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You’ll Have Perfect Pantry Organization With These 10 Helpful Tips

Perfect Pantry Organization

There are a few things in life that really remind you that you’re actually an adult. Paying taxes, investing in a good vacuum cleaner, AND caring about organization. Specifically, pantry organization. Whether you have a large walk-in, small pantry, or even just a few dedicated cupboards, organization is key! It can help you save time, money, and effort. An organized pantry allows you to keep track of what you have and avoid food waste. AND having a system that works for you can also help you maximize your pantry’s function and elevate the look of the space. It can be overwhelming when you don’t know where and how to start. So, in this post, we’ll dive into how to organize your pantry and keep it that way!

You can find more home tips to help you get clean and organized in 2023, here!

perfect pantry organization, clutter-free pantry

Best Pantry Organizing Tips

Erin recently organized her pantry, and I was so inspired by her efficient pantry organization ideas! What better time than the start of the new year to get an orderly system in place? The images in today’s post are from Erin’s home and I’ll share the exact products she used, but first…the helpful tips you need to get started.

Tip #1) Empty Your Pantry

Maybe not the most exciting, but definitely a necessary place to start! Clear out everything in your panty (yes, everything!) Discard expired products and consolidate multiples.

Tip #2) Clean

You had to know this was coming…Next, you’ll want to start with a clean pantry! Scrub down the shelves and clean up all the crumbs and spills! I highly recommend this little cordless vacuum for dirt, dust and crumbs that accumulate in tiny spaces. I have one and love it. It comes in super handy for your kitchen and is also great for your car.

How to keep your pantry organized

Tip #3) Group Your Items

Next, you’ll want to take inventory of your items and organize them loosely by category. Group similar items together and get a feel for how large that category is and what size baskets and storage containers you’ll need to house those items.

Tip #4) Plan Your Sections

Your sections might be super specific like “Crackers” or more general like “Breakfast” but organize your items into groups that make sense for you and your family. For younger kiddos categories like “Healthy/Anytime Snacks” or “One Per Day Snacks” will help them (or you) make good choices! Here are some examples to get you started.

  • Bread
  • Breakfast
  • Pasta
  • Snacks
  • Potatoes & Veggies
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn & Nuts
  • Cereal
  • Baking Supplies

Pantry snack containers

Tip #5) Reduce Packaging

Food packaging can take up a lot of space and ruin the neat look of your pantry. Removing pasta, rice, beans, flour, sugar, oatmeal, cereals, etc. from their packaging and emptying them into jars or canisters not only looks better but it also saves space and keeps your food fresher!

Tip #6) Measure

You know that saying, measure twice, cut once? Well, the same theory jives for figuring out what size baskets or bins you’ll need. Measure the height, width, and depth of your pantry shelves because it’s likely you’ll need various size storage bins, and nobody has time for returns! And, you want to maximize every inch of your shelf space in your pantry possible! Don’t forget about the back of your pantry door if you can use that for a hanging organizer, and empty wall space which can help keep your shelves less cluttered.

Tip #7) Make A Plan

Now that you have your measurements and your sections are created, figure out what size bins, baskets, and turntables you need for your pantry items. Erin uses a lot of open baskets for easy access. But she also uses a few lidded baskets. These are nice for concealing small items, less-used items, and linens. Be sure to fully utilize vertical space too! Especially for cereal boxes. This means you can use taller baskets or stacking storage bins. But keep the most accessed items at eye level for easy grab and go.

labeled storage bins for pantry

Tip #8) Label

OK so maybe you don’t have a label maker, or maybe you do?? But I promise you, labeling your baskets and/or jars is key. It’s one of the best organizing tips. So, channel your inner nerd and go to town! Labels will help keep your zones organized. This is also the best way to keep your pantry clutter-free and helps maintain neatness for other hands that are in your pantry day after day. Erin uses small chalkboard labels for her baskets which are ideal because then you can easily change the categories/zones as needed.

Tip #9) Make Your List

Now that you have measured (you did that, right?), organized, and have a pretty good idea of what you need…it’s time to make your list. Open baskets, baskets with lids, bins, airtight jars, labels, tiered spice rack, Lazy Susans…put everything you need on your list.

Tip #10) Shop For Pieces That Last

Erin swears by these rattan baskets! Are they more expensive? Yes. But they don’t shed and crack like wicker and seagrass baskets do so they’ll last for a LONG time. Since your pantry baskets will likely be getting a lot of wear and tear each day, investing in rattan baskets is her #1 tip. For oils, vinegars, and spices, Erin organizes with plastic Lazy Susans which are easy to clean.

Perfect Pantry Organization musta haves

Pantry Organizers

Now that you have all the tips to help you keep your pantry all ship shape, let’s move on to the actual products that can help you get the job done. Keep scrolling for all the items Erin uses as well as a few additional pieces you might need.

#1) Rattan Baskets

As mentioned above, these rattan baskets are perfect for your pantry because they come in multiple size options and they don’t shed! They also have handles that are perfect for attaching labels.

#2) Rattan Baskets With Lids

These rattan storage baskets match #1 and are great for housing smaller objects and items less frequently used.

#3) Pantry Basket Label Clips

These clip-on chalk labels come with a chalk pen so you can change up or rename your zones when needed. You can also create stick-on labels with a label maker if you’ve opted for plastic bins.

#4) Portable Vacuum

I keep this handy for ridding my pantry shelves of crumbs and spills. It’s cordless and has various levels of powerful suction!

#5) Stackable Jars Set of 4

 This set of 4 glass storage jars is sturdy, stackable and eco-friendly. Erin’s have acacia wood lids which create an airtight seal to keep your food fresh. They come with labels too!

#6) Pasta Jars With Lids

This size jar is perfect for your spaghetti pasta.

#7) Gallon Sized Jar With Lid

Larger, gallon-sized jars can be tough to find. This size is great for flour, sugar, and coffee.

#8) Lazy Susan

As a “Susan,” this item always makes me chuckle!  You can use these plastic turntables for spices, oils, and smaller jars. This one doesn’t have dividers.

#9) Lazy Susan 2 Pack With Dividers

This 2 pack does have dividers…it all comes down to what you prefer. I recommend the high-edge over the low edge and plastic is great for making sure you can see everything easily.

#10) Expandable Spice Rack For Shelves

An expandable and tiered spice rack keeps all your seasonings organized and easy to find.

#11) Expandable Spice Rack For Drawers

Here’s another expandable spice rack you can use for a drawer vs. a shelf.

#12) Plastic Pantry Storage Bins

If you prefer plastic bins over baskets, the Home Edit ladies are killing it with their organization product line. Shop Home Edit organization here.

So, are you an organization freak or is it really not your jam? Most of us on Team Busbee fall into the previous camp…it’s just so satisfying. Can you relate? To make sure you don’t miss out on blog posts and our exclusive style content, be sure to sign up for the newsletter here. And, if you are looking to reboot your style in 2023, Erin’s Style Made Simple course is a perfect way to get started!

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Meet the writer's series, home writer, Susan Harold
Susan Harold
Susan is the Busbee Style Digital Content Editor and a contributing writer. She has spent the last 25 years working in the magazine publishing industry as a content, circulation, and marketing consultant. Susan resides in sunny San Diego, CA with her husband and pathetically perfect pup, Rusty, and loves visiting with her 2 sons when they're home from college. With a passion for pretty things, witty words, travel, and all things family, writing HOME content comes naturally because, truth be told, her homebody game is strong! There’s no place like home!
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