Making best use of tiny pantry space

Is that a fridge? I have a tiny pantry under my stairs with an opening about 6' high which graduates down to 2' and a depth of' 6' . A wire shelf on the left follows the graduated height until the last 2 '. There isn't much of a halfway outside the pantry. Can anyone give me any ideas?
q making best use of tiny pantry space, closet, This is the hallway outside the pantry
This is the hallway outside the pantry.
q making best use of tiny pantry space, closet, As can be seen food overcrowded on the left back packed with bags of cooking items food overflow and tons that can t be stored in the kitchen
As can be seen, food overcrowded on the left, back packed with bags of cooking items, food overflow and tons that can't be stored in the kitchen.
  23 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 31, 2015
    This may help you.

  • Gail Gail on Dec 31, 2015
    Janet, did you finish what you wanted me to see? I don't know"what would help me.

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    • Gail Gail on Dec 31, 2015
      Nothe your fault.. I didn't know how to expand your comment.

  • Sherry Sherry on Dec 31, 2015
    You have to click on the ... and she put a website for you to look at, but when I tried to open it, it was flagged for inappropriate content or advertising. I wonder if you tried putting in just part of the name of the website and it might work. Good luck!

  • Sherri Sherri on Dec 31, 2015
    Yikes, that's a tough space to organize. Besides the odd angles, it seems as if the door is making the space even more awkward. Maybe replace it with a curtain?

    • Gail Gail on Dec 31, 2015
      True. I've gotten used to hitting that door just to get something. And when my husband comes home and plants his lunch cooler on the floor it's a hazard just getting something out of there.

  • Gail Gail on Dec 31, 2015
    Thank you Janet and Sherri. I made it to the website and basically it said I needed to pare down. So I immediately got rid of a bunch of stuff. It's not enough. I have a cabinet in the kitchen that gets the overflow. I didn't mention either how narrow the shelves are either.

  • Sherri Sherri on Dec 31, 2015
    Another idea is to build custom shelves to replace the wire racks. That way you'd use every inch of space from wall to wall. Some wire can organizers could also help. I just read this post. I think this persons idea of labeled containers could be helpful as well.

  • Katharine S Katharine S on Dec 31, 2015
    Here is a Pinterest on putting shelves on sloped walls. Then you could put more shelves on the other two walls, or on at least one wall.

  • Valerie Valerie on Jan 01, 2016
    Is there any way in which you could use drawers across the opening? That way you could use the maximum amount of space available, especially in the bottom. If the drawers are on runners, you would be able to pull them out into the hallway and then slide them back when not in use. I would use the bottom 'drawer' for bulky items which are seldom used, which would free up more of your kitchen space, which could, in turn, be used as a 'pantry'. Another idea would be to use the space above your kitchen cabinets, which could also allow you to make more use of the bottom cupboards for 'pantry' uses.

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    • Gail Gail on Jan 01, 2016
      Thank you.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 01, 2016
    I would make shelves floor to ceiling less deep but more of them...say 2 cans deep and just a little over can height for one side; then on the other side make them taller for larger items like cereal boxes, storage jars/cannisters, small baskets to hold snacks, etc; one with a bar across the front to hold things like bread; and I would put them from floor to ceiling on both sides. Then replace the door with a bi-fold or accordion door. That way you can see at a glance where everything is. Both sides would be accessible! This kind of unit can be built in place or can be built and then attached to the wall. Arrange according to frequency of use!

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    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 02, 2016
      @Gail The problem with such spaces is that there is not much space other than just the door width so you have to improvise. Notice how that door I posted is all outside the space. It would not be open unless you need to get inside the pantry so it would never be in the way! I would make shelving units about 2 cans deep and 6 cans wide and install it. Then make another one and keep going until I reached the back of the room. That way, the shelves would not get overloaded and each one could be the desired height to fit the space with the last one being maybe 2' tall! (Use screws instead of nails because they hold better!) Attach each unit to the wall with "L" brackets. We bought a house once and the builder put a beautifully finished cabinet behind the door in the main bathroom. It was 36" wide and about 6" deep from floor to ceiling! Perfect for all that stuff you can never find in deep cabinets in the bathroom! Of course you had to close the bathroom door to get to it but it sure was worth it! I considered it a gift!

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jan 01, 2016
    From the photo it looks like the wall on the right is where the bi-fold door folds in against, so nothing could be stored there. Plus it looks like a pretty narrow space to walk into. I think your wires shelving are very helpful, but you still have the back wall that is underutilized. I would turn the corner with the bottom shelf and go all the way across. That will give you two additional shelves (the floor and one shelf up) for storing gallon jugs, cases of water and soda, etc.Also, I always find that bags of stuff-chips, dry goods, etc- need to be in baskets or bins to keep them in their place. Finally, I always sort everything by type: canned goods, boxed mixes, etc so they are easy to find and don't get lost so you go out an buy more. Good luck!

    • Gail Gail on Jan 01, 2016
      Thank you. Good idea. At one point I put a little makeshift shelf. But part of the problem is lack of storage all over the house and things, as you can see, get put in there that don't belong like so I could put vacuum sealed bags back there. .neatly.

  • Jim L Jim L on Jan 01, 2016
    While you are doing this, fix the door so that it is not a "bi-fold". attach a piece down the middle to hold it secure and add hinges to the side and to the door frame. When the door is open, you will have a lot more room to go into the pantry. You will be amazed at how much space that the "bi-fold" takes up. I have had this done on my closet doors here at home and also in several clients homes. (This way, you are not constantly bumping into the doors while reaching for things on the ends of the rods.)

