25 Pantry Organization Ideas and Hacks

Mizuki Hisaka
Written by Mizuki Hisaka
Updated November 9, 2022
Woman in kitchen opening pantry door
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Say goodbye to kitchen clutter with these pantry organization ideas and tips

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A beautifully organized pantry can be yours—all it takes is planning, finding the right organizers, and some time. The best part is once you implement an organizational system, it’ll be fairly easy to keep things neat. Here are 25 pantry-organizing tips to help you get started.

1. Get Shelving

Open shelving kitchen pantry
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If you have an empty wall or two in your pantry, consider adding more shelving. If you’re working with a narrow space, try sleek, floating shelves; not only will they add some storage space, but they’ll also add a sense of style. You’ll be glad you added shelving when you have more room for pantry basics. You can even try DIYing some pantry shelves if you’re handy. 

2. Stack Plastic Containers

Clear food storage containers in kitchen pantry
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One of the best pantry organization ideas is using food-safe plastic containers. Ideally, you should grab a set of containers of various sizes and shapes. Instead of storing your food in bags and boxes, you can empty the contents into each container.

It works great for organizing cereal, chips, candy, and more. Besides the containers looking good on your shelves, it’ll be easy to track when you’re running low on certain items.

3. Glass Jars for the Win

Glass jars in kitchen pantry
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If you’re not a huge fan of plastic bins for food storage, go with glass jars. Jars with air-tight lids are perfect for all pantry items, especially dry goods like rice, flour, and beans. Your food will stay fresh longer, and storing your items properly will keep pests at bay.

4. Use Can Organizers

Can organizers are a must-have for any pantry. Without them, you’re most likely dealing with a hodgepodge of cans on your shelves. Most organizers have three tiers that hold 36 cans. You can use them for cans of food or your surplus of soda.

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, a tip from a professional organizer is to start small. So getting your project started with something simple like installing a can organizer is a good way to go.

5. Utilize Baskets for Everything

Large organized pantry storage
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Baskets offer a versatile catchall for different categories of pantry items. As long as you label each one, it’ll be easy to figure out what’s where. Instead of storing large boxes of individually-wrapped snacks, you can store the snack packets in baskets and recycle the box. You can also use large baskets on the bottom floor of the pantry to store your overflow of goods.

Baskets come in tons of different materials. Wire baskets are versatile for storing snack-sized chip bags or raw vegetables like onions and potatoes. On the other hand, woven, felt, and other cloth baskets offer a homey vibe.

If you want a modern look, use clear acrylic baskets to skip the labeling. Alternatively, colored plastic baskets are a good choice because they’re easy to wipe off and clean.

6. Level Up Your Oil Dispensers

A person dropping oil
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Instead of having your oils in different-sized containers, pour your olive oil, balsamic vinegar, peanut oil, and more into matching dispensers. You’ll save space, and the bottles will look nice on your shelf.

7. Install Pull-Out Drawers

Pull-out drawers in kitchen cupboard
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Installing pull-out drawers is an easy way to maximize your storage space, even in the narrowest cabinets. You can take it one step further by adding small organizer inserts or a spice organizer in each drawer. Store small items in the inserts like tea bags, coffee pods, etc. Plus, this pantry idea is a DIY kitchen cabinet upgrade you can tackle on your own. 

8. Make Space With Shelf Risers

Open kitchen cabinets
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Double or triple your shelf space with budget-friendly shelf risers. These stackable organizers free up kitchen cabinet space and create room for small items on your pantry shelves, like jars of jam, condiments, and sauces. Don’t waste any vertical space in your pantry or kitchen with these functional units. 

9. Try Lazy Susans in Unused Corners

Solution for a kitchen corner storage
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Modern lazy Susans are both stylish and functional. Some turntables come with organizing bins, which are useful for storing small items like energy and candy bars. You can tuck lazy Susans into the corners of your pantry or display them in the center of your shelf to hold your go-to snacks.

10. Don’t Forget the Space on the Back of Your Door

Kids searching through the pantry
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You can add more space to your pantry by adding a hanging door organizer. Many models come with six tiers of shelving, with plenty of space to store any overflow from your main stash. You can hang utensils, measuring cups, or bags with some hooks. 

