10 Steps to an Organized Pantry
I just did a small project that has made me SOOOOOO happy, you guys. I organized my pantry. Yes, I have an organized pantry. I even surprise myself with how organized I’m becoming because historically I have NOT been organized at all. But since doing little projects here and there to get organized I’ve discovered how happy it makes me and how incredibly nice it makes my life. Look at how this turned out.
Here is a before picture so you can get the full effect:
And here it is now:
Yay for organization! Here’s the thing…this project rated like a 2 on my difficult project scale, with 10 being the hardest. So it was actually a really easy project and I’ve broken down the process in 10 simple steps.
Here’s how you organize you pantry:
- Make a list of everything that is in your pantry
- Decide how to group things
- Decide what kinds of containers would be best for each group or item. Get a few different kinds of containers. I used baskets, sealing plastic containers, glass jars, metal wire baskets, and lazy Susans
- Purchase those containers
- Purchase cute chalkboard sticker labels and a chalk pen
- Clean out the pantry (this is the hardest part) by removing everything and wiping down shelves, throwing away old gross stuff and getting rid of food you aren’t going to eat.
- Put all the remaining food in your new containers that you’ve pre-washed
- Put the new labels on the containers and label them accordingly (I do this after because sometimes you have to try a couple different containers to get it right.)
- Put them back on the shelves in an order than makes sense and makes it easy to access, rearranging a few times if you need in order to find the best spots for everything
- Enjoy your clean and organized pantry!
I can’t even tell you how a simple thing like this has made my life so much happier. I discovered all this food I’d forgotten I had and now that it’s clearly visible and labeled, I know exactly what I have on hand and what I need more of. I also am excited to cook with the food I forgot about.
Favorite things: Okay, everything is my favorite. Let me discuss each thing that is my favorite.
Can Organizer: I found these wire bins at Walmart in their kitchen area. I decided these would work pretty well for my canned goods that I keep in the pantry. It helps me see what cans I have and they rotate more easily. They stack on top of each other so I have four here and they are the perfect size and actually hold a lot of cans.
Cereal containers: I’ve used these for a few years now because I hate having open boxes of cereal in the pantry. These ones from Better Homes and Gardens are so nice…they have a sealed top with a section that pops open. They are a nice crystal clear plastic so you can easily see what’s inside and how much you have of it. I also like these because I can buy cereal in those giant bulk bags and just pour it in, so it saves a little money too.
Pasta containers: These are also Better Homes and Gardens line. What I love about these containers is they have an airtight seal but the lids are easy to get on and off. There is a little handle ‘lock’ that you flip over and it releases. These containers come in a bunch of different sizes as well. I actually combined my spaghetti noodles with my lasagna noodles because the tallest container is pretty big. And it’s fine because it saves on space.
Bread Box: I also really love this bread box I got! I keep my bread in my pantry and it usually just ends up in a big pile in the corner. And there’s always like a couple bags with a couple pieces left that are just getting old and stale because I’ve forgotten about them. So I really wanted something that will keep the bread more fresh and have a place designated for it. It’s easy to open and close and holds a couple of loaves.
Lazy Susans: In the corners I put some large lazy susan’s. These are the perfect solution for a corner space. I have two–one for oils and cooking stuff and the other for sandwich making and other miscellaneous things.
Small appliances: One of the best parts of the pantry is that we had an outlet installed so now I can leave my toaster and blender in here. I hate the kitchen counter being cluttered up with small appliances, so this is the perfect solution. And a mug full of straws for smoothies!
Snack basket: My kids favorite part of the pantry is this basket–the snack basket. And it’s nice because then I can see if we’re running low on snacks.
Grocery baskets: While I was at Walmart buying the other stuff, I saw these super cute gold wire baskets which I grabbed for something else but I decided to just try them out in the pantry. They ended up being the perfect little thing to finish off the pantry organization project–I can put the miscellaneous groceries in these baskets and see what’s in them.
Small baskets: The last favorite thing are these hyacinth baskets, the media basket version. I wanted ones that were a little bigger but this is what Walmart had so I decided to try them out. I got four, and it turns out they were the perfect size. I could get a little more detailed in my organization and separate out various things–salad topping, nuts, packets (you know like salad dressing, pudding, instant oatmeal, etc), and even potatoes. I love having my potatoes in the basket now because my potatoes, previously living in their bags, would get old and sprouted before I could use them. Out of sight–out of mind. Now they are in sight and I remember to use them!
