top of page
  • Writer's pictureTara M Stewart

How to Make the Floor Space in Your Pantry More Functional

Gain storage space in your pantry without adding shelves, using items you can repurpose when you no longer need them in the kitchen.


When Betsy, the face behind the fantastic blog, Lex Fun 4 Kids, reached out to have her pantry done - I had a little bit of "oh my gosh I KNOW YOU!" excitement! I've been following her since my first one was a toddler - if you live in the Central Kentucky area she is a must follow!

Okay, back to her pantry! The BIG problem we wanted to solve while organizing this pantry - how to best utilize the large area below the first shelf.

Messy and Cluttered Reach In Pantry before
  • The pantry had only four shelves and the distance from the floor to the first shelf is 33". So the bottom area had become a catch all.

  • As most people do, she was doing her best to repurpose items she already had, such as a shoe self for pots and pans at the bottom. Which, while innovative, was starting to bow from the weight.

  • Finally, we wanted to organize the food on the current shelves using containers and turntables to keep items from wobbling and falling through the wire shelves.

Here are two easy ways YOU can take what we did for Betsy and her family and implement similarly in your home home. You will be better able to utilize the large space between the first shelf and floor making your pantry more functional and giving you more space for bulk items.

Grab a Rolling Cart

Rolling Cart for Pantry Organization

I am currently in love with this cart from Amazon by 1EasyLife. It comes in a 3, 4, or 5-tier version in various colors. I used TWO of the 3 Tier Metal Cart in black*.

We used one for spices, shown here, and the other one for onions, potatoes and quick snacks. You can see the final after picture further down.

Yes, you can stand the spices up for sure. However sometimes if it's a general category that you know you would want to pick through anyways, in this case Tastefully Simple, just lay them down. They fit easier anyway and don't tip over.

Want to see the cart in action!? I've got you! To see how the cart goes together head HERE to see how we created the spice cart click HERE!

Side note: The white containers you see in the picture ARE NOT included with the cart. I added these containers so they can grab and go for just a category OR roll the whole cart out for a spicy dinner!

Show below are the 4L Stacking Bins from Target, I used four on the bottom two racks. I also used the two of the 5L Stacking Bins as shown in the picture above.

NOTE: they DO come with a lid. My personal opinion - I don't like the lids because it adds one more step and you can't see inside the bins.

Containers Used for Organizing Rolling Cart

Grab a Large Bin for BIG Bags

Large Felt Baskets for Chips

Like most families with children, they like to buy in bulk to save money. In this case her husband LOVES to make his own trail mix, but this leads to LARGE bags of various nuts.

Also, with two teen-age boys at home, they love their chips. So I was looking for a more creative way to store these larger bags.

One of my favorite tips for this is to just go all in on a HUGE basket or fabric bin that can slid under the pantry shelves. It's JUST easier and way more functional!

The Felt Baskets and clip labels I used are from Target.

Pro Tip: Do not organize your pantry when you are low on food! Do it right after you've gone to the store so you are at the MAX level of pantry goods you would have!

To deal with the wire shelves we used Multipurpose Bins from The Container Store in Extra Large, * Large, * and Medium* and the 15" Turn Tables from Target. You do NOT have to use fancy dry goods containers to store flours and beans. Any container that seals well is perfectly fine! Do NOT let people tell you being organized means spending a TON of money! If you have plastic containers that seal well, it doesn't even matter if they match!

Pantry Organization

Pro Tip: Just clip the chip clips on the bin! Easy to find and easy to clip on when chip bag is empty!

Felt Baskets and Rolling Carts for Reach In Pantry Organization

After years of working in pantries, I've learned the builders in Lexington seem to stick to a couple of common layouts. The double door reach in pantry is one of their favorite ones to use. My favorite part of this "after" is the fact I was winging it on measurements when I placed my order and the TWO carts and TWO felt bins fit PERFECTLY! Check out the before/after time-lapse of this fantastic pantry HERE

Before and After Reach In Pantry Organization

Want help tackling your pantry? Head here to work with us! In the mood for binge watching video tips and tricks? You can find those on our Instagram page HERE!

Finally - if you don't follow Lex Fun 4 Kids on Facebook you need to! ASAP! She has been one of my favorite websites since my kids were little - she has all the deets on Lexington: 50 FREE things to do with kids, where kids can eat FREE, 75 things to do in central Kentucky and sooo much more Check out her website HERE


Lexington Kentucky Professional Organizer6.jpeg

Want more DIY organizing tips?

Subscribe to my email list for more free resources.

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page