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Small Walk In Pantry Ideas

For many homeowners, having a spacious walk-in pantry is the dream. This dedicated storage space allows you to keep your kitchen organized. Now, you can organize all your food items cookware, and store small appliances in one convenient place. However, large walk-in pantries are often not feasible, especially in smaller homes.

With clever customization, you can create smart walk-in pantry ideas even in tight spaces. For example, existing closets near the kitchen can become pantries by changing the depth of your pantry shelves. Or unused nooks like under stairwells can transform into storage with angled shelves built in. Even regular cabinets can be converted to compact walk-in pantries with some adjustments.

In our guide, we’ll explore creative layouts and storage solutions for building a beautiful walk-in pantry for modest kitchens. By the end, you’ll get to know the walk-in pantry features you need and which help with your kitchen design. (Read Can You Plug A Surge Protector Into An Extension Cord)

Small Walk-in In Pantry Ideas

Small Walk-in In Pantry Ideas to Maximize Storage

A main kitchen walk-in pantry is a great way to organize all your kitchen supplies and dry goods. This closet pantry space allows you to neatly organize all your food items, small appliances, cookware, and more. But built-in walk-in pantry storage is often seen as luxury interior design and only sometimes feasible in smaller homes. 

The good news is, if you want a walk-in, designing a pantry in tight spaces is easier than you think. With clever planning and design, a narrow walk-in pantry is a great place to keep all your small items.  You can find many ideas for small pantry storage in further sections.

Creative Layouts For Walk-In Pantry Storage

One great way to add new pantry space in your kitchen is to convert an existing closet. Many closets near or next to the kitchen make perfect candidates for small walk-in pantries. Here are some creative layout tips to create a pantry:

  • Install deeper shelves and vertical dividers. Shelves should be at least 15 inches deep for pantry use.
  • Incorporate slide-out trays and racks to efficiently use all vertical space from floor to ceiling. 
  • Adding a second door to connect the pantry is ideal for kitchen access. 
  • Use glass jars or containers to hold food staples like sugar, rice, pasta, etc. This allows you to see contents easily. 
  • Install lighting. LED strip lights work well along top shelves and make a small space feel larger.
  • Consider open shelving on one side to conveniently grab frequently used items.

Repurposing Cabinets as Space-Saving Pantries

Another way to create a walk-in pantry in small kitchens is to convert existing cabinets. Some ideas:

  1. Remove upper cabinets and replace with deeper shelves. Add sliding baskets for vertically stacked storage.
  2. Take the lower cabinet doors off to open the space. Install organizational racks, baskets, and bins inside. 
  3. Stack two floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets side-by-side. Add doors, drawers, and pull-out shelves for consolidated storage.
  4. Use cupboards under the stairs as pantry storage. Add compartments and slide-out vertical holders.
  5. Install a pantry cabinet with shelves near the fridge for refrigerated food overflow. (Read Large Garden Ideas On A Budget)

Walk In Pantry in a Corner

Use Every Inch in Corner and Under-Stair Pantries

Corners and under stairwells are often neglected “dead” spaces in kitchens. But these make fantastic locations for compact walk-in pantries. Some great ways to maximize these irregularly shaped areas:

  • Install angled custom shelving to utilize every inch of corner space fully. Revolving corner units also optimizes access.
  • Make use of vertical height if possible. Floor-to-ceiling shelving doubles your storage capacity.
  • Incorporate slide-out trays, racks, and baskets to use deep spaces efficiently. Rotating Lazy Susan units also help.
  • Add specialty organizers like spice racks, over-the-door storage, and mounted can holders for additional capacity.
  • Under-stair pantries can use the angled space along the stairs. Built-in shelves also optimize holding capacity.

With custom woodwork and accessories, you can transform those awkward corners and under-stair sections into highly functional storage pantries.

Choosing the Right Depth for Pantry Shelving

The depth and width of your pantry shelving play a significant role in maximizing storage capacity. Some guidelines on selecting shelf dimensions:

  • The standard shelf depth is 12 inches. Increase to 15-18 inches for a walk-in pantry is perfect to accommodate large containers you don’t want on your kitchen counter.
  • Adjustable shelves allow customizing space as needed. Stationary shelves limit future changes.
  • Shelves should be strong enough to hold heavy items like canned goods safely. Melamine, wood, or steel are good options.
  • The width of shelves depends on available space, but 30-36 inches is ideal for general storage. Go up to 48 inches for large stock pots. 
  • Vertical space between shelves can range from 15 to 36 inches, depending on the contents to store.

Get the measurements right during your planning process, and you can optimize every cubic foot of your pantry space.

Keeping a Small Pantry Design Organized

With limited room, organization is critical for small pantries to stay functional if you use your kitchen a lot. 

  1. Categorize and group similar food items together – e.g., snacks, oils, spices, canned goods, etc.
  2. Store heavier jars and cans on lower shelves and lighter packages up higher.
  3. Label shelves and storage bins so anyone can put items back properly. 
  4. Use vertical space efficiently with multi-tier racks, hanging rods, and ceiling-mounted shelves.
  5. Incorporate drawer organizers to neatly arrange smaller goods and prevent “junk drawer” scenarios.
  6. Store lesser-used items towards the back. Position everyday items near the front for easy access.
  7. Avoid cramming shelves, which makes retrieval difficult. Allow some open space for future additions.

