Whether you have a separate pantry, or a dedicated cupboard in your kitchen, there are so many storage for a pantry ideas to make the most of whatever nook you use to keep all your food and kitchen gadgets.
The best way to ensure your pantry is as functional as it can be is to keep it organised. Giving your pantry a clear out and making sure everything you need is easily accessible will save you time, money and reduce stress. It also means less food waste – you know exactly what you have and what you need.
So, we’ve gathered some of our favourite pantry storage ideas and organisational hacks from across the web, including queens of de-cluttering Marie Kondo and Stacey Solomon. From custom labelled containers, sliding shelves, and pull-out pantries to tiered spice shelfs, turntables and clear storage containers, read on to get sorted.
Tips to get organised (and stay organised)
• Set goals for yourself – if your pantry is a separate room it can be a bit of a beast to tackle. You don’t have to do it all at once.
• Track your progress – this will ensure you’re sticking to the goals you initially set.
• Create a to-do list – again this will help keep you on track. Start with emptying everything out, then figure out what shelf space you have. Do you need more? What zones are you going to have within your pantry?
• Pull everything out of your pantry and clean the pantry before you start organizing. Toss anything expired. Give it a good dust. If you’re also wanting to redecorate your pantry now is the time to get painting – or you could add a bit of fun with a patterned wallpaper.
• Measure your space, and your shelves to make sure you get storage containers that fit.
• Use labels – keep everything as clear as possible. You could even take this beyond the pantry. Labelling works great in spaces such as garages and sheds, as well as wardrobes and drawers.
• Dating your containers can be especially important for large packaged items like flour and pasta in your pantry and for items in your freezer and fridge. It will help you keep track of what you’re using.
• Avoid out-of-sight, out-of-mind – anything with a door are easy places to let things slip and collect. Check in once a week to make sure things are still where they belong and to take an inventory of what you have and might need more of.
Storage for a pantry
1 Jars/ glass containers
These are a staple of kitchen pantry storage - you can see what’s in them, they look good on the shelf and you can get creative using different sizes or keep it all very uniform with one style of glass container.
2 Cereal containers
For more than just cereal. These clever containers help keep food fresh, and you can use for multiple dry food items as well as cleaning products such as washing powder. Add a scoop for flour, sugar etc to make it even easier to access.
3 Baskets and boxes
Make the most of space at the top of your shelves with stylish baskets or boxes. They'll help keep open shelves looking more organised, even if inside the baskets it’s a bit chaotic.
4 Wooden crates
Like baskets these provide stylish and sturdy storage options. They're particularly good for bulkier items such as baking tins or mixers.
5 Maximise shelving
Before you invest in new shelves or add more, make sure you're making the most of your current shelves. You can add plate racks to store multiple items in one section, or use stacking boxes or tiered shelving inserts.
6 Spice rack shelves
Get creative with how you use your storage - a spice rack is a great example as it can be used for more than storing spices. Cooking oils and sauces are ideal to store in spice racks. Or attach one to your pantry door to store cookbooks and chopping board (just make sure it's strong enough to take the extra weight).
Stacey Solomon shared these ingenious hacks for curtain ring clips and hooks on her Tap to Tidy stories on Instagram. She uses a tension rod inside the cupboard, then shower curtain hooks for something with a handle - or ring clips for packets of crisps, microfibre cloths and so much more!
8 Wine storage
Dedicated wine and bottle storage will free up space on your shelves and help prevent breakages. Wine racks are great for lower shelves and can be used for bottles of mixers or sodas too.
9 Peg board
If you like to rearrange your storage often a peg board could be the perfect option for you. This reformable storage means you can mix up where you put pegs to hang aprons, kitchen utensils etc. You can also get peg boards with removable shelves and buckets, so you can truly personalise your storage.
10 Drawer separators
Drawers are the place where clutter collects - most people have at least one drawer in their house which is chaos. Using drawer dividers ensures there is a place for everything - separators in tall drawers will help with organising baking trays, chopping boards etc. You could also use small boxes to group like items together - very Marie Kondo.
11 Categorise your products
Having an area, drawer or cupboard for one category, for example baking, is a great way to categorise. The goal is to group things you typically use together, such as pasta and pasta sauce and sugar and flour. Then it's all in one place together, and you know exactly where to go in your pantry for whatever you’re doing at the time. So, the baking section has all your ingredients, mixer etc. You could have a coffee spot where your coffee machine lives, all your favourite coffee blends, mugs etc. Or cleaning stuff etc.
12 Group multiples of products together
Place newer items in the back and the older items at the front to ensure you’ll use older items first and get through them before they spoil. Rolling storage for cans and tins is ideal for this as when you add new items straight from the shop, the oldest product comes to the front and the newest product goes to the back, so you’re not leaving forgotten tins at the back of the shelf.
13 Label the lids
If you're using boxes or drawers, labelling the top of cans and lids of container means you know what's in them when you pull the drawer or box out, rather than having to pull each one out individually.
14 Make your own labels
Making your own labels is so satisfying and also means you can personalise each container in your pantry depending on its contents. Pre-labelled containers only go so far, if you use a label maker or crafting tool such as a Cricut machine you can make all the labels you can think of.
15 Pre-labelled containers
If you'd rather not make your own, you can also buy pre-labelled containers for most common cupboard essentials such as flour, sugar, coffee, tea, pasta and bread.
16 Lazy susan
If you struggle to see what's at the back of the shelf without taking everything out, a lazy Susan is a great hack - simply spin it to get to the tins and jars at the back!
17 Cookbook storage
Cookbooks can take up a lot of counter space, so the pantry is a perfect place to store them. You could stack them on a shelf, or use a slim bookcase on the back of the door or at the side of a shelf to utilise the empty space.
18 Open shelving
Go all the way up to the ceiling so that no usable space is lost - you can use a small step ladder to reach the top shelves, or even install a library ladder! Put items you don’t use often in these higher spots, such as seasonal items. Place foods that you use every day at eye level and other items you use less often toward the top or lower shelves. If you have children - or are trying to encourage yourself to eat healthier - place healthy snack options near the bottom for quick access and the once in a while snacks on the top shelf.
19 Add a cabinet
If you can’t stand to see everything on the shelves, no matter how tidy you arrange it, then (space permitting) you can hide it all away behind cupboard doors. If you’re working with a smaller space you could also use sliding doors. Using mesh or glass cupboard doors gives you the best of both worlds, creating zones where you can group items but can still see what you've got in each cupboard.
20 Pullout cabinets/drawers
Being able to pull cabinets out makes it easier to see what's inside, and for lower cabinets can save you crouching down to see what's at the back.
21 Use the ceiling and bare walls
Every little nook and cranny can be usable space! Any walls that won't fit shelves can be used to hang pots and tea towels. A pot rack on the ceiling is a great use of space - or you could also use a traditional laundry airer and add hooks to hang items.
22 Dress the door
There are loads of shelves and organisers that you can hook right onto the back of the door. Don't let any space go to waste!
23 Think about lighting
It's no use having everything perfectly organised if you can’t see what you’re doing. LED cable lights are inexpensive and won't give off heat that can damage your cupboard goods. You can get battery operated ones if you don't have an electricity supply in your pantry.
Keep a chalkboard on the back of your door, or nearby your pantry for your shopping list – then when you take out the last tin of baked beans you can add it to your list then and there.
25 Create a pantry cupboard
If you don't have the luxury of having a pantry as a separate room, you can still have a dedicated pantry cupboard in your kitchen.