Sometimes a kitchen pantry might seem like an unachievable dream for small apartment dwellers. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The world is ripe with exciting kitchen pantry ideas for small spaces.

And we are bringing the best to the table.

Let’s first take a look at places where you can place a pantry (there are more than you might expect). And then we’ll examine all the smart storage gadgets that can squeeze the last bit of usable space out of the tiniest pantry.

Let’s go!


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DIY kitchen pantry ideas for small spaces

First, we’ll look at where you can set up your own pantry.

You’d think we, apartment dwellers with no built-in pantry space, would be doomed from the get-go. But small pantries are a lot easier to set up than you’d think. All we need is some creativity, mixed with decluttering and organization ideas.

Clear out a cabinet

Carving out storage space for a pantry in a tiny kitchen can be problematic. But it is totally worth it.

With it set up in a cabinet, you can bring a multitude of pantry organization ideas to life. Also, having your stored food within arm’s reach will be invaluable during a hectic cooking session.

To create a simple kitchen pantry, see if you can reorganize your kitchen cabinets, drawers, and shelves, get rid of expired food, donate items you haven’t used in over 2 years.


Free up a bookcase

A bookcase is a popular place for setting up a DIY pantry.

If you already have one, you can free it up by transferring your books to wall-mounted shelves or desk organizers.

And if you don’t, you can get one that suits your needs and budget to a T. A slim bookcase that you can tuck into a corner would be perfect for a small apartment.


Get a slim cart

Every apartment has this narrow free space that just sits there and collects dust. Usually, it’s one between a fridge and a wall.

With a slim cart, you can not only give this space a purpose but get yourself a discreet small pantry, as well. You can also fill the top level with your homegrown herbs that you can find ideas for here.

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Set up a closet pantry

If you have a linens closet or an entryway closet, why not transform one of the shelves into a pantry.

With the right organization ideas, a single shelf can hold a surprising amount of food and spices. And as long as you keep it organized, it won’t interfere with the daily functions of the closet.

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Use an over the door storage rack

over the door pantry rack

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If you dream of having a capacious larder and have no space, this idea is for you.

This rack allows you to build a whole pantry on the kitchen door. This top-rated system takes advantage of the wasted vertical space, which we love to see for a small apartment.

It can also be an exciting addition to an already existing pantry.


Swap a dining table for a kitchen island

For some, it might seem like a drastic solution, but it is the one that works.

If you drift toward the coffee table for your meals, don’t throw dinner parties much, or rarely use your dining table, you can maximize space by swapping it for a kitchen island.

A kitchen island with shelves and a few barstools will give you tons of storage space for a larder. Additionally, since they tend to be a lot higher, a kitchen island will also give you more counter space for prepping and cooking.

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Create an open pegboard pantry

When there’s no place on the floor, it’s time to turn to the walls.

A pegboard will have plenty of room for a small pantry. Regulated shelves will make the pantry organization easy and beautiful.

You can also add hooks, baskets, and storage containers to the pegboard according to your needs. This idea gives you plenty of flexibility and all you need is a blank wall to start with.


Try out a fridge organizer

If you are renting or can’t set up a pegboard, you can set up a small pantry on your fridge.

Using powerful magnets, this organizer attaches to the side of the fridge and gives you plenty of space to store food items. It can hold up to 30 lbs so keeping spices, cans, and jars there shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s a real lifesaver for tiny kitchen dwellers who long for an organized pantry.

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Small kitchen pantry organization ideas

Next, let’s look at the most useful space-savers and storage organizers that will make even the tiniest cupboard as capacious as an IKEA blue bag.

We’re going to forego the typical glass jars and baskets that go into a pantry. Instead, we’ll focus on kitchen pantry ideas for small spaces that can give you the most storage space to play with.

Start with a classic

This is a classic pantry look.

One that you can bring to your kitchen with a free cabinet and a few pull-out drawers that you can see below.

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Their width spawns from 12 to 18 inches so make sure to take measurements and enjoy organizing your fresh new cabinet larder.


Try out a mini under-shelf drawer…

under shelf pull out drawer

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This mini pull-out drawer is perfect for maximizing storage space in cabinets that are too tall.

Easily attach it to the bottom of an existing shelf with adhesive tape and start filling it up.


