In my adult life I have never had a kitchen with a pantry. Although, some of my kitchens have probably been the size of of a small pantry! In my current kitchen, I have one cabinet that is dedicated to food storage (not including the lazy susan cabinet, but that needs a post of its own!).
I have fought this cabinet for years. How can I fit everything in there? What are the best containers? Is there anywhere else in this kitchen I can store food!!! And then one day it hit me, you can’t make something into something it’s not, including your kitchen cabinet.
With this new mindset, I revisited the food storage issue. My first step was to remove everything from the cabinet and sort items into categories. I decided that only items used frequently and are opened should stay. All other items will be moved to shelves in the basement storage area. That also included unopened packages of frequent use items. I then returned my open frequent use items to the kitchen cabinet according to their category.
This means when I need pasta, canned beans,or tuna I have to make the trek downstairs. But it also means that I can see and find the the opened snacks, nuts, pasta and peanut butter right away. The take away lesson for me was accepting the storage space I have and making that work versus trying to make a cabinet into the comprehensive pantry I wanted it to be. We all have space constraints, but with a little creative thinking and strategy you can come up with solutions that work for you.