How To Organize A Small Kitchen Without A Pantry

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Moving into a place with a fully functional kitchen is exciting! But, if it doesn’t include a pantry, you might be discouraged. Where are you going to store all your cooking items, food, dishes, and everything else you need?

Use some basket hangers, pegboard, command strips, empty creamer bottles, and wire shelving to store your items, or hang them, so that they’re accessible but don’t take up your counter space. Use the top of your cabinets as well to create a platform for your storage.

Not having a pantry doesn’t mean that your kitchen isn’t going to be functional or fun to cook in. Use this as a way to be creative and decorate your space even more! Below, we’ll share a few of the ways you can do that.

Incorporate Some Baskets For Your Shelf

When placed carelessly on bookshelves, bags and boxes can rapidly create a disorganized mess. However, adding a few baskets to your kitchen’s cupboards or shelves will help you keep your groceries organized.

The baskets can also be used to group things like supplies for baking cookies, as opposed to supplies for steaming vegetables. Then everything will be accessible with only a simple pull of the appropriate basket.

Use Up Your Wall Space

An extra shelf can be mounted on bare walls, a rail can be added for hanging pots, and a pegboard for storing cookware is another helpful option.

No matter how little actual square footage your small kitchen has, you can almost always invent extra pantry storage space by simply looking at your walls.

You can still use the newly formed storage capacity on your wall to free up a few cabinets, which can then be used to store ingredients, even if you decide not to use it as a pantry.

Put Some Items In Your Linen Closet Or Laundry Room

When it comes to an actual laundry room or laundry area, people don’t always use that awkward wire shelf that hangs above the appliances. Feel free to store some of your things there.

Check the closets in your home, as well as the mudroom. Chances are you have a cupboard that is located in a weird place, which is why you don’t use it. This would be perfect to store your kitchen overflow, whether it’s baking sheets, bowls, and plates, or drinking glasses.

Get A Cart On Wheels

Utility carts have been up and coming for several years now; it’s becoming a trend all over social media. Several factors make the recognizable utility cart a favorite in interior design: It can carry a lot of different supplies and ingredients.

Something else that’s neat about it is that it can be wheeled wherever you need it to go and is compact enough to tuck away into a corner.

Utility carts come in almost any size and style, whether you prefer antique, stainless steel, or wood. Use them for canned foods, spices, boxed pantry items, and just about any other pantry item you may have.

Build Some Shelves

If it’s not possible to construct some new built-in cabinets, think about hanging a few pieces of wood wherever there is room.

A concealed pantry with plenty of storage for your enormous spice collection would be ideal, but lovely open shelving can serve the same purpose.

Consider shifting aesthetically beautiful dishes and bowls to your open shelf to maximize your space and reserving the cabinet space for all those unsightly boxes of cereal.

Use A Bar Cabinet For Storage

Kitchen supplies can be neatly stored on an open, movable bar cart that is simple to tuck away. When not in use, tuck it away in a coat closet or mudroom and roll it out the following time you make your mother’s chocolate chip cookies.

Think about shifting that cabinet or bar cart from your living area to the kitchen. A closed bar cabinet can be used to store dry goods and other kitchen essentials.

Even if the cabinet is not moveable, you can get a bar cabinet that you can tuck behind another piece of furniture. Chances are no one is going to pay attention to it, and even if they do, it’s a nice addition to your space.

Use A Nook

Do you have a small nook, alcove, or butler’s pantry in your kitchen or close by? Organize it as a pantry!

Install shelves, and pour your essential ingredients and spices into coordinating bins. You can even slap some labels on it to make it look more professional and put together.

You want it to look as attractive and well-organized as possible since it will be visible to everyone and won’t be hidden away.

Purchase Some Pegboard To Hang Some Items

One of the most adaptable materials for adding storage to your kitchen is pegboard. To make it really simple to access anything you need, hang your fruit baskets, knives, mugs, colanders, and more!

This is an excellent choice as you can essentially make the board as big as you want, and you can hang virtually anything. You can also make it fun and exciting, so it’s almost like a little stylish accent added to your kitchen.

Use Command Strips

Command strips can be used to organize everything from wooden spoons to potholders and free up a tiny bit of extra storage space. Make the most of your space by hanging them inside cabinet doors.

Some people even use them on the outside of their cabinets, such as on the sides or in spaces that aren’t being utilized, like the side of your fridge. Just make sure the surface is clean before sticking them, otherwise they won’t stay.