  • Michaela Strausberg Michaela Strausberg on Jan 01, 2016
    I have the very same type of pantry. I bought on Amazon shelving and stack each set of two,they are gravity fed, Then fill the back ,side walls right down to the very low 2foot high space.Also bought a pull out adjustable rack for the bottom one on side wall..Made all the difference now can see everything at a glavce.No more buying items because could not find what I was looking for. Also now all my can goods and boxes are right there.

  • Dot D Collett Dot D Collett on Jan 01, 2016
    A two tier turntable made to fit the back space might be your answer. Top tier should be smaller than bottom. Perhaps built-in pie shaped bins on the bottom.

  • Jean Thompson Jean Thompson on Jan 01, 2016
    I have items stored in all that Tupperware I have gotten over the years..and they fit on the wire Shelves in my cupboard over the Stairs to the Basement.. I have picked up more Tupperware at Yard Sales . look for ones deep enough to store those envies of food items like Cocoa packets, pouches of side dishes like noodles and cheese etc. I store flour and and Oatmeal in glass jars or tupperware or plastic storage jars. and don't forget to label the Tubs or container as to what is inside.. even inventory the whole closet on a master sheet or clip board so you can mark off or highlight what has been used or is needed...Taller items that are not used as much go down on shelves in the basement.

  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Jan 01, 2016
    I'm thinking that back space needs rolling bins that you can pull out to access... possibly containing bulk quantities of things that are stored in smaller increments elsewhere: flour, cat food, paper towels, etc.

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    • Gail Gail on Jan 01, 2016
      How very nice to feel the support in dealing with autism on a forum about cabinets. Haha. But you know so many people are dealing with autism. It's sooo hard but the love keeps you hanging on. .sometimes by a thread, sometimes with a smile. On a lighter note, I'm going to keep checking for ideas on this forum. I'm always trying to find ideas for storage. I would love to be able to get roll out shelves to go next to my refrigerator.

  • Sheila D Sheila D on Jan 01, 2016
    Jims idea to remove door is great,maybe a pocket door? If no door is there room for shelves on the right? On back wall,room for shelves across? Friend had similar configuration, was able to remove some of the stair underside drywall for vertical space. You may not have any leighweigh for that option. Let us know what you do.

  • Kari Roberts Kari Roberts on Jan 01, 2016
    Make the door into a shelf door for more storage. Pinterest has great storage home storage ideas. And if there is room behind the door put narrow shelves in.

    • Gail Gail on Jan 01, 2016
      Unfortunately that won't work. But thank you.

  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Jan 02, 2016
    Here's my 2 cents...I would take everything out...1st ~ Go thru your food, throw out anything past it's expiration date as well as any non-perishable food that has sat there for more than 3 months. 2nd ~ Organize by category of food. Savory(culinary), sweet(baking), herbs, spices etc. that way you can see what you have & be able to replace it when needed. 3rd ~ I would get or make 2 rows of can dispensers floor to ceiling on the left side of the door. The 2 top dispensers can be for small cans(campbell's soup cans) and 8 or 10 oz. size. The 2 bottom dispensers can be for 14 oz. or bigger. 4 ~Transfer all loose items(salt, sugar, flour) that will attract bugs to mason jars then label them. 5 ~ Measure the shelves by size of your largest items for each shelf. Then use baskets to put like items together by category & tag them. 6 ~ On the short wall in the back of the closet along the floor I would make 1 shelf the length of that short wall to store any extra kitchen items(food processors, stand mixer, waffle maker) On the right side of the door, if it's possible to add more shelving there. Add 2-3 more shelves for bulk items. Hope this helps.

    • Gail Gail on Jan 03, 2016
      I just love people who are organized. Thank you!

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Jan 02, 2016
    My first suggestion would be to get rid of as much as possible that you really aren't using. Donate, yard sale, share with a neighbor or newlywed. Do that with every cabinet, shelf and drawer in your kitchen, also. While you are in a crowded stage, consider packing away some collectibles and clothes. Back to the pantry, if there is little room for more shelves, large hooks can hold those bags. If you do use the small appliances, maybe you can find cardboard boxes to put each in, then stack them on top of each other. Even open shoeboxes should be strong enough. This might free up some floor space and the boxes might stack on the bottom shelf of the space you have.

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    • Gail Gail on Jan 03, 2016
      Yard sales* not harald. Haha

  • Kincaid99 Kincaid99 on Jan 03, 2016
    If you have a wall across from the shelves, maybe some pegboard with hooks to store some narrow items, they have narrow baskets that have peg hooks built in that would store a few items. On the back slanted wall how about some hooks to hang baskets for lightweight items?

  • Kincaid99 Kincaid99 on Jan 03, 2016
    Yes, you got it, maybe one or two at different lengths, they would hang down and you could put stuff behind, is there any way to put a shelf across the back? Behind that drywall on the back slanted wall is the back of the steps and would allow deeper shelves for storage, just a thought. You have a bi-fold door on the closet, anyway to put a regular door, would it allow for opening in the narrow hallway, If so you could put baskets on the door for more storage.

  • Gail Gail on Jan 18, 2016
    Everyone was so helpful!

  • Gail Gail on Feb 20, 2016
    I know what I want now. Waiting to implement it. I'd rather not have a walk in. Just open and blam..some nice deep shelves right there. I have plans for the rest of the under stairwell that has nothing to do with any kitchen use but for storage in any case. Thank you all!

    • Sherri Sherri on Feb 21, 2016
      @Gail I hope you'll add pictures to this post when you have finally accomplished it. I'd love to see what it turns out like.