Smart Kitchen Pantry Organization Ideas

Is your kitchen pantry in dire need of some organization? Has it gotten so out of hand that you don’t even know where to start? When you organize your pantry in such a way that you can see everything and you know what you have, it makes cooking and shopping a whole lot easier.

Our lives are so busy these days, especially if you have kids. Juggling everyone’s schedule, school, work, and trying to keep a clean home isn’t always easy. But thankfully, when done right, organizing your pantry only needs to be done once or twice a year.

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If your pantry is super unorganized right now, don’t let it overwhelm you. Sometimes big projects that look like a lot of work can seem overwhelming, so we choose not to tackle them at all. Sometimes it’s just easier to leave it the way it is, than to fix it.

When things start to get cluttered and disorganized it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Having your home clean and organized helps relieve that anxiety. The energy of the room changes and you feel more relaxed.

Pantry Inventory List Printable

So let’s start by tackling that pantry. But first, before we get started, be sure to download the Pantry List printable from the Resource Library. Get access here. Use it to keep track of what you have in your pantry, along with the quantity and expiration date for the items.

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Get Your Pantry Ready

Work in 15 Minute Increments

A lot of top organizing experts say to work in 15 minute increments so it doesn’t get overwhelming. Set a timer if you need to so you can take a quick break, then get back to work. 

Make Room to Work

Its hard to clean an entire pantry out when you have nowhere to put the stuff. Clear off the kitchen table or counters so you have space for emptying the pantry.

Throw Out or Donate

As you pull items out of the pantry, check the expiration date. If it’s expired throw it away. If the item is still good but you don’t use it or want it anymore, make a donation pile. 


Wipe down cabinets and sweep and mop the floor so you have a nice, clean area to work with.

Make a Pantry Organizing Plan

A Home for Everything

The best way to stay organized is to make sure everything has a home. Make sure everything has a designated area that it will go, so that everything can be put away. If there is not a designated area to put it, think “is this something I really need?” If it’s something you really need to keep, you will find a home for it.

Make a Plan

Make a plan for how you want to organize your pantry with the items you have left. If it helps draw it out on paper or make a list. Make categories and group like items with like items. 

Use cabinet organizers such as bins, clear containers, and lazy susans to help group things and make them easier to find. A lot of people like to take items out of their original package and put them in clear, air tight containers so they can see what they have. Plus getting rid of boxes and bags will make things look more uniform and cohesive if that is the look you are going for. You can find cute labels to place on the containers. Make a small note with the expiration date and place on the bottom of the bin or under the lid. 

Pantry organized with baking supplies and spices on lazy susans

Cabinet Organizers

Labeled Bins

Bins can be used to hold all sorts of items. Depending on the size of the bin you could use them to hold boxes, bags, or random small items or packets. For a more cohesive look go for clear bins.

You could also go for color coded bins to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Using a color coded system, you could group things like baking items together. A great place to find bins are at the dollar store. You could do a whole pantry makeover for around $20.

3 Tiered Spice Organizer

These can be used to set spices or canned goods on a multilevel surface so you are able to see what items are in the back.

Can Storage Organizer Rack

Keep your canned goods all in one spot with a can organizer. These rotate the canned goods as you pull them out from the front. These are also great for canned drinks.

Clear Canisters

Use plastic or glass canisters to take foods out of their original packages. Just make sure they have an air tight seal so the food doesn’t go stale.

Wire Racks

Take advantage of the vertical space available by creating multi-levels. Use something like a wire dish rack to set canned goods on top of and underneath.

Put Your Pantry Back Together

Once you have your plan in place and all of the organizing containers you need, it’s time to put everything back in your pantry. Follow your plan and put items back in an orderly fashion. Keep track of the items you put back by using your Pantry List printable from the Resource Library.

It may seem like a huge undertaking before you start, but you will be so glad you did it once it’s done. Step back and take a look at the awesome job you did! You now have a beautifully organized pantry.

This post is part of the Get Your Kitchen Organized Series.

Part 2: 10 Genius Fridge & Freezer Organization Ideas
Part 3: Easy Ideas to Organize Your Recipes
Part 4: Kitchen Organization Ideas You Haven’t Heard Before

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wooden clipboard with recipe card, bamboo utensils in blue holder; organized kitchen