How to Make a Kitchen Pantry Cabinet

A well organized and well stocked pantry can help you save money and time in the kitchen. While some houses have efficient and well designed pantries built in as part of the cabinetry, others do not and you may need to make a kitchen pantry cabinet. You can designate some of your existing cabinetry as a pantry cabinet or purchase a freestanding kitchen pantry cabinet to hold dry goods, canned items and other pantry needs. Organizing your pantry well from the beginning will allow your kitchen to run smoothly, avoid food spoilage and make cooking more pleasant.

  1. Choose a suitable kitchen cabinet or closet located near your kitchen. You may also have wall space in a utility room or breakfast nook that can be shelved and adapted to serve as a kitchen pantry cabinet. The size of your pantry will depend on how much food you store, the type of cooking you do and how many people live and eat in your home. For a single person or couple, a standard kitchen cabinet or two may work as a very adequate pantry. A large family may require a closet.

  2. Install shelving as needed. Even a standard kitchen cabinet can benefit an additional shelf. Many kitchen cabinets come with a single shelf, but could easily accommodate two shelves to allow for additional tidy and efficient shelving. You can use plastic coated wire shelving from your local home center or board lumber cut to fit.

  3. Cover solid shelf surfaces with easy to clean or grip type shelf liner. This will help to keep your kitchen pantry tidy and neat. You may want to use a gripping liner for shelves that will contain smaller items and a standard liner for messy baking supplies.

  4. Organize your food and kitchen pantry supplies. Use tightly sealing canisters or containers to hold flour, sugar, baking mixes and other dry goods. This will keep the food in your kitchen pantry cabinet fresh and prevent insect and rodent problems. If you have the space, an over the door shelf unit can easily hold canned goods. Turntables and small stacking shelves are helpful to make the most of a small kitchen pantry. Assign shelves in a way that works logically for the kind of cooking you do. You may prefer to organize by items or even by type of cooking for your own convenience. Add labels if desired to keep your pantry tidy. Arrange items with the older items near the front to use kitchen supplies efficiently.

  5. Create a supply list and post in your kitchen pantry cabinet. This list should include basic supplies. Install a mounted notepad and pen or dry erase board and marker to keep a list of items that need replacing.


  • Clean up spills quickly to keep your pantry neat. If you do not have traditional pantry space, consider making space for a pantry in a basement or garage, but do be extra careful about food storage and pests.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.