Pantry organization can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a lot stored there. But with a few tips on where you start, you can have a clean and organized pantry in no time!
Benefits of Pantry Organization
- Saves money: When your pantry is organized, you are less likely to buy multiples of the same item because you can see exactly what you have. This saves you money because you are not over buying, plus your pantry won’t be crammed full of too many cans of beans or soup.
- Find what you need: When your pantry is organized, you’ll quickly and easily be able to find what you’re looking for. It’s also easier to tell someone where to look for something if your pantry is organized because it will be where you put it.
Tips For Getting Started
- Pull everything out: Take everything out of your pantry before you try to start organizing anything. This allows you to start fresh and figure out what makes sense when you’re putting everything back in.
- Throw away expired items: You might be surprised at how many expired items are hiding in your pantry. Keep the garbage can or a sack nearby to throw away expired food. If you have items that are still good, but you know you or your family won’t eat them, take them to your local food pantry or give it away to friends/neighbors so it doesn’t go to waste.
- Group same things together (baking, pasta, etc): As you’re pulling everything out, start grouping the same things together. This allows you to see how much you have of any given thing so when you put it back, you know how much space you need.
- Labels: If you are going to be taking items out of their packaging and putting them in jars or plastic containers, you may want to consider labeling your containers so you know what’s inside.
Depending on your pantry situation, there are many ways you can choose to organize that will make the most sense. For example, my pantry is just a closet in my kitchen with shelves, so I use a combination of bins, plastic containers, and an over-the-door organizer. Below you’ll find four great ways to organize your pantry.
Over the Door Organizer
We recently bought a clear plastic over the door shoe organizer for our pantry and it has been a life changer in terms of organization! Not to mention, it frees up space on the shelves and takes advantage of underutilized space. Most of what we’ve put in the slots are snacks for the kids. It’s so easy for them to see what we have and reach it themselves. No more rummaging through the shelves to find something to eat!
I love the look of clean glass jars with lids in a pantry. Since our shelves are deeper, it doesn’t make sense for us to use them. But for a pantry that has more shallow shelves or even a walk-in pantry, this is a great option. The jars make it easy to see exactly how much you have of different foods, like pasta, rice, beans, flour, sugar, and other dry foods. By using jars, it makes it look more uniform and gets rid of bags or boxes that are irregular sizes.
For the items that you need to keep in bags or boxes, I recommend using bins or baskets. This is a great way to keep items from spilling out all over the shelves, plus it’s a lot easier to pull a bin out and look through it for what you need. We use bins in our pantry for things like boxes of pudding or Jell-O, sandwich making food (peanut butter, honey), snacks in bigger bags (trail mix, chips) and so on.
An alternative to glass jars is using plastic containers. We use the kind that are more of an oval shape. They fit better side by side on our shelves. But we store many of the same items in them that I suggested for the glass jars above.