6 Ways To Organize Your Pantry

by zesty on September 28, 2012 · 22 comments

Happy Friday to you!

I have been asked by many readers about posting some ideas on how to organize a pantry!  I put together some rules I try to live by in the pantry ( one of my favorite rooms in the house).   Now of course you will likely have more/different ideas, so let me know what you consider to be the most crucial tips that you cannot live without when it comes to organizing your pantry.

1.  Shelf Assignments

Plan pantry use by categorizing into prime and non-prime storage. If possible, prime storage at eye level should be for the most often-used items. Further categorize storage by item. For example, use one shelf for baking items, another for tomato canned goods and another for pasta and rice.

2.  See the Label. Watch Expiry

This is self explanatory, however keep a rotation of oldest to newest to ensure you are eating the oldest food first.  Do make a note if you remove the packaging by labeling the best before date for the product.

3.  Reduce Dead Space

Be sure these shelves don’t have too much “dead space”. Dead space is unused space. This space can be found even above what you are storing.  Adjust the shelf up or down a few inches to create the ability to stack the like cans. This will make a tremendous difference – and get all canned foods on one shelf rather than scattered throughout the pantry.

4.  See Through Containers

This is one of my favorites. Find canisters or other holders for noodles, flour, sugar, rice, popcorn, or other foods that come in flimsy plastic or paper bags. I used to store the bag of rice right in the open bag, which always lead to spills, not to mention the possibility of insect infestation! Now I use canisters, empty coffee cans, glass jars and other containers to hold these items.

5.  Use Lower Shelves

Whether you want to create a “kid friendly” shelf or just use it to store heavier items such as soda bottles or water bottles – this is a great way to maximize your use of space.

6.  Clean Regularly

This is common sense but often forgotten.  Be sure to wipe the shelves down regularly and keep the dirt and grime to a minimum.  The time you spend cleaning your pantry will help you find stuff you didn’t know you had and hopefully reduce costs on your grocery bill as you are more in tune with the products you have.

Well there you have it,  a fun post to hopefully help you keep the pantry presentable.   Have an awesome Friday and a great weekend.  See ya on Monday.

Take care


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is

OH my thank you for this. I end up re-organizing every sunday, because by week’s end everything is just throw back in the pantry in a giant mess.


2 Whitney @ Lettuce Love

Great tips! Item 4 is my favorite too. I have all of my baking supplies like flour, sugar, and chocolate in see through containers. It makes my pantry look much more neat and tidy.


3 Pam

Great post and have fun at the concert!


4 Joanna

Great advice, Cooking! I bought Tupperware containers for all of my baking goods…wheat flour, oats, powder, soda salt. I’ve had them for years. Great investment. Makes my life easier.


5 Kate

Reducing dead space is a huge plus. We discovered, upon moving into our new house that the pantry shelves allowed way too much space between, but not accommodating enough to stack anything higher than the height of one can. We bought wire shelving with adjustable widths and placed them in the back of each shelf. Smaller, shorter cans and other items go onto these shelves, creating a wealth of extra room and storage options.


6 Chou

Ah, you’ve inspired me to rearrange. Thanks.


7 Kelsey

Would you like to reorganize my kitchen? Please + Thank you :)


8 girlbeerdrinker

I collect 1/2 gallon canning jars and use them to store all sorts of things, pasta, rice, beans, flour, sugar, coffee, tea, etc. I also use them in the frig for juice, milk, iced tea, pickled eggs, etc. I think things taste better stored in glass and you and see things better too. I am a pantry freak. Could you share with us all the staples that should be in our pantries and why we should have them?


9 Rebecca

I am actually in the process of reorganizing my kitchen and pantry. I bought some wire shelves from The Container Store and have used it to store more of my plates in an open cupboard, making room for food stuff in the shorter shelved, closed cupboards. So much nicer looking. Sigh. yay for pantries! (and nesting that makes you want to organize everything)


10 CaSaundra

This is really helpful! I just got my first pantry in my new apartment, and I can definitely see how things can get out of hand if you don’t keep up with organizing it :-)


11 Morgan (lifeafterbagels)

I just cringed thinking how horrible my shelves are!


12 Morgan (lifeafterbagels)

oh and PS – how do you like Toronto (my hometown!)?


13 Sues

I wish I had a pantry to organize! Seriously though, this is a great post that will help me organize the cabinets I do have :)


14 SArah W.

Thanks for the tips! I’m currently trying to figure out how to maximize space in our pantry in our house we just bought! Its got 3 useless shelves and large amounts of dead space below and above so I guess I gotta find some wire shelving system to install!

I <3 OXO Good Grips POP storage containers! They are super expensive but they are modular and stackable so they save a TON of space!!!! plus they save your food and keep it fresh as can be


15 Joyceski

Hello Cooking: I’m new to your website and am already loving it. We moved into our house 10 years ago (it was built in early 50′s – they didn’t build kitchens very big in those days) and have re-purposed the closet near the kitchen into a pantry. We put a wire rack in it and hanging shelves on the back of the door. It suits our needs. And the dog thinks that every time we open the door we’re getting her a treat.


16 Arden Strachman

Outstanding site, where did you come up with the info in this piece of content? Im happy I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.


17 Pat Machin

A timely reminder when we are approaching a season change. My main contribution is to avoid deep shelves – if you have a choice, of course.

I have found it difficult to motivate motivate myself to rotate stocks when it has meant going up a stepladder to reach the back of higher shelves.


18 Kerri Esten

Don’t be lazy! When we go to Costco and buy in bulk, the temptation is to just set the case on the floor and say “I’ll take care of it later.” Do it now! Or EVERYTHING ends up on the floor and you can’t access your food.


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