Staying organized is an ongoing process as items rotate in and out. But a few minutes spent tidying up your pantry every week pays off in time savings when cooking. (Read Outdoor Space Ideas On A Budget)

Double Pantry Storage Door Solutions

The back of your pantry’s door is an often overlooked space for extra storage! You can easily add racks, pegs, and holders to take advantage of this vertical real estate. Storage ideas include:

  1. Install over-the-door racks or hanging shelves for canned goods, jars, and bottles. Great for non-breakables.
  2. Use over-the-door shoe organizers for smaller spice containers, packets, lids, and wraps.
  3. Add hanging rods for utensils, oven mitts, or aprons. Use S-hooks to hang items by handle.
  4. Attach a magnetic strip for knives or frequently used tools like bottle openers.
  5. Use cup hooks on the door to hang measuring cups, spoons, or pot holders.

Look at the empty vertical space on your pantry door and get creative with space-saving storage accessories! Those empty spots can hold a surprising amount of essentials.

Walk-In Pantry Idea Solutions

Top Walk-In Pantry Idea Solutions For Small Appliances 

Wrap-Around Shelving System

A pantry with white shelving means everything has its place. When you know exactly where to look for something, you don’t waste time seeking it and don’t buy things you already have twice.

Wire Shelving

Built-in shelving in a walk-in pantry looks great but can be a bit pricey. Small or narrow walk-in pantries may not require all-around shelving, and a standalone shelving unit works well to add extra storage in a small space.

Stow Small Appliances

How often do you use your electric machine or rice cooker? It’s taking up valuable space in your kitchen cupboards or cluttering up your countertop if it’s not an item you use every day. Instead, put these small tools in a space when you add a pantry to your kitchen.

Narrow Countertop

A narrow countertop is a convenience you won’t want to be without for walk-in pantries with the available space. It also looks good, giving your sliding pantry a kitchenette-like look. Several small kitchen tools, like toasters and espresso machines used in the kitchen on occasion, have a place on a countertop. (Read Painting Ideas Cartoon)

Cover Shelves

Using a shelf liner or cover is a cheap and easy way to improve the look of a walk-in pantry. Shelf liners can be practical and attractive, offering a nonslip surface for your pantry item.

Continue Kitchen Style

Think about your walk-in pantry as an extension of your kitchen. A home looks more elegant when it has a style that runs from the kitchen to the party of your pantry. Use the same colors, tiles, cabinets, handles, or lights to keep your kitchen looking great. And your pantry boasts the same decor and the pantry features white elements used in the same way.

Use the Back of the Door

If you want to make the most of the space in your butler’s pantry or walk-in pantry, you should look at all the options for storage, especially if the kitchen pantry design is small. If your pantry doesn’t have a pocket door, you can use the back of the door as storage space. 

Even the inside of the cupboard doors are also great kitchen cabinet storage spaces and can help make your small space and kitchen layout feel larger.

Build a Closet in the Kitchen

A kitchen pantry idea doesn’t have to be a separate space. You can make a kitchen closet or a small pantry out of a nook, corner, or unused space under the stairs. 

Cabinets and Drawers

Shelving is practical, but cabinets make a walk-in pantry look better. By adding doors or boxes, your pantry will look less cluttered, but your food and kitchen tools will still be easy to get to. Cabinets that match or go with the kitchen style give the whole house a consistent look.

Don’t Overstock

Even though pantries offer more stylish kitchen storage space, they still have their limits. To keep your pantry looking neat and uncluttered, put only a few of the same item in there.

Clear, Stackable Food Storage

Food, spices, and baking tools stay fresh longer in containers that keep air out. Investing in clear, stackable food storage cases is a good idea for two reasons.

Store More Spices

A home chef will need lots of spices, but having so many in the kitchen can make it hard to find enough space. Putting all your spices in a cabinet makes it hard to find the one you want. Spices should be kept in a special spice rack so that you can always find what you need.


You don’t need a large kitchen with a dedicated room for overall design to transform your pantry. With clever customization and pantry organization solutions, corner pantry designs can fit the smallest kitchens. 

The steps you need in building your pantry is deciding on the design. Take measurements of available space and browse accessories to build your ideal layout. Focus on maximizing vertical storage with floor-to-ceiling shelves, hanging rods, and mounted racks to store small kitchen appliances. 

Keep your double pantry functional through regular tidying and categorizing items together.  With creativity and the storage hacks in this article, you can build your perfect walk-in pantry in your modest home without expansive square footage. 

Small Walk-In Pantries with shelves

FAQs About Small Walk-In Pantries

How deep should shelves be in a pantry?

12-15 inches is standard depth, but 18+ inches is better for a walk-in pantry to accommodate large containers. Adjustable shelves allow custom depths.

Where should you put a pantry in a small kitchen? 

Near the fridge and adjacent to countertops used for cooking/baking. You can use underused spaces like corners and under stairs.

What can I use instead of a pantry?

Built-in pantry or standalone cabinets, repurposed furniture like armoires, closet conversions, and other unused nooks and crannies!

Small Walk In Pantry Ideas