What are the Best Tips for Pantry Organization?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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Organizing a pantry is a task that requires maximizing available space. A combination of shelves, drawers, baskets, and other tools are almost always the best approach to pantry organization. When possible, it is best to fit the containers used to the space available so that little space is wasted. Of course, a well-organized pantry should also be able to adapt to changes in storage, such that new items can be accommodated without major changes. Designing the space efficiently and then storing items to fit the space typically is the best approach to pantry organization.

One of the best tips for pantry organization is to think about what food normally goes in the pantry before making any major organization choices. This is relatively easy to determine, either by taking an inventory of the pantry when fully stocked or making a list of items that will ideally be stored in the pantry. One can make a drawing of the pantry on graph paper and document all available spaces, then virtually map the items into the space. Mapping ahead of time may make it easier to make changes without undoing a lot of work.


In many cases, simply moving items around and changing storage containers can improve pantry organization. Items that do not get used frequently can be placed out of reach or behind more commonly used items. Food that comes in boxes and bags can be placed in uniform containers that fit together nicely on a shelf, which can also help prevent insect and rodent damage to food. Caddies can be added to doors for small items such as spices, keeping these items from getting mixed up or knocked over.

It is also important to be able to find items quickly in the pantry. This is really only a problem in larger pantries, as items tend to be easier to find in smaller spaces. One way to approach organization this way is to group items by category, keeping baking supplies in one area and cereals in another, for example. This is actually a very important consideration if one is storing cleaning supplies in the pantry, as these should be kept away from food for safety reasons.

Some people completely overhaul the pantry and create shelving and spaces specifically for their storage needs. This kind of pantry organization can make a large difference in how much food and other materials the pantry can store because all spaces can be used efficiently. It is important to take into consideration how one normally uses the pantry, what items need to be accessible, and whether or not the space can be further adapted in the future for different items. When redesigning a pantry completely, it may be best to consult a design book or professional designer to come up with the best possible plan.


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