That Frustrating Kitchen Pantry

Did you know that February is National Canned Food Month? I did not! I’ve decided to honor this month long holiday with a few quick and simply pantry solutions for a few of our most common pantry issues that frustrate us.

Issue No. 1: Pantry Depth – Where Is Everything Hiding?

Many of today’s pantries have extremely deep shelves. The dream solution for this issue, admittedly the most expensive, is to have glide-out shelves installed. Companies like ShelfGenie provide custom solutions to fit your exact measurements.


Another option may be found at The Container Store. They offer similar solutions, such as, the Elfa Easy Glider or their two tiered sliding organizer . These solutions are not “custom fit” which often times will lead to wasted space, but they are still quite functional.


Finally, you may use bins or baskets to store things such as cereal bars, pasta, beans, etc. These solutions work because you can simply pull them out of the pantry for your needs.


Issue No. 2: Help! My Pantry is Too Small!

Another common issue is the size of the pantry.  Often times they don’t have enough shelves or have huge tall shelves and stacking your goodies is not a viable option. One of my favorite products is the Container Store’s pantry shelf extender.  They give you added shelving , expand in length, and will hold cans, baskets, boxed food, and much more.


There are also baskets that can hang from shelving. These baskets come in various sizes.  You can view some of our Pantry Makeovers here.

Issue 3: No Pantry

Too many homes lack pantry space these days. You can use many other “common” household items to serve multiple purposes and these items can serve as pantry space. An example would be a storage ottoman. These are great little pieces of furniture generally used for your feet or extra seating,  but some open up to reveal hidden storage space.   Multi purpose one and hide away some food or pantry items.  Here is a simple one from Target:


You can also convert a standard closet. Do you have a coat closet that isn’t housing coats, jackets, or other coat closet goodies?  You can install some simple wire/board shelving  (available at the Container Store, Lowes, Home Depot, or other home improvement centers) and create a “pantry”.  This image shown is a large closet, but the shelving is customizable to smaller closets as well. If you want to use the closet as a combination coat closet/pantry, simply put the shelving in the top half, bottom half, or just on one of the sides.


Another popular solution is to put food in decorative baskets above the cabinets.  Longer term food storage or seasonal use items like cookie cutters and holiday items may work best with this solution.   This solution may not be the easiest, as you will need a step stool to retrieve the goodies tucked away in your baskets, but it makes the most of valuable real estate in your kitchen.

Do you have a favorite solution for organizing a custom pantry? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Happy Organizing!

Christa & Erin

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