Organizing Pantry Items: 9 Tips for Effective Kitchen Organization

July 29, 2023

Have you ever found yourself rummaging through a cluttered pantry every time you wanted to cook? If you start feeling overwhelmed by the chaos during grocery shopping, then this creative, DIY-inspired, and simple guide is tailor-made for you. Now, you can transform your pantry into a haven of order and functionality without emptying out your pocket as we reveal inexpensive yet highly effective pantry organization ideas.

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

The heart of your kitchen is your pantry, and the importance of an organized pantry really cannot be overstated. The pantry holds the key to seamless meal planning and stress-free cooking. Besides, it is also important to organize your pantry so that you can manage your groceries efficiently. Imagine effortlessly locating all your cooking ingredients, neatly stacked in glass jars with proper labels that make cooking a breeze.

(Also read: 7 DIY Ideas For The Home And You)

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

We cannot stress enough how important an organized pantry is. We are pretty sure that you would not like to have expired products lurking in the depths of your pantry. With a well-organized pantry, you can also avoid last-minute dashes to the store when you want to try a new recipe. With our expert tips, you'll discover how to maximize shelf space, utilize kitchen racks, and maintain a neat rotation system to keep your pantry stocked with fresh ingredients.

(Also read: 30+ Kitchen Storage Ideas)

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

Join us as we dive deep into the world of pantry organization. Here, we offer 9 simple and practical pantry organization ideas that can completely transform your kitchen game. Say goodbye to pantry woes and hello to a functional and visually appealing pantry that will change the way you cook for the better and help you enjoy your kitchen experience. Let's get started on this exciting journey to pantry bliss!

Benefits of a Well-Organized Pantry

A well-organized pantry is the epitome of utility. But that’s not all. It can also be a beautiful sight to behold- with neatly arranged shelf racks, rotating racks, and containers stacked neatly over one another. You can turn your jumbled storage area into a paradise of efficiency and charm by organizing your pantry with these innovative and simple ideas. 

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

One of the most important benefits of a well-organized pantry is how well it can minimize food waste. How often have you found cluttered goods in the back of your shelves filled with expired products? Say goodbye to all of that waste and nastiness. Say hello to a more sustainable lifestyle with a more organized pantry that you can create with our list of simple DIY ideas.

(Read more: 23+ Home Organization Ideas: The Marie Kondo Way)

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

Besides being a time-saving miracle, a well-organized pantry has environmental perks too. Imagine not having to rummage through a maze of spice jars before you can find that bottle of cinnamon powder. With clearly labeled and easily accessible containers, you'll locate what you need at a glance. This way, you can streamline meal prep and recipe execution. Pantry organization is synonymous with whipping up delicious dishes, leaving you with more time to pursue your hobbies.

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

It’s time to embrace your creative side with some easy and affordable pantry organization tips. With these tips, you can not only remodel your kitchen, but you'll also start a journey to cut down on food waste and make the most of every culinary opportunity. A well-organized pantry is the secret ingredient that elevates your cooking experience, so why wait? Let’s dive right into the top 9 tips for pantry organization.

Top 9 Tips to Organize Your Pantry

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

1. Assessing the current state of your home pantry

  • Here we will assess the current challenges that you are facing regarding your pantry organization
  • We will focus on understanding the available storage items in your pantry like jars, containers, boxes, etc 
  • We will then discuss how understanding your storage needs and considering your cooking habits can inform your organizing strategy.

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

The very first step to organizing your pantry is assessing the state of your pantry and recognizing the current challenges that you are facing. Do expired products keep piling up at the back of the shelves? Do you have difficulty finding a specific ingredient or canned product every time you try a new recipe? Well, we will address all of these issues at this point.

Firstly, you must understand the available storage containers in your pantry. For example, you must keep track of how many jars you have. You can use these for condiments and spices. You must keep track of the number of containers you have. You also have to realize that the size and shape of the containers will differ, and so will the kinds of food you can keep in them. You also have to figure out if you have any boxes. These boxes can have a variety of uses as well.

