How to Maximize Your Walk-In Pantry Space

Having a large pantry is amazing, but if you are not making the most of your walk-in pantry space, then you are doing yourself a disservice! Utilizing food storage space, pantry shelving, and cabinetry in the most efficient ways possible will keep your kitchen from feeling cluttered and leave you plenty of room for cooking. These are the best ideas for maximizing your butler's pantry and making your space efficient!

walk in pantry ideas

My Favorite Walk-In Pantry Ideas

When we did a full kitchen renovation in our old house one thing we didn't have room for was a walk-in pantry and I was always sad about it. When we moved into this house we were so excited that there was ample room to make our walk-in pantry (not to be confused with the Butler's pantry we recently finished) exactly what we wanted!

I have been searching for ideas to create the space of my dreams, and these are some of the best ideas out there to make the most of our space (and yours!). I'm still not sure if we are going to do a complete overhaul of our pantry or if we are going to try to make the current pantry shelving work. But here if we go for more of a renovation, these are the ideas I'm loving!

Matching Cabinetry

Use cabinetry that matches or compliments your kitchen design for a seamless look and tons of great storage. To make the most of your built-in pantry, pair lower cabinets with open shelving above. I love how accessible things are on open cabinetry, but prefer things I don't use every single day to be behind closed doors (or drawers), so this is a perfect combo.

Storage on a Budget

If cabinetry and/or full-extension drawers aren't in your budget, use bins that you can easily slide in and out on lower shelves. It gives you a function similar to drawers at a fraction of the cost.

Jars and Labels

Use glass jars and clear plastic containers for dry goods like flour and cereal–not only does it reduce visual clutter, it also allows you to see when you are running low on something. Labels will help you stay organized in your bins and baskets!

Pocket Doors

This walk-in pantry is on the smaller side, but the space is maximized with smart shelving, drawers and pocket doors that slide completely out of the way. If your pantry feels more like a closet, this is a great option.

large pantry with pocket doors
source: Houzz

Smart Layout

If your walk-in pantry is long and narrow, you really can't include counter-depth shelves or cabinetry on both sides. Consider this instead– shallow vertical shelves on one side (I estimate 10 inches) and full-depth cabinets on the opposite side of the pantry. This is a layout I'm strongly considering for our own pantry when we tackle it!

Lazy Susans

Don't lose any storage space! Use lazy susans to maximize space in corners. This is one of my FAVORITE pantry organization ideas. It is genius and I love that it prevents any weird dead space in the corners!

Varying Depths of Shelves

If you opt for all shelving, make the lower shelves deeper to store essentials that you buy in bulk, like paper towels and canned drinks. Keep the upper shelves 12 inches deep or less so that smaller items like canned goods don't get hidden and lost.

organized walk-in pantry
source: SSS Edit

Utilize High Shelves

Take advantage of vertical storage in your butler's pantry by including high shelves to store infrequently used items, like extra glassware, serving platters and bowls (pssst…you can see lots more pantry shelving ideas here). I also love the smart use of the large blank walls for a family command center!

Accessible Vertical Storage

To really maximize vertical storage, include shelving all the way to the ceiling. Add a library ladder to make it all easily accessible, even that top shelf! Don't have room for a big ladder? Consider adding a step stool you can easily tuck away.

walk-in pantry with ladder
source: Style Blueprint

Beautiful Pantry Doors

Add style to your pantry with beautiful doors. These refinished doors totally elevate this pantry. Worried about having to stay organized with glass doors? There are plenty of decorative solid options out there!

pantry with beautiful refinished doors
source: Lolly Jane

Countertops for Extra Counter Space

Include a countertop for things like your toaster and coffee machines in your walk-in pantry. It not only helps keep your kitchen counters clear, but it also gives you a working space for food prep or a coffee bar!

walk-in pantry with countertop for coffee and small work space
source: Zillow

Full-Extension Drawers

Include full-extension drawers to take advantage of the depth of a countertop without things getting lost. These may be a splurge, but if you have the budget, they will give you so much space that is normally lost!

Appliance Shelves

Include pantry shelves for small appliances like your crock pot and blender. This helps reduce clutter on kitchen counters and allows you to use your appliances often since they are still readily accessible!

Aren't these ideas amazing? I am so excited to start planning our pantry and really making it as efficient as possible.

Keeping a well organized pantry is important, but you also have to make the best use of the space you have. Having a spot for specific things like spices, platters, snacks and cereal boxes that you have carefully planned out for YOUR space will keep your pantry from feeling like an overcrowded mess. Some thorough space planning on the front end will save your sanity for years to come!

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blog post signature with photo of Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

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