Inside: Learn how to declutter and organize your pantry to make your kitchen more efficient and save money!

Have you ever found yourself struggling to find something in your kitchen pantry?

You aren’t alone.

A pantry is a wonderful benefit for virtually any home. Having a dedicated space to store non-perishable goods, food, and overflow kitchen supplies can be incredibly helpful when it comes to keeping your home tidy and organized.

But it can be a challenge to keep the contents of your pantry in order. And once it gets out of control, your pantry can quickly go from ‘helpful’ to ‘headache’ as you struggle to find the stuff you actually need amongst the mess and clutter.

Ready to learn how to declutter and organize your pantry – and keep it that way? Keep reading to see how you can totally transform your pantry, organize your space, and bring a little more peace and serenity to your kitchen.

Benefits of an Organized Pantry

Living with clutter and mess can be a real challenge. It’s distracting. It is annoying. It’s something that none of us want to deal with – but so many of us struggle to stay on top of. 

The pantry is an easy spot to slowly lose control of. One day, you’ve got a perfectly organized pantry – and the next, it can feel like a tornado swept through and totally ruined your system. This can be especially true if you’re living with family or roommates. 

But with a little effort, you can bring order and organization to your kitchen pantry. And you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits that an organized pantry can bring, like…

You’ll find what you need faster.

Searching for anything in a messy space can be incredibly frustrating. It can be difficult to separate what you’ve already looked through and what you haven’t explored yet – and you might not even find what you’re looking for at all.

When you have an organized pantry, you can find things immediately because they’re exactly where they should be, saving you time and energy. 

You’ll waste less.

Things can easily get buried or lost in the back of your pantry.

While most items you keep in a pantry are non-perishable or have a fairly long shelf life, nothing lasts forever. It’s still important to use up the stuff in your pantry before it goes bad.

When you’re dealing with a messy pantry, it can be impossible to keep track of when everything’s going to expire. You’ll find yourself tossing spices, canned goods, snacks, and all kinds of other things that simply got lost, forgotten about, and slipped past their prime. 

declutter organize pantry

You’ll spend less money.

Have you ever gone to the store for a specific ingredient – a certain spice or sauce, or a can of veggies for your casserole – only to come home and find exactly what you needed in your kitchen?

When you have a messy pantry, this can happen pretty often.

Keeping your pantry organized will make it easier for you to understand what ingredients you actually have on hand. You won’t have to wonder whether or not you’ve got something, or spend too much time searching for things you might have.

Instead, a quick peek into the pantry will tell you everything you need to know when it comes to finalizing your shopping list.

You’ll save time and energy. 

Searching through a messy pantry for stuff isn’t anybody’s idea of fun. Let’s be honest.

So why put yourself through that experience on a regular basis if you don’t actually have to?

Dealing with a messy pantry can cost you valuable time and energy. Instead, straighten up your space and make it easy to find what you need – or see what you’re missing.

You might be surprised to see just how much less stress you bring into the kitchen when everything you need is easily accessible.

Once you learn how to declutter and organize your pantry, you can enjoy all of these benefits too!

7 Steps to Declutter & Organize Your Pantry

Use these seven steps to declutter and organize your pantry so that you can enjoy a more efficient kitchen with less waste!

1. Take everything out of your pantry.

You’re not going to get very far if you try to organize your pantry while everything is still inside.

To start the process, take everything out of your pantry. Remove all food, cans, and stored items – as well as any storage bins or baskets you’re using. You want to start with a clean slate.

2. Clean everything.

Next, it’s time to clean. Grab your favorite supplies and wipe down all of the surfaces inside your pantry. Shelves and corners can quickly accumulate dust, and any crumbs can be an easy magnet for unwanted bugs and rodents. 

Depending on how long some of your food has been stowed in your pantry, you might want to wipe that down, too.