The next thing you will need to do is make a few lists. One list would be for the things you already have, and this will be your current inventory. Next, you will need to consider your cooking habits, so decide which ingredients and food items you use the most, and these are the ones you will have to keep handy. Based on these lists, you will need to develop an organizational strategy.

2. Decluttering and Sorting

  • Step-by-step guide including removing everything from the kitchen, thorough cleaning, grouping similar items, getting rid of expired food items, etc. 
  • One important tip is to giveaway/eliminate duplicates or rarely used items like old containers.

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

The next step to organizing your pantry is decluttering it. Firstly, remove everything from your kitchen. Get rid of all expired items and store the remaining items for the time being. Now, you must invest your time in a thorough cleaning of your kitchen and pantry. You can do this step yourself with soap, water, scrubs, and sponges. However, if you think deep cleaning is required, you could bring in professional help.

After a thorough cleaning using cleaning brushes and duster cloth, you will need to group similar items in your pantry. For example, if you have jars for spices and condiments, keep them together. You should try to use similar jars for spices and condiments, respectively, so that you can find them effortlessly later on. If you have any items, like old containers or kitchen equipment, that you don’t use and that are gathering dust, you could consider giving or throwing them away.

3. Categorizing Pantry Items

  • Here we will talk about creating different areas within the pantry for different types of items 
  • We will also focus on why you should categorize according to the frequency of usage 

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

It is crucial to arrange pantry sections, as it will ultimately help you with organization and finding things easily. At this point, you should choose categories for your pantry. These categories will be unique to every home based on your and your family’s eating habits. However, here are some general pantry categories that you can consider- lentils or pulses, pasta, dry goods, wet ingredients, healthy snacks, breakfast foods, spices, and canned goods. 

The KonMarie method of organizing recommends organizing your pantry based on categories rather than location. This also includes organizing your pantry items based on their frequency of use. For example, spices are ingredients that you would use in every dish. whereas if you are not a baker, you might not be using baking ingredients that often. What this implies is that, based on your requirements and frequency of usage, you should prioritize certain categories and keep them close at hand in your pantry.

4. Labelling the Storage Containers

  • We will talk about the advantages of labelling the storage containers 
  • We will give you some tips around choosing specific type of containers for different types of items 

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

There’s no reason that your pantry can’t be functional as well as attractive. You will be more likely to follow a system for pantry organization and maintenance if your pantry is visually appealing in addition to being useful. After you have made categories for your pantry, you should make labels for each of the containers with the ingredients or food items you are storing in them. You can either purchase vinyl labels at your nearest craft store or make your own!

This is the step where you can really get creative. You can create your own DIY labels with a label maker, making them cute and quirky with 3D wall stickers, and paints, or simply drawing on them with colorful pens or markers. You also have to decide which type of containers you will be using for which type of food and assign proper labels to each of them.

5. Better use of Shelf Space

  • We will provide tips to maximize shelf space using risers, shelf dividers, or additional shelving units
  • We will talk about utilizing vertical space on shelves

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

The best way you can maximize small spaces in your pantry is by adding risers, shelf dividers, or additional shelving units. Try using more vertical space by using rotating racks on top of your shelves. You can also add organiser racks to your shelves. This would make it easier for you to see everything and find what you need at a glance. This trick is especially helpful because we know all too well the struggle of ending up with more spices than intended while shopping!

You will probably need multiple spice racks if you want everything to be organized, even after you have been using your pantry for days. You could also need multiple racks if you have containers of various sizes. If you feel the space in your pantry is too small, another pantry organization idea is to build additional shelves inside your pantry. You can use these narrow racks to keep several other small and lightweight items, like powders, oils, or condiments, in small bottles.

(Read more: 8 Dinner Sets for Every Occasion)

6. FIFO System (First In, First Out)

  • We will explain the concept of the FIFO system for pantry organization.
  • We will provide guidance on implementing the system, which includes rotating items and arranging them by expiration date

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

The concept of the FIFO system is quite simple: the oldest items that you have bought are put at the front of the pantry, where they are easily accessible, and the newly purchased items are placed at the back. The FIFO (First In, First Out) system is a highly effective method of pantry organization through which you can ensure that nothing expires before you use it completely. 

