Keeping a pantry organized often takes up a lot of time, with homeowners finding themselves overwhelmed with storing and sorting when it's time to pack away a big shop, not to mention struggling to locate the items they need when they need them.
These pantry storage and organization ideas are low-cost and highly effective and can improve the aesthetic appeal of your pantry, since an organized space is a beautified space.
Pantry organizers professionals always buy
'In the realm of pantry organization, every object's position should be thoughtfully orchestrated,' says Leo Watts, DIY and home improvement expert at CNC Sourced. 'In tighter spaces, solutions such as pull-out drawers or stackable containers maximize utility. Why not transform fixed shelves into sliding drawers, elevating it from chaos into a meticulously organized, visually appealing haven?'
The best way to assess which pantry organizers will be the most beneficial to invest in is to first consider which items you regularly are stocked up on in your pantry and how they should be stored for your convenience.
1. Lazy Susans
'These rotating trays are perfect for corner cabinets or deep shelves, ensuring nothing gets lost in the back. They provide easy access to items and help reduce clutter,' advises Hashi Mohamed, co-founder of Ivy Cleans.
Corner cabinets and deep shelves in pantries are often wasted spaces due to the difficulty of access. A Lazy Susan can make the most of these spaces, meaning you'll never again have to rummage at the back of a dark cabinet to find an item or have to take everything out and rearrange it.
'Use Lazy Susans or turntables, as they are great for storing items that are hard to reach, like spices, oils, condiments, or baking supplies,' recommends Jacky Chou, owner of Laurel & Wolf.
For a removable Lazy Susan, we suggest this bamboo Lazy Susan, from Wayfair.
This Lazy Susan is workhorse that's perfect for high-traffic storage. It's rustproof stainless steel, so it's good for more humid rooms like kitchens.
I think this works best for kitchens. The dividers make it easy to keep different ingredients and condiments separate, so it's a no-brainer for a pantry or a refrigerator.
Jacky Chou is the Principal and Director at Archute, an editorial magazine about architecture, home and garden. They have been referenced by The New York Times, Bustle, House & Home, Bloomberg, and Angi. Jacky also his own an online interior design company as well called Laurel & Wolf.
2. Over-the-door organizers
'If you're struggling with a small or narrow pantry, then over-the-door organizers are a lifesaver,' advises Aleks Grigoriev, interior designer and co-founder of Priority Home Buyers. 'These organizers make use of the often-underutilized space behind your pantry door and provide extra storage for items such as foil, plastic wrap, and kitchen towels.'
Since these areas are one of the most visible spaces in any pantry, being at eye level and in a single row, they are also the ideal places to store spices.
We recommend this over-the-door spice rack, from Wayfair.
3. Storage containers
Storage containers are the pantry staple that makes categorizing items easier, making it easier to locate items. As some of the most versatile and useful kitchen organizers you can buy, storage containers mean you can transfer groups of items in one go, for example, moving all your baking equipment to your prepping surface.
You can use glass food containers to store individual food items, increasing the aesthetic appeal of your pantry.
'Clear storage containers are a game-changer for pantries. Not only do they keep your food items fresh and organized, but they also add a sleek and uniform look to your shelves,' explains Aleks Grigoriev. 'I always recommend investing in high-quality, airtight clear containers, such as those made of glass or acrylic, to keep your pantry looking tidy and sophisticated.' This will also help to keep items fresh, deterring the presence of any fruit flies or maggots.
Angela Rubin from Hellamaid also suggests: 'Installing pull-out wire or wicker baskets can help you utilize deep shelves effectively. These baskets make it convenient to access items stored in the back without having to rummage through the pantry.'
This set of seven glass food storage containers with bamboo lids is the perfect way to elegantly display your food items for convenient access.
These clear plastic storage bins are an easy way to categorize and store your items, whether they are on display or stacked away in a pantry, they will help you reduce mess.
Hellamaid is an award-winning cleaning company in Canada that's been featured on multiple global media brands.
4. A labeling system
Leo Watts says, 'Let's not forget the underestimated efficacy of labeling. These seemingly minor inclusions become non-negotiable tools for swift identification, reducing unnecessary stress during those frenetic, time-sensitive moments. Labels serve as the small but impactful brushstrokes that complete your pantry's portrait, fostering a practical and harmonious living space.'
