What are the top tips for organizing a kitchen pantry like a pro?


Chances are if you’re reading this, your kitchen pantry needs some serious help. Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Keeping a pantry organized is one of those things that’s easy to let slide when life gets busy. But the truth is, a well-organized pantry will save you time, reduce stress, and ensure you always have the ingredients you need on hand.

The good news is, whipping your pantry into shape is easier than you think. With a few pro tips and a little dedication, you’ll be well on your way to pantry bliss. So roll up your sleeves and let’s get started. By the time you’re done reading, your pantry will be transformed into a place of efficiency, calm, and maybe even a little joy.

Group Similar Foods Together

Grouping similar foods together in your pantry makes it so much easier to find what you need when cooking or baking. Start with the basics:

  • Dry goods: Things like rice, pasta, beans, lentils, oats, and flour should be stored together in airtight containers. Label each container with the product and date of purchase.
  • Canned goods: Soups, tuna, vegetables, fruits, and beans should each have their own shelf or area. Organize alphabetically or by type. Be sure to rotate your stock so the oldest cans get used first.
  • Snacks: Pretzels, crackers, granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits last longer when stored together in sealed bags or jars. This makes them easy to grab on the go too.
  • Condiments: Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressings, honey, syrups, and sauces will be simplest to find when grouped together on a shelf.
  • Spices and extracts: Alphabetize similar spices, herbs, and flavorings to locate what you need in a pinch. Label and date everything once opened to ensure freshness.
  • Oils and vinegars: Keep your olive oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, and other specialty oils and vinegars together in a cool, dark place.

A well-organized pantry saves you time and reduces stress in the kitchen. Take it one area at a time and before you know it, you’ll be whipping up meals with ease. Your future self will thank you for taking the time to build a kitchen pantry to be proud of!

Use Matching Containers to Keep Things Tidy

One of the best ways to organize your pantry is by using matching containers to corral similar ingredients. Get a set of airtight canisters, bins, jars or baskets and label each one for a category of food like pastas, rice, beans, snacks, etc. This makes it easy to spot what you need at a glance and keeps everything tidy.

For loose items like granola, trail mix, nuts or dried fruit, use containers with lids to keep air out. Glass jars also work great for items you want to keep visible. Whatever you choose, get a bunch of the same style and in different sizes. That way your pantry will look cohesive and you’ll have the right size for whatever you want to store.

Don’t forget a container for packets and pouches like gravy and sauce mixes, jams and nut butters. A basket or bin will keep them all together but still accessible. You might label each item with its expiration or ‘best by’ date once opened to avoid forgetting about anything.

Use drawer dividers or small bins to sort cutlery, measuring tools, and other utensils. Mount a paper towel holder, knife block and spice rack on the wall or inside cabinet doors to free up more space.

Add hooks, rails or trays to keep pot lids, cutting boards, colanders and pans off the counter and maximize vertical storage space. Group appliances by function to make them easy to grab when cooking.

With an organized pantry, you’ll never have to go on an expedition to find what you need again. Meal prep and cooking will be a breeze when everything has its place. Take the time to set up your dream pantry and you’ll reap the rewards every time you cook!

Install Extra Shelving for Smaller Items

Extra shelving in your pantry provides storage for smaller items that can easily get lost in a messy, unorganized space. Installing a few simple shelves will make a world of difference.

Add adjustable shelves

Adjustable shelves are extremely versatile and allow you to customize the space to meet your needs. You can raise and lower them as needed to accommodate items of different heights. Look for heavy-duty shelving that can hold at least 50 to 100 pounds. Secure the shelves to wall studs for stability.

Use shelf dividers

Shelf dividers, also known as shelf organizers or partition inserts, create separate compartments within a shelf. They corral small packages, boxes and other loose items so they don’t fall over or spill onto other shelves. You can find many options made of wire, mesh or solid materials like wood or plastic.

Include slide-out drawers

Slide-out drawers are ideal for storing smaller items that can easily get lost in a deep shelf. Mount the drawers to the underside of a higher shelf to make use of wasted space. Label each drawer to keep like items together for easy access.

Add hanging racks

Hanging racks, baskets and bins maximize wall space and keep items up and off your shelves. Use them for storing cutting boards, pots and pans or pantry staples like rice, beans and pasta. Secure the racks at varying heights for maximum efficiency.

Label everything

A well-organized pantry should have a spot for everything. Take time to group similar items together on the shelves and label each section. This makes it easy to quickly find what you need and also helps family members put items back in the proper place. Common sections to label include:

  • Baking supplies: flour, sugar, chocolate chips, etc.
  • Snacks: granola bars, crackers, nuts, etc.
  • Canned goods: soups, beans, tuna, etc.
  • Pasta and grains: rice, quinoa, pasta, etc.
  • Spices and condiments: olive oil, vinegars, spice racks, etc.

With a few organizational tricks like extra shelving and proper labeling, you’ll transform your pantry from chaotic to streamlined in no time. A organized pantry saves time and reduces food waste, so take the time to do it right. Your kitchen will thank you!

Label Everything

A well-organized pantry can save you time and reduce stress in the kitchen. One of the most important steps to creating an efficient pantry is labeling everything.

\n\n###Label Each Shelf

Start by assigning a category to each shelf, like snacks, grains, canned goods or baking supplies. Then label the front edge of each shelf to make items easy to spot at a glance. You can use chalkboard labels, sticker labels or stencils to clearly mark each shelf’s purpose.

\n\n###Group Similar Items Together

Group similar items together on each shelf, like putting all pasta, rice and grains on one shelf. Arrange all your snacks, canned tomatoes, soups or other cans on their designated shelves. Store all oils, vinegars, sauces and dressings together on one shelf. Keeping like items grouped together makes everything easy to find.

\n\n###Label Each Container

Don’t stop at just labeling the shelves. Go ahead and label each container with its contents too, especially if you have multiple containers of the same item like rice, flour or oatmeal. Use a label maker, permanent marker or stickers to clearly mark what’s inside each container or bin. This prevents you from having to open multiple containers to find what you need.

\n\n###Create a Pantry Map

Once everything is organized and labeled in your pantry, create a simple map or chart showing which categories of items are on each shelf. Laminate the map and post it on the inside of your pantry door for easy reference. A map gives anyone helping out in the kitchen a quick overview of where everything is located. Keep your pantry map updated if you do any reorganizing.

Following these useful tips will transform your kitchen pantry into an efficient, stress-free space. A labeled and mapped pantry makes cooking and baking more enjoyable because you can find ingredients quickly and easily. You’ll wonder why you didn’t get organized sooner!


So there you have it, some of the best tips for whipping your kitchen pantry into shape. Take it slow, start with one area or one shelf at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Get the right storage solutions for your needs and space. Group similar items together and label boxes or bins to make everything easy to spot at a glance. A well-organized pantry will make cooking and meal prep so much more enjoyable.

You’ll be able to find what you need quickly and you’ll appreciate how tidy and uncluttered it looks every time you open the pantry door. With a little time and effort, you’ll transform your kitchen pantry and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Your newly organized pantry is ready for you – happy cooking!


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