I seriously think that cooking and grocery shopping will be so much easier now that I can A) see what I have and B) use what I have because I can SEE what I have. I wish I had done this a long time ago!!!! If you organize anything this year, make it your pantry. Because chances are you probably have some sort of healthy eating/weight loss resolution and having an organized pantry will help you succeed at both!
Shop this pantry (well, not the food):
- Better Homes and Gardens hyacinth basket, media size
- Better Homes and Gardens hyacinth basket, medium size
- Better Homes and Gardens cereal containers
- Better Homes and Gardens airtight containers, varying sizes and prices
- Better Homes and Gardens Bread Box
Other items found at Walmart:
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Looks Wonderful. Makes it much easier to find things when everything is well organized
Between myself and my dear hubby I redone my whole pantry last year; late summer. I had the metal shelving of which I absolutely hated. Removed all the metal shelving, lined the whole panty with white bead board, cut and put up all wooden shelves.
I now have all my Baking items on one side; all my cooking items on the other side and my condiments, cereal, crackers, etc. on the corner shelves.
Like you, my sugars, flour, etc. in jars and labeled as well as my variety of different pastas; all in jars and labeled. Inside, on my pantry door is my large spice rack. So happy the way Everything looks now and not embarrassed if I should happen to leave my pantry door open.
One tip. But a Bay leaf in your flour container to keep out little insects, get and use a specialty ceramic stone to keep brown sugar from clumping.
To prevent white granulated sugar from clumping, place a cheese cloth filled with rice at the bottom of the sugar container. The rice absorbs the moisture, which causes the sugar to clump up. White sugar should be stored in a sealed container to keep moisture out of it.
Sounds amazing and thanks for the tips!
Thanks so much for these great tips. I think they will be great when organizing my mothers pantry in the coming months.
Good! What a nice thing to do!
Oh goodness, your after pantry is my dream! What did you do with all your chip bags? These are the things that clutter up my pantry the worst! I don’t see them in your after picture – I would love it if you could let us know how you store them now. Thank you!
Haha, chip bags! I think I just got rid of the ones that are in the pictures but now I just clip them shut and put them on the top shelf or in the kids’ snack basket.
Have you been happy with those heritage jars for your flour and sugar? I have had my eye on them for my baking items, but am concerned about the food becoming stale since it doesn’t seal, just glass on glass. Your pantry looks awesome. I have slowly been working on mine. It’s quite a job.
I’ll be honest…I really wish they had a gasket on it. The brown sugar definitely had to be transferred to a baggie which sits in the jar because it became hard as a rock. But everything else has been fine as far as freshness goes. I cook and bake often enough that I’ll go through it before it gets too stale. Thanks and good luck!
I put all my baking items in the tallest large square oxo containers and love it!
Heidi, what is that green paint color on your lower cabinets called ??
I don’t know if I’m too late to ask a question, but I’m going for it anyway.
I’m slowly transferring items in my pantry from their original containers to cute ones. My question is: Where do you put the cooking instructions for things like rice, pasta, pancake mix once you get rid of their original packaging?
You could cut out the instructions and leave it in with the ingredients. Usually I just remember how to cook with them.
You can cut them out and tape them to the back of the box.
I put instructions on the containers using clear tape. 😉
I love these step by step tutorials! I will be using your steps to organize my pantry! Gotta love some spring cleaning. Thanks for sharing!
I wish someone would show pics and share how to organize a small pantry. Everytime I read one of the “organize your pantry” pins it’s always a large pantry. My pantry is about 30″ wide with 4 shelves. I have all my staples…sugar, flour, brown sugar and confectioner sugar in plastic containers on my top shelf, along with spaghetti also in a container. There is no room for cereal boxes. They have to go in a nearby closet. I have tried different kinds of storage solutions that work so so for a short time and before you know it things are a mess again. I have an over the door organizer that helps with spices and other small items. I have all the foil, plastic wrap and zip bags in a plastic tub on the pantry floor. It never seems like there’s enough room for canned and boxed foods. Chips are in a bin on top of my fridge. It drives me crazy!!!!
Your pantry looks incredible! Thanks for sharing all your tips. One thing I’m wondering about as I reorganize my pantry and put dry ingredients into clear containers, how do you make sure to use the oldest ingredients first? For example, do you wait until your flour is completely empty before adding fresher flour to the container? Thanks in advance!
The containers aren’t that big so I just go through it pretty quickly and the expiration dates don’t matter as much. But sometimes I will keep newer stuff in the box until the older one in the container is used.
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I absolutely love these ideas!!! And I love how you applied them! Come check out some of my hacks and tricks at gettingglamwithgruden.com! Be sure to tell me what you think!
these ARE AMAZING, THANK YOU FOR THE INSPIRATION!