July 15


How to Maximize Storage Space in a Small Kitchen without a Pantry – Top 10 Organization Tips to Avoid Clutter

Organizing a small kitchen without a pantry – 10 ways to stop storage overspill

If you have a small kitchen, you know how challenging it can be to find enough space to store all of your food, utensils, and cookware. Without a pantry, it can become even more difficult to keep everything organized and easily accessible. But don’t worry, there are plenty of creative solutions that can help you make the most of your limited space!

One idea is to utilize the inside of your cabinet doors. By installing shelves or hanging storage racks, you can make use of vertical space that would otherwise go unused. This is a great way to store spices, canned goods, and even kitchen tools, keeping them neatly organized and easily accessible.

If you have deep drawers in your kitchen, consider using dividers or organizers to keep everything in its place. This can help prevent small items, like utensils or measuring spoons, from getting lost or buried beneath larger items. You can also use drawer organizers to separate and categorize items like towels, sheets, and more.

Another space-saving idea is to utilize the area above your cabinets. Placing baskets or decorative bins on top can provide additional storage for items that are used less frequently. Just be sure to keep them organized and labeled so you know what’s inside!

For items like dried goods, jars, and tins, consider adding shelving or wall-mounted storage. This can be a great way to keep these items organized while also making them easily accessible. Plus, it can add a decorative touch to your kitchen!

If you have a garage or other storage space available, consider purchasing a freestanding shelving unit to store bulk goods or items you use infrequently. This can help free up space in your kitchen cabinets and keep everything organized in one place.

Of course, an expert in kitchen organization, such as Laura Forsyth of Forsyth Interiors, might have even more inspiring ideas and advice. Laura has published several articles on organizing small kitchens and can provide guidance on how to make the most of your available space.

In conclusion, organizing a small kitchen without a pantry may seem like a daunting task, but with some creative thinking and the right storage solutions, you can create a functional and spacious kitchen. By utilizing vertical space, drawer organizers, wall-mounted storage, and other space-saving techniques, you can ensure that everything has its place and is easily accessible. So don’t let a lack of pantry space lead to storage overspill – take action and start organizing!

Organizing a small kitchen without a pantry

Having a small kitchen without a pantry can be challenging when it comes to storing all your kitchen essentials. However, with a little creativity and smart organization, you can make the most of your space and keep everything in order. Here are 10 ways to effectively organize a small kitchen without a pantry:

  1. Maximize your storage space: Look for areas in your kitchen that can be utilized for storage. This could include the space above your cabinets, the sides of your refrigerator, or even the inside of cabinet doors.
  2. Use space-saving containers: Invest in airtight containers or canisters to store dry goods such as pasta, rice, and cereals. This will not only help keep them fresh, but also save space by keeping them organized and easily accessible.
  3. Utilize vertical space: Install shelves or hanging organizers on your walls to store cookbooks, mugs, or utensils. This will free up counter space and make your kitchen appear more spacious.
  4. Get creative with drawer organization: Use drawer dividers or small containers to keep your utensils, measuring spoons, and other small kitchen tools organized and easily accessible.
  5. Consider a kitchen cart or island: If you have some extra space, a kitchen cart or island can offer additional storage options. You can use it to store pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils.
  6. Think outside the kitchen: If you have limited cabinet space in your kitchen, consider utilizing storage spaces in other areas of your home. For example, you could store extra linens or cleaning supplies in a nearby closet or under your bed.
  7. Use clear containers: Opt for clear containers for storing items such as spices, snacks, or baking supplies. This way, you can easily see what’s inside without having to open every container to find what you need.
  8. Take advantage of wall space: Install hooks or racks on your walls to hang pots, pans, kitchen utensils, or even towels. This will keep them within reach and free up cabinet space.
  9. Organize with labels: Labeling your containers, jars, and tins can help you quickly locate specific items and maintain order in your kitchen. Use a label maker or write directly on the containers.
  10. Keep countertops clear: Cluttered countertops can make a small kitchen feel even smaller. Keep them clear by storing appliances or utensils that are not frequently used.

By following these 10 ways, you can effectively organize your small kitchen without a pantry and make the most of your available space. Remember, organization is crucial for maintaining a functional and enjoyable cooking environment. Happy organizing!

1 Be ruthless with decluttering

When organizing a small kitchen without a pantry, it’s important to start by decluttering and getting rid of any items you don’t need or use regularly. Clear out your inbox, drawers, and shelves, and assess what items are taking up valuable space.

Many people have a tendency to hold onto things thinking they might be useful someday, but this only leads to a cluttered and disorganized kitchen. Be honest with yourself and determine which items you really need and use on a regular basis.

