Give your pantry an organizational update to make meal planning easier and cooking more enjoyable. No matter the size or style of your pantry, you can create a kitchen pantry organization system that is aesthetically pleasing and functional. Implement tips and tricks, use all the best storage products, and execute the perfect plan with kitchen pantry organizing ideas.
Kitchen Pantry Organizing Requires Thoughtful Planning
Where and how you organize kitchen pantry items is just as important as the products you use to store them. Be thoughtful in your planning and consider every option available based on the size and layout of your pantry.
Organize by Frequency of Use
One of the most important factors to consider when planning the layout of your organized pantry is the frequency of use for each item. If you don't bake often, you might store those items in a bin on the top shelf. If you only reach for canned soups or jarred pasta sauce when you're in a pinch, store those toward the back of your pantry. If you reach for a protein bar almost every morning, have a bin with individually wrapped bars at an easy level to reach. Make your pantry work for you, your family members, and your lifestyle.
Organize by Color
If you're looking for an aesthetic approach to your pantry organization, try a color-coded system. Follow the rules of the color wheel as you place your items in. This isn't the most practical organizational application, but it's attractive. So, you could try this if the interior of your pantry is easily visible to guests, or save this approach for items like snacks just to add a little fun to the area.
Organize by Weight
If you're able to, try storing heavier items on the bottom half of your pantry and lighter items toward the top. This will help things feel balanced and light. Try storing pastas, cereals, spices, and snacks from the middle up. Save below middle shelves for heavier items like canned goods, beverages, and bulk items.
Store Snacks in Easy-to-Reach Areas
If you have kids in your family who are always asking for snacks, designate an easy-to-reach area specifically for parent-approved snacks they can reach on their own. Store snacks in bins or canisters that are easy for kids to access safely.
Create a Safe Section for Food Allergies
If you have family members with food allergies or dietary restrictions, try a "safe section" so they know the items in that area have already been checked for potential allergens or unwanted ingredients. Make sure these items are in an easy-to-reach area for kids.
Have a Section for Small Kitchen Appliances
Pantries are great places to store small kitchen appliances you use regularly. This makes them easy to access, but they're also out of sight and not cluttering your counter. Store appliances like coffee makers, blenders, waffle irons, and slow cookers on lower shelves of your pantry. For appliances you use less often like ice cream makers or juicers, tuck them toward the back or store them on a top shelf.
Keep Onions & Potatoes Separate
Make sure you have separate storing sections or bins for potatoes and onions, as onions can often cause potatoes to spoil faster. Make sure they are both stored in the darkest area of your pantry and keep them in separate containers, drawers, or bags.
Keep Baking Items Together
Sugar, flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder are all staples for anyone who bakes. Try storing these and other baking items together on the same shelf or in the same bins. This way, when it's time to bake, you can grab everything you need from one spot and get those cookies in the oven even faster. If you love baking and decorating your treats, try displaying items like sprinkles, cupcake liners, and candy melts in beautiful containers like jars and canisters.
Leave Open Space
The key to a pantry that looks uniform and tidy is having enough "blank space." This helps your pantry look uncluttered while also leaving extra space for your next grocery trip or any future rearranging you might do.
Use Helpful Organizational Products to Transform Your Pantry
The right tools used with creativity and expertise can give you the pantry of your organizational dreams. Choose items that match the style of your home and budget. When choosing products, make sure you consider how useful they will be just as much as you think about how they will look.
Label everything. Or almost everything. Any bins, containers, baskets, or jars that contain dry goods or other pantry items should be labeled. This gives other family members an informed experience when reaching for a snack, and it helps you keep track of everything you have. Plus, it makes your pantry magazine worthy.
Place Snacks in Glass Jars
For packaged snacks that aren't individually wrapped, like cookies, crackers, and pretzels, try layering them aesthetically in large glass jars. This is visually pleasing and helps you see when snacks are running low.
Store Canned Goods Wisely
For your canned goods, you have a few options. You can always store them on the lowest shelf since they are heavier and often bulkier. You might also try baskets, bins, and wire shelves that are specifically designed for optimal can storage so you can store them on their side.
Try Large Dispensers for Cereal
If your family loves cereal and you want a storage option that eliminates the cereal box clutter, try a food dispenser in your pantry. This allows you to fill up your bowl quickly, and it's super simple for kids. These dispensers also work well for foods like rice or small snacks like GoldFish.
Store Oils & Vinegars in Pretty Bottles
Keep your most-used oils and other cooking liquids in beautiful glass bottles or dispensers. This helps you see when oil is running low while elevating the style of your pantry.
Use Clear Bins for a Seamless Look
Select clear bins for storing snacks and small food items that are similar. These are great for grab-and-go items or packaged goods like bread and chips. Try plastic or acrylic and select sizes that are the same depth as your shelves to maximize space.
Add a Lazy Susan
A lazy Susan in wood, plastic, or acrylic is a great way to store condiments, snacks, vitamins, and baking items like sprinkles. Try an extra large lazy Susan for canned goods. Lazy Susans are great for maximizing space in pantry corners or smaller pantries with fewer shelves.