11. Add a Coffee and Tea Bar

Coffee maker and shelves in pantry
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If you’re a coffee or tea fanatic, use a coffee bar hack and dedicate a shelf in your pantry for your espresso maker, French press, and electric water kettle. Just store your coffee beans and tea bags nearby with some mugs on hanging hooks, and you’ll be all set.

12. Get a Label Maker

Dry goods labeled in jars in kitchen pantry
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Do your best to label everything in the pantry. Besides labeling each spice jar, label any containers or baskets so everyone knows where everything goes. Speed things up with a label maker—it’ll be easier to print and stick all the labels rather than doing everything by hand.

13. Track Dates With Dry-Erase Markers

In addition to labeling your baskets and containers, keep dry-erase markers handy, so you can label the expiration date for your items on the corresponding storage containers. That way, you won’t accidentally use long-lasting items like sugar and flour past their expiration date.

14. Stay in the Loop With a Chalkboard or Whiteboard

Woman writing list on chalkboard in home
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Since your family members will spend plenty of time around the pantry, it’s a good spot to install a chalkboard or whiteboard board for to-do lists, notes, and a calendar to mark important dates. You can install one on the door or the wall beside the pantry.

15. Decorate the Walls

It’s easy to get lost in the organizational side of beautifying your pantry, but don’t forget to make the most out of the space by adding pizzazz to the walls. You can install traditional or temporary vinyl wallpaper or go with a fresh coat of paint.

16. Spice It Up

Spices in containers on a wooden shelf
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Using a spice rack is a great way to clean up the clutter of random spices that may take up space in your pantry. Choose from wood racks, wire racks, rotating organizers, and step shelves. Now you can find any spice you might need while whipping up a big meal. 

17. Organize With a Baker’s Rack

Modern baker’s rack in kitchen
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Not all homes have a built-in pantry. But not to worry—you can easily create some pantry space by getting a baker’s rack. Since all your items will be in plain view, it makes sense to splurge on matching plastic bins, baskets, and other organization items.

18. Make Appliance Cubbies

Open shelving in large kitchen
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Appliances are sometimes hard to store because they can be oddly shaped and bulky. Make things easier by creating appliance cubbies and giving each appliance a home. After all, figuring out where everything should go is one of the best tips for maximizing efficiency in your kitchen. You won’t ever struggle to get the waffle maker from the back corner of a cabinet, and it’ll make your kitchen visually pleasing.

19. Hang Baskets

Hanging fruit baskets in kitchen pantry
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Another pantry organization tip that helps you make the most out of your space: add hanging baskets. These are ideal for storing produce, especially fruit. Most importantly, hanging baskets use vertical space and don’t take up precious space on pantry shelves. 

20. Install a Wine Rack

Close up of wine rack
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A wine rack is a fun and easy way to display your bottles so you can forget about any shoved in the corner of a cabinet. There are wall-mounted racks that are modern and chic, or opt for traditional wire or wooden racks that you can install on a shelf.

21. Bring Order to Your Plastic Container Lid Collection

We all know how easy it is for plastic container lids to get mixed up, lost, and thrown haphazardly into a random junk drawer. Use a lid organizer to avoid the mess, and you’ll never have to search high and low for the right-sized lid.

22. Light It Up

Illuminated shelves in kitchen pantry
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If your pantry is a little dark, add extra lighting to bring the space to life and make it easier to find your food items. You can install a new light fixture on the ceiling, or for an easier DIY project, install LED light strips.

23. Keep Food Bags Organized

Food bag organizers make it super easy to store your gallon-, quart-, sandwich-, and snack-sized bags. Packing snacks for bagged lunches will go faster with one of these organizers. 

24. Upgrade Your Plastic Wrap and Foil Dispensers

A man tears off the foil from plastic dispenser
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We’ve all had to deal with the annoyance of trying to grab and cut pieces of plastic wrap and foil. Instead of fumbling with the boxes, get an organizer. You can simply place your foil and plastic wrap in the dispensers, which conveniently have built-in cutters.

25. Sort Your Water Bottles

If you have tons of water bottles—especially if you have a big family—getting a water bottle organizer will save you tons of space. It’ll be easy to grab the bottle you need when you rush out the door, and the organizer will look nice on your shelf.

If all this sounds like too much work to add to your to-do list, you can hire an organizer near you to do the heavy lifting.

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