An effective kitchen design must include efficient pantry storage. That means places to put your cooking ingredients, food serving pieces, and more. But some items require dry storage and others need refrigeration. And then there’s the size discrepancies. How do you keep your tiny jars of spices front and center while maintaining shelves large enough to hold a crockpot between uses? The answer lies in how you set up your storage. Try these pantry organization ideas. You’ll enjoy cooking more when everything is orderly and at your fingertips.

Pantries have enjoyed a nice resurgence in recent years. It’s not that long ago that kitchen storage was restricted to upper and lower cabinets only. Full pantry closets were a thing of the past. But not anymore. Cooks everywhere have seen the benefits of kitchen pantries. They demand them in new construction and older home kitchen remodeling projects. And there’s a reason for it. Today’s homeowner busier than ever before. They don’t have time to search for misplaced ingredients when preparing meals. Nor do they want to throw money away. Buying duplicates because you can’t find what you know you have is a waste. Buying in bulk saves money, but you need room to put things. But a good pantry system can help solve these problems.

Pantry organization ideas for an optimized kitchen experience.

Pantry organization ideas for a small walk-in pantry
This pantry system offers both dry and cold storage, plus a rotating kitchen corner pantry cupboard that keeps all the bottles and boxes convenient and easy to find. It also includes special storage for bottles. Pull-out wire baskets provide a place for root vegetables and bags of chips.

The optimal pantry will include storage for dry goods like boxed items as well as foods/beverages that need refrigeration. That often means an extra refrigerator. Shelves for oversize items like serving trays, broiler pans, and cookie sheets need to be organized alongside racks for tiny jars of spice. Include special racks for each in your layout of the pantry space. Perishable items like root vegetables need a place where they won’t rot or spoil. Make sure they’re easy to access and towards the front of your shelves. Delicate bags of chips need shelf space too. But so do heavy bags of flour and sugar. Figuring out where to put it all can be a daunting task. And you don’t want to waste any space. That’s why pantry organizers are essential to the planning of your new pantry.

Narrow walk-in pantry with serving table and organized storage.
This pantry uses approximately the same amount of space as a typical laundry/mudroom. The back of it has a countertop and can be used for food prep if needed. The space includes pull-out pantry shelves so that all appliances remain accessible, and nothing gets pushed to the back. Wire baskets with canvas liners store root vegetables. Deeper baskets hold big bags of smacks and chips. Special racks organize trays, cookie sheets, and all those other hard-to-store items on their sides. They may look like canvas drying racks for paintings but are essential to good pantry storage. Spices and small jars get their own pull-out rack so that nothing gets lost.

Pantry organizers to the rescue.

Shelves are the backbone of any pantry. Always start your pantry design with plenty of shelving. But you can make those shelves work harder and store more when you use the right pantry organizers to go with them. The secret to getting the most out of your pantry shelving is to use the right one for the items you need to store.

Use vertical tray organizers to store big, awkward serving or bake ware on its side.

Pantry shelves with a vertical tray organizer used for baking sheets.
This vertical tray organizer handles storage for a lot more than serving trays. Use yours for muffin tins, broiler racks, sheet cake pans, cookie sheets, and more.

Every kitchen has them. They’re the elephants in the china store. We mean that extra big cookware that is useful but doesn’t fit anywhere for storage. Whether it’s your big roasting and broiler pans, baking sheets, or oversized serving pieces, these items don’t fit nicely in any cabinet. That’s why good pantry organization ideas always include vertical tray storage. Vertical organizers store these items on their sides. That way, they’re easy to access when you need them. They are also better protected. Vertical storage is safer for your oversize serving trays because they are less likely to chip or scratch when stored on their sides. Each vertical divider holds just a few items rather than a big stack that’s likely to slide around and become damaged when trying to retrieve the item from the bottom of the pile.

Consider pull-out spice racks for small jars.

Pull-out spice rack for pantry closet with small jars of spices.
This pull-out spice rack can hold up to 24 jars of spices. Use it with your own jars or the ones from the grocery store that the spices came in.

Spice organization can be tricky. That’s because spices often come in tiny jars that are easy to misplace. They get pushed to the back of the shelf, becoming lost or forgotten. Buying larger containers of bulk spice won’t help either because they don’t get used up fast enough. After all, most recipes only call for a teaspoon full or less at a time. The unused spice then grows old. This is undesirable because all spices tend to lose their flavor and go bland over time. That’s why it’s always better to buy in small quantities that you can use up. You must find a way to organize the small containers, so they don’t get lost. Luckily, that’s what spice racks are for. Use one or more spice racks to store all your jars of seasonings. Pull-out spice racks are our favorite spice organizer for pantry closets for six reasons.

  1. The racks hold a lot of jars.
  2. No chance of losing the small jars since they aren’t kept on the same shelf as other items.
  3. They remain out-of-site when you don’t need them but slide forward into prominence when you are looking for seasonings.
  4. Each spice organizer holds multiple sizes and styles of jars so you can keep your seasonings in the same container you purchased them in from the store.
  5. Good quality and durability.
  6. They are easy to install and fit into standard width shelving sections.

