Featured Space: Organized Pantry

organized pantry


We all know that an organized pantry can save us time and money, that reduces stress and makes daily routines so much easier.

We also know that feeling of “it’s almost dinner time. What will I make?”

Don’t worry, I have been there and it was not so long ago. But, I believe in making life simpler, having time for what I love and I decided to start fresh.

I organized the pantry, created a grocery list and planned a basic menu and I make sure I always have the ingredients for these dishes, so even if I’m not in the mood to create something new, I’ll have all I need to cover the basics.

Check here how to start fresh with a clean, organized pantry and enjoy dinner time all over again.

I collected images to make it easier and to give you ideas of what you can do to create space in your pantry, to optimize storage and to get all its contents organized.

organized pantry

Step 1: Schedule Time & Get Down to It

If your pantry hasn’t been organized in the last 3-6 months I suggest you schedule time to get down to empty shelves for a fresh start. Pretend I’m coming and we’ll work together. 🙂

Schedule anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to get it done properly. Put the phone away, bring music if you’d like, your favorite tea and even better if the kids aren’t home or if your little one is taking a nap. You’ll be able to focus without distractions.

  1. Start by checking due dates for each product you have in the pantry. Discard anything that’s old or that you already know you won’t use.
  2. Bring every single item out and start grouping them by alike items: everybody has a family!
  3. If you have been storing items that don’t belong here, now it’s time to get them out to make room for your newly organized pantry.
  4. Clean every shelf and corners before you bring your items back in.
  5. Take measurements of your shelves for its height, depth and width – draw your pantry and write each measurement in your drawing.
  6. If you are going to shop for organizing gadgets, write down everything you need: canisters, shelf-risers, turntables, canned good organizer, shelf liners etc.
  7. Be creative: many times we have the items we need right at home.
  8. Start placing by groups your alike items back in your pantry.
  9. Give yourself time to use it and feel if it needs tweaking.
  10. Revisit your pantry to make the necessary changes or to install any product you decide to purchase.

Here are some examples of pantries that I organized with clients and that work great for their needs. Keep in mind your lifestyle, your family routine and how often you use each item to define where they should go.

I organized this pantry recently and as my client had very deep and narrow shelves in her pantry we decided to use this great pull-out drawer from The Container Store. It made all the difference in turning it into a functional and good looking pantry.

Pullout Drawers – Pantry Organizer

Another pantry – that was a lot of fun to organize with this super sweet and motivated client was this one. We went through the steps I describe above and got not only the pantry, but the entire kitchen organized!

This  is a deep shelf pantry with difficult to reach spaces where I used turntables and stackable bins.

I also used the open front containers where my client can now serve herself as she pack her children’s lunches and snacks. Also, all the large bottles were organized in a very large turntable making it super easy to grab and use.

I personally suggest the organizing gadgets belowto keep canned goods and boxes products well organized and in place. I find it becomes easier to find and to use the pantry as they create easy access and portability.

Canned Items Organizer

pantry organizing pantry organizing pantry organizing

Keep your cereals, baking supplies and other food items all organized by type in these baskets. Even if you need to place them a little higher on your pantry you’ll be able to see and access them easily.

Boxed Items Organizer

organized pantry

And, if you have a lot of space between your shelves you should consider increasing storage space by making better use of your vertical space.

And finally, to make even better use of your pantry you can take advantage of the space behind the door(s) with these easy to install, over the door solution.

Looking forward to have your kitchen, pantry and meals planned and organized?

Use the Kitchen-Menus Printables Specialty Set to get your kitchen and menu organized to have time for more fun!

It’s a great value and includes all the forms you’ll need to manage your grocery shopping & food storage needs. All files are editable and can be used for years to come

Here is what you’ll get in the Kitchen Printables Specialty Set:

  • Instructions on how to plan and organize your kitchen.
  • Pantry Inventory
  • Fridge Inventory
  • Freezer Inventory
  • Menu & Grocery Planner
  • Grocery Shopping List
  • Favorite Take-out Places – for those days you can’t or don’t want to cook! 😉


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  1. Silver Magpies says:

    I look forward to the day when I have a pantry to organise! At the moment I have a number of awkward places pressed into service as partial pantries. The people who owned our house before us put in a brand new kitchen and didn’t dedicate any space to food storage 🙁

    – Nan

    1. Nancy,
      I am sorry for the lack of food storage, but maybe this is an opportunity to explore baskets, bins and containers and use the shelves of your cabinets to place alike items together. You can build a baking one for ex and place it in a “quieter” corner of your kitchen (if you don’t bake often). I organized a kitchen with the same issue and we decided to use the cabinets for china as a pantry. The rule is: it has to work for you! 🙂

  2. Toni Nelson says:

    My cabinets are organized so I know exactly what we have. I would love to have the space in the first photo!

    1. Good for you Toni! Organized cabinets are a bliss. I agree with you, this pantry is amazing and she did such a good job in organizing it. 🙂

  3. I usually look at things closer to the end of the year to make sure I have soup items, cold and flu items, etc. I like the bigger look because it is frustrating to not have what you need to cook and take care of your family without running to the store. Excellent post.

    1. Checking the pantry and medicine cabinet for the season is a great idea, Sabrina. It’s always nice to open the pantry and find your stock or favorite grain for that recipe we’re craving for “NOW”!

  4. Hi Helena,
    My pantry is behind my staircase. I have three shelves the width of my staircase, the bottom shelf is about three feet deep the second one is about 5-6 feet deep and the third is quite high up and is about 10 feet long. I have tried putting things in baskets but I am always having to pickup a basket full of stuff out to get to the basket behind it and the higher the shelf the harder it is to get to. I also don’t have any lighting in my pantry which makes it a little more difficult to find things.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Chantal! Thank you for your question.
      I can see how this wide and deep space can be difficult to organize. I would definitely consider having a company like Shelfgenie (shelfgenie.com) come in to give you an estimate on pull-out drawers. They will be made to fit the width and depth of each shelf giving you an optimal use of the space. They come all the way out so you’d be able to reach any item that is “hiding” on the back without having to pull everything out.
      Another solution – out-of-the-box – would be the simplehuman pull-out shelves, sold at The Container Store (http://bit.ly/16eyZtC – affiliate link). They have the same mechanism as the shelfgenie but are not custom made and most likely won’t make the best use of your space, but you can weight in cost x use x budget to make that decision.
      I don’t know your kitchen, but another option would be to create a daily use pantry close to your stove and use the current pantry for bulk items, kitchen appliances and serving sets that you use less often.
      In any case, install great lighting to make it easier to find anything you need. Let me know if this is of any help and if it’s not, we’ll go back to the drawing board! 🙂
      Cheers, Helena.

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  7. Would you be interested in helping me organized my pantry ?

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