Tips for Organizing a Pantry

The kitchen pantry is one’s secret weapon for keeping the counters at least rather more clutter-free, and regardless of size, it’s fair to assume you could probably use a little more space.

But what if what you needed in the pantry wasn’t more space but rather better storage and organization? We’re here to tell you that it’s most likely the latter—which is great news because it will make your pantry (and your life) much more orderly and efficient. Not to mention, your snacks will look even more enticing with these kitchen accessories for organization, and you’ll probably never buy spices in bulk again.

Browse these tips on organizing a pantry that will surely save the day ahead.

Organize Your Containers

Starting with your storage supplies will help you achieve a clean, streamlined look in your pantry. Matching canisters in different sizes look good and keep everything organized.

Utilize Straw Bins

Straw baskets and bins are popular in offices, playrooms, and closets all over the world, but they also have a place in your pantry. Stack canned foods per category (vegetables, tomato sauces, etc.) without lifting the lid. Alternatively, use them as a catch-all for items such as tablecloths and napkins.

Go Through Your Spices

You probably have about six jars of cinnamon in your spice cabinet. Make some much-needed space by doing a sweep of your seasonings and discarding duplicates and any expired or old jars.

Convert Shelves into Drawers

Pull-out drawers enable you to stock your pantry without fear of losing your pasta sauce in the far corner you can’t reach. For more cohesive storage, organize the drawers by item type.

Buy a Lot of Clear Jars

a woman in white shirt holding a clear glass jar, a shelf full of clear glass jars and other kitchen necessities

Grains, flours, and nuts come in various containers and bags, which can create unnecessary clutter and be difficult to store. Instead, put them in pretty glass jars to avoid the eyesore.

Organize Your Cans

This brilliant idea for can storage has us completely smitten. With inexpensive wire baskets, you can store them horizontally to save space, plus everything is visible, and it’s easy to see when you’re running dangerously low on your favorite soup.

Stack Plastic Containers

Flat containers stack seamlessly to make the most of every available space in a pantry. You can use them to store grains, rice, breadcrumbs, and nuts. The custom containers in this super-organized space slide out of the racks for easy access.

Install a Pegboard

Install a pegboard on a free wall rather than stacking heavy pans and pots on top of each other (and taking up valuable shelf space). Suddenly, your heavy-duty items are visible and accessible. You can also add shelves and hooks for pantry and kitchen essentials.

Organize Your Baking Supplies

Many pantry items do not fit neatly into a category; this is where bins step in. All of those random baking mixes and other unusual ingredients can be gathered in one place and easily retrieved when it’s time to use them.

Recycle Crates

All you require is a wood crate to spruce up some exposed shelves and conceal some unsightly essentials. Because items stored here are more difficult to access, keep things you don’t often use in it, such as reusable totes.

Using Washi Tape to Label

clear glass jars on a brown wooden table with labels

If label makers are not your thing, keep things simple by purchasing a few rolls of vibrantly colored washi tape. It comes in various adorable designs and is ideal for quickly labeling jars and many other containers.

Utilize the Doors

The inside of your pantry door provides an opportunity for additional storage space. Install a simplistic spice rack to keep all of your seasonings visible, or create a nook to store rolls of cling wrap and tin foil.

Install Drawer Separators

Purchase drawer organizers to keep your cans, bottles, and other pantry items from falling over in their respective drawers. Flexible dividers stop liquor bottles from collapsing, but you can use separators for anything in your pantry drawers.

Assign a Spot for a Market Cart

Make a spot for your market cart or basket and keep extra bags inside so you’re always prepared to go to the farmer’s market—extra points for keeping sun protection equipment nearby.

Bring Whimsy With Wallpaper

Sure, your pantry isn’t likely to be seen by guests regularly, but there’s no reason not to spruce it up a little. Incorporate patterned wallpaper behind your shelving for a splash of color — it might even inspire you to cook more at home!

Make Use of a Library Ladder

If you have a good vertical space, extend cabinetry to the ceiling. A steep library ladder will incorporate some style while also allowing you to reach those items stashed at the ceiling.

Install Custom Cabinetry

Consider designing a custom pantry unit with space for your cooking stock and even large appliances if you have the funds. Large drawers are ideal for storing larger items such as mixers and blenders.

Have Some Chalkboard Paint Fun!

a person in a black long sleeve shirt writing on the chalkboard

What better place to create a running shopping list than right next to the fridge? Chalkboard paint is a playful and functional way to personalize your pantry.

Pull Out Cabinets

How do you get to the items that inevitably end up at the back of the pantry? Follow in the footsteps of IKEA hackers and install drawers, or optimize the cabinets by discarding the sides and converting them to drawers.

Experiment with Open Shelving

If you’re short on space, you might not be able to hide all of the pantry staples. Invest in attractive containers for a few regularly used ingredients, and then display them on open shelving.

Double Cabinet Space

Having large, deep cabinets in a storage space is always a plus, but small items can get lost. Multi-section door storage inserts solve that problem. If you can’t afford these right now, make do with the back of the pantry door (even suspending a shoe rack on it can provide you with more storage).

Dream pantries like the ones you see on home decor blogs and in magazines aren’t as out of reach as they appear. You can get the clean, sleek storage you’ve always wanted without spending a fortune by reducing your pantry staples and utilizing a few smart organization tips.