An existing built in pantry is placed in a predetermined location typically near the kitchen. They are usually designed during the planning stages of the home and rarely fit the needs of the family that later move in. Older homes have very small pantries and some have none at all. While these storage spaces can be hard to move or alter after the home is built there are a couple ways to make your pantry work harder for you.
Easily accessible shelves, floor to ceiling lazy Susan's and pull out wire baskets not only allow you to see what you have on hand but it makes retrieving these items that much easier. Place similar items in specific areas so you know exactly where to look for a particular item and avoid over crowding shelves or baskets. If you have a smaller pantry only fill it with necessities so as to not clutter the space whereas larger pantries can also be used as storage for dishes, table cloths and recipe books.
Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to find a specific can of soup or box of cereal in the back of the shelf of a dimly lit room. Good lighting is essential in any task oriented space so make sure to include this room in any lighting renovations. Even if you are not planning a renovation anytime soon, consider adding additional lighting in this space to make the daily task of preparing a meal a little bit easier.
Under shelf or full wall length light fixtures will provide enough light that will illuminate items at the back of the shelves. You could even set it up so these lights automatically turn on or off when the doors are opened and closed.
Stool or ladder
Top shelves in a floor to ceiling pantry are rarely used simply because they cannot be reached. Unused storage space in a fully packed room is essentially wasted space so take advantage of every inch of room possible. By installing a fixed ladder or including a stool to be used strictly in the pantry you know you will always be able to reach the top shelves.