Add pull-out pantry shelves to keep everything accessible.

Pull-out pantry shelves for pantry organization.
Pull-out shelves improve visibility, so nothing gets lost in the back. Low sides keep items in place.

Pull-out pantry shelves are a unique type of shelf that improves accessibility. They’re not quite a drawer but are more than a shelf. Think of them as super shelves. They mount inside a pantry closet on drawer slides. And each shelf is equipped with low sides. Use them when you want to group items of vastly different sizes and shapes on the same shelf. The pull-out feature ensures the big items won’t block visibility or access to smaller products. The sides ensure nothing falls off the shelf when it is moved forward.

No pantry is complete without pull-out wire baskets.

Bottom of small pantry closet with pull-out wire baskets for storage.
Pull-out wire baskets are your best storage for root vegetables and easy-to-crumble bags of chips.

Wire baskets are one of the most practical and economical organizers you can buy for your pantry. Use them for root vegetables. The open weave provides the proper amount of air circulation, and the pantry door keeps them away from light. Plastic bottom liners or breathable canvas liners are available if you’re worried about a mess from onion skins. Also include a large basket for potato chips and like items. The durable metal wire baskets protect the delicate chips from getting broken. Use them with your bagged snacks so that you’ll have less crumbs at the bottom of your bag.

Include beverage cubes for pantry organization when you have lots of bottles of varying sizes.

X-shaped beverage cube installed in a pantry shown with water bottles.
This x-shaped beverage cube is installed in a pantry shown to organize the family’s collection of water bottles. It’s perfect for storing bottles of different sizes.

Everyone thinks of beverage cubes when they need wine bottle storage. but did you know that they can store other types of bottles as well? Beverage cubes are cube shaped organizers constructed with a x-shaped divider in the interior. That’s so that many bottles can be stored on their sides without rolling away. Just stack them up. And the bottles don’t have to be the same size. Use them when you have a lot of different types of bottles of varying sizes. Place the bottles on their sides in the cube for quick and easy access. They’re a good way to organize a collection of any kind of long, round, cylindrical bottle. Try them for soda, juice, wine, and more.

Use a pull-out bottle rack when there’s only a few bottles.

Slide out rack for storing wine bottles in the pantry.
Mount a slide out rack for wine bottles to the vertical panels under any pantry shelf.

Bottle racks are another way to organize beverages. They store bottles on their sides. This makes them perfect for corked bottles of wine because the liquid inside the bottle remains in contact with the cork, ensuring it won’t dry out. Bottle racks can be stationary or slide out. The slide-out variety of bottle rack is mounted to drawer glides and can be pulled in and out just like a drawer. They mount into a standard width shelving section of a pantry closet. Use them when you have a few bottles of wine or special cooking oils that you want to keep accessible in the pantry.

Try a rotating kitchen corner pantry cupboard — the 360 Organizer®

Rotating kitchen corner pantry cupboard as part of a pantry organization system.
The 360 Organizer® rotating pantry shelves make the perfect kitchen corner pantry cupboard for large and small items alike.

Corners are one of the most difficult parts of a pantry to get organized. Avoid blind corners at all costs because they cause a loss of overall storage capacity. Shelves are the best answer to maximizing the storage in pantry corners. And rotating shelves take it a step further. Use a rotating corner pantry cupboard like the 360 Organizer when you have a lot of items of different sizes to store in the corner of your kitchen. The floor-to-ceiling shelves turn on a lazy Susan principle so that all your foodstuffs are always front and center. You’ll never lose any small items in the dark recesses of the back of the shelf.

Let these 7 pantry organization ideas get your next kitchen remodel off to a good start!

Whether you’re gutting your kitchen and starting over from scratch or just touching up your kitchen storage, these pantry organization ideas are sure to help. Get the most out of your pantry by using these organizers in your remodeling project:

  • Vertical tray organizers – good for storing oversized, relatively flat items like serving trays, broiler pans, cookie sheets, and bakeware.
  • Pull-out spice racks – better than other models of spice organizers, these racks slide in and out like drawers, hold a lot of jars, allow you to use the same containers the spices came in, are durable, easy to install, and keep your seasonings at your fingertips.
  • Pull-out pantry shelves – a unique type of shelf that improves accessibility. The shelves are mounted to drawer glides and have low sides so that they slide in and out without fear of anything falling off the shelf.
  • Slide-out wire baskets – the most practical and economical organizer you can buy. Use them for root vegetables, bags of chips, and more.
  • Beverage cube – Install this organizer when you have a lot of different sized bottles that you want to store on their sides.
  • Sliding bottle rack – Use this type of rack for organizing a few bottles of wine or special cooking oils in the pantry.
  • Rotating shelves – Use rotating shelves like the 360 Organizer® Pantry to maximize corner storage in the pantry.

Make your kitchen experience more pleasant with an organized pantry. You’ll enjoy cooking when meal prep is convenient and easy. Try these pantry organization ideas. Properly implemented, they’ll go a long way towards making your kitchen a pleasant, efficient, and fun place to be.

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