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How to Build a Pantry: 10 DIY Pantry Ideas

December 13, 2023
Large pantry in kitchen

Pantries are an essential part of a well-functioning, organized kitchen. But not all kitchens have sufficient pantry space, or even any pantry at all. 

If that’s your situation, it’s time to consider how to get the storage space you need for your kitchen, whether you have plenty of extra space or you need to find ways to use small spaces.

If you’re thinking about building a pantry or expanding existing space, here are a few DIY kitchen pantry ideas that may fit your space. Follow that up by using our tips to organize your new space in the most efficient way.

10 Places to Make Your Own Pantry

  1. Bookcase A corner or wall could be a good place for a bookcase, or to install bookshelves. Most bookcases have adjustable shelves, which will help gather like-sized groceries together. Bookshelves can be installed to any height to help you organize.
  2. Corridor – A corridor leading to the kitchen can be employed as an open-air pantry. Fill the space with shelves. Since this space will be visible, organization is a must to keep it tidy and presentable. You’ll want to use jars, baskets, boxes and other containers.
  3. Curtain – If you don’t have any free, open space, find a corner or under-shelf space and tuck it behind a curtain. You can have ready access to your needs but won’t have to show off all your groceries and stored appliances.
  4. DIY storage unit – Other handy storage areas can be made out of an old wardrobe, armoire or even lockers. Let the decor dictate your choice, knowing that the furniture can enhance the welcome vibe your kitchen gives off.
  5. Hidden walk-in – This is a much bigger project, but creating a passage to an unused space next to or behind your kitchen can give you the walk-in pantry of your dreams. It can be through an open passage or a subtle door tucked away next to your refrigerator, for example.
  6. Ikea shelving – Ikea is made for DIYers. You can find tons of shelving ideas, curved shelves, corner shelves, moving pieces and more to meet your exacting needs. Clear out a wall and put in units of wood or metal that will give you the best use of your space.
  7. Slide-out cabinet drawers – Some kitchens won’t have any pantry space at all but will have too many cabinets. Deep shelves are especially hard to use without losing space. Install slide-out drawers in a deep cabinet and use it for your DIY pantry cabinet.
  8. Slide-out shelves Here is a clever use of a space that largely goes unused. In the empty area between your refrigerator and countertops, you might have space that can be used by a slide-out shelf that resembles a door. Store canned items, bottles or jars in this sliding unit to free up shelf space.
  9. Under-stairs pantry – The awkward space under the stairs is often left unused, but it can become a pantry with built-in or add-on shelves. An under-stairs pantry will make this space much more usable.
  10. Unused closet – Many of us have a closet that doesn’t get enough use. Designate the one closest to the kitchen as a primary or secondary pantry. It’ll only be steps away from the kitchen, which makes it a good place for less-used appliances and canned foods.

Organization Ideas for Your New Pantry

Now that you have your pantry space figured out, here are some other ideas that can help you make the best use of your new space. From grocery lists to using all available space, these ideas will help organize your kitchen.

  1. Behind-door storage – Use the inside of your pantry doors as additional storage space. Special units can help store pot lids or spice jars. Use hooks to hang tote bags or aprons.
  2. Chalkboard Cover your new pantry door with a chalkboard or chalkboard paint. Use the space to leave notes, cooking directions, appointment reminders or shopping lists.
  3. Crates on floor – Use all your new space efficiently by placing rolling crates on your pantry floor. Use it for extra totes or paper bags, or as a handy place for the specialized appliances that you don’t use every day.
  4. Dollar-store storage Storage pieces like jars and baskets don’t have to be expensive. Get all you need, including labels and spice organizers, from your favorite dollar store. Select them all in one style to keep an organized look, or jumble a few different styles to create an eclectic collection, using a touch of paint or stickers to bring it all together.
  5. Lazy Susans in corners Even the best-organized pantries can have dead zones in them, where groceries get pushed back and never find their way to the front again. Solve this problem with Lazy Susans, or turntables, in the corners or in deeper shelves. That way, you can rotate items to the front as you need them.
  6. Under-shelf space – Shelves can help organize but can also leave unused spaces just below them. Hanging baskets or racks that slide onto the shelves helps you use every bit of space possible.

Get the most out of your kitchen space

Adding a pantry or using existing space in a new way can help make your kitchen more functional. It helps you put your own signature in an increasingly public space. Use the DIY pantry ideas above to make better use of some of the unused space in your home.

Whether you are thinking about kitchen storage or updates such as new countertops, we can help. Read the Brookfield Residential blog for more ideas, project advice, homebuying tips and more. If you’re considering purchasing a home, connect with our team to learn more.