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Keeping your kitchen pantry cabinet organized makes your daily cooking and eating much easier. Your kitchen is the heart of your home and your pantry is the heart of your kitchen. With the pantry playing such a central role in your kitchen, pantry organization is critical to keeping your entire kitchen organized.
How Do I Organize My Pantry?
- Begin by decluttering your kitchen ruthlessly.
- Create use zones. Place items that are used together in the same location.
- Use categories to organize items within zones.
- Place items in strategically where they make the most sense.
- Decant into clear or open containers.
- Use turntables.
- Use kitchen items as organizing bins.
- Use repurposed items for free or low-cost organizing.
- Use the vertical space.
- Make it pretty.
- Schedule routine tidying, decluttering and organizing of your pantry.
Tips to Organize Your Pantry
You should consider all pantry ideas and organization tips. Evaluate them against your unique pantry space, needs and preferences. Then choose to implement the pantry organization systems that will work best for you and your lifestyle.
Create Zones in Your Pantry
- Common pantry zones are:
- Canned Goods
- Pasta & Rice
- Placing items together in zones makes it easy to find everything you need for a particular meal or kitchen task.
Create Categories within the Zones
- Within each zone, put similar items together.
- For example, put all dry cereal together and all syrups together within the breakfast zone.
Place Items Strategically within the Pantry
- Place the items you use most often where they’re each to reach.
- Place them between your shoulder and hip height.
- Place them in the front of the cabinet or drawer.
- Place them between your shoulder and hip height.
- Place heavy items down lower.
- Place light-weight items on upper shelves.
- Place drippy items on lower shelves.
- Place seldom used items in the back or in hard-to-reach areas of the pantry.
Decant into Clear or Open Containers
- Choose clear or open containers that maximize the use of the space.
- Take items out of the boxes and opaque containers they come in and transfer to the clear or see-through containers.
- This allows you to clearly see how many or how much of each item you have.
- Even if you aren’t decanting, use bins and boxes to contain smaller and loose items.
- This clearly defines where items belong when they are put away.
- Containing loose items prevents them from simply becoming clutter or getting lost in your kitchen pantry.
- For example, use a bin to hold smaller bottles and jars together.
- Turntables are also known as Lazy Susans.
- They are great for corners of pantries and for high or low shelves.
- They’re helpful if you have mobility challenges.
- They help keep all items readily accessible since you an simply turn the turntable around to reach items in the back.
- They come in a variety of sizes to fit any pantry, with dividers and also come in 2-tiered versions.
- Label containers when it may not be clear what the contents are.
- For example, different types of flour or dried legumes and grains.
- Label shelves or containers to help family member know where items belong.
- Make labels easily legible.
- You can even use masking tape to make a functional pantry label.
- Tape cooking directions to the side of the container.
Use the Vertical Space
- Adjust the shelves in your pantry to maximize the space for your pantry organization.
- If adjusting shelves is not possible, use cabinet shelf risers and under shelf baskets.
- Use the side walls for additional pantry organization space.
- Use the back of the pantry door for organizing space.
Schedule Routine Decluttering and Organizing
- Every evening, straighten the pantry and return items to the pantry.
- Once a month or quarter, depending on your schedule and lifestyle, declutter and organize the pantry to stay on top of keeping everything neatly organized.
Check out more of the kitchen organizing ideas I’ve shared over the years.
My Favorite Pantry Organization Products
- Clear Turntable
- Divided Turntable
- 2-tier Turntable
- Wire Basket
- Large Wire Basket Set
- Acrylic Bins
- White Plastic Bins
- Stackable Clear Airtight Container
- Airtight Snack Container
- Stackable Water Bottle Organizer
- Can Riser in Multiple Sizes
- OXO Clear Airtight Container Set
- Cereal Containers
- Airtight Dry Good Containers
- Pantry Labels
- White Script Pantry Labels
- Black Script Pantry Labels
DIY Pantry Organizing for Free
- Put Bowls and Containers to Work as Organizing Bins.
- Use Tupperware That Has Lost Its Lid as an Organizing Bin.
- Use Repurposed Glass Jars as Clear Pantry Storage Containers. Add reusable Ball jar plastic lids to make them look uniform.
- Free Tips for an Organized Kitchen
- How to Make Your Own Kitchen Labels
- 10 Tips for an Organized Pantry
- 4 Tips to Organize Spices
- Organize Your Kitchen for Free with Repurposed Items
- Organizing My Kitchen with Repurposed Packaging
- Make Your Own Trail Mix Labels
Be sure to pin for later so you can always find these pantry organization ideas when you need them.
Find all my best Kitchen organizing ideas, printables and favorite products in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.