Get A Couple Of Lazy Susans

Whatever cupboard capacity you do have is valuable, and as you are presumably aware, it gets crowded quickly in a tiny kitchen. Lazy susans can help with that.

Your little cabinets will feel a lot more spacious since you can store in a lot more materials, foods, and culinary supplies. Lazy Susans give you the ability to store more as it provides more shelving, and they also spin so you can access your essentials easily.

Hang Your Mugs On Mug Hooks Or A Mug Tree

Mugs are probably one of the hardest pieces to organize because there’s so many of them, and they’re all bulky.

Simply hang up your mugs by installing hooks underneath shelves. You’ll have convenient access once you go for your cup of joe, and you’ll free up some cupboard space.

If you have additional counter space, you can also set the mug tree on it and hang your mugs from there.

Hang Your Knives On The Wall

Whoever says knives have to be stored in drawers or on a counter in a knife block? Instead, hang them on the wall because doing so will allow you to have them accessible to you without taking up additional counter or cabinet space.

This is a perfect solution for anyone with a small kitchen space. Plus, it adds a little oomph while allowing the space to still be functional.

Utilize The Top Of Your Cabinets

One space that many people forget they have is the top of their cabinets. You can dust them off, put a shelf liner, add some cubby setups, or perhaps some tiered wire racks, and there you go!

You might have to grab a step ladder, or climb on your counter to access what you need, but at least everything is up and out of the way!

Purchase Tiered Baskets

Tiered baskets are ideal for storing obvious items, like bananas and oranges, on the counter or hanging from the ceiling. However, they can also carry bags of uncooked rice, noodles, and other lightweight necessities.

Nearly every small kitchen has some vacant ceiling space that can be imaginatively adapted, even if you don’t have any wall space or storage space to add storage.

Place Clear Containers On Your Higher Shelves

Place snacks in clear plastic boxes on higher shelves. The translucent containers make it easy to see what is in them without using a step ladder and to reach and remove objects.

Or, if you don’t have clear containers, you can also make sure you label the outside of the shelf, and just make sure you put everything back where it goes. That way, you can see what you need before you have to climb up and grab everything.

Use Your Empty Creamer Bottles For Storage

Have you ever repurposed your empty creamer bottles? You can clean and dry them out, and then fill them with some baking chips or chopped nuts. It’s easy to store the cupboard products that you shake or sprinkle onto your food.

Store Your Smaller Things In Tool Box Organizers

Use a craft or tool planner with segregated compartments to keep the baking and decorating supplies you don’t use frequently. You can tuck these away outside of the kitchen since they’re not used frequently.

Some great spots to put them would be under your bed, your nightstand, the bottom shelf of the entertainment center in your livingroom, or somewhere hidden away.

Use Your Counters As Storage

Bulky products like flour and sugar can be kept on your counter! You can make the area easy on the eye by putting your products in attractive jars so it brightens up the place.

To minimize the footprint, choose tall, slim, or stackable containers. All you have to do is pour the product into the jar, and you’re set. However, make sure that the jar shuts with an airtight seal.

Get Rid Of Your Produce Bowls

Produce bowls that set on your counter and kitchen island take up so much space. They’re bulky, and they’re usually ugly. Sorry, but they are! Plus, most people get fruit flies buzzing around, and it’s just a huge mess.

Get rid of those awful bowls, and think about maybe getting a cake pan display. You can set your fruit on one platform, and it comes with a lid to keep the bugs out.

Put Your Paper Towels Under The Sink

If you’re really hurting for space and the paper towel rack is just taking up too much space, you can install one on the inside of the cupboard under your sink.

Or, if you have a different place in mind, you can choose the inside of any accessible cabinet, or perhaps even on the side of one so that it’s up and out of the way.

Use A K-Cup Organizer

K-Cups are hard to organize. They fall everywhere, and it makes a huge, ugly mess. Usually, K-Cup machines come with a pull-out drawer where you can organize them. However, if you’re strapped on space, you most likely won’t want to keep your K-Cup machine on the counter. So, what do you do?

They make K-Cup organizers for drawers. So if you have a drawer with extra space, you can always put one in there and organize your cups that way.

Use Wire Shelves To Divide Shelf Space

You may increase the amount of vertical storage space using wire shelf risers, which will give you extra area to store all of your dishes.

This is an excellent idea as you essentially are able to turn one shelf into two. Then, you could store plates and bowls on the same shelf without it looking cluttered.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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