Top 10 Pantry Storage Tips

Back to Blog
Pantry Storage Tips
Posted by: Tanya Category: Kitchen Storage Ideas, Other Storage Ideas, Pantry Storage Ideas, Storage Ideas 0 Post Date: January 18, 2018

Top 10 Pantry Storage Tips

These pantry storage tips will help you create the perfect pantry so all things are accessible and functional! Whether your cabinet is new or existing, there are easy ways to improve your kitchen storage to make everything visible and highly functional. You won’t have to dig to the back of your pantry storage again!


Pantry shelves are the starting point because they are easy and inexpensive. They do however result in wasted space, poor visibility and limited functionality. If your cabinet is deep, more than 500mm, access to the back of the pantry will be a challenge.

Tip 1: Improve Pantry Shelf Storage
  • A cut-out or U-shaped shelf will greatly improve visibility and access.
  • If you group similar-height products together, you might fit in more shelves and gain more pantry storage.

Pantry U Shape Shelves


Pull out pantry storage is a superior solution for cabinets that are deeper than 400mm. Once cabinets start getting deeper, the access becomes more difficult. Most shelves are removable but if yours are fixed, there are slide out options for that too, but we’ll come to those solutions shortly.

Tip 2: Increase Pantry Storage – Add Pull Outs / Drawers
  • Removing shelves can add up to 30% more storage space. Widely spaced shelves leave open voids and difficult access to the back.
  • Group things with similar height. This will allow all the space to work efficiently.
  • Add surface area. The more pull out drawers/baskets you add, the more surface area you gain.

Kitchen Cabinets


There are many pull out pantry systems on the market and each has it’s pros and cons. If you have an existing space that you want to transform, some of the below solutions are also DIY friendly.

Option 1: Pantry Drawers Behind Hinged Door

Kitchen drawers (for pantry storage) have a wood/melamine base. There are many types of drawer systems on the market, the most popular and commonly used are Blum, Hettich and Grass, just to name a few.

If your budget is limited and you only install a few kitchen drawers in your pantry, you might fall short of the functionality you require.

Tip 3: Storing Heavy Items In Your Pantry
  •  Kitchen drawers are great for very wide cabinets (1000mm+) because the weight capacity is generally high. So if you plan to store lots of items or heavy things, it’s worth the investment.

Pantry drawers may also require ‘packing’ to clear the hinges, resulting in reduced storage. If your pantry is narrow, internal drawers may leave you with limited storage as the sidewalls are generally quite thick (to conceal the drawer mechanism).

Tip 4: DIY Or Professional Installation
  • If you have an existing cabinet and are considering soft close pantry kitchen drawers, it’s best to have it done professionally. A much higher level of accuracy is required for the drawer to operate as it should.

Multiple Pantry Drawers

Option 2: Pull Out Wire Baskets

There are many pull out wire baskets on the market that are great for pantry storage. Their quality and features can vary greatly so do your homework. Some are packed with options and features that make them an excellent alternative to wood-based drawers.

Tip 5: Choosing The Right Basket Shape To Maximise Storage
  • Some baskets are designed with angled sides, which may reduce the flat storage area by 25%! Square shaped baskets are better if you need want to maximise storage space.

If you want your baskets to last, choose quality materials. Wire baskets are available in a range of materials, such as stainless steel, coated mild steel and plastic. The pull out mechanism features and weight capacity can vary a lot, so check warranties (and fine print) if you are concerned about quality and looking for a long-term solution.

Some suppliers also offer non slip bases, soft close slides, dividers and a wide range of sizes (with depths up to 900mm), which will give you similar features to internal drawers.

Individual Baskets Pantry

Tip 6: Narrow Cabinets
  • Wire pull out systems can be better in narrow spaces. Internal drawers have wider side guards and commonly require packers, which can reduce overall storage space.

Option 3. Pull Out Pantry (Tall Frame, Door Attached)

A Pull Out Pantry with a single tall frame allows for all the pantry contents to slide out at the same time. Most of these systems are soft close and hold 70-120kgs. It’s important for you to decide if this weight capacity is adequate for your storage needs.

The largest pull out pantry (with a tall frame) is for a 600W cabinet. Proceed with caution if you’re tempted to go wide. Damaging or overloading the slide out mechanism is generally a costly replacement and not covered by warranty. It is also recommended to not store heavy items on the higher racks, as this can result it top sagging of the mechanism.

To avoid these problems, use these pull out pantries (with frame and door attached) for narrow cabinets.

Tip 7: Watch Your Weight!
  • A pantry any wider than 400mm can become problematic in the long run. The weight capacity is limited and it’s hard to know at what point you’ve tipped the scale into ‘overload’, until it’s too late and the mechanism is damaged.

If the tall frame pull out pantry mechanism is damaged, repair can be expensive or a whole new system may be required. In addition, check the materials of the adjustable baskets, which are generally chrome-plated mild steel and only occasionally stainless steel.

Tip 8:  Pull Out Pantry In Narrow Spaces
  • If it’s not practical to put a hinged door (because there is an adjacent wall), pull out pantries are a great solution because some additional space is required for door swing.
Thin Pull Out

Option 4: Other Types Of Pantry Mechanisms

There are many pull out pantry mechanisms that look great in pictures or the showroom. And their list of names and descriptions is endless! Always think of their practicality and remember that the more parts that move, the more parts that can go wrong in the long term.

Some of these systems are great for the overall access and visibility that  they provide.

If they are expensive, check the warranties to make sure your investment will last the test of time. Also consider the shape of the racks and how much space is required for the moving parts; this may reduce the overall storage area.

Pantry Ideas

Tip 9: How To Maximise Pantry Storage Space
  • If you have a very deep pantry (more than 600mm), consider other options such as drawers/wire baskets. They offer more depth options, which will give you far more pantry storage.

Do your homework and check the fine print, including weight capacity, to ensure you have good service if something should go wrong. Make sure the mechanisms are installed professionally, as most are not suitable for DIY installation. As noted earlier, check the materials of the adjustable baskets, which are generally chrome-plated mild steel and are therefore prone to rust if you live in coastal or humid areas.

Tip 10: Hinged Door Or Door Mount
  • Mounting a door to the front of the pull out mechanism, like the pull out pantry, can require adjustment in the long term. Keeping it simple and opting for a hinged door will give you maximum flexibility and fewer problems.



These pantry tips are ‘tip of the iceberg’ but cover the majority of options. If you have a particular ‘challenge’ and need more pantry storage tips or advice, you are welcome to contact us or drop an email to anytime.


Interested in more pantry storage tips? Here are our hand picked links: 

How to… Organise Your Pantry (Complete Home)

Maximise The Space In Your Pantry Cabinet (Blog)

Expert Eye: Pros and Cons of 5 different Pantry Systems (Houzz Australia) 


Back to Blog
I want storage for existing cabinetsI am renovating my homeI am a business / joiner / carpenter etc.