If you’ve been on Netflix lately, you’ve probably seen that the geniuses behind The Home Edit recently released their very own show, called Get Organized with the Home Edit. Over the course of the first season, Clea and Joanna help everyday people, as well as celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Khloé Kardashian, embrace organization throughout their homes.

While it’s always fun to ogle expansive homes with walk-in pantries and such, the reality is that most of us don’t have a ton of storage, especially in the kitchen. In fact, a lot of homes and apartments—my own included—are fairly sparse in the food storage department, which forces us to get crafty if we want to keep everything tucked away and organized.

If you’re ready to transform your more minimal pantry from messy and cluttered to neat and methodical, consider these small-pantry hacks, which will help you maximize your space. Get ready to say: “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”

If you have a few inches of space beside your fridge, you have enough room to slip in one of these skinny slide-out pantries. Sure, you can only store narrow items in them, but they’re an easy and affordable way to make the most of every inch.

No built-in? No worries. This freestanding pantry is an epic IKEA hack if there ever was one. We love the idea of using a Billy bookcase with glass doors as a stand-in pantry, and of course, who can resist those impeccably organized containers?

How awesome is this idea? This IGer had space to spare in her little laundry room, so she installed several shelves to turn part of the area into a makeshift pantry. Perfect for storing overflow from the kitchen.

This cabinet is a perfect example of how to use every inch of space in your space-deprived kitchen. There are small spice racks on the back of each door, as well as extra vertical cubbies for storing baking sheets, platters, and more.

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Harry Potter got his humble beginnings in a cabinet under the stairs, and now your food essentials can live there, too. Honestly, that space is typically just wasted, so why not transform it into your very own pantry? We sense a DIY in your future.

You can fit twice as much stuff in your limited storage space when you use stacking bins. They’re perfect for cans, snacks, and even produce that like cool, dark places (hello, potatoes). Oh, and don’t forget to break out your label maker to give every bin a name tag.

Who says you can only store food in kitchen cabinets? A lot of homes have an entry to the basement from the kitchen, and the back of this door is a great spot to stash overflow pantry items. There are even behind-the-door racks with adjustable shelving to perfectly fit your storage needs.

Because food packaging comes in all shapes and sizes, putting away groceries can feel a little like Tetris—that’s why so many organization experts recommend switching to uniformly sized containers, which are easier to stack and fit nicely in smaller spaces. We love how the height of the round containers is staggered in this mini pantry, allowing you to see what’s in the back!

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If regular shelves just aren’t cutting it, you can always get creative and make your own pantry built-in. This unique design features compartments with steps to stagger spices and condiments, as well as an X-shaped section that would be ideal for storing paper towels or bottled drinks.

This cute locker looks like a piece of decor, but it also does double-duty as an extra storage spot in an undersized kitchen. This IGer uses it to stash items like paper towels and other paper goods, but we can see it being useful for overflow pantry items or even as a snack station.

Wondering what to do with half-full bags of food and other pantry items that don’t have a home? You can keep them organized and accessible in a few stacks of plastic drawers placed at the bottom of your closet. These drawers are typically inexpensive, and they’ll help to maximize your storage space in this often-wasted area.

If you have deep, skinny cabinets, slide-out baskets will help you to access items way in the back—without knocking everything over in the process. These baskets are perfect for storing all your pantry essentials, and there are even two-tier models that would work perfectly on taller shelves.

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This before-and-after shot shows how useful expanding drawer dividers can be in a small pantry space. In this cabinet, the dividers were used to create rows on pull-out shelves, which makes organizing canned goods, condiments, and food packets much easier—it’s so satisfying to toggle between the before-and-after pictures.

Here’s another mind-blowing pantry transformation! We particularly love how they incorporated under-shelf baskets to make the most of their small closet space. The hanging containers fit perfectly over short organization baskets, taking up space that would otherwise be wasted.

If you have an empty drawer in your kitchen, you can use it to store baking supplies (or other loose ingredients). Naturally, this poses the issue of how you’ll identify containers if you can’t see into them, but the simple solution is to put labels on top of the jars. That way, you can quickly and easily find the ingredient you need, and as an added bonus, your pantry staples will be safe from bugs in airtight containers.

No two pantries are the same, so if you have an idea that works for your needs, we say go for it—even if it’s unconventional. For example, this pantry uses a behind-the-door shoe organizer as a spice holder! It’s an inexpensive hack, and it’s ideal if you have spice jars that don’t fit onto a standard rack.


What’s your favorite small pantry storage solution? Let us know below!

This post contains products that are independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission.

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