Small Pantry-Just Add Shelves

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Here is one more idea how to organize a small pantry, it’s really easy. When Fall arrives my inner clock reminds me to stock up on food storage because that is usually when the canned goods go on sale. I am asked quite often “How can I store my food storage when my pantry is so small”?

Well, I showed you a few weeks ago how to add a few shelves to your regular kitchen cupboards.

small pantry

More Shelves For Your Small Pantry

By just adding a few extra shelves to your small pantry, you gain almost 50% more cupboard space depending on how your cabinets are built. I have the pantry shown below that used to have only 5 shelves. I added two more shelves to give me more space that was not as easily usable because of the height. I only have a few tall items to store in the pantry. Plus you can only safely stack cans two cans high. I have ten-foot ceilings so therefore, the pantry is taller than a house with 8-foot walls. The door alone is 8 feet tall. I want you to know those dimensions so you realize how I was able to add more shelving.

Plan Out The Shelves Of Your Small Pantry

Make a list of the various items you eat every day or every week. Then start measuring approximately how many shelves you can add. I measured and measured so many times then I went to a local cabinet place and had them cut the shelves. I picked up the exact size brackets that were already installed on the side walls. The holes were there so all I had to do was consider the depth of the shelves when measuring for the shelving.

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There is something about having a pantry full of canned goods, honey, cocoa, canned soups. I have large and small buckets of flour and sugar for everyday baking and I refill them when needed.

The favorites I have to have in my small pantry:

1. baking stuff-flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cocoa, oils, honey, salt

2. peanut butter, jelly, and jam

3. canned soups

4. canned beans

5. canned enchilada sauce

6, ketchup, mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, mustard

7. canned meat-tuna, chicken, and roast beef

8. canned fruits

9. canned vegetables

Here’s the deal, I can’t afford to make a move so I need to make the best of my situation for my food storage. I love things organized.

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18 thoughts on “Small Pantry-Just Add Shelves

  • October 14, 2013 at 8:41 am
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    The pantry is beautiful. Organization and maximizing space is so easy. You did a great job here!

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    • October 14, 2013 at 10:24 am
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      Thanks so much for commenting. I really want to show people we can get by with less…just add more shelves! Happy Monday! Linda

      Reply
  • October 14, 2013 at 10:30 am
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    Thanks for sharing this. We live in a very old house and my pantry is similar. I’ve never thought of adding in a shelf to divide some of them in half

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    • October 14, 2013 at 10:41 am
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      Hi Andi, thanks for commenting! I have done this for years. I have done most of my daughters closets, kitchens, etc. I sometimes wonder why cabinet builders don’t just add more shelving. It gives of so much more useable space! Happy Monday! Linda

      Reply
  • October 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm
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    Linda, what a wonderful idea! You have no idea how much I need this!! Thank you so much for sharing and pinning! Have a fantastic evening!

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    • October 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm
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      Hi Cindy, thanks so much for commenting! It is amazing how just a few more shelves actually adds space…no more empty dead space! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • October 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm
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    Great ideas! I also love the lazy susan. We use one of those in our fridge.

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    • October 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm
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      Kimberly, I never thought to use a lazy Susan in the fridge!! Oh my gosh, I am working on my fridge post with organizational ideas right now!! Great idea! Hugs! linda

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      • May 4, 2018 at 9:06 pm
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        Linda,
        We use a lazy Susan in one of the refrigerators as well as the cupboard. The one in the cupboard contains spices like garlic powder, minced onions, ground cinnamon, etc; but, don’t forget the baking soda and cream of tartar. Mixing those last two is required for my favorite cookie, the snicker doodle; but, those two components allow you to make “baking powder” when you need it, and it doesn’t go stale or flat.
        We have opted for wire shelving units for most of our storage (we have a lot) and the best price I’ve found on those units is to watch the Aldi’s ads if you have those stores in your area. Usually once per year, right around this time (April & May) they get in very nice black wire 5-shelf shelving units (36” Wide x 20” Deep x 72” High) for around the $40.00 price range and we have used them quite literally everywhere. They also sometimes have another smaller cute little 4-shelf shelving unit (24” Wide x 14” Deep x 30” High) for around the $15.00 price range.
        On a few of these we purchased the Thrive Life Cansolidator units, and these things are amazing. One warning on the Cansolidator units is that the Cansolidator Pantry and Cansolidator Pantry Plus are actually the same units, with the Plus containing a few extra parts to assemble a larger rack. I purchased these when Thrive Life had their black Friday sale this past year, and wish I had gotten them long ago.

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        • May 5, 2018 at 6:26 am
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          Hi, Ohio Prepper, I love your tips on the refrigerator, the lazy susan is a great tip! I hear so many people talk about the store Aldi’s!!! I live Southern Utah and we have limited stores. And I mean limited stores. LOL! Sometimes I feel like I live up in the hills, it’s beautiful here but the shopping options are limited. I have heard about the great items and sales Aldi’s have all the time. It’s amazing how shelving helps us store our food and prep needs so we can organize them. I love Thrive Life storage units, I have never bought their consolidator shelves, thanks for sharing the Pantry and Pantry Plus tip. Great comment! Linda

          Reply
    • October 14, 2013 at 10:26 pm
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      Kristina, I think we all share ideas and it motivates us all in different ways! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • October 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm
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    I think the smaller shelves are a complete waste of space! You could fit much more in the cabinet without those! Can goods today stack really nicely! Measure enough room in between for 3 levels to utilize every amount of space available in the area! Give not more than 2 inches above the buckets and 1 above everything else for ease of putting in and removing. Being able to see what is in the cabinet is more important than all those little bitty spaces! From an active cooks perspective!

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    • October 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm
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      Hi Betty, thanks so much for expressing your opinion. It is interesting I have never had such a small house or pantry in my life….this works for me and I am for sure an active cook too! Linda

      Reply
  • May 3, 2018 at 7:35 pm
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    Ahhhh! 10′ ceilings! You lucky lady you! Pantry looks absolutely super! Darn! Now I’ll have to take mine apart and put it together again. *sigh* I suppose it is time to purge and find some treasures for the food bank anyway!

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    • May 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm
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      Hi Cheryl, yes the builders now build houses with taller ceilings to make us think the house is bigger than it is! LOL! I have the smallest kitchen I have ever had. Mark and I downsized about 13 years ago and wow!!! I had to add shelves everywhere just to survive! I am always purging, I love that word. Declutter, purge we all have to do it! LOL! Linda

      Reply
  • May 4, 2018 at 10:34 am
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    Hi Linda,
    I live in a double wide trailer. Now anyone that lives in a trailer knows that there is NO room. When
    my husband was alive in one of the extra bedrooms he put in a floor to almost ceiling shelving unit. He
    built it right into the wall. I have that thing stuffed full plus I have 3 metal cabinets through out the
    trailer that also holds pantry items. If you work at it and think about things you would be amazed as to
    where you can put your storage.

    Reply
    • May 4, 2018 at 6:02 pm
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      Hi, June, I grew up in a single wide trailer before my mom moved us into a small home. I remember the small quarters but you are so right! Where’s there’s a will there’s a way to get it done! It’s so awesome your husband built some shelves floor to ceiling! I love hearing this!! Good job!! Linda

      Reply

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