Start by cleaning out your pantry-style shelving, if you have any. Get rid of expired food items and donate any items you won’t use. If you have duplicates of items, keep the ones that are in better condition or will last longer.

Next, declutter your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Get rid of any old or unused kitchen gadgets, broken utensils, and mismatched cookware. Make sure to go through your collection of dish towels and keep only the ones that are in good condition and that you actually use frequently.

By decluttering your kitchen, you will have a clearer vision of what storage space you actually have available. This will help you know which organizing tools and storage solutions you will need to purchase or utilize in order to make the most of your space-saving options.

Always remember, if you haven’t used an item in the past year, it’s time to let it go. Be ruthless with your decluttering and create a more spacious and organized kitchen for yourself.

2 Kit out a ‘pantry’ cabinet…

2 Kit out a ‘pantry’ cabinet...

If you have a small kitchen without a pantry, you might be wondering where to store all your kitchen staples. One solution is to create a ‘pantry’ cabinet where you can neatly organize and store your dried goods, canned foods, and other kitchen essentials.

To make the most of this cabinet, you could use shelves or shelving units to create additional storage spaces. Utilize canisters or containers to keep things organized and easily accessible. You can label them with the contents, so you know exactly what is inside each one.

If you’re thinking of organizing your kitchen without a pantry, look for an organizer that can fit inside the cabinet. This can help you make the most of the deep space and keep everything organized. There are many different types of organizers available, so you can find one that suits your needs and the size of your cabinet.

You can also use the cabinet to store items that you might not think of as pantry staples but are still useful to have on hand. This could include things like extra linens, kitchen gadgets, or even bottles and jars. By utilizing the space in the cabinet, you can make your small kitchen feel more spacious and stop storage overspill on your countertops.

Of course, if you have a larger kitchen, you can always have a dedicated pantry area for storing all your food items. However, for those with smaller kitchens, a well-organized ‘pantry’ cabinet can offer the same benefits and help keep your kitchen tidy and functional.

3 …or use a drawer

3 …or use a drawer

If you don’t have a pantry in your small kitchen, another option for storing your food items is to utilize a drawer. This can be a great way to keep your pantry-style items organized and easily accessible while saving space in your kitchen.

Here are some tips and advice for organizing your kitchen items in a drawer:

  • Think about what you’ll be storing: Take some time to consider what you’ll be storing in your drawer. This will help you determine how much space you’ll need and what type of organizer or containers you might want to purchase.
  • Make use of smaller containers: Instead of storing items in their original packaging, consider transferring them to smaller containers or canisters. This will help you maximize the space in your drawer and keep items neatly organized.
  • Group similar items together: Keep like items together in your drawer to make it easier to find what you need. For example, you could group together cooking oils, sauces, and spices in one section of the drawer.
  • Consider using drawer dividers: Drawer dividers can help you create separate sections in your drawer, making it easier to keep different types of items organized and preventing them from getting mixed up.
  • Utilize the space beneath your drawer: If you have a deep drawer, consider using the space beneath it for additional storage. You could install a small shelf or hooks to hang items like kitchen towels or oven mitts.
  • Keep bottles and jars upright: To prevent spills and leaks, make sure to store bottles and jars upright in your drawer. You can use drawer organizers or dividers to keep them in place.
  • Consider your style: If you want to keep your kitchen drawers looking tidy and organized, consider using matching containers or canisters. This can give your kitchen a cohesive look and make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
  • Keep cleaning supplies separate: If you’re storing cleaning supplies in your kitchen drawer, make sure to keep them separate from your food items to prevent any cross-contamination.
  • Don’t overcrowd your drawer: While it can be tempting to fill your drawer to the brim, try to resist the urge. Leaving some empty space in your drawer will make it easier to find and retrieve items.

By organizing your pantry-style items in a drawer, you can make the most of your kitchen storage space. Whether you have a small kitchen or just prefer a more organized look, using a drawer can help you keep your essentials easily accessible and your kitchen looking tidy.

4 Store vegetables in baskets

When it comes to organizing a small kitchen without a pantry, finding efficient storage solutions for your vegetables is crucial. Vegetables often take up a lot of space and can quickly lead to storage overspill if not properly organized. One effective way to store your vegetables is by using baskets.

Baskets make it easy to keep your vegetables in one designated area while also allowing for proper airflow, which helps to keep them fresh for longer. Choose baskets with deep sides that can hold a good amount of vegetables without taking up too much space on your countertops or in your cabinets.

Before storing your vegetables, it’s important to give them a good cleaning and remove any excess moisture. This will help to prevent spoilage and extend their shelf life. Once cleaned, you can store them directly in the baskets, making sure to keep similar vegetables together.

