Organize Your Pantry Without Losing Your Mind :: 6 Easy Steps

If you’re like me, when you open a cabinet or drawer, it makes your organized heart sing when everything is neat and tidy. I’ve developed an obsession love of pantry organization over the last few years. I even have phases where I have to reorganize my already pretty organized pantry. It seems like a daunting task, but easy pantry organization can be achieved in a few simple steps. 

Organizing Your Pantry

Step 1: Take everything out. EVERYTHING. Leave nothing behind. You may think, “Oh, I will just leave this and work around it.” Nope, take it out. You want a clean, fresh start. 

Step 2: Clean those shelves. You’d be surprised by how dusty and yucky they can get. 

  • Tip: Take it a step further and pick a cute contact paper you like and line those bad boys. I love to see the pretty blue and white shelves when I open my pantry. 

Step 3: Look at every single thing you pulled out, and throw away the expired stuff. Toss or donate the things you don’t use. You can look up your nearest Little Free Pantry and find a location near you. The less you have to put back in, the easier it is to start fresh. 

Step 4: Sort the items by categories. These are the categories that I filter by:

  • Canned food
  • Pasta/rice/beans
  • Cereal
  • Kid snacks (I then sort them into different kinds, as well)
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Flours/sugars/baking goods
  • Oils/dressings/syrups/condiments

Step 5: Time to spend some money. You can put as much money in as you want or go the dollar store route. I personally have a combination of everything. Some of my most successful finds have been at The Container Store, The Dollar Store, Walmart, and Home Goods. I personally like to get things out of bags and into containers, it is easier for my kids to spot what they want and things don’t go bad because they are lost in the abyss of half eaten bags. 

My personal pantry organization tips:

  • The more containers I have, the better I can split and organize. I have a mix of OXO, Better Homes & Garden, and random airtight containers I have picked up. I used to the label the bottoms of them but it wasn’t practical and made it hard for reusing the containers. Now if they are obvious (goldfish, veggies straws, pumpkin seeds, etc…) I just let them be label free. The trickier items (sugar, flour, etc.) I cut the name off and stick them in the container with their contents. 
  • I really like to use baskets, too. I find they hide the disorganization of half-eaten pasta boxes or bags of rice. 
  • I have found these handled baskets from the container store to be invaluable. They are easy to pull out, clear enough to see into, but small enough that you can’t overload them. 
  • Utilize the door! I have these racks in every closet in our house. In the pantry, I have solely dedicated them to the kids’ snacks. They are perfect for pouches and bars and everything in-between. I even found these perfectly sized little buckets to further sort and organize the goodies. 
  • Use a Lazy Susan for corners. I like to use mine for cans and jars. I find they fit well and stack nicely; you can put the extras more towards the middle, and the things you use often on the outside. 
  • Make use of those top shelves. This is where our party supplies, paper plates, serving trays, and random tidbits live. It’s the stuff we don’t often use, but still need access to from time to time. I have found most pantries have a lot of room from the top of the shelf to the ceiling. I use those plastic dorm drawers up there to store things in. 
  • Make use of every inch of your shelves! These hanging under-shelf baskets are key for that. 
  • Have a designated area for extras. I decided to get these drawers from the Container Store to hold the extras.  

Step 6: Decide what you want where and start putting things back. I know that I want the kids to be able to reach their snacks so the bottom shelf is dedicated to those containers. Our second shelf has things I often use such as protein powders and almond flour. It may take trial and error to find what works for you, but you’ll definitely feel more in control once you have things were you want them.

Happy organizing! Let us know if you have any tips and tricks for pantry organization.


Julie Janes
Julie is a NOLA girl at heart who is setting down roots in Texas. She is married to her high school sweetie, Christopher. They are raising their sweet boys Harrison (Oct. 2014) & Douglas (Feb 2016) and their baby girl Colette (Dec. 2017). We cant forget their crazy GSP puppy Liuzza. They live in McKinney and spend their weekends yelling "Geaux Tigers & Who Dat" wherever they are!. Julie lives for play dates, mom dates, friends, and family. She can be seen watching her DVR'd shows (even if it takes days to get through one show), reading the same book for months, playing outside with her kids, taking nice relaxing bubble baths with a warmish cup of tea, cooking her newest pinned dinners, starting 17 different crafty projects and just enjoying what life has to offer.