Organized pantry with custom shelves and cabinets

Creating an Efficient Pantry Design No Matter What Your Space

A particularly important but often overlooked part of the kitchen plan in any home is the pantry. Creating an organized and efficient pantry design will enhance your kitchen experience by making meal preparation easier and less frustrating.  A well-organized pantry makes it easy to get to everything you need, find things that might otherwise get buried on the back of a deep shelf, and creates space for things that belong in your pantry but get stored elsewhere because the current design only incorporates stationary shelving. To do the job right you just need more options.

A well-designed pantry can include storage not just for food but other kinds of “kitchen-y” items.  Of course, a pantry should have shelves for cartons, jars, bottles and cans, but it should also be a home for other items too. Wouldn’t it be great to have a pull-out that could store all of your tablecloths to hang straight down and remain wrinkle-free, plus a drawer above for your linen napkins? Wine storage would be a plus as well as a roll-out to store your serving trays and platters conveniently and easily accessible.

What about a 20” or 24” multi-tiered lazy susan in a corner so that all the items stored there could be easily seen and available without having to move things around to find items in the back? How often do you search for something that you can’t find only to find it later when you don’t need it, that happens a lot!  A lazy susan also helps keep things in plain sight so they get used by their expiration date, saving money and time.

All of these ideas and many more can be factored into your pantry design and the only limitations are available space and budget. But whether your space is expansive or pretty tight you can still improve the storage capacity and accessibility with a thoughtful design.

Here are some ideas you should take into considerations when planning a pantry design

Pantry Design Ideas

How much space do you have?

Before you start pulling everything out and deciding where to place what items, determine how much space you have available first. Then take an inventory of what you are planning to store and the amount of storage needed. That will help determine what elements may be needed from shelves, cabinets, perhaps a lazy susan, to accessory items like wire baskets. If you have bulky items like trays and servers, slide out vertical storage would be a perfect idea for your space. Features like rounded corner shelving will take advantage or the vertical space and maximize the storage in corners so you can store more efficiently. Having the proper elements incorporated into the pantry design will keep your pantry organized and functional long after the installation is complete.

Who is going to be using the space?

Do you have children? If so, what items do they need to access on a daily basis? How should they be organized in order to make them the most accessible and visible? The truth is there is no one correct way to organize a pantry and no one size fits all. The Organized Home states, “like with like is just one way to organize your pantry”. You could place items together based on the frequency of use, meal, type (snacks, drinks, etc.), baking or cooking supplies and more. Baskets and drawers that slide out are ideal for visibility allowing you to see and access each item quickly and easily. Be sure to check your ingredients and expiration dates. It is recommended that items are rotated on a consistent basis so older ones get moved up front and utilized first.

Custom designed pantry with slide out vertcial racks and Lazy Susan

Plan What Items To Keep Together And Apart

Certain items mix together better than others. So which foods are safe to store with one another and which ones are not? The Food Network suggests keeping ingredients like ethnic foods together such as pasta, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes or Asian ingredients like cans of coconut milk, curry paste and soy sauce. Keep foods like onions away from potatoes, soups separated from boxes cereals and spices apart from pasta. For produce there are certain fruits and veggies that are safe to store together and others that are not. Items like apples, onions, pears, nectarines and tomatoes are best stored alone as they give off a chemical called ethylene as they ripen. Foods like broccoli, potatoes, grapes, potatoes and watermelon are okay to store together but should be kept away from other ripening products. Certain citrus fruits like lemon and limes and tropical fruits like pineapple are safe to store anywhere.

Utilize All The Available Space

When thinking how to best maximize the storage space, you want to eliminate those dark and deep corners as much as possible. Those will be where those forgotten about items get stored and ultimately wasted. Open and rounded corner shelving provides an opportunity for more efficient storage and visibility. Customized shelving underneath the counter space can be configured specifically for those items you are planning to store like small appliances. Larger and bulkier items are best stored with roll-outs. There is even vertical storage for those awkwardly sized trays, platters and servers.

If you still need some help organizing and maximizing your kitchen pantry, our Designers have years of experience customizing the perfect solutions for your needs. Feel free to reach out to us for a free-in home consultation and let’s start creating your perfect space together.


Organization | pantry