Skip to Content

20 Pantry Closet Shelving Ideas for Every Home

Alright, folks!

Let’s play ‘Pantry Makeover’ – a game where we transform that ‘where did I put the paprika?’ chaos into a ‘wow, I’m so organized’ wonderland.

Here are 20 shelving ideas that’ll turn your pantry from ‘meh’ to ‘amazing’!

Storage Ideas

Assess Your Storage Needs

Let’s spill the beans on pantry perfection!

Sure, you could just toss things in there, but come on, we’re aiming for pantry greatness, not just pantry existence.

modern Pantry Closet Shelving 1

Now, here are some practical tips to let your pantry truly shine:

  • Decide the theme for your pantry: Are we going full-speed ahead with an “instant-food-and-can-food-only” pantry, or are we throwing some veggies and fruits into the mix?
  • First-In, First-Out: Keep your ingredients fresh by using the older items first. This simple rotation ensures nothing is forgotten.
  • Zone Your Pantry: Allocate specific areas for different types of food. This not only speeds up your cooking prep but also helps maintain order and cleanliness.

a pantry room with shelves full of food and stuff

Tiptoe into Transparency

No matter how hard I try to find a better way to arrange things.

Ironically, not to let it happen is the most effective.

To do that, we need a little preparation before stacking things on the shelves. Let’s hit pause and plan.

modern Pantry Closet Shelving 4

Get to know what you will buy inside your pantry and decant the boxes and packages.

Opt for transparency – Clear holders, glass jars, and see-through bins ensure that your pantry treasures are always on display.

It’s like having a visual check every time you swing open the pantry door and know when to restock.

transparent jars on a shelf

Label, Label, Label

Just like your own folk song with an easy-to-learn-by-heart chorus, it is vital to label all of your sections, clear containers, jars, or even on shelves.

You can print ‘em or enjoy the aesthetic vibe with your handwriting.

Who knew that labeling could be as satisfying as popping bubble wrap?

I kindly suggest going a little extra, to add the expiration date of specific products on the label as well.

Now, you can enjoy a happy pantry with no expired food colonization!

Ingredient jars with name tags

Set rules based on weight and occasions

I know sometimes arranging a pantry can be confusing. Every time I need my stewpot, I still wonder whether it is a good spot to place it in the first place.

Luckily, I figured out rules to untangle your concern and would like to share them with you:

Place those kitchen gadgets that you barely use to rest on top shelves.

modern Pantry Closet Shelving 2

Items like snacks, grains, and canned food belonged to lower shelves for easier grabbing

Reserve the top shelf for special occasions like party supplies, holiday cookie cutters, etc

Feel free to give these rules a try, let me know if it is a yes for you.

a pantry room full with food and containers

Cubing the Shelves

Time to call in your architect for some custom-made magic, and this round, we’re talking cube shelves!

Break it down—divide up your shelves into equal cube-sized sections.

Trust me, once your shelves are rocking that cube vibe, stacking your items all neat and pretty becomes a piece of cake.

It’s like having a pre-set canvas; you’ve framed the space, and now, the shelf-styling game just got a whole lot easier.

Let those cubes work their aesthetic magic!

a white pantry closet

Install Pull-out Drawers

Introduce rolling drawers to your pantry—a game-changer for accessibility.

Ideally, place them underneath your shelves to store fragile items and appliances, or even things that you find suitable

Make sure to make them handless to protect yourselves from the battle of knees hurt.

I learnt it the hard way so you don’t have to. Thank me later.

pull out drawer in the kitchen

Avoid long-dropped lighting

When I had my first pantry, I asked my architecture not to install a light, I have my natural light.

But things are just about to go down when the sun sets and parts of my pantry immediately look like an endless cave.

So, remember to have built-in lightbulbs for your pantry or you can use the lights from the surrounding area like the hallway or kitchen to lighten your pantry.

modern Pantry Closet Shelving 3

Of course, nothing is wrong with overwhelmed lighting fixtures if you want to go bold with your pantry design when there is more space.

But keep in mind that we want to have the pantry to its fullest capacity from the floor to the ceiling, so having overwhelming lighting might give you a hard time shelving the items.

a pantry room with shelves full of food and containers

DIY Ideas

Use a Hidden LED lighting system

If your shelves are as deep as going hunting every time you looking for snacks, don’t hesitant to install hidden LED systems.

Just like your lightsaber every time you decide to run for a midnight investigation in your pantry.

a Modern Pantry Closet Shelving Room

No more awkward postures when you hold your breath and reach out for snacks with a flashlight.

Choose a yellow light for a warmer ambiance and more tenderness to your eyes.

small modern pantry closet with shelves and hidden LED lighting

Try Adjustable Shelves

I do believe that an adjustable interior is a huge success in the architecture industry.

And hey, you can adapt that into your pantry, too

Imagine playing Legos while cleaning your pantry even by yourself or with your kids, such a bonding experience.

It’s like the fairest of them all and fits all of your snacks, appliances, and accessories as they are without worrying you might break ‘em while stacking.

