Pantry Organization Hacks

clean, organized pantry with jars of food, plants in the background
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100
What You'll Need
Clear bins
Cleaning cloth
What You'll Need
Clear bins
Cleaning cloth

Maybe it's the TikToks featuring beautifully curated pantries and plastic organizers that make everything look like a high-end market. Maybe it's that itch you get once a year to burn everything you own and start completely over. Regardless of its origin, now is the time if you're looking to hop in the pantry organization trend.

Pantry organization is not a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, a lot of the pantry organizing hacks on TikTok, and other social media platforms revolve around the idea of rearranging your pantry in a way that actually works for you, with people like ADHD folks explaining how they ditched the typical and went with what worked for them. Before you start your organization project, it's a good idea to figure out exactly what you need your pantry to do and how it needs to function so that your kitchen skips the chaos and stays calm.

Whether you have a big butler's pantry or you're working with something a little smaller, there are a few simple kitchen pantry organization hacks that will take your pantry from messy to magical in just a few steps.

Start Here: Cleaning

It's hard to organize an all-around mess, so pull out your favorite cleaner before you get into the organization and get to work. Start by removing any old food that has expired from your pantry. Also, remove any empty boxes or cartons, trash, or miscellaneous items. Recycle or reuse what you can, and then use your favorite cleaner to wipe down all of the shelves and surface areas in the pantry. Feel free to wipe the messy or sticky (we're talking about you, honey jar) items down. This will keep your pantry cleaner longer.

food organized in glass jars in a pantry

Our helpful hack: After you've got a clean, blank slate to work with, we recommend putting down shelf protectors. You can purchase shelf protector rolls at the Dollar Store or online really inexpensively. If you're looking to store cans or items that can drip or leak, these shelf protectors are an affordable must. At the very base level, it's important to keep your shelves and pantry clean and protected.

Next, Pick a System

Before you throw everything back in your pantry, it's important to pick a system. How are you going to group items? Are you a maximalist or minimalis? How are you going to keep the oldest items at the front? How much shelf space do you need? Once you know what system will work for you, you are ready to start placing things back in the pantry.

You can look at influencers like Marie Kondo or the Home Edit for a little help picking an organization method. You can also hop on Instagram or TikTok and find hundreds of ideas in seconds.

spice containers in an organized rack

Organizational Tools

If you love the look of a hyper-organized pantry, you're going to need lots of clear storage containers and bins. You can buy these organization sets online or at stores like Walmart, TjMaxx, or even Costco. Oxo is a trendy organization brand, but they can be really pricey. There are definitely more affordable options out there. These organization bins should always be clear so that you can see exactly what's being stored and organized. A colored bin may be pretty, but you may also let food go to waste because you can't see it.

Before you buy bins, make sure to measure your space to make sure everything fits perfectly. You don't want to invest in expensive organizers only to find out that they are too tall for your shelves.

Our helpful hack: You can go a little green and upcycle old, clear plastic or glass containers and bins to save money and waste.

Arrangement Squared

You may find that you have to arrange your pantry quite a few times before you settle on something that you like and that works for your family. Don't be afraid to revisit the project if it's not functioning the way you need it to. While a total pantry overhaul looks great, the most important thing is that it actually works for you and your family!