A space-saving idea is to use smaller baskets within your refrigerator drawers. This will help to keep different types of vegetables separate and organized, making it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

If you have a spacious garage or pantry-style storage available, consider using larger baskets or containers to store your vegetables. This will free up valuable kitchen space and keep your vegetables easily accessible.

You can also use baskets to store other items, such as dish towels or linens, allowing you to free up drawer space for other kitchen essentials. By utilizing baskets for storage, you can maximize the available space in your small kitchen without a pantry.

So, if you’re looking for ways to stop storage overspill in your small kitchen without a pantry, consider implementing the idea of storing your vegetables in baskets. This simple and practical solution will help you stay organized and make your kitchen more functional.

Inspired by Laura Forsyth’s article “Organizing a small kitchen without a pantry – 10 ways to stop storage overspill,” published in July.

5 Utilize the tops of cabinets

When you’re organizing a small kitchen without a pantry, it’s crucial to utilize every available space. One area that often gets overlooked is the tops of cabinets. These spaces can be great for storing items that you don’t use on a daily basis but still need to keep within reach.

One option is to purchase space-saving shelving or wire baskets that can be placed on top of the cabinets. This will help you make use of the vertical space and keep your countertops clear. You could also use decorative containers or jars to store items like dried goods or cooking staples on top of the cabinets.

If you’re thinking about utilizing the tops of cabinets, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you’re not storing anything too heavy or breakable, as it could potentially fall and cause damage. Second, be mindful of the height of the cabinets and the items you choose to store on top. You don’t want anything to be too difficult to reach or retrieve.

If you’re keen on the idea of utilizing the tops of cabinets but aren’t sure where to start, look for inspiration online or in magazines. There are plenty of images and articles that can help guide you in organizing and styling these spaces. You could also get advice from an expert in kitchen organization to help you make the most of the space you have.

In our July 2022 issue of Lovely Interiors, Laura Forsyth, an expert in organizing small kitchens, published an article full of tips and advice on how to make the most of your kitchen’s storage without a pantry. She suggests utilizing the tops of cabinets as a great way to keep your kitchen organized and spacious. Laura also provides a step-by-step guide on how to organize items like cleaning supplies, linens, and bottles on the tops of cabinets.

6 Compromise countertop space within reason

6 Compromise countertop space within reason

When it comes to a small kitchen without a pantry, it’s important to be keen on utilizing every available space. Countertop space is precious, but you can compromise within reason to create more storage options.

One way you could do this is by organizing your jars, bowls, and other kitchen items neatly on the countertop. Always keep in mind the items you use most frequently and make sure they are easily accessible. You might also consider purchasing shelves or containers to help keep things organized.

Laura Forsyth, an expert in kitchen organization, shares her advice: “Utilize the space above your cabinets by installing shelves or hanging hooks. This will free up valuable countertop space and allow you to store items that you don’t use daily.”

If you have limited countertop space, you could also make use of other areas in your kitchen. For example, you could hang hooks on the backs of cabinet doors to store towels or pot holders. You could also use the sides of cabinets to hang shelves for spices or cooking utensils.

Another idea is to utilize the space under your sink. You could install a small shelving unit or use baskets to store cleaning supplies and linens.

When it comes to compromising countertop space, privacy is crucial. Make sure your storage solutions are discreet and keep items neatly organized.

Remember, there are always ways to stop storage overspill and make your small kitchen feel more spacious. By thinking creatively and considering space-saving organization options, you can create a functional and efficient kitchen without a pantry.

7 Find space for spices

7 Find space for spices

If you’re keen on organization, you might find yourself with a selection of spices that need storing. While some homes have spacious countertops or a pantry-style storage area, others might have to look for alternative ways to keep their spices neat and easily accessible. Laura, the guide author, suggests utilizing a spice organizer, which is a great solution for kitchens without a pantry. Whether you have a deep drawer or a small area in your refrigerator, there are storage options available to help you stop the clutter.

A spice organizer can come in the form of a rack with shelves or a drawer insert, or it could be a pantry door organizer. With these organizers, you can neatly store your spice bottles and jars, making it easy to find what you need while keeping everything in one place. Some spice organizers also offer space-saving options, with compartments for spice tins and even a built-in rack for storing lids.

If you’re not a fan of the spice rack or drawer insert, Laura suggests another option: using magnetic containers. Simply attach the containers to the side of your refrigerator or any other metal surface, and you’ll have your spices within arm’s reach.

