How To Organize A Kitchen Pantry
In today’s post I’m going to share how to organize a kitchen pantry — you’ll find so much information and inspiration for organizing pantries in all shapes and sizes! I’ll share resources on how to set-up pantries that are small, closet style, walk-in, located in cabinets and pantries that have wire shelves! Plus, I’ll be sharing my DIY pantry, that is set-up with open shelves. I’ve even got a link to some beautiful pantry labels for you, and lots of useful organizing items to keep whatever pantry space you have working hard!
Welcome to week two of our month long Cleaning & Organizing Challenge. I’m concentrating on how to organize a kitchen pantry today, and I’ll be sharing some useful ideas and sources with you! Following the Free Printable Checklist/Calendar, Jess Mom4Real and I will continue sharing our completed tasks & projects with you. Feel free to jump-in anytime, and work at your own pace!
I’m going to start at the beginning, in my very own pantry — we built our pantry out of the sheer need for extra storage space, and it was not especially attractive. Three years ago it made it to the top of my “I’ve got to do something about this” list, and I gave it a good cleaning and organizing. But it still wasn’t very attractive.
The first phase of our pantry organizing project involved a massive purge of our whole kitchen. It was the biggest kitchen purge I’ve ever done, and was necessary after becoming empty nesters. I had to to re-learn how to shop properly. After that, adding some much need organizing pieces really helped take our pantry from very messy, to pretty well functioning!
WHAT I USED: I added fabric bins, stacking wire baskets for better vertical use of space, and it was my first time using the flip-tite containers.
I’m sharing the stages of our pantry, to show you that you don’t have to get to the end of your journey all in one leap! We can take steps forward toward our goals as time, energy, budget and even our skills allow.
The next stage in our pantries evolution, involved ditching the very, verrry much hated curtain, that was a necessary evil for far too long! But not everything can make it to the top of the to-do list at the same time, right?
I knew if the pantry wasn’t going to be hidden any longer, it was going to have to get a whole lot prettier!
Now, having open shelves isn’t for everyone. I get that. But for me… I’d rather see my white pantry, wood shelves and my organized storage, than to see a curtain.
I’ve touched on this before, but it bares repeating:
Making adjustments to your spaces as your needs change will make your home work best for you! A little work can have amazing payoffs and I’ve always found the effort, on both small & large projects, is more than worth it.
This definitely applies when learning how to organize a kitchen pantry!
After living with and using our flip-tite containers (linked at the bottom under “sources”) for well over a year, I decided to invest in several more and I continue to be very pleased with them. I’m not prone to over-spend on organizing gadgets or to buy things in pursuit of “Pinterest perfection”, but I’ve found these very efficient. I like that they are easy to open with one hand, but stay firmly closed, and that they stack snuggly on top of each other too.
TODAY: Things have changed dramatically in my kitchen since last January when I revealed the new open pantry. I’ve finally gotten serious about taking my daily diet in-hand, and I’ve cut out a considerable amount and variety of foods that I no longer need to store. So my shelves look a little lighter.
With the deletion of several snack foods, I was able to dedicate the entire top shelf to paper towel storage.
It’s been great being able to grab a new roll right here in the kitchen. And I like having things more central, and stored in a place that makes sense!
In some instances, it’s best to use storage solutions with a surface that can be cleaned & sanitized. Whenever I can get away with it though, baskets will always be my first choice for pretty hidden storage.
The square basket provides that for (some) of our stock of BBQ sauce.
Because some of my containers lost their jobs when I cut certain foods out of my diet, I’ve got my empty flip-tite storage containers stored in the big basket on the floor, waiting for their next assignment.
NOTE: Because I have an open pantry, I prefer to keep my less visually appealing products in my cabinets, behind closed doors. I realize that might seem like a luxury since I’ve got the space to do it, and I appreciate that for those with large families or for those that require maximum use of all their space, that might not be an option.
My pantry and it’s contents are on the simple side, so I don’t need labels to identify any of the basic ingredients I’ve got stored, but if you scroll down you’ll find a link to a pretty set of free printable pantry labels!
This latest edit to our pantry was completely painless. It took under ten minutes to dust my shelves, and shift things around a bit to better fit our current storage needs. I’ve been so pleased with this project from the moment we completed it. I find it easy to see what I’ve got, what I need… and very easy to keep tidy. It works very well for us in terms of both form & function.
HOW TO ORGANIZE A KITCHEN PANTRY
The best place to begin when starting a pantry makeover project, is to determine exactly how you want and need your pantry space to work.
Access and measure your available working space (don’t forget the possibility of utilizing the inside of cabinet and pantry closet doors, if applicable).
Decide on shelf placement and the shelf style to best utilize your square footage. NOTE: You may want flexible shelf placement for changing needs. Consider a mix of styles that may give you increased storage capacity too.
Your Needs: What type of pantry will you be creating? Canning storage, dry storage, mixed food and household items, will you have a coffee station, wine storage, snack stations for the kids, etc…
STOP HERE: Before you move forward, this is the perfect point in which to purge and toss anything stale, expired, or oddball purchases or gifts you are never going to open or eat — you don’t want to space plan and make room for unnecessary items!
Determine what type of containers you’ll need and what will best utilize your available storage space: bins, woven baskets, wire baskets, stacking storage, clear glass with lids, air tight containers, etc…
Once you have taken stock of the basic needs and desires for your space, you can start laying out a design plan for your very own organized pantry!
PANTRY ORGANIZING RESOURCES
FIND MORE: See 20 More Pantry Ideas [CLICK HERE] to see DIY Pantry Projects of all shapes and size, with storage tips and organizing ideas that I’ve hand selected to guide and inspire you in creating your own best pantry. You can pick and choose which features might work best for you in your own customized space.
I’ve included convenient clickable shopping links below for you. Some may be affiliate links. Click here for full disclosure.