Reorganizing your pantry might be one of the most gratifying home projects you tackle this spring. There’s nothing like a cleaned out space where everything has a home that it belongs to.
Whether you enjoy cooking, or are just warming up to the idea, an organized pantry space can help you take a deep breath every time you step into your kitchen.
Left unattended, the pantry can become a black hole where duplicate and expired items unknowingly exist. It’s a place that can be tempting to let go of, since it’s usually hidden behind closed doors.
Just like every other area of your home, the pantry deserves a cleanout at least a couple of times per year.
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Pantry Makeover 101
I personally love it when a client contacts me for a pantry makeover because it combines my love for organizing, kitchen design, and healthier foods into one dream job. Plus, I get to live at The Container Store for an afternoon while I stock up on the essentials. It’s basically like Christmas morning (but someone else gets the gifts)!
See behind the scenes of my pantry makeover projects on Instagram, here.
When organizing a home pantry, it’s a delicate balance between that swoon worthy Instagram pantry, and one that is actually practical. It’s not necessary to have every single thing in a clear container or a basket just for one brand of snack bar, but there are a few key essential pantry organization and storage tools that you might find helpful in sticking to more organized habits.
Before you get shopping, first, plan out your pantry cleanout. Check out this post, 6 Steps to Spring Clean Your Pantry, to guide you through it.
Every pantry will function a little differently depending on the space you have. I’ve found that there’s a handful of items that I use every time I organize a pantry that makes a huge difference not only in how the space looks, but how it functions, too.
5 Essential Pantry Organization & Storage Tools
These are best used in cabinets or walk-in pantries. Turntables can be used for oils, vinegars, condiments, jams/jellies, nut butters and sweeteners. Basically, anything that might come in a bottle. This tool saves space, but also allows you to see what you have, versus stacking bottles behind each other, where the ones to finish last always get forgotten about.
Shop it here: White Lazy Susan Turntable or Clear Lazy Susan Turntable
3-Tier Expandable Shelves.
These expandable shelves can be used in cabinets or walk-in pantry shelves. The tiered shelves are useful for being able to see multiple rows of items at once, whether you’re choosing to use them for canned goods or spices.
The expandable versions are nice to have if you have a double door cabinet that you plan to use it in, or a long pantry shelf. I do not recommend one that has a lip on it, since some of the items you would use it for may hang over the ledge a little.
Shop it here: Expandable Shelf Organizer
Recommended post: 6 Steps to Spring Clean Your Pantry
Bins and Baskets.
These storage containers are handy when the goal is to group similar items together. For example, you can put snacks in one bin, pasta ingredients in another, and breakfast items in a third bin. I would recommend wicker baskets only if you have a walk-in pantry, or more than enough room since they tend to take up the most space.
Clear bins and dividers are preferred if you have a tighter space (cabinet or walk-in pantry), like to see the items that are in the bin, or have pull out drawers within your pantry cabinet.
Shop it here: Pantry Baskets or Clear Bins
Wide Mouth Mason Jars.
If you are organizing on a budget, there’s no need to fill your pantry with the click-lock clear containers (although these are gorgeous). Mason jars are a budget-friendly way to store regular items, such as: nuts, seeds, grains, pastas, oats and more. Keep in mind that the goal is not to have multiple of something. So items that are bought in a quantity of four cups or less will work well stored in 32-ounce jars. Anything of greater bulk may need a larger jar.
Shop it here: 32-Ounce Wide Mouth Jars or 1 Gallon Glass Mason Jars
Once you have one, you won’t go back. A label maker is relatively inexpensive to purchase, and is a good investment for projects down the road. A neatly typed label to identify the areas and containers in your pantry is like putting a bow on your gift package. It’s not necessary, but it really helps tie it all together.
Shop it here: Label Maker
Recommended post: 50 Essentials for a Well Stocked Kitchen
My recommendation is to visit a local store that carries these items and stock up, or purchase online, with the intention of returning what you don’t use. It’s a lot easier to be over prepared in this situation than finding yourself taking multiple trips to the store because you need items you didn’t think you needed the first or second time around.
Need visual inspiration before getting started? Check out my pantry organization highlights on Instagram to view a variety of before and after projects, as well as pantry spaces to see what might work for you!