We’re Sharing the Blueprint for Perfect Pantry Organization

A well-organized pantry is the foundation for a smoothly running kitchen. When you can easily find ingredients and essentials, it saves time and frustration when cooking and baking. We’re sharing all our best tips for creating the perfect pantry organization system that works for your space and lifestyle.

Take Stock of What You Have

The first step in pantry organization is taking everything out so you can see what you’re working with. Here’s how to do it:

  • Clear shelves completely – remove all food, dishes, appliances, etc.
  • Categorize like items as you take them out – group together baking ingredients, oils, canned goods, snacks, etc.
  • Check expiration dates and toss anything that’s expired.
  • Wipe down shelves.
  • Decide what to keep, what to toss, and what to donate.

Getting a visual on the volume and variety of what you already own helps inform what storage you need. Take notes as you go so you remember any problem areas or ideas.

Choose Storage Containers

The right storage containers make it easier to neatly organize and efficiently use your pantry space. Here are the best options to consider:


Airtight canisters are ideal for bulk dry goods like flour, sugar, rice, etc. Choose different sizes to suit your needs. Square or rectangular shapes make better use of shelf space.


Wide-mouth mason jars allow you to easily scoop out ingredients. They’re perfect for some dry goods, spices, oils, and more.

Bins and Baskets

Open bins and baskets are great for produce and anything you go through quickly. Different sizes help corral similar items.

Clear Containers

Acrylic or plastic containers give visibility to the contents. Use them for pastas, grains, snacks, and other items.

Divided Organizers

Lazy susans and multi-section containers keep categories separate in one space. Spinning organizers provide easy access.

Label Everything

Labels ensure you know what’s inside each container. Chalkboard labels allow changing contents. Printed labels give a uniform look.

Think Vertically

Pantries tend to have more vertical storage space than horizontal. Take advantage by organizing vertically to maximize every inch.


Add shelves at varying heights to accommodate different size containers. Adjustable shelves allow customization.

Spice Racks

Use wall-mounted spice racks or free-standing racks on shelves to store spices vertically. Alphabetize spices to easily locate.

Stackable Can Racks

Utilize vertical space by stacking canned goods on a rack designed just for that purpose. Can dispensers save even more space.

Tiered Shelving

Tiered shelving doubles storage capacity by splitting horizontal space into tall and short sections. Great for canned goods.

Hanging Storage

Install hanging racks or hooks on the backs of doors or on walls to hang utensils and bulkier items.

Store Strategically

Thinking about how you cook and bake will ensure your pantry setup suits your unique needs. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Store staples and most-used items at eye level for quick grabbing.
  • Keep heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Place kid-friendly snacks on low shelves they can reach.
  • Put overflow or rarely used items on top and bottom shelves.
  • Store baking essentials together – flour, sugar, spices, etc.
  • Keep oils and vinegars separate from dry goods.
  • Place pet food, paper towels and other non-food items separately.

Organize by Category

Grouping like items together makes everything easier to find. Consider these categories:

Baking Goods

Flour, sugar, baking powder/soda, spices, chocolate, etc.

Oils and Vinegars

Olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, etc.

Canned/Jarred Goods

Soups, beans, fruits, vegetables, sauces, jams, etc.

Boxed/Bagged Foods

Pastas, rice, cereal, crackers, chips, etc.


Granola bars, popcorn, nuts, dried fruit, etc.


Juices, coffee, tea, drink mixes powdered milk, etc.


Ketchup, mustard, mayo, salad dressings, sauces, etc.

Grouping like with like makes everything easier to find!

Small Space Solutions

Limited pantry space doesn’t mean you can’t get organized. These tips help maximize tiny pantries:

  • Install floor-to-ceiling shelving.
  • Use stackable, nesting containers to double storage.
  • Attach narrow shelves to the inside of cabinet doors.
  • Use hanging racks and hooks creatively.
  • Store lesser used items in other kitchen cabinets.
  • Keep the top shelf for display items only.

You can get super functional even in tight quarters. Think creatively!

Maintaining Organization

An organized pantry doesn’t happen overnight. Maintaining order takes effort and habit. Here are useful tips:

  • Put items back in their designated spot after using.
  • Set aside a few minutes each week to tidy shelves, check dates, wipe spills, etc.
  • Do a thorough clear-out and reorganize yearly as your needs change.
  • Storage accessories help, but don’t go overboard. Only keep what you use.
  • Store food in airtight containers to extend freshness.
  • Turn cans and jars labels facing out for easier identification.
  • Consider donating unopened food if you won’t use it in time.

With regular maintenance, your organized pantry will stay functional for years to come!

Pantry Organization Inspiration

If you need a bit more inspiration before tackling your pantry, here are some great sources:

  • Browse social media hashtags like #pantryorganization for ideas.
  • Look to home organization sites like The Container Store for product solutions.
  • Check Pinterest boards for pantry organization ideas.
  • Flip through home organization magazines for tips and tricks.
  • Ask friends to share photos of their well-organized pantries.

Seeing how others have handled pantries similar to yours can spark creativity for your own space.

Answering Common Pantry Organization Questions

We know transforming your pantry organization can raise questions. Here we’ll answer some of the most common:

How should I organize a small, narrow pantry?

Focus on maximizing vertical storage with tall, thin shelving units and stacking baskets. Use hanging racks on the door for utensils and bulk items. Put lesser used items in cabinets.

What’s the best way to organize a walk-in pantry?

Think zones – have baking goods together on one side, snacks in one area, canned goods together on lower shelves, etc. A lazy susan provides easy access to interior shelves.

Should I keep food in its original packaging or transfer to containers?

It depends on the item. Flours and sugars store best in airtight containers. Items used infrequently can stay in original packaging to save money.

How often should I check expiration dates and get rid of expired food?

Do a full pantry check for expired foods at least twice yearly – more if you tend to have a packed pantry. Quickly check dates weekly when putting groceries away.

Should I organize by food type or storage type?

Grouping similar foods together (baking ingredients, canned goods) makes more sense than grouping by container type. Store different containers together on a shelf using organizers.

How can I make a disorganized pantry look nice?

Consistent container types, uniformly positioned labels, and tidy shelves make a big visual impact. A nice label identifying each shelf’s contents looks polished.


We hope these pantry organization tips give you the blueprint and inspiration to create your own perfectly organized space. The secret is taking the time to fully assess your unique needs and finding solutions that work for your pantry’s size and shape. Don’t forget about maintaining the system once you are done organizing it all. With some effort upfront and small doses of maintenance, you can have a clutter-free, stress-free, and highly functional pantry for many years to come. Here’s to never having to search endlessly for a lost ingredient again!