers.
2. Equip your pantry…
If without a pantry, your small kitchen probably includes cabinets, so designate one or two of them specifically for food storage. Using pantry organizers is the best way to increase their usefulness. To decide what’s best for you, make a list of what you want to stock. Consider buying over the door racks, or inexpensive lazy susans, at Target (Opens in a new tab); They are great space-saving storage ideas for jars, cans, and bottles, while the pull-out shelves are perfect for pots, pans, and small appliances.
When recreating pantry-style storage, sliding shelving systems are invaluable – so we often take out food that has expired years ago because our customers had no idea it was hiding in the back! For higher shelves, we recommend the Tall Boxes on Amazon (Opens in a new tab) It can be pulled out and placed on a counter, almost like a removable tray, says Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done & Done Home. (Opens in a new tab).
3 …or use a drawer
If your cabinets are already full to bursting, consider using drawers instead. Understanding how to properly organize your kitchen drawers will help you utilize the space to the best effect. Look at the sizes you have available and customize them appropriately. Tea towels, table linens, and spices fit neatly into the slim drawers, while the deep drawers fit larger items like leafy dried foods, small appliances, and surplus cookware.
4. Store vegetables in baskets
Keen cooks will know that fruits and vegetables are best stored outside of the fridge, so if you’re short on pantry, you’ll need to get a little creative. For items that aren’t stowed in the fridge, boxy wooden drawers that slide into open cabinet shelves will keep things fresh and airy, but if all of your shelves are already in use, an open wicker basket works just as well. Laid neatly on the floor, it looks elegant, and you’ll be able to see what comes out of you.
5. Tap the tops of the tanks
If you have the luxury of pantry shelves, then of course you will store everything behind closed doors, but otherwise, storing less frequently used items on top of your kitchen cabinets is perfectly acceptable, and will free up space in cupboards and drawers for everyday staples.
Using stylish baskets — ideally with a lid — will keep items contained and protected, while also providing an attractive display. If you’re storing linens, it’s worth using airtight containers on Amazon (Opens in a new tab) To prevent cooking odors from penetrating the fabric.
Keep in mind that storing items of any kind is above the fridge no recommended. Refrigerators release heat from the top which can affect your stuff, plus they have to work harder which can have an impact on your energy bills as well.
6. Compromise Countertop Space (Within Reason)
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to store anything on your countertops, but let’s be real—organizing a small kitchen without a pantry requires some compromises. While we don’t recommend leaving open bags of flour or unsightly cereal packages, a few neat tins on your countertops can come in handy for storing often-used staples.
If you are going to use the countertop as storage, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with how to disassemble the worktops so that you can proceed with the organization of the kitchen counter.
7. Find space for spices
If you’re an avid cook and have plenty of them, organizing spices can be one of the trickier items to stock in a small kitchen without a pantry. However, the beauty of spice jars is their small dimensions, which means they can fit nicely into spaces that might otherwise not be used.
One way to free up space in a cramped kitchen is to store spices in pull-out drawers. Not only is it a great use of space, but it makes searching through it difficult. If you’re looking for something inconspicuous, rolling spice racks, at walmart (Opens in a new tab), also great; These fit easily under any nightstand or cabinet so you can simply pull them out whenever you need to, says Andra Delmonico, lead interior designer at Trendey. (Opens in a new tab).
Ann Lightfoot recommends buying matching square glass bottles, at Target (Opens in a new tab)Not only because they look great, but because they fit neatly together, resulting in more space. If you prefer to store your spices behind closed doors, I recommend using expandable tiered shelves or shelf risers so you can see what’s in the back— You can store items under it as well.
8. Remove bulky packaging – and pour into clear containers
Removing (and recycling) packaging and jars as much as possible is a huge space saver, and pouring them where you can into airtight, airtight containers will keep ingredients fresh. Choosing the clear versions will make it easier to identify what you need, plus you’ll be able to see clearly when the essentials are down.
“When you have a small space in the pantry, it is critical to maximize every inch of space; use the full height of your shelves by investing in stackable square canisters. Calculate how many containers will fit in your cabinets, and always remember this when shopping. If you are buying food more In keeping with your closet, over-spillage is inevitable, resulting in a sense of tightness and clutter.
Sort by type and add labels listing the best before date so you know where it is. If you are storing dry ingredients as part of your kitchen shelving idea, keep the aesthetics in mind; Mason jars are a practical option, but they still look pretty and elegant when stuffed with nuts, sugar, flour, coffee, and the like.
9. Bring portable storage space
A kitchen trolley or rotating island is a great way to increase storage while providing an extra cooking and prep surface – especially in smaller kitchens. Look for designs that offer a mix of drawers, shelves, and shelves to maximize storage capabilities for a variety of pantry items, advises Louie Lavec, lead interior designer for all Barndominium plans. (Opens in a new tab).
10. Avoid buying in bulk
Without the luxury of plentiful storage, you’ll need to be careful about how much you bring home from the store forward if you want to avoid clutter piling up.
While it’s great to save money on those things you use often, if you don’t have the space to store them, the kitchen can quickly become unmanageable. “Having a really good understanding of how much you can physically fit in your kitchen is key to keeping things in shape,” says Laura Price.
questions and answers
What can I use instead of the pantry?
While it may not be the spacious pantry you’ve always dreamed of, there are plenty of ways you can create pantry-style storage without compromising on floor space. With the right cabinet organizers, a kitchen cabinet can be just as effective for storing cans, jars, and dried goods, like a deep drawer, if you have one.
Open shelves can host elegant cans, cookbooks, and crockery, while hooks, rails, and shelves are great for hanging pots, tea towels, and aprons, freeing up space in cabinets for less aesthetically pleasing items. While you need to keep it neat and tidy, the pantry ideas on offer like this one provide an opportunity to add personality and style to your small kitchen.
If you have a bespoke budget, look for unused alcove ideas that can be turned into useful storage space, like the slim space next to the fridge or oven for example. You can also consider incorporating pull-out shelves under the cabinets to store spices, or customize corner cabinets with pull-out versions.
So while there’s no getting around the fact that every kitchen requires spaces to store staples, rest assured, you don’t need a “convenience” pantry to do so. As we’ve shown, with a little creative thinking, even the smallest of kitchens can become functional and well-organized spaces.