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Ideas for Organizing Your Pantry

Updated on October 11, 2013

Ideas for Organizing Your Pantry

It used to be pretty common that items would get shoved to the back of my pantry, only to be found after they had expired. What a waste of food! These ideas for organizing your pantry have come from my simple strategies to keep things neat without spending a lot of time sorting and cleaning. Once you get a good system set up, your pantry will take care of itself.

A number of the products featured on this page, like the spice rack to the left, are ones I actually use in my pantry and kitchen. These are the things that keep me organized. Hopefully one of these ideas for organizing your pantry will help you tidy things up and help you keep your kitchen stress-free!

Featured Image: Organize It All 3-Tier Wall-Mounted Spice Rack, Chrome

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Bring Products to the Front

Deep cabinets or shelves make it easy to lose items in the back of the pantry. How often have you pulled something out of the back of a cabinet, just to realize that it had LONG passed its expiration date?

There are many solutions for taking advantage of that lost space in the back of deep cabinets. My two favorite are lazy susans and slide-out drawers. Both allow you to see the items that are in the back easily, so you won't lose track of what you already have in your pantry.

OXO Good Grips Lazy Susan Turntable, 16-Inch
OXO Good Grips Lazy Susan Turntable, 16-Inch

I use these lazy susans by OXO Good Grips in several of my cabinets, plus I have one on the counter near the stove. They keep my food organized and I can just give it a spin to see what I have. No matter how many cans I load on top of them, they spin easily. The non-skid surfaces are convenient as well!

OXO Good Grips Lazy Susan Turntable, 11-Inch
OXO Good Grips Lazy Susan Turntable, 11-Inch

If the 16-inch turntable was too big for your cabinets, they make one in an 11-inch size as well.

Copco 2555-0187 Non-Skid 2-Tier Pantry Cabinet Lazy Susan Turntable, 12-Inch, White/Gray
Copco 2555-0187 Non-Skid 2-Tier Pantry Cabinet Lazy Susan Turntable, 12-Inch, White/Gray

Double up the space by storing smaller items, like spices, on a two-tiered turntable.

Organized Living Under-Shelf Basket - White
Organized Living Under-Shelf Basket - White

Utilize the space underneath your shelves by adding a basket to store more goods.


Determing What Items You Use Most - Give your products homes that are right for their shape and size.

Organize It All Can Rack
Organize It All Can Rack

Featured Image: Organize It All Can Rack

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Do you have a ton of canned goods that just end up piled on top of each other? Pick up a can rack! Lots of small spices and jars? A little set of steps will allow you to see them all at once. When you are organizing your pantry, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each family has their own favorite foods and ways of cooking. So, look for organization products that fit the items you stock in your pantry.

They make kitchen storage containers in just about every size. You can even find them for those little seasoning packets you get in the baking aisle, or that are the perfect size for your favorite granola bars. So figure out what makes the most sense for your kitchen before spending a fortune on organization.

Schulte Kitchen Wrap Organizer, White

InterDesign Linus 5 by 10-1/2 by 3-1/2-Inch Pack Place, Clear

InterDesign Linus 6 by 11-1/2 by 3-1/2-Inch Pullz 6 Pantry Organizer, Clear

Madesmart 3.6 by 9.6 by 14-1/2 to 25-3/4 Inch Expandable Shelf Organizer

Check the Dates!

A can rotator will come in handy for more than just organization. When you restock your pantry, make sure to put the new purchases in the back, so that you will use the oldest items first. Rotating your stock will ensure that things get used before they expire, saving you money and preventing waste.

Use the Wasted Space

PRO-MART DAZZ Deluxe Over The Door Adjustable Pantry Organizer Rack, 6 Shelves, Large
PRO-MART DAZZ Deluxe Over The Door Adjustable Pantry Organizer Rack, 6 Shelves, Large

When you are organizing your pantry, take advantage of all the space it has to offer. Just as the basket shown above can make use of empty space below a shelf, there are tons of other ideas for organizing your kitchen that don't rely on having tons of room.

This pantry organizer will either hang over a door or mount to the wall, increasing the amount of usable space that you have. If you have a door to your pantry that will fit it, you can use this organizer to hold all of your most frequently used items. This will make them available at a moment's notice, so you'll never have to hunt for the perfect ingredient.

You can also use storage like this to organize your family's snacks or non-perishable lunch items. Having things easily accessible makes snack time much easier.


Keep Things Out in the Open

Not all of your food items have to go in your pantry. You can take advantage of decorative jars and racks to keep a few of your most-used items on display in your kitchen. Things like spices and pasta can easily be stored on the container. A few good products will keep them organized and give you an attractive look in your kitchen.

Organize It All 1812W Spice Rack, Chrome
Organize It All 1812W Spice Rack, Chrome

I have this spice rack mounted on the wall in my kitchen. It's sleek and sturdy, and because it isn't very deep, it was easy to find somewhere to put it. I actually have it mounted next to an upper cabinet, and there is still plenty of room for the door to open.

The next step in my kitchen organization is going to be to find beautiful matching jars to put all my spices in, since those plastic McCormick jars aren't the most elegant statement!

Cook N Home 8-Piece Glass Canister and Spice Jar Set with Lids, Round Sides, Clear
Cook N Home 8-Piece Glass Canister and Spice Jar Set with Lids, Round Sides, Clear

A few beautiful glass jars can highlight foods like pasta or dried beans on your countertop. There are tons of different styles that will match any kitchen decor, although I like the stainless steel lids for my kitchen.

Getting a matching set will let you store a number of your favorite foods, plus keep your kitchen matching. TIP: If you are storing pasta in these jars, try taping the cooking directions to the bottom. Different brands can have a difference of several minutes in their cooking times, so saving that part of the label will keep you from having to constantly check if your pasta is done.


Get More Ideas for Organizing Your Pantry

There's a wealth of knowledge out there. Why try to reinvent the wheel when someone else may have already come up with the perfect pantry organization tips to help you out? Sources like Martha Stewart and Better Homes & Garden are always great resources for organizing your home, although there are plenty of other authors out there with unique tips. Check out this selection of books for some inspiration.

Do you have any great organization ideas that you'd like to share? How do you keep your food tidy?

What's your best tip for organizing your pantry?

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