Aleks Grigoriev agrees, 'Whether you opt for classic chalkboard labels or sleek, printed stickers, labeling helps everyone in your household know where each item belongs. It adds a personal touch to your pantry's design while keeping everything in its place.'
These are an especially useful addition for those with children, since it makes it easier for them to navigate the pantry and tidy stuff away in their designated places by themselves.
If your in the market for a label maker, we recommend this NELKO label maker machine from Amazon.
5. A spice rack
Spices can easily become clutter if not properly organized. When stuffed into a drawer or stacked on a shelf it can be a nuisance to find the spices you need, which is why using a spice rack is key to keeping an organized pantry.
Interior designer, Aleks Grigoriev says, 'No pantry is complete without a designated section for spices. I've seen many pantries fall victim to cluttered spice jars scattered throughout the shelves. A spice rack not only saves space but also simplifies the cooking process. With a well-organized spice rack, you can easily find the ingredients you need and avoid purchasing duplicates.'
6. Can organizers
Cans are one of the most commonly found items in a pantry, but when they are unorganized they often get forgotten about, being shoved to the back of a pantry, and left to go out of date.
Can risers are a must-have to organize canned goods so you can actually find them. These let you stack your tins so you can see exactly what you're looking for and easily switch out your stock. They're also a must-have for anyone who has deep shelves in their pantry and make it easier to use your pantry's vertical space to its fullest.
Cans can be stored on a tiered shelf on a stackable can rack in a cabinet or on a pantry shelf, to allow you to keep track of which items you do have and which you are running low on to add to your shopping list.
Gravity can dispensers, such as this can organizer Wayfair, are also a great way to maintain order and ensure that the oldest can in your collection is always at the front, making it easy to rotate your stock and use items before they expire.
Keep your cans well organized and labeled in this rack organizer which can be stored on your shelves.
Was $199.99, now $104.19
To install in a pantry corner, this lazy susan is perfect for making the most of space, keeping all items easily accessible at all times. This is the ideal way to make your lower cabinets more functional.
7. Adjustable Shelving
Customizable shelving allows you to make the most of your pantry space, allowing you to accommodate different-sized items to maximize your vertical space and change the layout of your pantry as your food storage needs change.
'Custom shelving serves as a vital component in your pantry, giving you the freedom to adapt your space according to your fluctuating needs,' says Leo Watts. 'This flexibility optimizes what's often limited square footage, making each inch work for you rather than against you. Pairing this with astute container solutions further adds a layer of order, fusing utility with visual charm.'
8. Drawer organizers
Utilize drawer organizers or pull-out drawers for items like spices, utensils, and small snacks. These organizers keep items easily accessible and prevent clutter.
These can be used for any array of items that can be stored in shallow or deep drawers, from kitchen utensil organizers, to spice and food organizers. For cutlery, we recommend this bamboo expandable utensil drawer organizer, from Amazon.
For deep drawers, you can also invest in a smaller upper drawer to double the use of this space. This can be ideal for cutlery or keeping Tupperware organized.
How can I upgrade my pantry?
One of the most forgotten-about pantry upgrades that makes locating items easier is installing motion-activated lights.
'Adequate lighting inside the pantry is crucial for visibility. Consider installing LED strip lights or battery-operated motion-sensor lights,' advises Angela Rubin from Hellamaid.
We recommend these easy-to-install wireless LED under cabinet lights from Amazon.
Anu Kurup, founder of Persimmon Design suggests, 'If aesthetics are important to you, consider color-coordinating your containers and labels to create a visually appealing pantry.'
Remember, when organizing your pantry with new storage solutions, the first step of this process should be to declutter your pantry.
Leo Watts leaves us with a final tip: 'I would finally emphasize that there's no universal blueprint for organization. What's pivotal is aligning your pantry setup with your personal preferences and lifestyle needs. It's not about mimicking the latest trends but about discovering the balance that resonates with you. A well-organized pantry isn't a mere accessory but an extension of your lifestyle – enhance it, own it, and let it bring you daily joy.'
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Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.
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