… And a cabinet door basket

over the door basket pantry for small spaces

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Other ideas for an organized pantry include this cabinetry storage basket.

It requires no adhesives, drilling, or glue. You just slide it over the cabinet door and that’s it. Fill it with go-to items that you usually reach for as soon as you open the pantry.


Get a pull-down spice rack

pull down spice rack larder organizer

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All pantry owners face the same problem – forgetting what sits in the back of the pantry. Then the stuff expires, or you end up buying duplicates because the back of the cabinet is a black hole of oblivion.

This spice rack, however, makes browsing your selection a walk in the pack. Pull it down and see what you have without having to stand on a stool or blindly reaching for the jars.


And a kitchen baker’s rack for a small larder

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Although we’ve recommended this rack for increasing counter space in a small kitchen, it can also be great for a DIY pantry. You can keep your appliances on top and fill the bottom with storage ideas from this post.

To get the inspiration flowing, start with swapping regular packaging for jars and assembling them on the shelves.


Try out a counter corner organizer

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Alternatively, if you have some counter space available, you can build a mini pantry there.

This is one of those kitchen pantry ideas for people who have no free cabinetry space or a freestanding larder. And if you get this shelving pantry organized, it can hold tons of food readily available within arm’s reach.


Install a sliding storage drawer

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Another great solution for looking at what is sitting in the back of the pantry, only this time for cabinets.

These drawers allow you to not only organize larder foods but also easily browse through them. It’s a great addition for any organized kitchen pantry, big or small.


See more with a 3-tier spices and cans organizer

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Truth be told, this is the best addition to not only a pantry but overhead cabinets as a whole.

It is a simple design that brings about a huge difference and allows you to see all of the contents of the larder, even those in the back. With it, you’ll be able to quickly find what you’re looking for without having to dig through rows and rows of spaghetti and spices.


Build a small countertop pantry

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If you don’t want to give your kitchen a full-blown makeover in order to create a small pantry, this organizer is for you.

Its 3-tier design can maximize space in the tiniest kitchen. It will give you enough room to organize foods and its beautiful style will fit most kitchens.


Definitely get a can organizer

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Every small pantry organization will sooner or later face this part – organizing cans. Yes, you can try to stack them or let this organizer help make your life easier.

With this rack, it is extremely easy to store and browse canned foods and meals. It also makes smart use of the available space in the pantry, allowing you to add and take cans without toppling them over.


Double the space with cabinet-size pull-out drawers

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The typical problem with storing anything in the cabinet is the unused space at the top of it.

For such pantries, we have a few tips. Like, for example, using this easy-to-install drawer system to increase the capacity of your pantry.

Its design takes advantage of all the room available in your cabinet so you can keep double the amount of items in there than before.


Line the walls with Spicy Shelf

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For people who have an impressive collection of spices, this organizer belongs in your kitchen.

In order to increase your pantry space arrange your spices on this rack. This way, the jars will be lining the walls leaving tons of space at the center. You will also be able to easily find the spices you’re looking for in the middle of cooking a meal.


Improve counter storage with a modern organizer

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In a small kitchen with no room, you can place your mini pantry on the countertop.

This one’s beautiful design will fit right in a modern kitchen. It has the best spacing between shelves that allows you to fit 2 rows of oils, condiments, spices, and jars on it.

You also gotta love the fact that it even has several organizers for kitchen tools, a cutting board, and cutlery.


Adapt some shelves to your pantry needs

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These organizers can find their home in a variety of places. You can set them up one underneath the other to form a wall pantry. You can also hang them inside your kitchen larder to increase its capacity.

Interestingly, you can attach them to the doors of the pantry if the inside doesn’t have much space left.


And add a multipurpose spice rack

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If you’re still figuring out what will become your pantry, this organizer is for you. It can adapt to your project with its multipurpose design in a variety of ways.

You can hang these as shelves for an open pantry, keep them on the countertop, or mount them inside a cabinet or bookcase (even on the doors).


Now assemble it all together!

Hopefully, you’ve identified the place that will become your pantry and now in the middle of choosing the right organizers for your needs.

But if you’ll ever need to browse through these kitchen pantry ideas for small spaces a bit more, make sure to pin this post to your “Pantry Ideas” Pinterest board.

pantry ideas for a small space