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How to Make a Small Pantry Look Bigger

Updated on:
May 18, 2024
How to Make a Small Pantry Look Bigger

Image Source: Canva

Ever struggled with a cramped pantry that seems to shrink with every grocery trip? You're not alone. There's an art to making small spaces appear larger, and your pantry is no exception.

With careful organization, strategic use of containers, and the right color scheme, you can transform your tiny pantry into a seemingly spacious haven. But how exactly do you maximize your pantry's potential? Stay with us, and you'll soon discover practical, innovative ways to enhance your pantry's space and functionality.

Declutter Your Pantry First

To kickstart the transformation of your pantry, first, you need to declutter and get rid of any unnecessary items. It's easy for your pantry to become a catch-all for food items and kitchen essentials, leading to a cluttered, disorganized mess. You might be amazed at how much space you actually have when you start eliminating things you don't need.

Begin by taking everything out of your pantry. This'll give you a blank canvas to work with and help you to see exactly what you're dealing with. You'd be surprised how many expired items or duplicates you might find. Toss out anything that's past its date or donate unopened items you won't use.

Next, group similar items together. It's easier to find what you need when you know exactly where it's located. For example, you can group all your baking items like flour, sugar, and baking soda together. This'll also help you take inventory of what you have, and what you might need to restock.

Utilizing Vertical Space

Once you've decluttered, it's time to maximize your pantry's potential by utilizing every inch of available vertical space. You might be surprised how much room you've got from floor to ceiling! This often-overlooked dimension can be a game-changer in creating a more spacious feel.

Consider adding stackable containers or bins. They're a great way to neatly store items while capitalizing on height. You can also use risers for canned goods, allowing you to easily see and access everything.

Don't ignore the door either. Over-the-door organizers can hold a surprising amount of items. They're perfect for spices, cooking oils, and other small items. You'll free up shelf space and keep things within easy reach.

Going vertical doesn't mean compromising on accessibility. Use step stools or grabbers to reach higher items. Keep frequently used items at eye-level and less used ones up top.

Install Adjustable Shelving

After making the most of your vertical space, another way to amp up your pantry's capacity is by installing adjustable shelving. This allows you to customize your storage to suit your needs. Whether you've got tall cereal boxes, bulky bags of chips, or small spice jars, adjustable shelving can accommodate them all with ease.

You can start by measuring your pantry's width and height to get the right size of shelves. Remember, you don't want shelves that are too deep, or you'll lose items in the back. As a rule of thumb, stick to shelves that are no deeper than 16 inches.

Once you have your measurements, head to your local hardware store. You'll find a variety of adjustable shelving options, from wire racks to wooden shelves. Choose what suits your style and budget.

Installation is usually a simple process. You'll need to attach the vertical tracks to your pantry walls, then slot in the brackets at the heights you need for your items. The shelves rest on these brackets, and voila! You've got a pantry that can adapt to your ever-changing storage needs.

Image Source: Canva

Use Clear Storage Containers

Switching to clear storage containers can dramatically increase your pantry's functionality and aesthetic appeal. Instead of sifting through opaque boxes or bins to find what you need, clear containers allow you to see your items at a glance. This not only saves time but also prevents overbuying, as you'll always know what you have on hand.

In addition to practicality, clear containers create an aesthetic uniformity that makes your pantry look neater and larger. Choose containers of various sizes to accommodate different items, but maintain the same style or brand for a cohesive look. Label each container for further organization and efficiency.

Consider also using stackable clear containers to maximize vertical space. They're like mini-shelves, holding more items per square foot than a flat shelf can.

However, remember that clear containers aren't just for food. They can hold cooking utensils, baking supplies, or even cleaning products.

In essence, clear storage containers act as a double-duty solution, offering both functional and visual benefits. They declutter your pantry, make it easier to find items, and trick the eye into perceiving more space. It's a simple yet effective way to make your small pantry look bigger.

Optimize Door Space

In your quest to make your small pantry look larger, don't overlook the potential of the back of the pantry door. This often-neglected space can be a game-changer in your pursuit of a bigger-looking pantry. It's all about utilizing every inch of space you've got, and the door is no exception.

Start by installing a door rack. There are plenty of adjustable, over-the-door storage racks available that can hold a variety of items. Think canned goods, spices, and baking supplies. You'll be amazed at how much it can hold and how much space it frees up inside your pantry.

