A pantry is a great thing to have. Not only does it store all your dry goods in one place, but you can also use your pantry to better organize your kitchen. Whether it’s a space the size of a small closet or a walk-in the size of a small room, your pantry is an important part of your overall kitchen experience.
With that said, do you ever wish that your pantry could do just a bit more? Here are a few ways that you can modify your pantry to add additional functionality and really get the most out of that storage space. Best of all, many of these ideas work regardless of how large your pantry is!
Most pantries feature shelves, and most cases those shelves are fairly evenly spaced within the pantry. You can get more use out of the space if you break that symmetry up a little, however. Fit in more shelf space by leaving a shelf or two with a lot of headroom and then placing other shelves a bit closer together. If you really want to maximize the effect, install vertical dividers on shelves so you can have one side be tall and add a smaller half-shelf on the other side.
Another great way to increase storage is to add undershelf baskets that slide out when you need them. These baskets are available in different sizes depending on your needs and can be used for bagged items, loaf bread or other things that are light or fragile.
To make better use of your pantry, consider designing a zone organization plan. A zone organization plan places your canned goods in one area, your pastas in another, breads and cereals in another … whatever groupings you want can work! You can modify each zone to meet the shelving and storage needs of whatever it holds. When you’re done organizing, add labels to the shelves to identify the zones and make items easier to find.
A lot of people think that a pantry is just a place to store food items. It’s also a great place to put your kitchen tools and other utensils so they’re out of the way. Add hooks or drawers in the pantry to hold lesser-used utensils so that they’re out of the kitchen but easy to find when you need them. You can even put small kitchen appliances in your pantry as well.
Add a chalkboard, whiteboard or other writing surface to your pantry so that you can make shopping lists, jot down meal ideas or otherwise take notes without having to leave the pantry area. If the pantry has a door, you can even add a coat of chalkboard or dry erase paint on the inside to give you an extended notetaking area.
If you have spices, small containers or other small items to keep in your pantry, consider adding racks on the back of your pantry door as a place to keep them organized but out of the way. Depending on the type of door and what it’s made of, you can either install them directly to the door or simply use an over-the-door hanging rack.
Lazy Susan units are a great way to get more use out of your pantry space. Depending on your needs and your available space, you can go as simple as a one- or two-tier unit sitting on a shelf or use a bigger floor-to-ceiling unit to make a full revolving section of your pantry.
If you have limited space and want to make the most of it, consider investing in roll-out shelves or full-width drawers for your pantry. This lets you slide out the shelf that you need and access it all the way to the back so that you can place your shelves closer together than you might be able to with stationary shelving.
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