Pantry shelves are often underutilized, but they offer lots of potential in terms of organization and storage. So even though you’ll want to plan before you start building, we know you’ll appreciate the extra storage space when you get the idea.

If you’re looking to expand your pantry but don’t know where to start, check out our list below for ideas. If you’ve got lots of them, you can also use your pantry shelves to store away items that wouldn’t usually fit in your kitchen.

Lining your pantry shelves with any of these items can help maximize the space and keep everything neatly organized. Check out all the options below!

Store spices

Store spices

Many people use their pantry shelves to store spices, but they can leave a very unpleasant taste in food if they spill. This holder helps keep the spices off the shelves, and it’s an easy DIY project with a salvaged crate. This metal rack is a good way to store your spices and other dry foods. It also looks like it would be a great way to decorate your kitchen!

Old collection

Many people tend to forget that they can use their pantry to store their ever-growing collection of Tupperware or old plastic containers. You could use space-saving tension rod holders for your lids, making you less likely to lose them. 

Different ingredients

shelves with only three pieces of wood for ingredients

If you have a small kitchen, storage space is at a premium. These simple shelves can be made with only three pieces of wood and are perfect for storing ingredients, such as flour and sugar. In addition, a clamp rack made from PVC pipe is an easy way to keep your spices upright, visible, and off the shelf so they don’t spill over onto everything else. 

Food and cooking utensils

ideas for pantry shelves

A shelf above a pantry door is hard to utilize, but this idea keeps a lot of these smaller kitchen items within easy reach. Food and cooking utensils are usually the first things to get tossed into the back of your pantry. This clever idea keeps everything visible and organized. These pantry shelves offer an easy way to organize all your cooking and baking supplies.

Tupperware storage

wall mounted Tupperware storage

Another great idea for storing your Tupperware is mounting it to the wall. You’ll save space and be able to see all of your containers at once. In addition, these shelves offer a good way to store small items, such as cookie cutters or measuring spoons.


A tension rod or shelf is a great way to store your cookbooks and binders; you’ve probably already got them, and they don’t take up much space. 

Jars and plastic containers

Jars and plastic containers

If you’ve got a lot of jars to store, then a shelf like this is the perfect organizational solution. You can easily customize jar labels by painting them with blackboard paint. If you’ve got a lot of plastic containers in your pantry, then this is a great solution so you can easily see all of them. 

Cleaning materials

Cleaning materials storage

Many people use their pantry as a catch-all for extra cleaning supplies and trash bags, but this cabinet organizer will ensure everything stays in its proper place. In addition, this shelving unit for cupboards keeps everything organized and easy to grab. 

Kitchen cart

Kitchen cart

This DIY kitchen cart is a great way to store all your baking supplies, but you can use the carts in any room to help keep things organized. I love this DIY kitchen cart. I’ve seen similar ones on the market, but they all cost hundreds of dollars. This is a much less expensive option! 


pantry Cabinet

If there are products in your refrigerator that won’t fit inside your freezer, you may keep them in this cabinet instead.

Spice organizer

Spice organizer

If you have a small amount of space available on your counters but you still want to keep your spice collection organized, the solution that has been shown here is a wonderful approach for displaying the spices. If you use many ingredients from cans, this old locker works great as a pantry shelf

Cook and bake pantry shelf.

Cook and bake pantry shelf.

This pantry shelf is a good idea if you like to cook and bake. It will keep your pantry organized and make your kitchen look great. Building a pantry shelf is a great way to give your kitchen a DIY design upgrade! 

Ladder or shelf combo

OK, so this ladder or shelf combo is genius-you can store all kinds of stuff on it and keep it neatly organized. Here’s another great way to store your Tupperware and not worry about spills. 

Spice organizer over sink

Spice organizer over sink

I love this idea on a smaller scale—you could keep all of your spices in an organizer that fits right over the sink! Jars, cans, and bottles are much easier to keep track of when they are stored on shelves like these. This shelf idea is perfect for smaller kitchens. This is a great DIY idea if you need some kitchen storage! This is an excellent method to use the vacant area above your sink if you do not have a bunch of additional counter space available to you.

Shelf unit

pantry shelf unit

If you don’t have a lot of counter space and want to organize all of the food items within your cupboards, this shelf unit is perfect. This is a cool idea for storing lots of Tupperware—you can even use it as a table!  It also works perfectly in plain closets. It offers some great kitchen organization ideas. There are tons of great ideas, and they’re probably all cheaper than hiring an interior designer!

Hanging shelves

Hanging shelves

If you’ve got a lot of Tupperware, this rack is an excellent way to keep them organized and within easy reach. These hanging shelves are great for keeping things easy to find and easy to use. This is a straightforward way to organize your spices—great for those hard-to-reach places! These shelves are an excellent way to keep your Tupperware organized. 

If you love the look of your wooden cabinets but want some more counter space, this shelf unit is perfect! I love this idea! The holes in the board are ideal for displaying all of your spices. 

If you don’t have a lot of counter space but want to keep all of your Tupperware organized, this rack is perfect. This concept fascinates me since it enables one to store a great deal of information while at the same time facilitating straightforward access to that information.

Should pantry shelves be lined?

Yes, to keep yourself from stocking up on food that may be past its expiration date or rot before you can eat it, you’ll want to line pantry shelves. This is not a new concept—and it doesn’t need to be expensive. Many online stores like Amazon offer plastic pantry liner kits for just a few dollars, and you can get generic plastic shelf liners from the grocery store or hardware store.

You can also use your full-sized pantry shelves for storage or even for plant pots—it’s up to you! When deciding where to store food, it’s best to space out your items, so they don’t get smushed together. But when you’re storing in larger containers like gallon jars or food storage bins, you need a way of storing them horizontally instead of vertically. A way of storing them horizontally is by making a shelf line.

If you don’t have any on hand, the grocery store has a wide selection of plastic storage containers, but they’re not necessarily cheap. When storing food in plastic containers, it’s always best to get clear ones to see how much food you have left. Many people feel like buying canning jars is an unnecessary expense, but when stored properly, you’ll be able to see through the glass and know exactly what’s inside without having to open the lid. This is because most canned goods come in dark or opaque boxes in which they are stored and sold.

It’s always nice to have everything arranged as neatly as possible when storing food. Having too many containers stacked up on top of each other can make it hard to find what you need, and it looks cluttered. However, keeping everything too far apart can also make things look cluttered. It’s ideal if a mixture is used, so there’s as much organization as possible, yet it still looks nice and neat.


This is a fantastic place to begin if you are seeking original methods to arrange your kitchen space. There is a multitude of do-it-yourself ideas that are available, and many of them are less expensive than designer storage solutions.


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