pantry with ventilated wire shelving

Genius Ventilated Wire Shelf Pantry Organizing Ideas

Wire shelf pantries aka ventilated shelf pantries can be super frustrating spaces to organize because the space between the slats make it difficult to keep items where they’re supposed to be in the pantry. Since there’s open space on the shelves, items can slip through, giving everything a disorganized and jumbled appearance. Not to mention the dust and dirt accumulating on tiny slats is a pain to clean. And then there’s all of the bits that fall through down to the pantry floor. This post is going to cover some solutions for dealing with these challenges to beautifully organizing a pantry with ventilated wire shelving. Let’s hop right to it!

Fill in the Gaps

I’m not talking about actually filling the openings in the shelf, but rather floating a liner over top of the entire length!

ClosetMaid 1126 Shelf Liner Roll, 12-Inch by 10-Feet, 1 count, White

Transforming the wire shelves into more of a solid surface is a genius way to cure some of the issues that wire shelving has. You can easily do this by adding a shelf liner. It’ll prevent items from slipping through and bins and containers will sit pretty level on the shelf. Plus, the liner keeps crumbs from falling through to the bottom of the pantry and allows you to keep the space cleaner, overall.

Group Like With Like

You’ve heard this before and we’re kicking off this post with this advice since it’s the main way of keeping order in a space. When similar items are grouped together, it’s just easier to find what you’re looking for.

When items are added to a pantry with no order, it can become quite a nightmare to sort out! Maybe that’s an over exaggeration, but very few people have “organizing my pantry” at the top of their list of things that make them happy.

ClearSpace Plastic Storage Bins – Perfect Kitchen Organization or Pantry Storage – Fridge Organizer, Pantry Organization and Storage Bins, Cabinet Organizers

One way to ensure like items stay together in a pantry is to add them to a storage container, like this container set.

Now the key to maximizing the pantry space is to use a bin that takes advantage of the full depth of the shelf. Choosing a more shallow depth bins means you’re not making the most of the space you have, so measure the shelf and choose a bin accordingly. Don’t waste the space! Measure your shelf and then look at bin dimensions before you buy. They’re noted on the label or tag, so look for detail before purchasing.

Copco Basics Non-Skid Pantry Cabinet Lazy Susan Turntable, 12-Inch, White/Gray

Add a spinning element to the space for even more functionality. This Lazy Susan is ideal to add to corners to take full advantage of the that space that’s often a little awkward to access. Just spin and reach for what you need.

YouCopia Crazy Susan Lazy Susan Organizer, 3 BPA-Free Removable Clear Bins with Handles, Rotating Storage Turntable for Kitchen Cabinet, Pantry and Bathroom Organization

Ensure smaller items don’t get lost by organizing them in this divided Lazy Susan turntable that has taller walls so items don’t fall off when it spins.

Vary the Height

YouCopia ShelfBin, BPA-Free Divided Storage Basket for Kitchen Pantry Organization, Adjustable Snack Bin, Speckled White

Gift items a bit of a boost on the shelf by using a tiered shelf organizer. This organizer features customizable comportments since you can move the dividers to fit what’s being stored. So smart!

YouCopia ShelfSteps Can Organizer, 3 Shelf, White

Another alternative is to add defined steps with this 3 step organizer.

Decant with Discretion

Taking items out of the storage packaging is a great way to save on space and see how much of a food item remains.

mDesign Glass Extra Large Storage Canister with Airtight Bamboo Lid for Kitchen Pantry, Counter, or Cabinet, Holds Food, Snacks, Cooking Supplies, Home Sort Collection, 2 Pack, Clear/Natural

It’s not necessary to take everything out of the packaging and into storage containers, but it’s a cleaner look. The one issue with decanting items is that the directions can get lost, risking over or undercooked food since you might have to guess on the suggested cooking time. Solve this issue if you go the decanting route by clipping the cooking times from the package and popping it into the container once filled. Or use a dry erase marker to indicate the cooking times right on the container.

You’ll also want to be sure to label the containers so you know what’s inside. My mom forgot this step once and made muffins with what she thought was sugar, but turned out to be pickling salt. Yuck!

YouCopia TeaStand Tea Bag Organizer with Clear Removable Bins, Cabinet or Pantry Storage Caddy, 120-Bag

One item that makes a ton of sense to remove from the box are individually wrapped tea bags. This tea bag organizer from YouCopia is fantastic and holds 120 bags of tea in a really compact space. Although I’ve found that I can fit in more by putting every other packet into the organizer’s cups upside down.

Move It

Adjust the shelving to match what’s being stored on the shelf. Raise or lower the shelves so there’s not a ton of wasted space between the shelves. By doing so, you may find that you’re able to add another shelf, giving you even more options for storage.

If you can’t move it, then take advantage of the vertical space by adding stacking containers to the space.

mDesign Bamboo Stackable Food Storage Organization Bin Basket - Wide Open Front for Kitchen Cabinets, Pantry, Offices, Closets, Holds Snacks, Dry Goods, Packets, Spices, Teas - 2 Pack - Natural Wood

This stackable bamboo bin is very sturdy and makes use of vertical space wisely and is perfect for smaller items that may otherwise get lost in the pantry.

MobileVision Bamboo Stackable Open Front Storage Bin for Kitchen Pantry Cabinets Holds Potatoes, Onions, Packaged Goods, Boxed Meals & more, 12" x 9" X 6"

For even larger items, consider this open front stacking bin style. This would be great in a deep corner or on the floor of the space too.

Opt Out of Lids

When possible, choose containers that don’t have lids since that’ll just slow you down and make it necessary to use both hands to get inside the bin to get what you need.

[ 12 Pack ] Multi-Use Clear Bins for Organizing - Fridge, Refrigerator Organizer Bins - Pantry Organization and Storage - Plastic Containers for Home, Kitchen, Freezer, SOHO Collection, Canbinet, RV

These open top clear bins with handles make it plain to see what you have on hand and also are designed to maximize available space since the sides are pretty straight.

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Using an open top container with tall sides, like these multi-purpose bins, is a great choice for keeping bulk items orderly.

Over to you!

Hope you now have a whole bunch of ideas on how to fabulously organize your pantry and work with the ventilated wire shelves. Don’t be defeated by the challenges ventilated wire shelving present in the pantry! Use these ideas to turn your pantry space into a wonderfully organized space that works for you.

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