Realistic Tips for Pantry Organization - The Ginger Home (2024)

Realistic Tips for Pantry Organization - The Ginger Home (1)


December 27, 2020


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So we’ve all seen those glorious and perfectly organized rainbow pantries on Pinterest and online. And I’ll admit I’m a little bit obsessed with all the beautiful images of pristine pantry organization! But are they actually attainable? Can you actually decant every single item into clear storage containers, organize your tea bags by colour, and keep everything looking perfect day in and day out?

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Photo: The Home Edit

The answer is yes and no. Lol, how’s that for helpful! Keep reading to see what I mean. I think a pantry can be gorgeous, but real-life needs to be taken into account and added into the design. Here are my best and most realistic tips for pantry organization:

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

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Table of Contents

#1 Plan for function

The first thing to think about when you are organizing your pantry is what function the space needs to serve. Is it purely for food storage? Or do small appliances, linens, grocery bags etc.. also need a home. Do you have another space in the house to store large bags of flour and other things that you buy in bulk? What about cleaning supplies, extra dishes etc..? Function will determine what kind and how much storage you need. To make this planning process simple download my free printable pantry organizing sheet below!

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Use this printable to clear out the clutter, itemize what you have remaining, and figure out your budget for any organizational supplies needed!

# 2 Apply zoning rules

Once you’ve cleaned out your existing pantry items and made a list of what remains, think about dividing the space into zones. I like to keep similar items together so that it’s easy and intuitive to find what you need. For example, baking supplies, snacks, and canned goods could all be arranged in their own sections. Check out the printable pantry worksheets above for more ideas on how to categorize your items.


  • Place heavy or bulky items on the bottom shelves,
  • Place frequently used items at eye height
  • Place little-used items or long term storage items on the top shelves
  • Keep a step stool handy
  • Use rolling bins on the floor to pull out from under shelves easily
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Photo: Monika Hibbs

#3 Containers are key

Taking items out of outer packaging and decanting into organized and streamlined containers makes your pantry more pleasing to the eye. It also makes everything easier to find!

It’s best to keep as many of your stored items as visible as possible! So often when you can’t easily see what you already have, you end up buying more of the same thing or forgetting to use what you have.

It may seem like extra work, but this step will actually streamline the entire organization process.

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Photo: The Container Store

#4 Label everything

Once you’ve transferred all your supplies into containers don’t forget to label them all so that you remember what everything is!

For staple supplies that I buy over and over again and always keep stocked, I have specifically labeled containers. For example, flour, sugar, almonds and other basics all have their own labeled containers.

For things I only buy once in a while or switch up often, I have more generically labeled containers. For example, I’ll have a couple of larger bins for “snacks” or “crackers” and I’ll keep whatever is on hand that week in those bins.

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Photo: Little Label Co.

#5 Maximize storage

Maximize your storage options, especially if you are working with a small space. Use walls, the back of doors, or vertical and stacking storage options!

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Peg wall Photo: Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design via House Beautiful

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Stacking storage photo: The Home Edit

#6 Keep it real

So here’s the most important part… keep it real! If you have a vacuum or appliances or anything else unsightly that can’t be decanted or stored in pretty containers don’t stress! This is real life after all and not a perfectly staged photo.

Add some hidden storage if you need to like skirting on lower shelves, or simply add large bins/containers that can be closed.

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Photo: Seeking Lavender Lane

Let the appliances sit out on the counter if that’s what works well for you. (It does help if they are pretty though!)

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Photo: Pink Peonies

Final thoughts

A pantry can be one of the most frequently used spaces in a house so make sure that it’s a space that you enjoy using. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to reorganize existing space, but it can make a big difference in your daily life!

We just finished renovating a builder-basic pantry space, so you can see how we put these tips into practice! Check it out! Just click on the image below!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these pantry organization tips. You may also enjoy:

  • The Best Ways To Organize A Small Kitchen
  • Simple Ideas for Mudroom Organization
  • Where to Shop for Home Organization Supplies
Realistic Tips for Pantry Organization - The Ginger Home (2024)
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