Apartment Pantry Organization Ideas

Is finding something to eat in your kitchen like a treasure hunt? Are your shelves filled with a random assortment of food, boxes, utensils, and who-knows-what-else? Space is often limited in an apartment kitchen, and the pantry is no exception.

The good news is that you can increase pantry space using just a few simple organization techniques. Here are some easy and effective small pantry organization ideas.

Group, Size, and Function Organization

Many people prefer to have a specific method of organization. Having a set method in place allows you to find what you need quickly and effortlessly. It also makes putting groceries away a quick and simple task. 

Here are the most common grouping methods that will utilize your pantry’s functional storage space to the fullest:


Many people organize by grouping similar items. For example, all the pasta goes together, canned beans get their section, and a shelf is set aside for snacks, etc.  


Work with the sizes of packaging to maximize your storage space. For example, oddly shaped items can be stored alongside flexible items (bags of chips, etc.). 

Also, you’re not limited to the product’s packaging. Dry goods like flour and pasta can be stored in your own containers. This gives you more freedom and flexibility because you can buy containers that fit into your specific space

The best types of containers are usually ones that can be stacked together when not in use.   


Another way to organize your groceries is by function. If you make certain dishes regularly, storing all the ingredients together can be a real time-saver. Generally, you’ll want to organize food based on the idea of “first in, first out.” 

Fresh food is stored up front. Canned goods and other items that can’t spoil should be stored near the back of the shelves. Pay attention to expiration dates, but note that not every expiration date is set in stone.

The Space-Saving Convenience of Wire Shelving

Wire racks are a versatile storage option suitable for just about any type of pantry. You can easily attach wire racks to your closet’s back and side walls. Wire offers more flexibility, takes up less space, allows your pantry to feel more open, and is easier to clean than other materials. 

Here are some specific tips for using wire shelving:

  • Attach them to the back of your pantry door. Done correctly, the wire shelves will simply fit into the open space of the pantry when the door is closed.
  • Use wire baskets! They’re easy to see through, which helps when you need to find something. 
  • Include some tiered spice racks to help everything stay organized and efficient.   

You don’t have to worry too much about planning wire rack placement. Adding, adjusting, and removing racks is pretty simple. That versatility, high weight limit, and ease of cleaning make them the perfect addition to apartment pantries.

Unique Apartment Pantry Organization Ideas

When it comes to organization, aesthetics are nearly as important as function. Peruse Pinterest or Instagram to see hundreds of perfectly organized, color-coded, and functional pantries. 

Now that you have the basics of pantry organization down, consider these unique tips to elevate the visual appeal of your functional storage space.

Floor Organizers

Tiered floor organizers made of wood, metal, plastic, and a variety of other materials will add a great touch to your pantry while adding significantly to the available storage space. 

Use these low containers for:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Small appliances like hand mixers and blenders 

Hanging in the Air

Most pantries have open space near the ceiling that can be transformed by adding stemware racks or t-molding. These are perfect for hanging wine glasses and other lightweight, oddly-shaped items. 

Wine Racks for More Than Wine

Wine racks just so happen to have slots perfectly shaped to hold all the various rolls kitchens need to accommodate. Use your wine rack to hold aluminum foil, plastic wrap, paper towels, and more. 

Display your wine collection in your kitchen or closet wine cellar instead of the pantry, giving it the spotlight it deserves. 

Add a Pegboard

Pegboards are staples of garages since they’re versatile and can hold a variety of tools of all shapes, sizes, and weights. But this can be the ultimate solution to your small pantry problems! Install a pegboard or an exposed wall on the back of the pantry door. 

Then, start hanging everything that doesn’t have a designated space or doesn’t fit well anywhere else. 

This can include: 

  • Cooking utensils
  • Pots/pans
  • Lids
  • Small baskets full of tea bags

Get an Expandable Cookware Organizer

Expandable cookware organizers come with several adjustable dividers to fit large pots, pans, lids, etc. You adjust the size to hold only what you need, then place it on a shelf or in a cabinet. It only takes up exactly the space required to hold your cookware–not anymore!

Organize Your Apartment Pantry Today

Whether you’re interested in taking wired racks for a test drive or considering building a custom shelving unit, Harkraft can help. We’ll help you with every step of the project, including design, building, and installation.