As much as you try to declutter, you still need to stock a certain amount of stuff in your kitchen — flour, pasta, beans, cereal, and sugar, for example — to actually make it useful. So even tiny kitchens need pantries.
What to do if you don’t have the walk-in pantry of your dreams? Here are a few ways to squeeze something in.
1. Repurpose a bookshelf.
Stick an old bookcase in the kitchen (cute paint job optional) and load it with your dry goods and produce for a DIY “custom” cabinet. You can even make yours as cute as this one from The Elli Blog, because the labels are free to download and print.
2. Go between the studs.
I am dying to do this in my kitchen: Open up the wall and build some shallow cabinets between the studs. Julie, from Live from Julie’s House, added hanging doors, which means she doesn’t even need clearance space to swing them open!
3. Use your wall.
If you have a wall, you can have a pantry! This pegboard we made for Kitchn is total proof. The best part? It’s 100 percent customizable so you can set it up with as many shelves or baskets as you need.
4. Slide it next to the fridge.
Build a narrow roll-out cabinet to stash spices and dry goods in that skinny wasted space between the fridge and the wall, like Savannah and Mallory from Classy Clutter did. Note: If you’re less handy, you can buy something similar at shops like The Container Store.
5. Rethink the coat closet.
Hey, you can always hang your jackets on a coatrack and then transform that hall closet into a pantry by adding shelves and bins. Diane from In My Own Style had a double-wide closet to convert, but the idea works the same if you have a single, more narrow coat closet.
6. Hang dry goods from your upper cabinets.
Screw a few Mason jar lids into the bottom of your upper cabinets and you’ll have instant storage for a few dry goods. Just keep it simple, like this shot from HGTV.
7. Devote a cabinet
If you don’t have a ton of space, dedicate one upper cabinet just to pantry items. If you want to make it look pretty, matching containers and labels did the trick for The Social Home.
8. Hang shelves anywhere you can.
Think beyond your basic kitchen cabinets and shelves and add even more shelves anywhere you can. Consider hanging shelves on the sides of your cabinets, or even installing narrow ones along your backsplash between your counter and your upper cabinets.