Another suggestion is to utilize the space on the back of your cabinet doors. By installing spice racks or organizer shelves on the inside of the cabinet doors, you can create extra storage space while keeping your spices easily accessible.

So, whether you choose a spice organizer, magnetic containers, or cabinet door storage, finding space for spices in a kitchen without a pantry is crucial for keeping your kitchen organized.

8 Remove bulky packaging – and decant into clear containers

One of the easiest ways to create a more organized and spacious kitchen is to remove bulky packaging from your pantry items and instead store them in clear containers. Not only will this make your pantry look more tidy and stylish, but it will also help you see what items you have available and when they need to be restocked.

Clear containers are a great option because they allow you to easily identify the contents inside, so you can quickly grab what you need while cooking. You can use clear plastic or glass containers, whichever style suits your preference and kitchen decor.

When decanting your pantry items into clear containers, be sure to label them so you know what’s inside. You can use sticky labels or even a label maker for a more professional look. This will make it easier to find and access the items you need, saving you time and effort.

Another benefit of using clear containers is that they can help prevent food waste. When you can see what’s inside, you’re less likely to forget about items or let them go bad. This can not only save you money, but also reduce food waste and help the environment.

In addition to storing dry pantry items like rice, pasta, and cereal, clear containers are also great for storing liquids, such as oils, vinegar, and sauces. This can help prevent spills and keep your shelves or drawers clean and organized.

If you’re short on space, consider using stackable containers or those with nesting lids, which can help maximize your storage capacity. You can also use containers with different sizes and shapes to better fit your shelves or drawers.

By removing bulky packaging and using clear containers, you can create a more organized and functional pantry-style storage in your small kitchen. This will not only make it easier to find and access your pantry items, but also make your kitchen look more neat and clean.

9 Bring in portable storage space

If you find yourself in need of extra storage space in your small kitchen, bringing in portable storage options can be a great solution. These items can be easily moved around and provide additional storage where you need it most.

One option is to use a rolling cart or kitchen trolley. These are usually equipped with shelves or drawers, providing a convenient place to store kitchen essentials such as pots, pans, and small appliances. They can be positioned near your work area, allowing easy access to your supplies while you cook.

Another idea is to use a small storage cabinet or armoire. These types of furniture pieces can be placed in a corner or against a wall in your kitchen, offering extra storage space for items like dishes, glassware, and linens. Look for options that have shelves or drawers to help you organize your belongings.

If you have limited floor space, consider utilizing the space above your countertops. Install floating shelves or a wall-mounted storage system to keep your kitchen essentials within reach. This is a great way to store items such as spices, utensils, and cookbooks. You can also use hooks or rods to hang pots, pans, and kitchen towels.

For smaller items like spices and condiments, using a spice rack or wall-mounted organizer can help keep your countertop clutter-free. There are many space-saving options available, such as magnetic spice jars or tiered organizers, which allow you to maximize your storage space.

If you have a garage or a basement, you could also consider storing non-perishable goods and kitchen items in these spaces. Invest in some sturdy shelving units to keep your supplies organized and easily accessible. This can free up valuable space in your kitchen cabinets for items that you use more frequently.

When thinking about portable storage options, it’s always a good idea to consider the dimensions of your kitchen and the available space you have. Measure the area where you plan to place the storage unit to ensure it will fit properly. Additionally, consider the style and design of your kitchen interiors to choose a storage solution that complements your space.

By bringing in portable storage space, you can create a more organized and spacious kitchen without the need for a pantry. These space-saving options offer flexibility and can help you keep your kitchen essentials within reach while maintaining a clutter-free environment.

10 Avoid buying in bulk

 10 Avoid buying in bulk

One way to stop storage overspill in a small kitchen without a pantry is to avoid buying in bulk. While purchasing items in bulk might seem like a good idea, it can quickly lead to a cluttered and disorganized space.

Instead of buying large quantities of items, think about what you will actually use and how long it will take you to use them. For example, purchasing a pack of 20 towels might seem like a good deal, but if you only have space to store a few towels, it could result in a crowded and messy kitchen.

When it comes to food, consider purchasing smaller quantities of items that you use frequently. Instead of buying a 10-pound bag of rice, opt for a smaller 2-pound bag that can easily fit in your kitchen cabinets or drawers. This will help ensure that your pantry-style items stay fresh and don’t take up too much valuable space.

Another solution to avoid buying in bulk is to utilize other spaces in your home for storage. If you have a garage or a basement, you can dedicate some shelves or storage bins for pantry items. This way, you can keep a stock of goods without overcrowding your kitchen.

Furthermore, always be mindful of the expiration dates on your items. If you tend to buy in bulk and don’t use all the items before they expire, it’s a waste of money and space. To avoid this, try to keep a list of what you have and use older items first before purchasing new ones.