Next, consider hanging storage solutions such as hooks or pegs. They're perfect for hanging aprons, dish towels, or reusable shopping bags. You can even hang wire baskets for fresh produce or bread.

Lastly, don't forget the inside of the door itself. You can paint it with chalkboard paint for a handy spot to jot down shopping lists or meal plans.

Implement Lazy Susans

Another trick to maximize your pantry space and make it appear bigger is to implement Lazy Susans. Essentially, a Lazy Susan is a rotating tray that's typically used in kitchen cabinets. It's a simple addition, but it can work wonders for your pantry's space and organization.

Installing a Lazy Susan is pretty straightforward. You can find different sizes and designs at any home goods store or online. Choose one that fits well within your pantry's dimensions. Once you've got it, place it in a corner of your pantry. Corners are often underutilized spaces, and a Lazy Susan can help you reclaim that valuable real estate.

The advantage of a Lazy Susan is its accessibility. It allows you to easily reach items that would otherwise be hidden at the back of your pantry. Simply spin it around to find what you're looking for. No more digging through piles of cans and boxes!

You'll also find that a Lazy Susan can prevent clutter. When every item has a designated spot, it's less likely that things will pile up. Plus, it'll make your pantry look cleaner and larger. So, go ahead, give Lazy Susans a try and see the difference they can make!

Light Up the Pantry

Beyond maximizing space with clever organization, lighting up your pantry can dramatically enhance its perceived size and functionality. Proper lighting can make your pantry feel larger and more spacious. It's not just about aesthetics, though. Good lighting also helps you find items more quickly, reducing the time you spend rummaging around.

First, consider installing under-shelf lighting. These are easy to install, and they brighten up the areas that overhead lights can't reach. You'll be amazed at the difference this can make. If you're feeling adventurous, you might even consider LED strip lights. They're energy-efficient and often come with color-changing options for a fun twist.

Next, think about adding a motion sensor light. Not only will this save energy, but it also means you won't have to fumble for a switch with your hands full.

Lastly, don't forget to clean your pantry's light fixtures regularly. Dust and grime can significantly diminish their efficiency.

Choose Light Color Themes

While lighting plays a key role in opening up your pantry, the color theme you choose can also make a significant difference. Light colors naturally make a room feel larger and more open. They reflect light, brighten up the space, and make the walls seem further apart. So, when deciding on a color scheme for your pantry, opt for light, neutral shades like white, beige, or soft pastels.

Don't stop at the walls. Extend the light color theme to the shelves, bins, and containers. This continuity can really enhance the illusion of a larger space. If you're worried about stains and dirt, consider using washable paints or easily cleaned materials. You can also add a touch of color by using colored labels or decorative items, but remember, keep it minimal.

Moreover, a light color theme doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style. In fact, a well-coordinated light-colored pantry can exude elegance and sophistication. You'll be surprised at how much bigger your pantry looks and the calming effect it has on the overall ambience of your kitchen. Remember, the goal isn't only to make your pantry look bigger but also to make it a pleasant, functional space you'll love to use.

Regularly Reorganize Your Pantry

Keeping your pantry tidy isn't just about aesthetics; it's a crucial step in making your small pantry appear larger. Regularly reorganizing your pantry can work wonders in maximizing its space. Don't let items pile up and create clutter. Instead, make it a habit to go through your pantry every week or so to ensure everything is in its place.

Start by grouping similar items together. This not only makes your pantry look more organized but also makes it easier for you to find what you need. You won't waste precious space searching for that elusive can of beans anymore!

Make use of every inch of space but be careful not to overcrowd. Remember, the goal is to create an illusion of more space, not to stuff every cranny full. Utilize height effectively by stacking items or using shelf risers. Consider keeping less frequently used items on higher shelves, leaving the more accessible areas for daily essentials.

Lastly, don't forget to clean. A tidy pantry looks bigger than a messy one. Regular cleaning, coupled with reorganization, can make a small pantry seem substantially larger. So roll up your sleeves and get to it!


So, you've got the know-how to transform your small pantry into a spacious haven. Remember, declutter first, then use clever storage solutions like risers, lazy susans, and clear containers.

Don't forget to illuminate your pantry and opt for lighter color themes. Regular reorganization is key to maintaining your pantry's new, larger look.

With these tips, your pantry won't only look bigger, it'll also be more functional and organized. Happy pantry revamping!

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