You should use the FIFO system, particularly if you have items that have shorter shelf lives. For example, canned goods, perishables, and boxed products have shorter shelf lives, so you should be organizing these items in your pantry according to the FIFO system. The first thing you have to do to implement the FIFO system is take an inventory of your whole pantry and mark the expiration dates of every item. As you restock the pantry in mason jars and respective containers after grocery shopping, remember to add new items to the back of each group, pushing older items to the front. 

(Also read: Tips to Organize Your Home Office For Better Productivity)

7. Meal Planning and Inventory Management

  • We will talk about the positive effect of organised pantry on meal planning and inventory management and grocery shopping

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

An organized pantry has a range of huge advantages, including positive effects on meal planning, inventory management, and grocery shopping. When you have every ingredient neatly arranged in your pantry, meal planning becomes super easy. Plus, it encourages you to try new recipes, as chances are you already have all the required ingredients on hand.  

With items neatly arranged, you will be able to keep an inventory list of what items you have in your pantry, which ones you use most frequently, and which ones are running out. It also fosters a clear understanding of available supplies, reducing food waste and saving money by preventing duplicate purchases. Inventory management becomes efficient, ensuring essential ingredients are always stocked. Thus, your grocery shopping also becomes more efficient, as you will know which items are available and which items you positively need. Not only will you not spend over your budget, but you will also prevent impulsive buying. 

8. Maintenance and Regular Refreshing

  • We will highlight the importance of regular maintenance to sustain an organized pantry
  • We will provide suggestions for periodic pantry refreshing, including decluttering and reevaluating storage solutions.

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

It is only natural that your pantry gets disorganized after some time of use. But you don’t need to beat yourself up about it. However, you must keep in mind that only maintaining it regularly will help you sustain an organized pantry. An organized pantry is the only way that you can reduce food waste, prevent impulsive buying, and lead a sustainable lifestyle. 

This is why you must always remember to put things back in the appropriate spots. If you are living with kids, you must teach them to put things back in their proper places after use. With proper guidance, you will be successful in making this a habit for them. Besides this, you should also schedule cleaning twice a month. During these times, you can make sure your inventory is stocked.

(Also read: 10 Tips To Stay Organised)

9. Keep Cleaning Supplies Separate

  • We will focus on why you should not keep cleaning supplies near your pantry

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

Following up on the previous point, you already know how important it is to regularly clean and maintain your pantry. As in the previous point, if you are scheduling a cleaning of your pantry twice a month, you might feel it is best to keep your cleaning supplies close to your pantry. However, this would be counterintuitive.

It is best if you keep your cleaning supplies such as brushes and cleaning towels separate from your pantry. This way, you can prevent cross-contamination of products and prevent additional cleaning. You could designate a specific area or separate shelf for all your cleaning products. This would mark a clear distinction between food items and cleaning products and also enhance safety by ensuring that cleaning agents and chemicals are out of reach of children or pets who might accidentally ingest them. 

When cleaning supplies are kept separate, it also contributes to a clutter-free and orderly pantry environment. 

3 Best Selling Kitchen Storage Products on Nestasia in 2023

  • We have included 3 products and basic descriptions along with buy now links

In case you lack a few storage containers to execute the perfect, well-organized pantry that is not only functional but aesthetically pleasing, check out these kitchen storage products. Nestasia brings to you 3 kitchen storage products that our customers swear by!

  1. Glass Storage Jar With Lid Set Of 2- Keeping airtight jars in the kitchen is the ideal way to preserve all food items that have short shelf lives and are perishable. The freshness of the components inside is maintained by this pair of airtight containers with a chic glass airtight lid. In these glass jars, you can keep snacks like chips, puffed rice, dried fruits like raisins, and nuts. These airtight jars have a sleek, contemporary appearance thanks to their ribbed, textured surface.
  2. Metal Jar Set Of 2- Any contemporary kitchen must have this set of two metal jars with lids. These delightful containers are expertly handcrafted and come in two delightful colors: coral and sage green. Each metal jar has a great ribbed texture on its body and an elegant golden top lid with a nostalgic vintage knob design. These customizable metal jars deftly blend practicality and elegance.
  3. Bird Metal Jar With Lid Set Of 2- This set of two small metal jars with lids is ideal for improving the look of your pantry and kitchen. These beautifully made jars combine refinement and utility. Each jar has an intricately crafted decorative bird-shaped knob on its golden top lid, and these are available in two colors- a beautiful pink hue and an intriguing rose taupe shade. These jars look magnificent in any setting owing to their diamond-textured attractiveness.