Additionally, consider investing in storage containers or jars that can help keep your pantry items organized. Labeling these containers can help you easily identify what each one contains and keep your kitchen looking tidy.

One option to consider is an over-the-door organizer. These organizers often have multiple compartments and can be hung on the inside of a pantry or cabinet door, making use of otherwise unused space.

You can also utilize shelving to keep your pantry items accessible and organized. Installing shelves above your countertop or in under-utilized corners can provide extra storage space for items such as jars, bottles, and cans.

Lastly, always remember to regularly clean and declutter your pantry items. Remove any expired or unused items to free up more space. This will help make the most of your available storage and keep your small kitchen organized.

By following the advice above and avoiding buying in bulk, you can stop storage overspill in your small kitchen without a pantry and create a more organized and functional space.


Q: What are some ways I can organize my kitchen without a pantry?

A: There are several ways to maximize storage in a kitchen without a pantry. You can utilize cabinets, shelves, and other available spaces.

Q: How can I make my cabinets more organized and spacious?

A: One idea is to use containers, jars, or canisters to store items neatly. This helps to keep your cabinets tidy and allows for easy access to your kitchen staples.

Q: What are some space-saving ideas for organizing smaller kitchen items?

A: You can use hooks, drawer dividers, and shelving to maximize the space in your kitchen. This will help you to keep your items organized and easily accessible.

Q: How can I keep my countertops clean and clutter-free?

A: By utilizing hooks, shelves, and other organizational tools, you can keep your countertops tidy and free from clutter. This will also provide more privacy and space for cooking and meal preparation.

Q: What are some tips for organizing dried goods and spices?

A: You can use jars, canisters, and bottles with labels to neatly organize and store dried goods and spices. This will make it easier to find what you need and keep your kitchen pantry-style.

Q: What is the most crucial aspect of kitchen organization?

A: The most crucial aspect of kitchen organization is to have a designated place for everything. By assigning specific spaces for different items, you can ensure that everything has its place and is easy to find.

Q: What are some tips for organizing kitchen items in a stylish way?

A: You can use stylish containers, jars, and canisters to make your kitchen look lovely and organized. Additionally, you can choose organizers and storage solutions that match the overall style of your kitchen.

Q: Is it important to keep my kitchen drawers organized?

A: Yes, keeping your kitchen drawers organized is essential for finding items quickly and efficiently. You can use dividers and organizers to separate utensils, bowls, and other kitchen tools.

Q: What should I consider before purchasing kitchen organizers?

A: Before purchasing kitchen organizers, think about your specific needs and the items you want to organize. Consider the size of your kitchen and the available space for storage.

Q: What are some benefits of organizing a small kitchen without a pantry?

A: Organizing a small kitchen without a pantry offers several benefits. It helps to keep your kitchen clean and clutter-free, makes it easier to find items quickly, and maximizes the available space.

What can I use instead of a pantry

When it comes to organizing a small kitchen without a pantry, finding alternative solutions can be a game-changer. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by storage overspill, there are several creative options that can serve as a pantry substitute. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Organizers and shelving: Utilize wall-mounted shelves, floating shelves, or organizers that can be placed on countertops or inside cabinets. These space-saving solutions can help keep your kitchen items organized and within reach.
  • Kitchen cabinets: If you have kitchen cabinets with enough space, you might not need a separate pantry. By organizing your cabinets strategically, you can create designated areas for storing dried goods, canned items, and other pantry essentials.
  • Containers and canisters: Purchase clear containers or canisters to store dry goods like flour, sugar, rice, and pasta. Not only will these containers keep your items fresh, but they also make it easy to see what’s inside.
  • Drawers: Make use of deep drawers by organizing them with dividers or baskets. This is a great option for storing items like kitchen linens, utensils, and other pantry-style items.
  • Countertops: Utilize your countertops to store frequently used items like oils, spices, and cooking utensils. By having these items easily accessible, it will make your cooking process more efficient.
  • Garage or basement: If you have extra space in your garage or basement, consider creating a small storage area for pantry items. Just make sure to properly organize and label everything to avoid a cluttered mess.
  • Table or cabinet with doors: Invest in a table or cabinet with doors that can be used to store pantry items. This will help keep your kitchen looking tidy while providing additional storage space.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for organizing a small kitchen without a pantry. You know your kitchen best, so think about what would work for your space and lifestyle. Get creative and find inspiration from other home interiors or organization blogs for more ideas. With some planning and organizing, you can transform your kitchen into a functional and beautiful space, even without a traditional pantry.


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