Ideas for an Organized Pantry

Idea For An Organized Pantry ~

I’m excited to share with you my Ideas For An Organized Pantry. Come snoop around for some inspiration, ideas and tips! I do things a little bit differently!

The Situation:

If you Google Image the term ‘pantry’ you get about 46,500,000 results in 0.34 seconds and Pinterest is also getting a growing collection of wonderful inspirational possibilities. Clearly there is no shortage of information and ideas for organizing a pantry. You will see images of everything from high-end custom designed (only in my dreams) to budget friendly do-it-yourself examples. Shelving ranges from wire open air to solid wood. Storage containers range from decorative to practical made from plastic, metal, glass or wicker. Sizes of the pantry range from built in shelves to walk-in annex rooms to the kitchen. Whichever type of pantry you have, it is important to put some thought and planning into the design and organization of your pantry so it is both a well presented and user-friendly feature of your home.

The Problem:

An organized pantry would be very easy if all foods came in the same form of packaging. But they all come in different shapes, sizes and types of materials: tall, short, fat, cylinders, rectangular prisms, bulk bags, plastic, metal, cardboard, foil, cartons and the list goes on. It is an organizational art storing the range of foods and kitchen items so they are easily retrievable and easy to return to its storage location.

The Solutions:

There are many ideas about how to organize your pantry. However, everyone’s needs are so unique and different based on the size of their pantry and the type of foods they buy. Let me explain my thinking and show you with a collection of photographs what my organized pantry looks like. Hope the ideas inspire you and help you organize your pantry in your home.

Here Are Ideas For An Organized Pantry… 

  • The pantry is a large space with walk-in capacity with four solid wood shelves.
  • All of the shelves are lined with a simply designed shelf liner to help keep the pantry appear uncluttered.
  • The top shelf stores the larger less frequently used items such as large bowls, pots and pans and counter appliances.
  • Items that are used frequently are stored on shelves at eye level. This includes such pantry items as coffee, tea, olive oil and vinegars.
  • The pantry is primarily clean eating foods. I am not opposed to eating junk foods such as chocolate and baked items but they are the rare treat. I know that if I keep them stored in the pantry full time the temptation will be there to eat them.
  • The storage containers are matching and coordinated by either; material, colour or size.
  • Except for the spices, I prefer transparent containers so I can easily see what is inside.
  • Foods such as condiments, beverages, peanut butter, honey, jams tea and coffee are stored in Rubbermaid rectangular containers. If there is a drip or a spill it is easy to clean.
  • The pantry is stored according to stations. There is a spice station, tin can station, baking station, food wrap station, beverage station, supplement station, reusable container station etc.
  • Cork placemats are placed on top of the shelf liner where the tin cans are kept. Over time cans can start to scrape, shred and rip the shelf liner and wood shelves. The cork also provides more stability on wire shelving. Cork can also be bought at building supply stores and custom cut to fit the area.
  • When there are duplicates of the same food, the previous purchased items are kept at the front so they can be used first.
  • I have medium sized Rubbermaid bins secured with lids for each type of food. There are bins for:
  1. Grains – couscous, quinoa, cornmeal
  2. Dried fruits – dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, dates
  3. Nuts & seeds – walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  4. Breakfast – oatmeal, oat bran
  5. Pasta & Rice – brown rice, white rice, spaghetti, penne, lasagna etc.
  6. Bread – bread, bagels, tortillas, buns
  7. Crackers – rice cakes, crackers
  • These bins are stored with the lid on making it easier to stack them and as a result create more storage space. When I need a certain food out of a bin, I pull out the entire bin, remove the lid pull out the food, replace the lid and return it to the pantry. It’s a very easy and quick system.
  • Foods stored in each of the medium sized bins are also stored in a re-sealable bag. The double wrapping helps prevent spills and keeps the food fresher for longer.
  • I transfer other foods to matching transparent containers that are clearly labeled. For example, powdered foods such as protein powder and cocoa are transferred to same shaped transparent containers that can be stacked creating more organized storage space.  These containers are clearly labeled and if required, I also cut the cooking instructions, ingredients and expiry dates in the container out from the original packaging.
  • The baking supplies including all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar are kept in transparent containers but they are tucked in lower shelf because I don’t bake that often.
  • The spices are stored in matching labeled metal containers I bought at the dollar store. I have a floor to wall wire shelf unit installed on one wall of the pantry. So they are easy to find, spices that begin with the letters A-M are stored on the upper shelf and spices beginning with the letters N-Z are stored on the lower shelf. The white powders including baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and of course, pepper are stored on another shelf in larger metal containers along with other cooking condiments.
  • Beside the wire spice rack are a couple of 3M plastic hooks where the aprons and lunch kits hang when they are not being used.
  • There are medium size Rubbermaid bins that house the travel coffee cups and another for storing the water bottles.
  • I bought some inexpensive white pails at the dollar store that sit on the floor under the shelving. They store the potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes, storage containers and reusable yogurt containers.
  • I also store different types of plastic bags in the pantry because they seem to be in constant use for different purposes. I store the different types of plastic bags in plastic drawer units. The photo gallery will show this is organized.
  • Everything is labeled. I just use blank index cards labeled with a Sharpie. I secure the label with transparent tape. I chose not to use fancy expensive labels because it is easy to remove and replace these labels whenever I wash the bins.

The pantry holds a lot of items but does not appear overly cluttered because of the ideas listed above. It isn’t overly pretty and decorative but it is very functional and practical. The matching coordinated storage containers make things look very organized and the transparent containers make it easy to find, retrieve and return everything to its original location in this very organized pantry.

Hope I was able to share some handy tips and ideas for organizing your pantry. I will leave you with a photo gallery of ideas.

Take Care, Thea

The Photo Inspiration For Ideas For An Organized Pantry…

Ideas For An Organized Pantry - Time With Thea

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Here is a pinnable image for future reference and for sharing…

Ideas For An Organized Pantry - Time With Thea

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Thanks for stopping by!

Hope I was able to give you some ideas for an organized pantry!


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  1. says

    You have inspired me to continue organizing my pantry (I now see it’s only 3/4 of the way there, but at least I have better ideas!). I also need to replace the door to our pantry so I can add some of those cool racks.

  2. says

    Glad it helped! I can’t believe how long it took me to figure out to put cork underneath the cans. In the old house I had to repaint the pantry shelves several times. We have since moved and I have not had to paint any shelves yet because they got marked up from the cans.