Coming up with small pantry organization ideas was a necessity in my life. Over the years, and with my kids growing up, keeping the chaos to a minimum in my pantry has been a challenge. Is anyone else overwhelmed by the number of snacks their family goes through?
Recently, I did a major revamp of my walk-in pantry and I thought I’d share with you my ideas to streamline your own. If you follow my tips, keeping your food organized and reducing clutter will be an easy process. The proper tools make all the difference!
A clean and organized space throughout the house is a goal of mine this year (and every year!). If you relate, check out my complete guide to transform your house into a home you love.
How To Organize a Small Pantry
You’ve opened your pantry and you’re overwhelmed? Let’s take it one step at a time. I promise it takes less time than you’d think to get everything organized.
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Pull It All Out
To get the process started, take everything out. Empty your countertop and kitchen table and lay all the contents of your pantry out in the open. You need to be able to see what you have. Chances are, you have empty boxes in there that create clutter or worse. This brings us to our next step.
Throw Out Expired Goods
We’ve all been there. We forget about that can of tuna way in the back of the pantry closet. To start fresh and make sure it doesn’t happen again, you have to suck it up and throw out your expired goods. The good thing is, once you’ve got your pantry organized, you’ll be able to avoid food waste.
Clean Shelves and Drawers
Take a damp cloth or your favorite eco-friendly cleaning products (read more about mine and why I made the switch!) and get to work. Make sure your shelves and drawers are free from crumbs and clean from any spillage and sticky situation.
Make a List of Your Goods and Sort Them
Here comes the fun part. Write down every item you have. Break it down into categories to help if you feel overwhelmed. Think canned items, grains, pasta, baking items, and snacks to start with. List your goods under each category. This will help you envision how you want to divide and organize your pantry from now on.
Small Pantry Organization Based on Lifestyle – Grouping by Category
Functionality is key when it comes to making sure that your pantry serves your needs. And doesn’t become a mess over time.
Taking into consideration how you shop, what your family’s eating and cooking habits are should give you some direction.
Are you a bulk shopper? Do you do a lot of cooking from pantry staples? Which items did you have to discard from your cleanup?
In this pantry reset, it’s best to take a realistic approach. You want to create a pantry that reflects your daily habits as a family. If you want to implement lifestyle changes, plan your pantry around a reasonable transition plan. Similarly, if you’re inspired by pantry designs you see online, try to adjust them to your reality.
Determine and Invest in Pantry Organizers
Now that you have a clean slate, it’s time to strategize. How are you going to maximize the space you have?
Depending on your budget and the content of a typical pantry for your household, different options are available. Your aesthetic preference also plays into what type of organizer you might prefer to store your goods.
Yet, before you purchase new organizers reimagine how you can use your current organizers to save money and time.
Let’s go over some of my essentials.
16 Small Pantry Organization Tips
1. Maximize your vertical storage with stackable containers and shelves.
2. Use large containers with airtight lids to store baking supplies like flour, sugar, and dry goods like pancake mix. Glass containers are a great option if you’re not a fan of plastics.
3. Optimize your small pantry cubbies with lazy susans and expandable/tiered shelves
4. Install pull-out shelves or drawers for easy access to heavy items like appliances or to store produce like potatoes and onions.
5. Get creative with your pantry storage by using your kitchen essentials as decor.
Some decorating ideas:
a. Place cutting boards on the back wall
b. Store produce in decor bowls
c. Organize items like plates, mugs, etc. on cake stands
6. Maintain your small kitchen pantry with labels. You can create labels or use a label maker.
7. Ditch good packages and decant to maximize small pantry space.
8. Decant goods in clear canisters for visibility
9. Store packaged goods or kitchens linens like napkins, table cloths, and kitchen towels in storage bins or baskets.
10. Invest in a non-slip step ladder.
11. Store less frequent items like cake stands, serveware, or pitchers on the higher shelves.
12. Get a wine rack.
13. Invest in a spice storage display, if you don’t have a drawer to organize your spices.
14. Dedicate a grab & go snack section for everyone.
15. Don’t overstock on goods.
16. Dedicate upper shelves for overflow or use another room.
Are you ready to change your pantry and change your life?
Maintaining your small pantry organization is a constant process but using these tips, it’ll become a lot more manageable.
If you’re looking for more organization tips, check out my post about how to organize your kid’s closet.