Organize & Clean

16 of the Very Best Pantry Organizing Ideas

updated Sep 16, 2022
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Holly's kitchen aid mixer and spice cabinet

Organizing your pantry is a bit like setting up your library of dry food goods. Creating systems that help you level up your pantry and kitchen cabinet organization can help ensure that things are categorized and kept in the right place. With that in mind, here is a big list of pantry organization ideas to help you achieve a realistic pantry that serves you well, no matter its size, shape, or the kinds of containers you use.

Credit: @ideaspaceau

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1. Use a bag organizer.

This handy product from @ideaspaceau is a handy place to keep all your zip-shut bags in place. From diminutive snack-size to gallon-size and a few in between, this handy helper keeps storage bags separated by size so they aren’t falling all over the place in your pantry.

2. Use baskets to corral paper products.

Baskets are arguably one of the best pantry organization ideas out there. Which is why you’ll see them more than once in this article. We love the use of baskets to keep paper products like paper towels and napkins neat and organized, like @katherinemateriale does here. 

Credit: @thekokoway_

3. Store root vegetables in see-through baskets.

See? More baskets. But seriously, though. If you have room in your pantry, store things like potatoes, garlic and onions in baskets for easy grabbing when you’re cooking, like @thekokoway has done. You’d be surprised how much space these veggies can take up on your counter or in your fridge if you aren’t intentional about giving them a place to live. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

4. Hang chip bags with pants hangers.

Chip bags are tricky to store because they’re hard to see, they don’t stand up well, and you don’t want to squish the chips. You also want to be sure to eat them before they go stale! If you have wire shelves in your pantry, one way to keep your chips fresh and accessible is to clip them closed with pants hangers. For a clever storage hack, try hanging them from the wire.

Credit: @mdesign

5. Treat small bins or baskets as “drawers”.

For items in smaller bags, such as dried cranberries, nuts, and shredded coconut, consider small baskets or bins like @mdesign has done. They will corral these easy-to-lose items. Plus, especially if you store them on a higher shelf, being able to pull out the whole basket means you won’t have to reach and shuffle to get what you want. Store items vertically, not on top of each other, for best visibility and access.

6. Make use of wall space with hooks.

If you have any vacant wall space in your pantry, consider affixing Command hooks, like @yourhome.yourstory has done. You can use them to hang aprons or towels.

7. Throw a shoe organizer on the back of the door.

A shoe organizer with clear plastic pockets generates storage space out of the thin air on the back of the door. It’s ideal for storing smaller items that tend to get lost, like boxes of food coloring or spices, or water bottles, as shown here by @leilasmithhomes. Lower pockets are perfect for storing snacks, such as granola bars or meat sticks, for the kids to grab. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

8. Take advantage of corners with Lazy Susans.

Putting turntables in the corners of your pantry turns these potential dead spots into some of the most useful storage. Top them with bottles of oils or vinegar, or small items like baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Sort by category, and enjoy grabbing exactly what you’re looking for with just a slight flick of the wrist.


9. Double your shelf space with shelf risers.

You definitely don’t want to waste vertical space, but if you merely stack things on top of each other, you’re going to end up with a frustrating mess of items. Instead, use shelf risers to create an additional shelf wherever you need one. 


10. Hang shelf baskets to further use vertical space.

While shelf risers are best for hard items like cans and boxes, these hanging baskets from Amazon lend themselves well to storing more malleable items, like bags of rice and beans.

11. Repurpose jars for cost-free storage.

Jars, especially large ones, are a wonderful way to store dry beans, rice, popcorn, and the like. The best part is: You don’t have to buy them! For uniform storage, save the same kind of pasta sauce jar or other jar. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can add your own labels. Just look at this colorful display by @organization_fabulous.

12. Invest in modular storage.

Modular storage allows you to employ as much depth, length, and height of each shelf as possible because you can stack, unstack, and slide containers easily. OXO containers are popular and great, but more economical options like this Kitsure Airtight Food Storage Container Set function the same way.

Credit: @home.orga

13. Label liberally

Labeling both prevents any pantry goods from becoming mystery items and drastically decreases visual clutter and overwhelm. Even if you can see through your containers, having a label identifies contents with no squinting or guessing, like @home.orga has done. Use a labeler or, simply, masking tape and a Sharpie. You can also label shelves to differentiate between pantry “zones.”

Credit: Jason Rampe

14. Separate pantry areas into zones

So, about those zones: This is a higher level type of organization, and it will make a huge difference in the overall neatness of your pantry. Create zones in your pantry as much as you can. For instance, one area could be your baking zone and house items like flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, sprinkles, and pudding mixes. Another could be a whole shelf, half a shelf, or even a basket or baking sheet to corral similar items together.

Credit: @likuan1308

15. Use magazine holders for produce

If you use your pantry to store onions, garlic, and other produce that doesn’t need refrigeration, consider a magazine holder, like @likuan1308 has done. You’ll take up vertical space and ensure that your food is accessible, visible, and contained. Wire mesh magazine holders also allow for airflow.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

16. Tier cans and spices

Canned goods and spices are nearly ubiquitous pantry items. Storing them so you can see what you have is an important component of an organized pantry. To achieve this, consider can tiers and spice racks so nothing is hidden from view.