Want to get your pantry organized and keep it that way? Well, today I’d like to give you some of my favorite tips to do just that.
Is your pantry so cluttered and disorganized that it makes it impossible to find that one box of pasta or can of beans you know you have in there? Or maybe you simply don’t have a good layout for your pantry or simply don’t have one at all. I’ve seen all kinds of pantry configurations as a professional organizer, here are some ways you can get your pantry organized, no matter the size.
This is my pantry.
It is a standard small pantry with wire mesh shelves. We did add cardboard on top of the shelves to make a smoother surface for items to sit on, however. There is quite a bit of extra room at the top, as well as space to store items on the floor. And it has a single door, not bi-fold ones. So, many of my examples will be using my own pantry, but I have other ideas that will work in any pantry space.
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Get your pantry organized. Use the door for storage.
We use a set of shelves made specifically to be bolted onto the pantry door.
It was very inexpensive and adds an incredible amount of storage space. The shelves are somewhat narrow, but the perfect size for cans, or narrow boxes, such as pasta or pudding. We also keep the bag of croutons and packets of taco and gravy mixes here as well. We devote one shelf to sandwich-making staples, like peanut butter, Nutella, and Fluff right on the most convenient shelf for easy access.
However, you can also use a clear over the door shoe bag to organize items.
Use it to hold travel mugs or sippy cups,
or individual snack packages, for instance.
Shoe bags are awesome for organizing all over the house. Here are 25 ways to use shoes bags, but not for shoes!
Get your pantry organized. Use the wall space between the door and shelves.
This usually forgotten space is a gold mine of great storage. We put a large screw in the wall to hang our bag of onions. When they were on the floor or a shelf, they either rotted or sprouted. Hanging them up helps protect them from damage and keep the air circulating around them, keeping them fresh much longer.
As I mentioned earlier, our pantry is pretty tall, since our ceiling is over 9 ft. Because I am not, I keep a set of grabbers (like this) hanging on the wall so I can reach items on the top shelf.
On the other side of the pantry is where we keep our wooden yardstick. The kids seem to need a yardstick quite often for either measuring or using a straight edge for school projects and our antique yardstick (from 1936) does the trick.
That’s what works for us, but you can use that empty space in lots of ways.
Add Command hooks and hang chip bags in the space.
Hang small plastic bins or pencil holders all the way up the wall for space to store all of your spices.
Simply tack the flap of sandwich bag boxes right onto the wall for easy access.
Get your pantry organized. Organize those shelves.
Magazine file boxes.
Magazine file boxes can be used on their side to hold travel mugs or water bottles, like this:
They can be used to store plastic wrap and foil, like this:
Clear canisters and plasticware.
We buy cereal in bulk, and it doesn’t pour out of the resealable bags easily. So, we use several plastic cereal containers. They definitely keep the cereal fresher longer.
We keep granola bars and fruit snacks in clear containers, too. That way we can see when we are getting low, and need to write the item down on the grocery list.
Bins, baskets, and boxes. Oh, my.
Sorting similar items, like after-school snack packs or delicate baking items like bags of marshmallows or chocolate chips, in one bin makes it much easier to find them. Adding re-usable chalkboard or dry erase labels makes it even easier!
Here are my two “baking” boxes. These are dollar store clear shoe boxes. I store extracts, food coloring, sprinkles and the like in one box. The other holds baking odds and ends like muffin cups, vanilla beans and bay leaves, baking chips, and packages of confectioners and brown sugar.
I love how woven baskets with chalkboard labels were used in this pantry:
If you tend to stock up on BOGO sales of canned veggies or beans, a great way to store 12 at a time is to use an old 12-pack soda box.
Hanging bins and drawers.
Hanging bins and drawers are the best thing I added to my pantry. They were really very inexpensive, add extra space, and were a cinch to install because they basically just clip onto your existing shelves.
We bought a large bin that slides on a rail for chip bags. And, believe me, it holds A LOT.
We use an under-shelf slide out drawer for our sandwich bags. I love that it slides out and down. Makes pulling out a bag very easy. This is also long enough to be used for aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Get your pantry organized. Maximize the top shelf and floor space.
The top shelf.
This is a great place to store rarely used kitchen equipment like your bread maker or fondue pot, or even that set of Christmas dishes. I am lucky enough to have plenty of lower cabinet space to store those kinds of items, so I keep all my baking mixes up there (and my 6′ hubby keeps HIS box of cereal up there, so the kids don’t eat it 😉 ).
The floor space.
Like I mentioned earlier, I am short. So I keep a step stool in the pantry. Because sometimes the item I want is too heavy for my grabber.
Besides my step stool, I only have a few other things on my pantry floor. One is a Rubbermaid storage canister where I store my bags of dried beans.
Another is a simple cardboard box where I keep all of our napkins, cups, plastic utensils, and plates for various birthday and holiday parties. They stay neat, and I can grab items as I need them.
The other big item is a large plastic storage bin with a tight-fitting lid. As I have mentioned before, I live in Florida. We have LOTS of bugs in Florida. They love pantries, and all the yummies in there. So I keep a lot of my boxes of pasta and baking mixes in this bin. It keeps them fresh and keeps the bugs out! Here are all the ways I keep the bugs out of my pantry!
What if you don’t have a pantry, but need pantry space?
Use bookcases to make your own.
Look at all the storage in these two Ikea Billy bookcases! They used canisters, stacking bins and shelves, and baskets. All the tricks rolled into one.
Use a narrow rolling cart right next to the stove.
Easy access to spices and canned goods, right where you need them.
Whew, sorry this post turned out to be so long. Thanks for sticking with me to the end!
I hope you have found some great ways to get your own pantry organized. You can do it! I promise it will be worth it.
Need more kitchen organization help? Here is how to organize your kitchen cabinets.
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