I finally organized the pantry and made it prettier too! Today, I’m sharing my pantry organization tips, plus a free set of modern kitchen pantry labels so you can get organized too!
Admittedly, pantry organization hasn’t been my thing in the past. It took me a long time to figure out what worked for our family, and how to best use the space.
There are many beautiful pantry solutions out there, but we needed something practical. Pinterest pantries look pretty but where does the extra flour go when the canister is full, where is the second bag of cereal from the giant Costco box?
Pantry Organization Tips
Tip 1- Take a hard look and make a few notes–
Make a list of problem areas, what grocery items do you typically stock up on, are there things on the floor, do you wish you had room for something you can’t currently find space for, do you want it to look a certain way or just be functional?
Tip 2– Empty it out–
Remove everything from your pantry and give it a good cleaning. Throw out stale items so you can start with a clean slate. If it’s time for an update do it now. I painted the shelves and put up the Floral Sprig wallpaper from RoomMates. One error I made was not measuring the height of my small appliances before building the shelves. You’ll notice my pressure cooker on the floor, poop.
Tip 2- Determine what your most used items are.
Move the most commonly used pantry items to the easiest spot to grab. Keep in mind who will be grabbing these things so you can plan for appropriate height.
Tip 3– Pantry Organizers-
How will you corral similar items in the pantry? Bins and canisters worked in other areas of our home (like the bathroom), so it made sense to use baskets. If you use a lot of canned goods you may consider a canned goods rack. Lolly Jane used one in their pantry, it looks like a great solution.
If you have the space to add specific shelving for items, it is a great way to organize. For me, I hated having to lug out a stack of heavy glass pans every-time I wanted a casserole dish, so a small shelf was the answer to making them easy to grab. On the end wall, I used strapping and dowels to make a plate rack to hold platters.
Tip 4- Be realistic about how you eat and shop-
Ignore the pretty fluff and ask yourself how you want your pantry to function. Will, you actually fill up the canisters again after the first batch of XYZ is gone? Did you buy pine nuts just because there was a label for it? Will you buy the Costco size bag and after you fill the pretty canister still have half a bag leftover that you’re now going to have to find a place to store? Just be sure the plan you create is actually going to function, or you’ll be back searching for ideas in 6 months’ time.
Tip 5- Label it–
Give everything a home and make everyone in your house to learn where it lives. Below you’ll find a set of FREE modern kitchen pantry labels. Don’t feel pressured to use them all, we all eat and shop differently. Some are broad terms. For instance, ‘tomato’, I found it best to group diced tomato, tomato paste and tomato sauce into one bin.
Rather than stickers for each bin, I had the sheet printed, cut them out and laminated each label (just to keep them clean). If a bin is no longer needed, or things get switched around it is easy as unclipping it. I used these copper wire clips to attach the labels to the bin handle.
Tip 6- Throw out unnecessary packaging.
Transfer cereals, pasta, rice and baking goods from boxes into airtight containers.
Tip 7- Not everything has to be in the pantry
I have a big pantry and very few upper cabinets in my kitchen. However, things like cereal and bread live by the toaster, because that’s where we get breakfast. Spices clearly fall into this area, this drawer is beside the stove. You’ll notice there is a label for spice jars, plus a bin label for spices. Here is where I break my own rule. I have so many spices I need back up storage for the overflow.
There are many types of spice jar organizers. These spice jars are from the dollar store. I simply spray painted the lids and organized them with an IKEA spice jar drawer insert.
Get your FREE Kitchen Pantry Labels
Download your FREE Kitchen Pantry Labels by CLICKING HERE
Shop these helpful tools to organize your pantry:
- Clear adhesive label sheets
- Heavyweight cardstock
- Paper trimmer
- Copper wire bin clips
- Plastic weave pantry bins
- Glass airtight canisters
- Spice Jars
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item via these links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Curious what the pantry looked like before? See it here.
What are some of your favorite pantry organization tips? Let me know in a comment below!