Organize Your Spices
Keep spices organized and visually appealing with matching glass jars, labels, and a tiered shelf. Pour store-bought herbs and spices into beautiful jars so the look is seamless and spices are easy to reach for when it's time to cook.
Use Baskets for Dry Goods
For dry goods like boxed pastas, baking items, and snacks, you can use beautiful baskets to store items neatly and keep your pantry tidy. Depending on your personal style, try wicker, woven, or wire baskets to house all of your pantry must haves.
Have an Overflow Bin
There will inevitably be times when all the snacks don't fit in the jar or you have a spare bag of sugar that doesn't look great on the shelf. Make sure you designate one bin or basket for overflow and overstock items. This is an easy way to tuck those extras out of sight while also keeping them within reach.
Designate Storage for Random Items
Designate a basket, bin, lazy Susan, or even a section of one shelf as the "other" storage. This is where you might store items that don't seem to fit in any one category, like muffin mix, jars of salsa, or bread crumbs. A designated "other" section will help family members put away items they're unsure about as well as help you not overthink things when organizing. This ensures that absolutely everything has a place, even the items that seem random.
Use Tall Containers for Pasta
Spaghetti, angel hair, lasagna noodles, and jumbo shells might not fit into smaller storage containers. If you are storing pasta in glass or plastic containers, opt for the tallest that your shelving will allow. These containers are also great for flour, rice, cereal, sugar, and beans.
Choose Speciality Storage Items for Tea & Coffee
For tea bags and coffee pods, there are specially made storage items that help keep them organized and easy to reach. Try a beautiful tea box or a clear one with tons of sections that perfectly fit the standard tea bag. For coffee pods, try drawers that are made just for pod size coffee or a spinning tier so you can see all of your caffeinated options at a glance.
Use Door Storage to Maximize Space
Your pantry doors are a great place to add storage products to maximize your space. Try over-the-door wire racks to organize spices or cans. You can also store other kitchen items like paper goods, trash bags, aprons, linens, and reusable grocery bags.
Use Large Baskets on the Floor of Your Pantry
Make sure you're using every inch of space available in your pantry. The floor of your pantry is a great place to have a few large baskets or bins for storing paper towels, bulk-sized items, or bottles of water and other beverages.
Store Wine Properly
If you're able to customize your pantry, you might try adding x-shelves or other construction techniques for proper wine storage. You can also add a pull-out drawer that allows you to store wine on its side. If custom construction isn't an option, try a simple rack you can purchase to organize and display your favorite reds and whites.
Maximize Shelf Space With Stacked Drawers
You can purchase plastic, bamboo, wire, or acrylic stacked drawers for your pantry. This is a great way to maximize vertical space and store items like snacks, sprinkles, spices, seasoning packets, and soup mixes.
Add Produce Drawers
If you're in the construction or remodeling process, try to include one to three produce drawers in your pantry. Store fruits and vegetables that don't have to be refrigerated in these. Apples, bananas, citrus, squash, garlic, root vegetables, and avocados can all be stored in your pantry produce drawers. If drawers aren't an option, try a collection of bins or baskets instead.
Hang Hooks on Any Available Wall Space
If you have extra wall space in your pantry, even if it's behind the door, try hanging hooks for extra storage options. A few handy hooks are great for hanging bags of onions or potatoes, storing reusable grocery bags, or storing your favorite baking apron.
Your Ideal Pantry Organizing Checklist
Keep some simple tips in mind as you begin your kitchen pantry organizing project.
- Before jumping into your pantry organization process, have a plan in place so you can complete the project smoothly and quickly.
- Evaluate everything you have. Note expiration dates, products you never use, and items that need to be restocked.
- Sketch things out. A basic sketch of how you want your pantry to look will help you purchase the organizational items you need, and it will come in handy later when you start the organizing process.
- Purchase your organizational products and labels according to the amount of pantry items you have.
- Restock items that are low, so your pantry is full when you start organizing. Doing this will ensure you don't have to reorganize everything after your next grocery trip.
- Take everything out. Yes, it will look messy at first. You might have to place items in large totes or clutter your counters for the duration of your project. Trust the process!
- Clean shelving and floors thoroughly. Wipe down every shelf with an all-purpose cleaner and sweep and mop flooring before you place items inside.
- Place items in your pantry according to your plan.
- Tidy your pantry often and reorganize as needed. The best way to keep any space organized is to do small maintenance regularly. When you notice a few things out of place, give it a quick tidy. As life changes and your family grows or your dietary needs change, leave flexibility for reorganizing or rearranging as needed.
Organize Your Pantry & Streamline Your Life
Food shopping, preparation, and consumption are all daily or weekly activities. Make these activities streamlined and easier with a pantry that allows you to see everything, reach items easily, and restock without stress. The next time you're making a meal plan, packing your child's lunch, or looking for a quick and easy dinner option on a busy night, you'll be so glad you took the time to get your pantry organized.