The pantry is where all your food reserves go to rest, but because everyone is often going in and out and moving stuff around, it’s hard to keep it organized.

But while the pantry can get messy, it’s not inherently so. In fact, it’s a place that’s primed for organization, since everything already has unique categories that are easy to remember.

And that’s what I want to discuss with you today. Let’s learn how to organize the pantry by decluttering, using proper containers, cleaning shelves, and more!

Declutter first

It might seem obvious, but before we get our hands on organizing, let’s make sure the pantry is clear of unnecessary items.

That includes anything that’s expired (or about to), half-used packages, old containers, etc. Anything that’s just taking up space and could easily be removed, just take it away.

This is a pretty simple process but it will make it a lot easier for us to actually start our pantry organization on the following steps!

Get matching containers

Pantry containers will be your best friends for organizing the pantry, and your first step is to get a lot of matching containers of all sizes.

Here are a few tips regarding containers for your pantry:

  • Transparent containers are particularly useful because they allow you to quickly see what’s inside, and also how much of it. A quick glance and you know if you have to buy more pasta, rice, sugar, etc.
  • Spice racks are great to leave either in the pantry door (which I’ll mention again later) or by your cooking station. You can always use the pantry to store reserves, of course, but spices jars should be more readily available.
  • Mason jars are excellent containers for the pantry and are super easy to find. You can also find them in many sizes, making them versatile for our purposes.
  • Use labels on your containers because… actually, let’s make this its own topic, shall we?

Use labels

Labels are extremely useful for a few reasons: mainly, you can label what’s inside the container, which sometimes isn’t apparently obvious – it’s way too easy to mix up salt and sugar, right?

But also, you can label the expiration date, which helps you ensure your pantry always has fresh supplies and nothing goes to waste.

There are many ways to create your own labels:

You can use free printables and just write on them, but there are also adhesive ones that look nicer. If you don’t want to overcomplicate, any label you find in an office store and a pen will do just fine!

Use open shelves

Open shelves are the perfect choice for pantry organization and they are the standard in most places, as opposed to closed cabinets.

It just makes it easier to locate and pick up everything with open shelves, because the pantry has to be practical. You walk in – usually because you need something right away – and you should be able to find it with just a glance.

Having to open doors looking for what you need, but then it’s not in its proper place because someone moved it and now you have to open everything to find it… it’s not practical.

Open shelves solve that issue and besides, it looks much better for a pantry.

Learn more about how to use open shelves in your kitchen!

Light it well

You don’t want your pantry to look like an abandoned basement, especially after spending so long organizing it to perfection.

Make sure you install either a better light or just more lights if you feel like it’s a bit dark. Most pantries don’t have access to a window, so natural light is hard to come by in this case.

Many homeowners also like to leave a flashlight somewhere in the pantry, just in case a light goes out you still have a way to find what you need!

Use baskets for top shelves

Baskets are great for storing a bundle of similar items, which is even better for the top shelves. Top shelves should already be reserved for items you won’t be using often anyway, but whenever you do, it should be easy enough to grab them. 

Baskets make that much better because you can easily grab the whole basket without fear of bumping into anything and dropping it on the floor.

And of course, baskets can also be labeled just so everyone knows what’s in them!

Use a pantry door organizer

Pantry door organizers are perfect for keeping your most used items – some people like to put the spice rack here.

The idea is that these should be frequently used items, so if you have a walk-in pantry, you can instead just open the door and pick them up. And if you have a small built-in pantry, it’s just a lot of free extra space for storing many items.

There’s no downside to a pantry door organizer, but what you decide to store in there is up to you!

You can always remodel your kitchen and pantry into something more practical. Get free quotes from kitchen remodeling pros in your area and make the changes you need!


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