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13 Clever and Creative Pantry Organization Ideas in 2023

Kitchen wooden shelves with glass jars

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to feel like their pantry could use “just a bit more space”. After all, pantries can seem to accumulate items by the dozens every year, regardless of how much you believe you throw away or use.

Pantry organization is essential to keep from pulling your hair out and help you keep account of the goods and containers that you already have – something that can save you an extra trip to the grocery store every week. But what are some clever ways that you can organize your pantry so that you have more room and easy utility?

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The 13 Clever and Creative Pantry Organization Ideas

1. Keep the Daily Essentials in The Front

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Every household has food “essentials” that are used on a daily basis. This can be snacks, bread, flavoring packets, or seasonings. You can make it easier to find the items you use every day by placing them at your eye level.

Keep the less frequently used appliances and foods closer together in the pantry. A stepstool is also handy for getting to the top shelves of your pantry. You can buy one of these on Amazon for about $15.

2. Do an Overhaul

Woman in pantry
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

Doing a bit of inventory checking is the first step to organizing your pantry. Take everything out and give your shelves a thorough cleaning. Also, look for expired products. Finally, cull your appliance and cookbook collection. You can also donate any unopened and still-good canned goods or pantry items that you don’t use to your local charity.

3. Group Similar Goods

Kitchen Pantry with clear glass in wooden cabinet
Image Credit: RODNAE Productions, Pexels

You can use larger bins or baskets to organize similar items, such as all your pasta, soup cans, and snacks. This will make it easy to see when you’re running low. You can make themed baskets like one that contains all your baking ingredients so you can reach for them when you need them.

Transparent bins and baskets allow you to see the contents and determine what is low. Solid-colored bins create a more organized and cohesive atmosphere for pantry storage.

4. Consider Daily Usage

Woman in kitchen organizing white clear glass
Image Credit: RODNAE Productions, Pexels

It’s important to keep the food that your family members eat regularly accessible so they don’t have to move them around, which can create an unorganized pantry. Take individually wrapped items such as bags of chips or granola bars out of the packaging and place them in a basket labeled ‘Treats’.

This will make it easier for your family members to locate them without having to open the pantry. You won’t have to deal anymore with the mounds of half-empty cardboard boxes that they didn’t throw away after they ate their last snack.

5. Learn How to Maximize the Space

White wooden kitchen pantry
Image Credit: Zac Gudakov, Unsplash

Think of your pantry as a Tetris game – the best way to maximize the space is to group everything in a symmetrical and organized way. To maximize space in your pantry, move pantry items from the boxes into your own stylish bins. This will give it a more uniform appearance.

You will love clear storage pitchers for dry goods such as flour, rice, sugar, and oatmeal. These pitchers are easy to transport and reduce spillage. And to maximize the depth of your shelves and cupboards, place small items such as cans on short 3- or 4-inch risers or Lazy Susans.

This will allow you to easily reach and see everything. To store small items such as sauces and spices, you can use wire shelves or an organizer for the back. Hooks can also be used to hang brooms, mopheads, dustpans, or lunch bags.

6. Keep a Running Stock List

Helena Lopes, Pexels
Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Pexels

To avoid forgetting what your pantry needs every week, keep a running list of needed goods and supplies. This will make it even easier to stay on top of what you need to purchase the next time you’re at the grocery store.

You can place your shopping list in a frame and use dry-erase markers for marking what you need. Perhaps even take a quick photo when you are ready to head out to the store.

7. Use Vertical Space

Man organizing kitchen cabinet
Image Credit: Rūta Celma, Unsplash

Consider taking advantage of all the vertical space in your pantry. This means lining up things against all walls, and the less you use a product, the higher it can go on the sides of the pantry. Be sure to stock commonly used goods front and center. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets and shelves can take organization to new heights.

8. Create Zones

Glass bottles in a wooden surface
Image Credit: Heather McKean, Unsplash

Grouping certain categories together is one of the basic principles of organization. This makes it easier to find items and helps you keep everything that you may need at any given time together. A well-organized pantry can have a snack zone, a canned food zone, and a grains zone. This will make your morning and evening snack searches much easier.

9. Consider Sliding Shelves

Kitchen cabinet with sliding shelf
Image Credit: RYosha, Shutterstock

If you’re reorganizing a small pantry, perhaps try a sliding shelf. Although it’s not essential, sliding shelves out allows you to access back-of-the-pantry items easily without having to search through a million other things. These shelves are easy to install, and you can buy them at your local home appliance store or online for about $20.

10. Use Behind-the-Door Storage

Wooden kitchen cabinet
Image Credit: Annie Spratt, Unsplash

To double the storage space in your pantry, consider installing behind-the-door shelving. The shelving can be attached to the back of the door using fasteners, door hangers, or removable adhesive containers.

They’re easy to install and can help you find a place for those small items that tend to get lost in pantries including seasoning packets, small bags of nuts or fruit snacks, and dried food packages.

11. Make an Open Pantry

Photo of sink with glass jars shelf
Image Credit: Gareth Hubbard, Unsplash

They also want to consider creating an Open Pantry if you need the space. Think about the layout of your kitchen and if there is enough room to knock down the side while at the pantry. You can make an open pantry from a wall space that isn’t being used.

Transform your kitchen’s appearance by reaching out to local contractors to see what would be required for the project. And of course, you can always simply install shelving on the outside of the pantry using two-by-fours or ready-made wire shelving.

12. Place Cans and Jars on Risers

Glass jars in white surface
Image Credit: Steven Ungermann, Unsplash

You’ll be surprised by how much space you’ll save using risers inside of the pantry. Cans, small bottles, and jars can get lost in small cabinets and pantries. And risers can always be repositioned as you fill the pantry with new products. You can even create your own risers using a few two-by-fours or purchasing small cabinets online and installing them inside the cabinet on the walls.

13. Incorporate Lazy Susans

Kitchen counter with lazy susan
Image Credit: ThomasPhoto, Shutterstock

Lazy Susans can help save you time for moving things around and they are definitely beneficial when it comes to organizing. If you find that you’re constantly shuffling ketchup bottles, chocolate milk powder, and potato chip bags, a Lazy Susan can definitely save the day.

And with a simple spin, you can easily find what you’re looking for without having to reorganize the entire pantry or move things out of their designated space.

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Wrapping Things Up

There are tons of creative ways that you can organize a pantry. The first thing to do is an overhaul of everything that you have in your pantry and be sure to pitch things that are expired or that you never use. Next, organize the pantry according to usage and/or food type and you’ll find that creating more space is easier than you thought.

Featured Image Credit: Rachel Claire, Pexels

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