Then if you are looking for a sustainable and playful storage solution in your pantry, go for these gorgeous and you won’t regret one bit.

pantry closet with lots of items

Make Room for Wire Rackings

POV: You are playing human chess in your pantry

These wire rackings are moveable which is not only the best for repositioning but also for cleaning

And hey, maybe someday you want to repurpose your pantry.

Just roll them out of the closet.

You might want to choose wire trackings that have a small lock underneath, just in case of slippery.

small modern pantry room with wire racking shelves

Get Detailed with Chalkboard

Spice up your pantry vibes with these quirky chalkboard labels – it’s like giving my shelves a bit of personality.

Those labels not only make things look cool but also make finding stuff a total no-brainer.

My pantry becomes my trusty sidekick, always vibing with my style and keeping my ingredients in check.

So, I step into my kitchen, and let those spices and goodies find their chill spot, adding a dash of my flair to the culinary mix.

a small pantry closet room with chalk board

A Table for the Pantry Soul

Have you ever wandered into your pantry at midnight looking for ingredients for your weird cravings?

While I was digging through shelves and jars, it hit me – I needed a small space for preparing food. Like, urgently.

Just a little spot where I could chop stuff up and make my late-night snacks without the hassle

At that same moment, I realized the desperate need for a small prep space – a table (any kind would do)

I suggest to keep it simple. Let it harmonize with the colorful chaos of your pantry.

Trust me, a small table in your pantry will not be a problem – it might just be the missing piece.

a small pantry closet room with a table

Laundry Baskets with Wheels

When it comes to managing laundry, I’ve found that laundry baskets with wheels are a real game-changer.

They make moving heavy loads from room to room so much easier, saving you the strain and hassle.

It’s about adding a bit of convenience to those laundry days, turning what used to be a chore into a smoother, more manageable task.

Laundry Baskets with Wheels

Add Basket

Let’s take a moment to appreciate how handy baskets are in our kitchens, not just for picnics.

I used to overlook them, but now, as part of my journey to a tidier living space, I’ve realized their value.

Baskets help keep everything organized, saving me time and making my pantry look neat. It’s pretty cool, actually!

Whether they’re wicker, woven, colorful, or simple, baskets are great helpers, making our pantry items easier to find and use.

Install a Ladder

If you have a walk-in closet pantry, then congratulations!

Of course, if you want to make the most of the height of the room, I recommend going verticle fitting shelves floor-to-ceiling.

But we are no giants, so fit a ladder there to help you with higher items.

Plus keep in mind to have shallow shelves for easier grab.

You don’t want to dig through the shelves in the air to find one bean bag, right?

small modern pantry closet room with a ladder

Corner Ideas

Tackle the Corner Challenge

I believe every owner that has a small pantry like I do shares the same mission – to keep every corner counted.

I tried several times with racks, containers, and baskets but curved corners are hard to please. That is when I welcome “Lady Susan”  to the mix.

Set of 4, 10 Inch Non-Skid Lazy Susan Organizers - Turntable Rack for Cabinet, Pantry Organization and Storage, Kitchen, Fridge, Bathroom Makeup Vanity Countertop, Under Sink Organizing, Spice Rack

It’s crazy how a simple flick of the wrist brings so much joy.

Those rolling plates looked pretty tempting and interactive as well.  Now, I’m making the most of the corner space both vertically and horizontally.

Dress the Pantry with Spice Rack

Obviously, I love my multifunctional products, it gives me literal chills whenever I walk into the area. Especially if you are rocking an Asian household, you will understand the spice universe – tasty, but horrìying when it comes to cluttering.

Then let me introduce the adjustable wall-mounted spice rack.

Picture your spices, all lined up like a well-rehearsed kitchen choir, ready to jazz up your dishes at a moment’s notice.

This isn’t just a space-saver; it’s a game-changer for your pantry.

A spike rack hanging on the door

Door Ideas

Add a Door With Storage

If a spice rack is not an option for you, I recommend having your built-in shelves attached to the pantry doors.

With the reasonable shallow shelves, you will have all items in the pantry displayed in front of you.

This design is best if you want to utilize space in your kitchen for a quick grabbing of plates, kitchen emergencies, etc.

kitchen storage with pullable shelves and a door

Install a Sliding Door

I have always forgotten to close the pantry door after finishing taking things out.

This is not always my fault, every time I get in, come back and my hands are full of stuff

Also, normal pantry doors can be space-consuming and take more effort to close.

That’s when I started looking for an optimal solution – sliding doors, They are not only easy but also fun to use.

The doors can be made from wood, glass, or chalkboard paint for a functional and customizable touch.

sliding doors for kitchen storage

Place Hooks

Hooks act as little decorations and must-have items in your pantry that you will never know you need.

It spares you more space for lightweight items like unused cooking items, cooking gloves, tablecloths, you name it.

Place ‘em alongside the shelves or on the door, you won’t even notice them there and still enjoy most space out of your pantry.

hanging kitchen utensils