If you’re like us and staying at home more often, you may have recently gained a much deserved respect for the culinary arts. We love the satisfaction of experimenting in the kitchen, regardless of the results. This newfound interest may have led you to the realization that your pantry is—shall we say, unfit for storage? Cluttered? Just way too cramped? Whatever moniker you decide to give it, take a look at these simple ideas to maximize the space you have without breaking the bank.
1. Lazy Susans
We don’t know who Susan was, or what made her so lazy (although a quick internet search may reveal the answer, so please, feel free to enlighten us), but we love this handy little turn table that makes it easier to access items in that awkward corner cabinet where pots and pans go to die. The lazy Susan is a multi-tasker that can also work wonders in your spice cabinet (after tossing out all the old spices, of course), and even under your sink. Susan, whoever you are, thank you for helping us further our goal of attaining domestic bliss.
Raise your hand if you have at least one basket in every room in your house. Ok, perhaps that’s a little excessive, but we are definitely big fans of them. They are attractive, low-cost, and make storage a cinch. Use them to organize your shelves, counters, and cabinets. Group similar items in them, or fill them with just one type so you don’t have to do an exhaustive search for whatever it was you think you bought the other day.
3. Utilize Vertical Spaces
You know that space over the cabinets? Do a deep clean and get that dust off the tops so you can reclaim that space. Remember those baskets we mentioned? They’re lightweight enough to be placed up top, and come in a variety of natural shades and colors. You don't have to stick with wicker either. Find some wire baskets to complement the sleek modern kitchen. To keep things looking tidy, keep the baskets uniform in shape--unless you’re going for something more eclectic, in which case, go all out. The only vertical space we warn you to stay away from is the top of the refrigerator. For some reason, storage on top of the fridge just looks cluttered.
4. Over the Door Shelves
These shelves can be easily assembled and provide you with an amazing amount of storage in a spot that would otherwise go unused. Tip: Measure carefully. You don’t want to go to the trouble of putting it together only to realize it bumps into any current shelving already in the pantry.
5. Maximize Unused Corners
If you’re converting a closet to a pantry, you have so many options when it comes to shelving. Those dusty corners that once stored mops and brooms can accommodate sleek shelves for added space and better access to the new larder.
6. Use Hooks for Hanging
Oven mitts, hot pan holders, and towels don’t need to take up valuable space in a drawer. Install hooks near your cooking area for easy access to them.
7. Add Drawers to Deep Cabinets
When you first moved in, you fell in love with those deep cabinets. After a few months, the practical side of you realized how inconvenient they really are. Luckily, someone else felt the same way and came up with the pull-out drawers that allow you to reach way in the back without having to reach way in the back.
8. The Pegboard is Back
Not that it ever went out of style. We were just more accustomed to seeing it in the garage. That doesn’t mean it can’t find usage elsewhere. They make a great alternative to stacking the pots and pans in a cabinet. No more loud shuffling through the cabinet for a pan when you want to make a midnight grilled cheese. Now you won't wake the rest of the house. But even if the noise didn’t wake them, your gourmet prowess at the stove might entice sleeping stomachs. We suggest installing a vent hood to keep your midnight snack attacks private.
9. Reinvent the Shoe Organizer
Yes, that’s exactly what we mean. It doesn’t have to be strictly for shoes. Spices can find homes in it as well. Or large utensils. Or glass jars. Or whatever else you can fit into that space. Who says you have to follow the rules?
It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to bring some semblance of order back into your pantry. A little envisioning and creativity go a long way.