3 Additional Tips and Hacks for your Pantry Organization

  • We have offered additional tips, hacks, and ideas like quick access to snacks for kids in the home

Now that you know the basic pantry organization ideas that you can easily DIY at home, here are a few additional tips and tricks that would help you with your pantry organization.

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

1. Choosing the right Pantry organizer

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

You must look for three things in a pantry organizer- transparency, stackability, and functionality. Though it might be tempting to buy containers with cool designs and bright colors, it is best to buy clear, transparent containers. Every inch in your pantry counts, so look for flat containers that can be stacked over one another. Lastly, your pantry organizer should be easy to use so that your whole family can use it.

2. Using clear containers

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

Busy packaging of food items can make your pantry look dirty and cluttered. Empty all food items from their bags or boxes into clear containers. Not only will this be visually appealing, but you will also be able to look into your food supplies without having to rummage around in the pantry.

3. Having a kid-friendly area

9 Essential Tips for Perfectly Organizing Your Pantry

Fill the bottom shelves of your pantry with water bottles, cereal dispensers, snacks, or anything else that your kid might use. Use shelf dividers so that you can provide them with several healthy options. 


With these 9 tips, you are halfway there to keeping your pantry totally functional and organized. Now you don’t have to worry anymore about buying duplicates, stressing about what you have in stock, or just feeling overwhelmed with the mess in your pantry. Just implementing these tips and strategies will not only give you the number of benefits mentioned above but will also be your way to enjoying your kitchen in a calm and functional manner. 




  • How can I make the most of small pantry spaces?

You can make the most of small pantry spaces by using smart storage solutions. To make extra space in your pantry, you can make use of door racks or hanging shelves to store small jars or food items. You should also invest in clear, airtight containers to maximize the capacity of your shelves while keeping your food items fresh. Consider adding stackable bins if you have deeper shelves in your pantry and need easier access. Utilize the floor space for larger items or appliances that are not used daily.

  • Should I invest in pantry storage containers?

Of course! It would be a great decision to invest in pantry storage containers. There are several pantry storage containers that you should consider purchasing. You should buy more clear containers than containers with designs or containers with bright colors. That is because these containers will help you identify the contents of each, so you can keep using them and thus reduce food waste. You should also invest in airtight containers to help keep food fresh and protected against pests. You cannot go wrong with flat containers that are stackable, thus optimizing your shelf space and making the pantry more efficient. 

  • How often should I declutter my pantry?

It's advisable to declutter the pantry every 3-6 months. Regular decluttering keeps your inventory organized and prevents the buildup of items that are out-of-date or unusable. Check expiration dates, discard expired goods, and give away things you don't intend to use when decluttering. To maintain order, rearrange the shelves and containers. Create a maintenance schedule to keep the pantry clean and organized all year.


  • Can I use baskets and bins for pantry organization?

Absolutely! Baskets and bins are great for pantry organization. They provide additional storage and categorization choices while maintaining a consistent appearance. To organize loose goods like snacks or packages, use baskets. Vegetables or bulky items can be stored in stackable bins, which are simple to slide in and out of shelves. To maintain an accurate inventory and an aesthetically pleasing pantry space, label baskets and bins as necessary.

  • How can I involve my family in maintaining pantry organization?

Promoting family participation in pantry organization develops teamwork. Get the whole family involved in organizing and decluttering the home. Each family member should be given a certain task to complete and be in charge of a particular pantry section. To encourage cooperation, establish a family-friendly labeling system. Plan regular family pantry clean-ups to foster a culture of cooperation and pride in maintaining a tidy environment. By including the entire family, you can create a positive environment where everyone benefits from having a practical and well-organized pantry.

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