Is there anything more satisfying than scrolling through dozens of perfectly organized pantries on Instagram? (If there is, we haven't discovered it yet.) But if your own pantry pales in comparison, you're not alone—even the most organizationally gifted home cook can find her space falling into disarray as trips to the grocery store (and lately, bulk shopping) insert new chaos into the closet every week or two.
But if you're looking to *really* get your pantry into shape once and for all, it helps to take a closer look at how the pros do it. As much as we love shiny new containers and clever organizing gadgets, the best organizational system is always the one you can actually stick with. So whether you're committed to decanting every single bag of rice or box of crackers into gleaming glass jars, or you're just trying to make sure that boxes of pasta don't come cascading down onto your head every time you open the cabinet door, these proven tips and tricks from experienced organizers will help you reach your goals.
Read on for our favorite ways to turn your pantry into an Instagrammable inspiration—and make your next bout of mealtime prep that much more enjoyable, too.
Grab & Go
A pantry organization tip that goes from closet to kitchen table—place commonly used condiments (like salt, pepper, and maybe even your favorite hot sauce) in a handled caddy so you can easily clear them away after mealtime is over, without having to rifle through your cabinets again next time you sit down to eat.
Clear Those Counters
Pantries aren't just for food. Clear off your countertops once and for all by storing small appliances in your pantry too—especially if you have space to plug them in. By keeping them tucked away, you'll keep your kitchen looking clean and tidy without sacrificing your smoothie habit.
Take Command of Your Cabinets
"Over-the-cabinet-door" storage racks are a great tool for some, but there are plenty of times when cabinet styles, sizes or shapes just won't allow for them. (Like upper cabinets, for instance.) Instead of letting that valuable door space go to waste, opt for self-adhesive storage solutions like these handy clear holders from Command to optimize your usable area.
Buying in multiples is always a good rule for keeping your home (and dinner menu) running smoothly—but it's especially powerful when combined with a few sets of inexpensive plastic risers for cans. You'll always be able to see how many of a given item you have left, so you can add it to the grocery list before you run out (and avoid those frustrating last-minute shopping trips).
Take A Cue From The Candy Store
Do you get that "kid in a candy store" feeling when you're at the Container Store? Us too. Lean into that nostalgic feeling by repurposing candy-counter style jars for snacks you like to enjoy by the handful. Even healthy picks like dried fruit and nuts feel fun and whimsical when stored this way.
Go For Glass
We're all trying to use less plastic these days—and pantry organizers are a perfect place to start. Oversized canning jars are a chic, recyclable way to decant your favorite grains, flours, and more. Not only will these glass containers last longer than plastic, but you can feel confident that they won't leech any undesirable chemicals into your food either—no matter how long you store them.
Make Any Space A Pantry
Even if you're not blessed with a "real" pantry, you can create a stunning DIY option that's as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional and space-saving. This clever hack uses small shelves installed on the sides of the cabinets, as well as a simple IKEA utensil bar for hanging items. (Pro-tip: Storing your perishables in net bags helps with airflow and can prevent premature mould, too—so this tip is a two-fer.)
Take A Top-Down Approach
Working with drawer space in a pantry (or makeshift pantry cabinet)? Label the tops of your canisters rather than the more often opted-for sides. (Better yet, use a dry-erase marker or chalkboard-style labels, so you can easily swap things out as your tastes change.)
Organizing doesn't need to be humdrum! Make your pantry the happiest room in your house with a little paint and some colorful labels for canisters—you'll feel refreshed and cheerful whenever it's time to start prepping your next meal (or you have to put away the week's groceries).
Rack 'Em Up
Take a cue from your favorite wine-storage method. Storing less frequently used spices in a wine rack-style container like this (with labels, of course) helps you know exactly what you're reaching for when you make your occasional curry or once-a-year holiday specialties.
Rethink Your Label System
Two major takeaways here: First, it sometimes makes more sense to label your food storage bins with the *meal* they'll be used for, rather than the actual contents—as the sisters from The Home Sort did here for Breakfast foods. Second, you don't need to decant everything. Some items, like raisins, are just as happy in their original containers—and you won't have to spend hours after every grocery trip with a funnel in hand. (Especially helpful if you have little kids around and not much time for re-homing every little ingredient.)
Create Power Pairings
"Keep like items together" tends to be the traditional wisdom around organizing. However, we believe in an alternative method—keep commonly paired items together. This "breads and spreads" basket is a perfect example of how best to organize around the way you actually prep things.