Having a walk-in pantry is a luxury that frees up a lot of kitchen space. If your home has a walk-in pantry, then you know how much easier it is to store groceries. Large appliances are also easily stored with plenty of room to spare. The setback to walk-in pantries is that they can quickly become messy.
You can easily keep your pantry in order with bins, shelving, and implementing a simple organization technique. Of course, your organization technique will depend on the size of your pantry as well as the kinds of groceries you buy.
The key elements of organizing any pantry are grouping, unpackaging, and sometimes repackaging. We have gathered 15 organizing ideas that will help you organize your groceries using these main concepts. Keep reading for some great pantry organization ideas.
1. Use Drawers
The first organizer we suggest for your pantry is a set of drawers. Pull-out drawers allow you to store groups of similar items that may be hard to sort through on a shelf. The advantage of drawers over shelves is that they give you a view of everything at once. You will easily be able to sort through and find just what you're looking for.
2. Arrange Items Neatly On Shelves
Next, many walk-in pantries come equipped with sturdy shelves. Shelves are an important foundation in a pantry because they can support heavy food goods like cans and jars. You can store different products in sections next to each other to avoid searching through dozens of randomized cans.
You want to think of shelves in grocery stores as inspiration for stocking your pantry. If you have large appliances, it is a good idea to reserve the lower shelves for them. It is a lot safer for heavier items to be closer to the floor.
3. Use Over The Door Organizers
This over-the-door organizer is perfect for a walk-in pantry. This is where you can store everyday items that you would want quick access to. If you are a pet owner, you can store items like treats or canned food. These baskets can also be used for sauces, jams, rice, beans, and anything else you may want to grab quickly for a meal.
4. Store Cans On Racks
Next, you can use this rack to store and dispense cans. The design is slanted to allow the cans behind to roll forward. If you have a lot of similar cans, you can get multiple racks and stack them on top of each other. Some racks are adjustable and can accommodate multiple can sizes. For much larger cans, you will want to store those on shelves.
5. Transfer Items To Airtight Containers
When organizing pantry items, you may find that boxes are taking up a lot of space. You will save a lot of space if you empty boxes of the same product into one container. When buying containers in a set, they will all be a similar shape making them easier to organize together. You can find these kinds of containers to store anything from candy to spaghetti.
6. Group Items With Storage Bins
Next, you can use storage bins like this to store food goods. Since they are labeled, you can see what you're grabbing, which is crucial if you have a lot of bins. When organizing, you can use these to hold individually packaged foods. For example, you can store small snacks, juice pouches, and any other wrapped food in these bins.
7. Use Sectioned Containers For Small Items
Next, in the same family as the storage bins, there are sectioned storage bins. You would want to use these to separate flavor varieties; items like granola bars can be easily sorted with these containers. You can also find multilevel storage like in the photo above. The difference in height makes it easy to see what is in the back.
8. Store Produce In Wire Baskets
If you like to store fresh produce in your pantry, then wire baskets are a must. You will be able to group perishables together in an easy-to-reach place. Unlike the plastic storage bins from earlier, there is ventilation. These baskets are perfect for things like potatoes and onions that need airflow to increase shelf life.
You want to avoid exposing fruits and vegetables to direct light in order to increase shelf life. If your pantry has a window or gets a lot of sunlight, store produce in shaded areas like drawers.
9. Mount A Wine Rack
If you drink wine, then you may like to keep some on hand in the pantry. Instead of taking up shelf space, you should consider using wall space. This wine rack mounts on the wall which keeps it out of the way and makes it easy to read labels. If you are saving wine for a special occasion, a bonus is that storing bottles horizontally is great for aging wine.
10. Get A Plastc Bag Organizer
Plastic bags are something that you probably have a lot of. You may be saving them for use as small trash bags or to reuse during shopping. In any case, keeping them organized in a dispenser like this will keep your pantry much more organized than storing them in another grocery bag.
11. Install A Lazy Susan
If you are unsure, a lazy Susan is a circular platform that can rotate completely around. You can use these to store more delicate items like glass bottles of oil and vinegar or small spices. Lazy susans work best in the corners of your pantry shelves to make it easy to reach items without moving things around. Just be sure not to spin them too fast!
12. Store Sodas In Dispenser
Storing sodas in one layer on your pantry shelf can take up a lot of space. This rack is one can wide and can store a case of sodas with no problem. This rack also has a rolldown dispensing system,d it is very easy to refill. Having a few of these in the pantry for canned drinks will save you the effort of reaching back on a shelf for drinks.
13. Use Open Front Storage Bins
Open front storage bins give you the ability to reach into a container without having to pull out a drawer. As seen in the photo, you can keep both boxes and cans organized and easy to reach. You can stack these containers, and they will act as open-faced drawers for your pantry. Clear plastic bins are a good choice because they give complete visibility.
14. Transfer Products Into Glass Jars
Using glass is the most popular way to go plastic-free in your kitchen. Glass containers are perfect for storing dry foods like oats, sugar, and rice long term. They are also healthier than plastic containers because they are a natural material with no toxins. You will just need to be more careful with the glassware than plastic containers.
If you are going to opt for glass containers, you will want to use a shelf liner. Shelf liners provide an anti-slip surface for shelving. Without using a liner, you run the risk of glass sliding and breaking.
15. Keep Track With A Chalk Board
Lastly, the best way to keep your pantry organized is to write things down. You can keep a chalkboard or notepad in your pantry or on the outside of the door. You can write down grocery lists, upcoming expiration dates, and of course, meal options. If you need guidance on stocking your pantry, read our guide on American pantry staple foods.
These organization tips apply to pantries of all sizes. Organizing your pantry is not a very hard task. It can be as simple as getting groups of similar things together and putting them inside baskets. The most important thing when organizing is that it is easy for you to remember and find items.
Having a walk-in pantry takes a little effort to keep up with over time, especially if you have children getting things from the shelves daily. As long as you tidy up and put everything in its place after shopping, your pantry will stay organized. If you would like extra pantry storage, check out our how-to guide on converting a closet into a pantry.