30 Clever Pantry Organization Ideas to Maximize Your Space

Sort By Use

The best way to know where everything is in your pantry is to keep the things you use together near each other. Here, flour and brown sugar occupy a shelf below a set of mixing bowls and above a stand mixer, while prep tools live in their own cubby right next door.

Place Like Items Together

Have a lot of stuff you want to look visually clutter-free? Group multiples of the same item like in a grocery store. This not only helps you locate things faster, but it also looks cleaner and more organized without using any organizers.

Use Straw Bins

Straw bins and baskets are a favorite in playrooms, offices, and closets everywhere, but they have a place in your pantry too. Sort canned foods by category (tomato sauces, vegetables, etc.), then retrieve them without lifting a lid. Or use them as catchalls for things like napkins and tablecloths. The slanted shelves in this Alice Lane–designed pantry create deeper storage, by the way.

Turn Shelves Into Drawers

Drawers that pull out allow you to pack your pantry full of food without losing access to the pasta sauce in the far back corner. Organize your drawers by item type for more cohesive storage. Emily Henderson painted the cabinets in this closet pantry area a dark green for even more style.

Stack Plastic Containers

Flat containers that stack easily take advantage of every bit of space in a pantry. Use them to store grains, breadcrumbs, rice, and nuts. In this super-organized space, the custom containers actually slide out of the shelves for easy access.

Hang a Pegboard

Instead of stacking heavy pots and pans on top of each other (and wasting valuable shelf space), install a pegboard on a free wall. Suddenly your heavy-duty items are on display and easy to grab. Marianne Evannou added hooks and shelves for various kitchen and pantry essentials here.

Repurpose Crates

Simple wooden crates can spice up exposed shelves and hide some unsightly essentials. Love the vintage look of these? Try stenciling new ones with an old-fashioned logo or brushing them with chalk paint for a shabby-chic effect.

Install Drawer Separators

To help prevent bottles, cans, and other pantry items from toppling over whenever you pull out the drawer, use drawer organizers to hold them in place. Heidi Piron Design and Cabinetry installed flexible dividers here to keep liquor bottles from clanking together, but these separators work for everything from food storage containers to cutting boards.

Add a Library Ladder

If you have a lot of vertical space, stretch cabinetry all the way to the ceiling as Caren Rideau did in this pantry, then make it easy to access. A library ladder looks incredibly stylish and is actually functional since it'll help you reach things stored high up.

Pull Out Cabinets

How do you reach the stuff that inevitably gets pushed all the way to the back of the pantry? Follow the lead of IKEA hackers and add drawers, or take note of this organized kitchen by Emily Henderson and optimize your cabinets by removing the sides and turning them into pull-outs.

Label Everything

Keep organization simple by using containers with leakproof lids and labeling them so you know exactly what's what. You can pile items on top of each other without worrying that they'll topple over onto the floor the next time you reach for something—and they won't spill.

Double Cabinet Space

How genius are these multi-section KraftMaid door storage attachments? Having super-roomy, deep cabinets is always a blessing, but sometimes little items can get lost. These inserts solve that problem. If you can't invest in something like this right now, make sure to use the back of your pantry door. Even hanging a shoe rack on it can give you lots more storage.

Dedicate a Wall to Cookbooks

If you have a massive collection of cookbooks and nowhere to store them neatly, this is the solution for you. Designer Jean Stoffer dedicated an entire wall to Joanna Saltz's cookbooks by installing three slim shelves to display them.

Hang a Floating Cabinet

If you want to keep your spices somewhere easy to access while cooking but also want to hide them, disguise a floating storage cabinet with a painted door. While it's closed, no one would know it's anything other than wall decor. It's as simple painting over your cabinet door or covering it with wallpaper.

Try Modular Shelving

Krysta Gibbons of Kipling House Interiors split a large kitchen into two rooms: the main kitchen, where all the cooking is done, and the catering kitchen/walk-in pantry. Bulky appliances, food, and serveware are tucked away, while open shelving conveniently holds grab-and-go items. For a less permanent wall storage solution, try using sink and shower caddies, Velcro organizers (for smaller loose packets), and chip clips.

Transform an Unused Corner

If you don't have a dedicated room to use as a pantry, you can make do with an unused corner in the kitchen or nearby hallway. All you need is some modular shelving. To make it look more polished and intentional, organize the contents by color and roll out a pretty area rug.

Separate With Varied Containers

As much as we love a consistent look, sometimes a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn't work, especially when staying organized is the goal. This pantry by Dearborn Studio relies on a variety of containers, baskets, bins depending on the item, which proves quite perfect. Lazy Susans are another great idea for making things easier to reach!

Put Lids On The Door

Storing your pots and pans is one thing, but finding room for their lids is an entirely different problem. A door rack keeps them out of your way but still easily accessible. See more at Worthing Court.

Use a Chic Cabinet for Storage

Who says the pantry has to be the only storage space in your kitchen? Transform a chic cabinet into a part of your kitchen, then fill it up with all the food (or even drinks!) it can hold.

Organize Spices

Find an empty space to store all of your spices in one spot, then use these spice jar labels to make things even more organized.

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