How to Store Items with No Pantry

By Ashley Wirgau on September, 29 2020
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Ashley Wirgau

You found the 10-foot ceilings you were hoping for and the 2 and a 1/2 baths were obviously non-negotiable, but that pantry you had always envisioned didn’t quite make the cut…and now you’re regretting it. 

Shut down those what-if’s and coulda-shoulda-woulda’s and spend some time rethinking your kitchen – because sometimes a change in perspective is all you need to get exactly what you’ve always wanted (more storage space)!

Make Room by Repurposing

You know that antique bookcase collecting dust in the corner? It may have finally found its true calling – a new home for your dinner dishes! Everything old is new again, so move that unit into your kitchen and turn it into a wanna-be hutch, perfect for displaying your favorite plates, fancy stemware and expensive booze. Safety first though! Make sure the entire case doesn’t come crashing down by loading the bottom shelf with heavy pots and pans or that thick collection of cookbooks. You might also want to invest in some safety straps or anchors to prevent any clumsy accidents.

Hang It Up

The number of items in your kitchen that could actually be hung to save space are more numerous than you would think. Moving things off of countertops and into the air is one of the simplest ways to declutter. Create a fun and fresh look by storing colorful produce in hanging baskets above a kitchen bar or island. Showcase your favorite drinking mugs with a row of hooks attached to your backsplash or mounted beneath your upper cupboards. Play the role of professional chef by suspending your pots and pans from the ceiling. This kitchen clean-up also makes a quick grab for cookware a snap instead of the usual deep dig through overstuffed drawers.

Out of Sight

If you are among those fortunate enough to have a basement or garage, your ability to store cleaning products, pest control items, paper products and even some dry or canned goods just got a lot easier. The Spruce offers a quick guide to the year’s best garage storage solutions (which will work just as well in any basement) to help you narrow down options for your own personal space. Kitchen items don’t have to be stored in the kitchen itself as many surplus goods can be kept separately and retrieved when needed.

Over-the-Door Storage

When space is tight, you have to use every last inch of real estate. This is where over-the-door storage options come in handy. HGTV has compiled a list of the most impressive storage selections built to house anything from shoes to cutting boards, but don’t let the list pigeon-hole your creativity. Even shoe storage solutions can convert to pantry-worthy space-savers. The roomy pockets are great for keeping things like cooking utensils, cups, silverware and food items like spices and canned goods.

Put It on Display

Homeowners lacking a pantry are often left to find more artistic ways of organizing their things. For example, fruit and veggie bowls might take on an aesthetically pleasing placement atop an island while silverware and decorative napkins become the centerpiece of the dinner table when arranged in a tasteful basket. Instead of hiding tea and coffee in a cupboard, homeowners can convert a corner of countertop into a ready-to-roll coffee station, complete with sugar, creamer, mugs and spoons. There are inventive ways to store items in plain sight, so don’t buy into the lie that things must be hidden in order to be organized.

Add Some Shelving

Shelves provide a quick and easy fix to limited kitchen storage and can be placed in various locations to make cooking or cleaning a breeze. For example, small shelves placed near the stove can house your most frequently used seasonings, vinegars and oils. Shelves near the sink might hold dishwashing detergent, scrub brushes, and additional cleaning supplies. Another often ignored location to add shelving is directly above doorways. This spot often goes unused and is a great place to tack on more storage in a cramped kitchen.

If All Else Fails, It’s Time to Shop

If none of the tips and tricks above create the amount of storage space you require, there is one last suggestion which might just prove successful. Find an Ikea. It is a one-stop-shop for all things organization. From space-saving cupboards to complete storage solution systems, the Swedish furniture giant offers stylish and cost-effective options for the entire home, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Should all else fail, a trip to Ikea might give you a glimpse into new and different ways to rethink the current layout of your kitchen (and probably the rest of your rooms, as well).

Living without a pantry is surely not the end of the world, but it can be the beginning of a sizeable headache. To keep the pain at bay, try some of the space-saving suggestions above and see if you can finally check all the boxes on that very lengthy property priority list.