9 Steps to Simple Pantry Organization That Works

The pantry is the unsung hero of the kitchen. Dare I say, house? When we built our current house, my biggest request was a large organized pantry. Once we moved in, it was time to get it ready to work hard for us. Let’s get started on getting start on some simple pantry organization that works.

pantry storage solutions

9 Steps to Simple Pantry Organization

Start By Emptying It

I know this feels like a lot of work but starting with a blank slate will be so helpful in it working well for your family. Notice the first step, was not running out to get cute baskets – just wait a minute. We will get there if you want, it’s not a requirement.

Clear the Excess Clutter

Every house has clutter, don’t be discouraged. Regular decluttering is just as much apart of life as doing the dishes and the laundry. If you need help decluttering, read this article.

Throw away expired items, empty boxes, wrappers, and stale items. Set aside items you won’t eat or use to donate to local food pantries and donation centers. Don’t organize things that don’t serve you, clear the clutter first!

kitchen pantry organization

Determine What Your Pantry Will House

Every pantry is a different size and use. I store art supplies in ours because we do most of our arts and crafts in the kitchen, that might not be the case for you.

Think outside the box, pantries don’t just have to store food. If you have the space, make it work for you. So, what will your pantry house?

Sort Items Into Like Categories

I would encourage you to keep the items general especially the smaller pantry you have. The more simple we make it the more likely we are to maintain it. So, group items in like categories to see what you have to organize.

For Reference here are some common categories in my pantry –

  • Cereal & breakfast items
  • Chips & pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Coffee, tea & accessories
  • Lunch boxes & water bottles
  • Snacks
  • Desserts & candy
  • Canned & bottled goods
  • Extra dinner supplies
  • Baking supplies
  • Paper products
  • Extra gifts
  • Art supplies
  • Batteries & misc. house accessories
  • Water bottles
  • Extra pots, pans & small appliances

Determine Organization Tools You Like To Use & What You Need

Do you like to see everything? Do you like it concealed in a basket? Think about how you like to organize.

Then, determine what you need in terms of storage for each category based on the space you have to work with. What do you already have on that will work? Then, make a list of items you need/want to buy!

Label Your Categories

You just spent a lot of time working on the organization but unless your family crawls in your brain, chances are they might not know exactly how you organized it. The best way to combat that is by labeling your categories.

I use these printable DIY labels. I laminated them, cut them, punched a hole in them and picked a ribbon that matched my decor.

Now, when someone walks in our pantry, they can both get what they are looking for and put it away correctly so you aren’t the only one responsible for keeping the space organized.

kitchen pantry organization and storage

Load in the Pantry

Now, it’s time to load in the pantry but not so fast. I want you to be intentional. Just like it’s not your sole responsibility to keep it organized, you want other family members to be able to independently access what they need.

Place Kid Items Where They Can Reach

Place items you want your kids to access easily and independently where they can reach it. We have things like snacks, water bottles, and lunch boxes down low. We have candy and medicines up high!

Place Items You Use Regularly in Preferred Location

Also, things you use regularly should be in a spot that’s easiest for you to grab. In my pantry, thinks I access regularly are toward the front and things that are less used are towards the back.

Give a Tour & Communicate Organization Systems

Remember, your family has not crawled in your brain so take them on a little tour, show off your hard work and show them where everything is stored.
We often assume they should just know but communicating so everyone is on the same page and can help with the maintenance going forward.

Remember, Regular Maintenance Is Key

You aren’t the exception to the rule, if your pantry needs to be decluttered on a regular basis. Everyday things come into our home, so it makes sense that over time we would have to revisit the organization and storage systems we set up and declutter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the specifications of your pantry?

Our pantry is 6 feet x 12.5 feet. It’s painted un-tinted white with wooden shelves painted white.

What storage baskets did you use?

These budget friendly storage baskets are my go-to.

What air tight containers did you use?

These are the containers I use for cereal. These are the containers I use for baking supplies.

What tips do you have for organizing a smaller pantry space?

Determine what you want to store in there and be ruthless. If you don’t use it regularly, consider it storing it elsewhere.

Then, maximize the space by using organizational tools like risers for canned goods so you can use the full depth of the shelves. A lazy susan work great as well for deep shelves.

Consider adding more shelves, using the door (like this organizer) and floor to maximize every square inch.
If you are tight on space, consider ditching the boxes. They take up way more room. Place all like crackers or cereals in bags in a basket or container to save space.

How do you determine what to put in air tight storage containers and what to keep in boxes?

Things that make a mess go in air tight containers. I don’t want someone to get a hold of my sugar or flour bag and have it go all over. If an item comes in a bag opposed to a box like a trail mix, I will often put it in a container.

Is it necessary to label baskets?

Yes! Here’s why….
You organized the space so everything makes logical sense to you but maybe not to everyone else that walks in there. If you want help in maintaining it and don’t want to be the only one that finds and stores item, then label!

What labels did you use?

I used this set of DIY pantry labels that are a digital download. Download and print on card stock.
I laminated them (this is my favorite laminator) for extra durability and then punched a hole in it and finally add some cute ribbon to affix to my baskets.

Where did you get your ribbon?

I got my ribbon at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 a roll. I needed 1 roll plus some for my project.

Want this Pantry Organization Look?

Don’t forget to grab those pantry labels…

Grab your printable DIY pantry labels here.

You Might Also Like These Organizing Posts…

How to Organize Your Child’s School Paperwork

Toy Organization: Create a Toy Closet

DIY Garage Toy Organization

Shared Kid’s Closet Organization

Art Cart: Art Supply Organization

 
Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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