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How to Organize the Pantry

How many times have you been in the store and not known if you are out of something? See how to organize the pantry step-by-step with free printable pantry labels and a pantry inventory that will help you know what you have at any given moment.

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Organizing the pantry isn’t a small feat, and once you manage to get everything in order, it’ll take cooperation from everyone in the house to maintain order. That’s because the pantry is one of those areas that go from being organized to messy in a blink of an eye. So, while there are no rules, a well-thought-out plan and best practices will make your pantry functional and keep it organized for longer.

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Organizing the Pantry in 5 Steps

In this guide, we’ve listed five crucial steps for organizing the kitchen pantry to help you get started right away:

Empty It Out

Start by emptying your entire pantry and put everything on the kitchen table or countertop for sorting. It’ll make a big mess, but it’ll help plan for space and clean all the surfaces thoroughly for a truly organized pantry.

Sort through all of the items. Toss the expired items, containers with less than a serving’s worth of food, and non-opened food/pet food you don’t use and would like to donate to a food bank near you.

Wipe down the pantry shelves and walls to remove any crumbs or debris.

Sort by Category

Sort all items by category, such as canned goods, spices, baking supplies, etc.

Select & Fill Organizers

Keep frequently used items within easy reach and less frequently used items on higher shelves or in less accessible areas.

Put pantry staples such as flour, sugar, and rice in clear canisters. Doing this not only preserves the freshness of the goods, but it’ll also be easier to see what you’re looking for by just running your eyes. Besides, canisters that are stackable help you utilize the space between pantry shelves. Use shelf risers to make use of vertical space and create more storage.

Another best practice is to group similar items together in small bins or baskets and then label the contents with pantry labels. For instance, you can group containers of baking powder, baking soda, vinegar, and the like in a single bin and put your snack bars in another.

Utilize the vertical space by putting your bins on the cabinet shelves and by using tall containers.

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Make Use Of Household Items

Household items such as crates and space-saving racks, magazine racks, and pencil holders are an inexpensive and innovative way to add more storage space to your pantry. With everything having a special place or holder, you will be less likely to cause a mess when looking for that can of beans you are sure you bought two weeks ago.

Besides, put canned goods on a tiered shelf organizer to keep them from being “lost” deep in the pantry shelves.

Use vertical dividers to separate cans, jars, and bottles, making it easier to see what you have and find what you need.

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Put Smaller Items in Baskets

Put small and related items in baskets to keep them together. For example, items related to baking will go in one basket.

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Use Ziplock Bags

If you can’t afford fancy containers, then use cheap zipper bags to store items.

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Make Use of Corners or Deep Shelves

Use a lazy susan to rotate items from the back to the front and make use of the space wasted in corners that are difficult to reach.

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Make Use of Your Walls

Use hanging baskets or hooks to store bags of chips, cereal, or other snacks that can take up a lot of shelf space. Store them in transparent bags that you can hang from hooks. You can also use those huge blue Ikea bags and label them so you know what’s inside.

Use a wall-mounted pot rack to store pots and pans, freeing up cabinet and counter space. Use a pegboard to hang utensils, measuring cups, and other small kitchen tools.

Make Use Of Your Doors

Pantry doors and floors are usually underutilized, but they offer additional storage when used wisely. You can use door organizers to store everything from wraps, and baggies to spices. As for the floor, use sized storage containers that can slide right under the lowest shelf and use them to store items that you don’t use often.

If you have unused space on the wall, hang additional shelving or hooks to hang reusable grocery bags.

Use over-the-door organizers such as hanging shoe organizers to store packets of hot chocolate mix, tea bags, and other small items.

You can find an over-the-door pantry organizer online or at all major stores. There are generally two kinds: those that store items in pockets and those that have shelves. It really depends on what you want to store in them. Pockets are great for individual items such as sauces. Shelves provide more space and more options but are slightly more expensive.

Have Enough Litter Bins

Try to use kitchen and pantry waste bins so that whatever waste is created in the pantry, it’s dumped in those bins.

Keep Your Pantry Organized

The one most important thing that you need to consider when cooking or preparing any meal is putting items you used back in the same place they were before. Most often, we pick a bottle of spice from one place and keep it at some other place. This not only creates confusion but it’ll also make the place disorganized and messy.

Printable Pantry Labels

It is important to label each container or bin so you can easily find what you need. These free printable pantry labels will help you mark all items in containers. This will enable you to find anything and it will make your pantry look pretty and organized! Either print the pantry labels on sticker paper or on regular paper and adhere them with paper glue.

In addition to these transparent editable stickers we also have a large selection of free printable chalkboard labels.

Pantry Inventory Printable

It is important to keep a running grocery list or inventory of what you have in your pantry to help you stay organized and avoid overbuying.

The free printable pantry inventory list will help you know what you have in your pantry at any time. If you save the document online you can access it at the supermarket when you are not sure if you need to purchase a particular item. It is always more efficient to go to the supermarket with a grocery list but unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If you don’t have a grocery list then try to take your printable pantry list with you. We also offer an online pantry app that you can use online without printing.

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About the Author
Photo of NicoleMy name is Nicole and I created this website to share the tools that keep me organized and productive and help me reach my goals. I hope that you will find them helpful too.

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