Asked on Nov 26, 2018

How do you make a triangular pantry efficient?

by Lynn

Our pantry has a wide opening, but the interior is sortof triangular shaped. icon icon Former home owners put in wire shelves sortof overlapped making an uneven shelf and so deep that things get lost in the back. Any ideas as to how to make this space more user friendly? It’s my only pantry space.

This is the shape of the pantry. I had trouble measuring that back wall, but 9” is pretty close.

  10 answers
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Nov 26, 2018

    What I would do is put the least often used items towards the back. Organize the items you put in the pantry by the product use. Put all the pasta together, all the foil, plastic wrap, etc. together in stacks, Any envelope type packages can be kept in baskets you can get at the dollar store. Put all boxed items, like cake, brownie, bread and muffin mixes together. Once you get things more organized by items, it will be easier to find what you want in the pantry. If necessary, make a lit of the items in the closet and you can check them off as you use them so that you can easily replace them after use. Like writing a grocery list as you use things up in the fridge. I wish I had a pantry, even an odd shaped one like you have. My mom had a decent sized pantry in her kitchen that I kept cleaned and organized for about the last five years.

    • Bbunny42 Bbunny42 on Nov 27, 2018

      I like these ideas. Another is to put the grouped items in front in sturdy pans/baskets, perhaps old 9 x 13 pans, and just lift out the pan when you need to reach something in the back. I do this with my cabinet shelves, using plastic crates about 6" high (about $4 at Walmart & comes with lid). Sure helps to reach stuff. My pantry is a 6' tall, 30" wide bookcase in the utility room, but I sometimes have to store stuff on top of the deep freeze and cleaning products go on a separate bookcase. Good luck!

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 26, 2018

    Nice way to use the deep corners in a corner pantry. - J | my "dream ...

    use the back sections for bulk items or rarely used appliances or pans

    hope this helps and please send us photos of your pantry when you get it done

  • Seth Seth on Nov 26, 2018


    How tall is the door? is it one door or two?

  • Kc Kc on Nov 27, 2018

    If there's room for the "open swing " of a standard door, you could mound shelves to the door. Change the existing wire shelves to a shallower depth so the new door and it's shelves will close.

    Another thought is to remove all the current shelves and replace them with custom built roll out organisers. (I'm thinking they would be similar in design to those diy pantry roll outs that fit next to refrigerators.) Think of them as a couple of bookcases on wheels that could roll in lengthwise.

  • Mel7a8 Mel7a8 on Nov 27, 2018

    We had the same issue - with what was a mud room coat closet.

    Line each long wall with shelves. I would possibly make the upper two shelves deeper for things like your crock or large serving pieces. Use clear bins for items like mixes and packaged foods.

  • Kyrose Kyrose on Nov 27, 2018

    How about lazy susans in the very back "V" ?

  • CarlyTee CarlyTee on Nov 27, 2018

    If this was my pantry, I’d follow a similar line to Mel7a8’s photo above - only mirrored (and obviously on more of an angle). So, run shelves floor to ceiling on the 32” and 9” walls. Deep enough to hold things, but shallow enough that you can “walk in” to get things. You could even incorporate some of the ideas above - like a roll out bin on the floor/under the lowest shelf for onions, potatoes etc; a few baskets for snacks, etc. I’d also get stacking containers for things that can come out of boxes, tins, containers etc. Maybe square ones with cute labels. If you wanted to take it a step further, you could wallpaper or paint the wall behind the shelves. The secret is to have lots of shallow shelves on the 32” wall - so you can easily see everything.

    The photo shows my pantry. It’s a different shape but you can see how I made deeper shelves below for baskets, but shallow shelves above the bench. PS the dark shadow on the first upper shelf is the cat. Little cow!

  • BrokeCrazyLady BrokeCrazyLady on Nov 28, 2018

    I'm going to propose a very different option. Rather than putting shelves IN the pantry, I'd replace the doors with something sturdy enough to support a fair amount of weight and attach 3-4" shelves on the inside of the door to act as a spice rack and to store canned goods.

    Then I'd make a rolling shelving unit about 12" deep and wedge shaped on the left side to fill the area. Add shelving to the back foot which would still be accessible by rolling the front shelf forward and would be an excellent place to store items you only use once in a great while like your mom's punch bowl or that ugly wooden salad bowl set you got from your aunt and only use when she's coming to visit.

    My father built something like this for his wife about a decade ago. She loved it and said she could store so much more by using the extra back shelves for storage than she could in her old pantry with shelving on the left and right walls.

    Oh I wish he hadn't passed and she hadn't sold the house. I am sure my description isn't explaining things very well.

    Maybe editing your image will help...