5 Ways to Enhance and Organize a Pantry

Inside clean pantry
Your pantry doesn’t have to be perfect — it just has to be organized, so you can find what you need.

Organizing a pantry and giving it some style will make this space not just functional, but also efficient and visually pleasing.

Follow these tips to make the most of your pantry:

New wooden shelves for organized pantry
Nothing makes a pantry look complete like a new set of shelves.

1. Install More Shelves

If your pantry’s shelves are filled and you need more storage, look up! Always work to maximize your storage vertically, because there’s usually more space than what’s been used.

In addition, avoid placing anything — even if it’s neatly organized — on the floor. This makes the space appear open, bigger and prevents a cluttered appearance.

Finally, consider building floating shelves on any unused wall space, or repurpose everyday items — such as wicker baskets — into shelves, as a budget-friendly solution.

Organized pantry with blue bins for batteries, bulbs and rags.
These plastic blue containers stylishly stand out from other items in the pantry.

2. Add Bins and Racks

It seems like the family pantry is never big enough to store everything you need. Or, even if size isn’t the problem, disorganization makes it difficult to find what you need, when you need it.

That’s why bins and racks come in handy: you can use special storage methods for certain items.

For instance, store items such as batteries, rags and light bulbs in bins to separate them from cereals, snacks and sauces. Better yet, use bins that are the same color, and use that color throughout the pantry to give it an organized, consistent style.

To maximize storage for canned goods, install wire shelving upside down and slanted down toward the front. Place cans on their side on the shelf, so they roll to the front when removed.

To store rolls of sheet goods, such as plastic wrap and aluminum foil, punch in the perforated tabs on the ends of the box; then, hang the rolls on the inside of the pantry door with self-adhesive hooks.

To keep plastic grocery store bags neat and ready for reuse or recycling, attach a plastic bag storage container, such as the one made by SimpleHuman (model# KT1166), to the inside of the pantry door.


  1. Pantry storage ideas suggested emptying cereal, rice, other items into plastic containers. Sounds good on the surface but often there are cooking instructions and other relevant info on that box. I could tear off the box label and stick it in the plastic container – which leaves the best idea. Leave the doggone items in their boxes. Does anybody really care if they’re in plastic containers? Not me.

    • Definitely do what works best for your home and unique needs, Betty. 🙂
      We’ve also seen folks take cooking instructions and add them to cookbooks with makeshift sheet protectors.
      There are all kinds of ways to have practical, stylish storage solutions.

    • We’ve done that too. Back before diet, we would have the instruction label taped to the container, especially for pancake mix type stuff. The main reason for other containers, I believe, is that they take up less room. We have had our containers for years so it is not a large expense. As for stylish, that to me is not as important as efficiency.
      Thomas– To be stylish one has to give up room. those big baskets to me would seem to be inefficient, which would be not practical.

  2. I do put all my pastas, cereals and such in containers, but I then cut any measurements or instructions off and put them with the container. I have also taken a picture of them and kept on my phone. Believe me, the organization does so much for me!!

  3. Our pantry is nearly 4×8, with particle board shelves attached to the walls on 3 sides. We store some stuff in containers, ad one shelf has small electrics and other small items, the others have canned/packaged food. Much of the cereal/other similar items are in plastic ceral containers, but when it is bought in bulk, only one bag of two will fit the container, so the box remains. On the floor are stored water bottles–gallons for tea/coffee making, everyday drinking, other items on the floor are small bottles of water for travelling…also overflow items for regular canned goods also on the floor. Batteries are stored in a drawer in another room, light bulbs are in the hall closet along with extra toiletries-bath/paper goods. Napkins are in the pantry as well. Attached to the wall by hooks are brooms, barbecue tools…


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