A messy kitchen pantry can make cooking, baking, and even just finding a snack a lot more difficult. Disorganized shelves can cause you to misplace certain items or to forget you had specific things, which can lead to unnecessary food waste and money spending. A clean, organized pantry just makes life easier—and it looks nicer. Here are a few ways to get that done.
How to Organize Your Pantry
Keeping your pantry neat means spending a little money along the way. Open shelves are nice, but they easily lead to clutter and mess. Spend a day or two working on your pantry, and you’ll appreciate it for weeks and months to come.
- Get rid of what you don’t need. The first step to cleaning and organizing the pantry is getting rid of unnecessary items. Throw out any expired food. If you find canned or unopened foods you don’t want anymore that are still good, donate them. Toss anything open that has gone bad. Take everything off the shelves and wipe away crumbs or any stains, so everything is super clean from the get-go.
- Organize by food type. Take all the food out and organize it by type. Spices should all go in one section, canned goods in another, dry goods in another, and so on. It just makes it easier to find what you want when you need it.
- Make use of all space. Don’t just put things on the surface of shelves—buy baskets or containers you can stack. If you have room on the inside of the door, buy something to hang there. If you have a floor in the pantry, use that as well with baskets.
- Opt for clear containers. Clear containers and baskets are great because it’s so much easier to see what’s inside. It’s nice to just glance and see what you’re looking for.
- Use labels. If you plan to pour dry goods into storage containers, then labels are the best way to keep them organized. Get a label maker or just get stickers you can write on with a permanent marker.
- Clean it often. A clean pantry won’t stay clean if you don’t actively try to keep it that way. Spending 10 minutes once a week to clean and make sure it still looks put together will make things easier on you in the future.
Sliding Drawers: Simple Houseware 2 Tier Sliding Cabinet Basket Organizer
Sliding drawers are ideal in a pantry, but if that’s not possible, then sliding cabinets or baskets are the next best thing. This Simple Houseware 2 Tier Sliding Cabinet Basket Organizer is perfect. With the two tiers, you can make the most of your shelf space. Because the drawers slide out, it’s harder for items to get lost in the back of the pantry.
This one is made of a sturdy metal, and while it isn’t clear, it is relatively transparent and easy enough to see into. It requires very little setup time and comes at a good price point, too.
SimpleHouseware 2 Tier Sliding Cabinet Basket Organizer Drawer, Silver
This Simple Houseware option makes the most of your shelf space, so things don't get lost in the back.
Food Storage: Vtopmart Airtight Food Storage Containers
Sure, you could keep all of your food in the boxes they come in, but once opened, those cardboard boxes or plastic bags won’t really keep the food fresh, even if it’s dried goods like pasta. Vtopmart Airtight Food Storage containers are great because they’re airtight and keep food fresh for longer. The clear containers make it easy to see what’s in there, but they come with reusable labels to simplify things further.
These containers are also stackable, so they’re easy to store. They’re BPA-free, made of food-grade material, and dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. This set comes with 12 small containers, which should be enough for the average household.
Vtopmart Airtight Food Storage Containers 12 Pieces 1.5qt / 1.6L- Plastic BPA Free Kitchen Pantry Storage Containers for Sugar, Flour and Baking Supplies - Dishwasher Safe - Include 24 Labels, Blue
These Vtopmart containers come with reusable labels, stack up neatly, and are airtight to keep food fresh.
Door Storage: Simple Houseware Crystal Clear Over The Door Hanging Organizer
Over the door storage is a great way to maximize space in a small pantry. You can use it to hold lots of little items that otherwise cause clutter and tend to get lost. The Simple Houseware Over The Door Hanging Organizer is great because it’s clear, so it’s easy to see everything inside. Its 15 pockets hold all sorts of things, whether packets of food, tea, cans, spices, or small boxes. It won’t take up a lot of space and makes it easy to find things.
2 Pack - SimpleHouseware Crystal Clear Over The Door Hanging Pantry Organizer (52" x 18")
This Simple Houseware Over The Door Hanging Organizer has 15 clear pockets for easy storage.
Bins: mDesign Plastic Stackable Bin Box
Clear bins are a great way to keep items from falling over on top of each other and to keep things organized by type. mDesign Plastic Stackable Bin Boxes are easy to see through. You can use the handles to move them around and pull them out easily. The lids make these stackable, although you can remove the lids if you have taller items to store.
These are versatile and can be used for so many different things besides the pantry: Placed in the fridge or freezer, they can hold miscellaneous items in your kitchen—the possibilities are essentially endless.
mDesign Plastic Deep Storage Bin Box Container with Lid and Built-In Handles - Organization for Fruit, Snacks, or Food in Kitchen Pantry, Cabinet, Cupboard, Ligne Collection, 4 Pack, Clear/Smoke Gray
Clear bins like these mDesign Stackable Bin Boxes are great for organizing food and keeping it dust-free.
Canned Goods Storage: Simple Houseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer
Storing canned goods is more annoying than it sounds. They take up a decent amount of space and they can easily be pushed into the back of a pantry and forgotten. This Simple Houseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer attempts to fix that situation. Holding up to 36 cans, this organizer maximizes shelf space—stacking cans on top of each other takes up way more space than putting them in a 3-tiered organizer like this one.
Assembly is super easy with no construction required. The plastic dividers keep everything spaced, and the chrome finish is nice to look at.
SimpleHouseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer, Chrome
This Simple Houseware Canned Goods Organizer maximizes space to hold your canned goods and keep them visible.
Pull-Out Shelves: Lynk Professional Pull Out Under Cabinet Shelf
A large pull-out shelf is great for a larger pantry or for larger items. The Lynk Professional Pull Out Under Cabinet Shelf is really convenient, especially for big pots and pans or big appliances like a KitchenAid Mixer. This roll-out drawer is durable and strong, easy to assemble, and makes everything more accessible.
LYNK PROFESSIONAL® Pull Out Cabinet Organizer - Slide Out Pantry Shelves - Sliding Storage for Inside Kitchen Cabinet or Under Sink - Roll Out Drawer for Pots, Pans - 20" Wide x 21" Deep - Chrome
This Lynk Professional Under Cabinet Shelf makes large items more accessible and easier to use.
Lazy Susan: iDesign Linus Divided Lazy Susan
Another great option is a portable lazy susan, which makes it easy to grab what you want. This iDesign Linus Divided Lazy Susan is ideal for storing small items. Five divided sections for organizing ensure nothing topples off. It rotates around, so you can always find what you’re looking for quickly and easily, and the clear design makes that even easier. It’s perfect for storing tall items, too, like olive oils or vinegars.
Food Packet Storage: mDesign Plastic Food Packet Bin
Little food packets are annoying to store. You can either keep them in the large boxes they may come in, which take up more space, or leave them loose, where they’ll likely get lost or squished. These mDesign Plastic Food Packet Bins are made with packets in mind and hold everything from spice packets to hot chocolate to tea bags.
mDesign Plastic Food Storage Bin Organizer with 3 Compartments for Kitchen Cabinet, Pantry, Shelf, Drawer, Fridge, Freezer Organization - Holds Snack Bars - Ligne Collection - 2 Pack - Clear
This mDesign Plastic Food Packet Bin stores all sorts of small packets and bags so they don't get lost.
Baskets: Yamazaki Tosca Baskets with Wooden Handles
If you’re looking for more of an aesthetically pleasing storage container, then these Yamazaki Tosca Baskets are the perfect option. They have a nice, simple design, and the wooden handles make them stand out a bit. The large openings make it easy to see what’s stored inside, and the handles make it easy to pull them out and off the shelves.