5 Genius Hacks for Optimizing Your Pantry Space

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Maximize your pantry space with these clever products and tips.

When it comes to making the most of the storage space in your pantry, there’s really no such thing as having “too much space”. Even if you have the world’s smallest pantry, it’s certainly possible to keep organized with the following smart, space-saving products and ideas that you can use to make your pantry work more efficiently and look more organized. 

A well-organized pantry is a great boost for a home chef, but not so easy to achieve. A pantry is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind catchall for half-empty containers, spare plastic bags, and all kinds of unnecessary clutter that just takes up space. However, once you have created an organized spot to store all of your canned goods, baking ingredients and specialty appliances, the effect will have a tremendous impact on your productivity. The key to making space is to organize what you have to store, so that every inch of your pantry is properly utilized. At the same time, you want to ensure that what you need is easy to find.

1.  A wire rack can add more storage space to your kitchen and can be helpful for holding produce, condiments and utensils. They have sleek designs that are perfect for small pantries, and can slide into even the tightest areas, helping you make the most of every available inch of floor space. The basket-shaped shelves with side bar frames, provide enough space to pack items in and not have to worry about anything falling off and getting buried in the back of your pantry. Consider a rack with wheels to make it easy to move the stored items from place to place, and then return it to the pantry area when no longer needed. You can use a combination of both and create different layers of storage that work well in so many different scenarios.

2. Acrylic boxes with lids come in a variety of sizes and are great for storing pantry items away neatly. These boxes can be useful to store grains, rice and nuts. Stack the boxes on top of each other to save space, and since they are transparent, you can still see what is inside, so items can be easily located again. These modular containers easily slide out of pantry shelves for quick access.

3. Label everything with shelf talkers so you know exactly what is what, and keep your containers organized simply and easily. These are a perfect fit for most pantry shelves, and they are constructed of durable, clear acrylic that do not require any additional clips or attachments to stay in place. Labels are the biggest contributor to keeping a pantry organized. If you don’t label your pantry shelves, you have no idea what is on them and even if you do remember, more than likely other family members will not. So help everyone find everything in your pantry in a snap. 

4. A large dump bin placed on a pantry shelf is another great storage accessory, especially ideal for keeping loose items or goods organized and at the ready. Don’t waste time hunting and rummaging around boxes for items you need often. Instead, transfer those ingredients and snacks into clear canisters so you can skip the searching while also preserving a uniform tidiness in your pantry.

5. Spice risers can keep your spices from getting cluttered and making a mess of your pantry space. A great way to organize these is by using risers. You can put your most used spices in the front and ones you don’t use as often in the back. This will not only make spices easier to find while you’re cooking but it will also save some space in your pantry and keep your spices looking nice and organized.

5. Use trays for easy access to shelf items. They are the perfect way to store tubes, oils and sprays, condiments, drink mixes, instant oatmeal, graham crackers, brown sugar, soup packets and spice sachets, so they will be always at the ready, for quick and easy access.

Once you have implemented the above tips and tricks, stand back and bask in the after-glow of your smart organization for months. But don’t rest on your laurels for too long. A well-used pantry will quickly get cluttered if you don’t check in a few times a year (or more often) to assess its contents. Old ingredients should be tossed, and make sure you dust and take care of little spills. Tweak the overall system from time to time for best results, and you may never have to completely make over your pantry again.

Ray Ko has been creating effective visual merchandising and interior design strategies for retailers for more than 20 years. Today, he is the senior ecommerce manager for shopPOPdisplays, a leading designer and manufacturer of stock and custom acrylic product.

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