Pantry Organization

Pantry shelving & design by Cabinet City

The pantry is such an essential part of the kitchen. Whether it’s a cabinet with roll out drawers or a walk-in style, it’s important to have some type of organization to keep it functional.

A functional pantry allows you to see things easily so you know what you have. It helps you to use what you have rather than always buying more of something you can’t find and can eliminate waste by properly storing open foods in airtight containers. Here are a few tips to achieve an organized and practical pantry.

  • Store items in clear containers
    • Having all items visible is key to know what you have. While baskets can look pretty, I don’t want to have to pull it down or out just to see what I have. I’m a huge fan of these clear and airtight containers for any bulk food storage. These clear bins are perfect for prepackaged items or to use in place of a basket. If you love a basket style these open wire baskets would work well too.
  • Purchase storage containers that can stack
    • If you’re working in a smaller space, putting bulk foods in stackable containers like these can save you a ton of space.
  • Add a lazy susan/turntable to corners (or really anywhere)
    • If you have a pantry with corner shelves, this utilizes those hard to see dark corners SO well. You will be amazed how much you can fit on one of these {they come in two sizes}.
    • Even if you don’t have a corner, a turntable is perfect to gather and consolidate smaller baking items such as vanilla, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. They are a real space saver.
  • Create a ‘store’ within your pantry
    • If you shop in bulk {I can’t live without my Costco}, there is no way you’re going to want to pour 5lbs of sugar in a canister or put two whole bags of cereal in a container. It’s just not realistic. You’re going to have ‘leftovers’ of items. For this, I create a shelf of these opened items and “shop” that shelf when stock is getting low {it’s also important to check this shelf before creating your shopping list}. For me, this ‘shop’ is my top shelf, out of the way. And no, it doesn’t look ‘pretty’ but we have to be practical {sometimes!}.
  • Have extra, unused containers on hand
    • Have a place in your kitchen, perhaps your pantry, where you store various sizes of unused storage containers. When you open a box of crackers or bag of pretzels, utilize one of these containers to store the remaining food. This will help you stay organized and food will stay fresh!
  • Ensure popular items are front and center
    • I know we all want that Pinterest-worthy pantry, but really, place things you use everyday {lunchboxes, coffee, cereal} front and center for the easiest accessibility. Maybe it doesn’t look the best, but it will help your pantry stay organized and you’ll be much happier. It HAS to function!

Favorite Pantry Organization Tools:

Pop food storage containers – After having a mix of storage containers, these are my favorite. They get a great seal for freshness, completely come apart for easy cleaning, and are durable. Not the most economical, but worth it. Slowly change over your pantry to these by picking up one per Target visit and make the change over time – it’s expensive!


Clear storage bins – These are great for prepackaged snacks {and really anything you want to group together}. They are durable, easy to clean and come in multiple sizes. Plus, they are a good value.

Baking storage canisters – I finally treated myself to new baking canisters. Mine were from my first apartment and needed an upgrade. After a lot of thought, I ended up with these. I like the size – overall large. I like to be able to easily fit a 1 cup measuring cup in my canisters for easy baking, and these work like a dream. I went plastic because I have little chefs in the house and glass just didn’t seem practical.

Small packet/pouch organizer – This works so well for any spice packets, or tuna.

Pantry vegetable storage – Pantry vegetables such as potatoes and onions should have air circulating to maintain freshness. Utilize a wire container for storage of these foods. This is a great option, or these are a little smaller.

Lazy susan/turntable – There are a lot of options for these and it depends on your overall aesthetic and budget. I’ve been fine using this style. It is easy to wash and has a rubber surface for food to stay put when you’re turning it around. Stacked versions are also available and would be great for small spaces. This clear one looks so functional with taller sides.

Shelf divider – I personally don’t use this but thought I would add it if you found it beneficial to section off or break up shelves. These little dividers are so handy!

Spices – I just changed over all my spice containers to these and WOW, game changer!!! My type ‘A’ personality has never felt more at peace {I know, silly – it’s the little things!}. It not only creates a beautiful aesthetic, but it’s functional as it’s easier to find what you’re looking for and space saving have cohesive containers. This set does come with labels, but I had to get these as I love the simplicity and beauty of them.

Making ALL of these changes today is not realistic – I get that! It’s expensive and overwhelming. Perhaps take your baking area or snack area and work on that. Over time you can accumulate more storage containers and get to where you want to be. I hope you can take one small thing away from this post and get your pantry organized!

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As always, thank you for reading and make it a great day!

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