The pantry can be one of the messiest areas of the home if not regularly kept organized. You do no need to take forever to know where your food is. Therefore, you can put your pantry in order with these super smart pantry organization ideas at the same time creating more space for more items.

Plan your pantry

Think about how to use the space for your lifestyle and create zones. For example, you can have specific areas for baking, snacks and breakfast items. Divide your pantry in zones to keep your food organized and to reduce your meal-preparation time. First, identify food and cooking categories that suit your lifestyle (weeknight dinners, portable lunches, baking, etc.) Next, designate an area for each, with the most often-used zones in easy reach. Finally, label each zone.

Stock a selection of fast-fix appetizers, napkins, toothpicks, and trays in baskets. When company arrives pull one down, and you’re ready to get the party started.

Figure out overflow

If your pantry is small, do this: Designate the space for certain items only. Store the rest in nearby kitchen cabinets within easy reach.

Install built-in shelves

And make them deep. Although corner shelving can have a bad rap for being awkward-to-access storage, it’s great to have these spaces for rarely used or oddly shaped items. The depth of these shelves is beneficial for storing not just food items, but regular kitchen equipment as well (e.g., the mixer, large pots, and deep baskets).

Create a kid zone

Your youngsters probably head straight to the kitchen after school. Instead of asking you, now they can just grab cookies, granola bars or potato chips from easy-to-reach spots.

Install adjustable height shelving

Of course, the idea behind these is function, not aesthetics. Obviously, pantry contents are customized to each household, and adjustable shelving allows for that. No more cereal boxes lying on their side so they fit on the shelf, no more bottled goods wasting 12 inches of above-lid air space. Adjust those shelves, and you’re well on your way to having a wonderfully maximized pantry.

Take the time to re-organize

The time it takes to fix the pantry pays off while you are doing your grocery shopping. Seeing what you have at a glance means no more overbuying.

Ease the morning rush

Having go-to breakfast items and lunchbox snacks (packaged oatmeal, breakfast bars, mini-bags of chips, pudding cups) in one place helps get everyone out the door on time.


Fit more into less space

Storing items in containers lets you throw out bulky packaging and free up some room. Square ones are the most space-efficient.

Create a DIY chalkboard

Use chalkboard paint to cover the inside of your pantry door to either plan your groceries or brainstorm your weekly dinner menu.

Use the door

Too often, doors are overlooked as potential units of storage because their ultimate function is to open and close and provide access to a space. But even the few inches of storage they can provide is priceless! Built-in flat shelves on a pantry door are ideal for easy access to spices and small items. If you can’t do built-in, never fear! Door-hung storage units of all types and sizes are readily available at most hardware stores and supercenters. Hang bulky or seldom-used utensils from hooks mounted on the wall or back of the door. If space allows, store specialty appliances in the pantry, too.

Purchase a can organizer

Your cans will stay clutter-free once you place them in this wire basket organizer.

Spruce up the space

Clear out everything. Next, you can clean and paint the shelves and pantry walls a vibrant color to start off fresh.