How to Organize Your Pantry: Steps to a Cleaner Pantry

Has your pantry seen better days? Tidy it up with these organizing tips and tricks!

By: Emma Hassemer, Editor,
How to Organize Your Pantry Steps to a Cleaner Pantry

It's time to kick into gear and make the pantry of your dreams become a reality.

It's so easy to overcrowd your pantry with food, kitchen utensils and many other random items you might not even know about. After learning how to organize your pantry, you can wave goodbye to clutter and hello to your new and improved pantry.

Cleaning and organizing isn't everyone's cup of tea, but face it, it needs to be done once in awhile! To some though, it's therapeutic. So, if you're looking for a little one-on-one therapy session with your pantry, this is the perfect project for you. If you haven't gone through your pantry since...ever, then be prepared to end up with a bunch stale boxes of cereal and expired soups and sauces. When you're done organizing your pantry, you'll end up with more storage space and a happier and cleaner mindset.

These tips and tricks on pantry organization will help make your kitchen look more put together and tidy. There's no need to keep putting off your pantry. Once you read how simple it is to give your pantry a makeover, you'll want to get started in no time!

How to Declutter Your Pantry: Pantry Organization 101

1. Clear containers and a label maker are your friend
The best and easiest way to keep your pantry organized is by labeling. Clear containers are brilliant because it's a fast and easy to way to see what you do and don't have. These bad boys will save you from ever having three bags of brown sugar. If you don't own a label maker, you can stick chalkboard paper on your containers and write out each food item. Instead of scavenging through your whole pantry trying to find the flour, it will be right in front of you ready for use.

2. Use household items for storage
Storage baskets are a fabulous way to keep your food organized. There's no need to go out and buy expensive containers or baskets when you can use an extra lying around your house. Another great item to use in your pantry is a pan. Take a kitchen pan and place all of your seasonings, sauces and other condiments in here. Next time you need to season your steak, you'll know exactly where to locate the herbs. Mason jars are another handy dandy space to place little items, such as candy or trail mix.

3. Arrange your food 
If you have a large food palette, chances are you own many different types of foods ranging from American to Chinese. Arranging your food by style or genre is simple and useful. If you're craving an Indian styled meal, you'll be able to open up  your pantry and see everything you need all in one place to make that recipe. How handy?! You can even organize everything by size by placing the larger bags and jars in the back and the smaller in the front.

4. Conduct weekly cleanouts
Even though you may have just cleaned out your pantry, it's important to make sure it stays that way. To ensure your sweat and tears put into organizing your pantry doesn't get put to waste, take five minutes at the end of the week to clean out anything you see expired, dirty or empty. No one likes reaching for a bag of chips to discover that it's empty. If you have time to sit down and watch TV, then you most definitely have time to fit this mini clean up in your schedule.

5. Too much food? No problem.
If you have a large family or just flat out love food, then this hack is perfect for you. There are two solutions to make sure your food fits:

  1. Floating storage: Building a small shelving unit or floating shelves within your pantry is a great way to declutter shelves. 
  2. Second pantry: If you have some storage space in your basement or an extra empty closet, put your extra or duplicate food items in here until needed. This way, you won't have double of the same food sitting in your pantry.

Pantry Organization, Before/After

DIY Pantry Projects

Shelving and storage units are a prime way to create more space in your pantry. Floating shelves specifically will clear up so much clutter and leave your pantry looking a bit more organized and clean. You can build these bad boys inside or outside your pantry.

Say your pantry doesn’t even have shelves to begin with, well then, you’re going to want to install some because they’ll change your life (for the better)! DIY shelves are super easy to build by yourself and they will hold so much food. If shelves aren’t your forte, then go for some DIY drawer dividers to separate your granola bars from your fruit snacks.

Don’t forget, you can also place items in your door. Yes, you read that right. Taking a shoe organizer and filling it with your cans of chips or cleaning supplies can clear up so much space! Or, you can take some scrap wood and create a DIY door organizer. The options are endless when it comes to pantry storage ideas.

Easy DIY Pantry Organization

Types of Pantries

There are multiple forms of a pantry—walk-in closet pantries, rolling pantries, cupboard pantries, and so much more! It’s all about what works for your kitchen space. If you’re looking for a little inspiration to remodel your pantry or even make a new one, then these projects will get your creative juices flowing.

If you have no room for another pantry no matter how hard you try to fit one in, then get ready to be amazed when I tell you that you CAN build another one. This hidden slide out pantry can fit right between your fridge and a wall. This DIY pantry has shelves which can fit your condiments, dressings and other cans. Pantries on wheels are great when you’re an avid cooker and need lots of ingredients by you at all times when in the kitchen.

There should be no reason that you have to throw out food with these organizing and storage tips! 

Hidden DIY Slide Out Pantry

DIY Pantry Ideas

These other DIY pantry ideas might be the perfect fit for your home. You can find everything here from creating a pantry if you've never had one, to adding storage space where you already live, and even printing pantry labels to better organize your space.

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I love the hidden slide out pantry idea! I have pretty limited food storage space in my apartment, so that would really help. My favorite tip is organizing pantry items by purpose - all the baking supplies together, pasta and grains together, etc.

Definitely agree with the weekly cleanout tip! That way you don't end up with 3 bags of chocolate chips! My favorite hack is to use placemats or paper towels before putting the food on the shelves in case anything spills!

This is a great guide that I think anyone could use! I'll definitely be showing this to my mom since she's been meaning to organize our pantry this summer. Hopefully these great tips will give her the motivation to get started!


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