Cans can get a little dusty, and while it doesn’t actually damage the goods inside, it does make it less appealing to use. A disinfecting wipe can do the trick!

declutter organize pantry

3. Declutter. 

It’s not uncommon to find something in your pantry that is well past its prime. Canned goods and spices can expire, too – just a lot longer than their fresh counterparts!

It’s easy to forget about this… and then find yourself staring at a can that’s two years past its prime.

Take advantage of your pantry organizing project to get rid of everything that is past its best-by date. Spices and canned goods are some of the biggest culprits, but virtually everything expires at some point, so check your products carefully and set aside the ones that are no longer safe to eat.

You may also come across food that isn’t past its date, but you know you and your family will never eat it. Set those aside to give to a food bank in your area or donate it to someone in your local Buy Nothing group.

4. Organize your pantry contents into similar items. 

Before you put things back into your pantry, it’s a good idea to take a step back and make sure you know what you’re working with.

By grouping similar items together, you can see how much of each item you’ve got on hand and better plan for spacing and storage solutions.

If you only have a couple of canned goods, your pantry is going to look and feel quite different than one that’s stocked with canned veggies from top to bottom. And you’re going to want to keep that in mind as you tackle the next step in the process, which is…

5. Invest in the right storage solutions. 

Storage solutions aren’t always critical, but in many situations, they can make a huge difference when it comes to organizing your pantry. Bins, baskets, hooks, hangers, racks, lazy susans, and containers can all be used to keep items neat, organized, and together. 

By being deliberate about the pantry storage solutions you invest in, you’ll put yourself in the best possible position to keep your space organized.

It can be easy to go overboard with this if you’ve watched shows where the pantry looks like a store display. Make sure you are buying storage that works for you. Don’t buy a ton of clear plastic storage containers if you don’t want to decant your food.

Creating a sustainable organizational system isn’t about making it look showroom perfect. It’s about finding solutions that work for you and your home.

6. Stay organized with labels.

Labels can be very helpful when it comes to organizing your pantry especially if you are using containers without labels and baskets.

Once you know where things are going to go – which parts of the pantry will hold what, and which boxes and bins certain items will go in – it’s time to make it official. 

Labels will make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, and they’ll help your family figure out where stuff goes. As simple as they are, they’re a tremendous tool when it comes to pantry organization that should not be overlooked!

declutter organize pantry

7. Put it all away – and commit to keeping it organized! 

Once you know where everything’s going to go and have clearly marked, designated bins and storage areas in your pantry, it’s time to put everything back.

Neatly restock your pantry with your non-perishables… and take a picture when you’re finished!

Having something to refer back to when things start to get a little disorganized can be really helpful and can help you quickly restore your pantry to its organized state. 

How do YOU keep your pantry organized?

Do you find it easy to keep an organized pantry, or is pantry organization something you’ve struggled with for a while?

Have you found any tips or tricks that have made a huge difference for you? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. I was in a hurry the other night and found a bottle of oil I needed to make brownies. After mixing the brownies I smelled the oil in it and checked the date on the bottle. Expired in 2014. The prepared brownies’ got washed down the drain. Taught me a lesson and I am too old to be learning lessons like that.

  2. I try to just skim the dates on pantry items periodically. This became a habit after I helped a relative clean out a corner cabinet in her house several years ago and found a bottle of ipecac from the 80s (approx 30 years old when found). This lesson was reinforced when I helped another relative move and we had to throw a couple small boxes full of pantry items because they were anywhere from 1 – 3 or 4 years past their expiration dates. If something is getting within a couple of months of the expiration and it’s been on hand a ehile, I either use it up , give it away or donate it. Now to get better about not wasting so much fresh food and leftovers. We love to have produce on hand, but it goes bad so quickly. Having our own garden helps in season since we can pick when we need it, but sometimes the harvest far outpaces our ability to eat and/or preserve our bounty. We continue to improve each year.

  3. Let’s try to donate extra food to the local food pantry ( our church has had one for 50 years!) and extra clothes to those who need them. God bless!

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