7 Ways to Organize Your Kitchen Pantry

Close-up of various food in airtight jars
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If you're not careful, a kitchen pantry can quickly become a huge mess. With the hodgepodge of food containers and the items that can easily get pushed to the back and forgotten, such as half-empty bags of chips, you must stay consistent with your organization tactics.

Here are seven tips to organize a kitchen pantry.

  • 01 of 07

    Use Clear Storage Containers

    Shelf in the kitchen with various cereals and seeds - peas split, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, couscous, lentils, bulgur in glass jars
    Olga Peshkova / Getty Images

    You may love the brands you choose at the grocery store, but do you want to see the packaging every day? One of the quickest and simplest ways to make your pantry look neat and tidy is to transfer food items into clear storage containers. The containers typically group together much more nicely than the items' original packaging, which can be bulky and oddly shaped. And you can easily see what's in each clear container and how much is left of it. This organization tip is great for foods including flour, sugar, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, and small snacks. You can make the jars look even nicer by using paint pens to label what's inside each of them.

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  • 02 of 07

    Install Door Storage

    Full pantry with wire baskets and floral shelves
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    The inside of a pantry door is the perfect storage space for the items you use the most. Installing door storage is an easy DIY project. One method is to simply screw narrow wire baskets onto the back of the door. Store items in these baskets that aren't very heavy, so you don't weigh down the door and make it difficult to open. Some examples of good items to store here include spices, small bags of snacks, and aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

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  • 03 of 07

    Use Chalkboard Paint

    Kitchen and dining room
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    Chalkboard paint can eliminate the need for a paper grocery list cluttering your space. Instead, cover an area near your pantry—the pantry door itself is a great option—with chalkboard paint, and jot down grocery items you need there. This is also a good spot to leave messages for other people in your household, further eliminating the need to scatter paper notes around your space.

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  • 04 of 07

    Group Similar Items

    pantry items
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    Designate different zones within your pantry for different types of items, so you can easily find what you're looking for. You can choose to group similar items, such as various tea bags or soup cans. Or you can group items you typically use together, such as nut butter and crackers. Just make sure everything has its place, and get everyone in your household on board with following this organization method.

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  • 05 of 07

    Use a Storage Cart

    kitchen island with stools and a storage cart
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    A small mobile storage cart can make your pantry even more functional. If you have the space, you can store the cart in your pantry. Or you can put it elsewhere in your kitchen to extend your pantry storage space. You can use the cart for items you often transport from the pantry to your kitchen counter for cooking, such as all of your baking ingredients. Instead of carrying these ingredients individually, you can just wheel out the whole cart. Or you can simply use the cart for pantry items you reach for the most to keep them easily accessible.

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  • 06 of 07

    Install Pegboard

    Pegboard with different cacti and magazine on wall
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    Pegboard is a favorite of many professional home organizers for good reason. It helps you store items within reach while maintaining a neat look. Consider installing pegboard either inside or near your kitchen pantry. On it you can hang cooking utensils, baskets of spices and other small ingredients, and more. You'll make use of vertical space while freeing up counter and pantry space.

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  • 07 of 07

    Install Open Shelving

    open shelving in a kitchen
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    If your kitchen doesn't have a traditional pantry, consider installing open shelving to act as pantry space. This can be especially useful in a narrow kitchen where you might not have ample room for pantry doors to swing open. For a neat, organized look on your pantry shelving, use coordinated jars, baskets, and bins to hold your items. While clear storage containers have their merits, also incorporate opaque containers to hide any items that aren't visually appealing from view.