How to Organize a Small Pantry

Our Place 08/12/2019
How to Organize a Small Pantry

Organization in an apartment can be hard. You may not have the luxury of a lot of storage space, so you have to get creative when it comes to organization. Today, we’re tackling one of the most difficult spaces to keep clean and decluttered in an apartment home: the pantry.

Let’s take one step backward before we jump straight into organizing. You can’t possibly organize a full pantry, right? To begin, take everything out of your pantry and lay items on a nearby table or countertop.


This is an easy one! Throw away anything that’s expired or that’s been open for too long. Also, this is the perfect time to set aside a donation pile. If you have non-perishable items that aren’t past their expiration and you know you won’t use them, donate them to a local food bank.


Now that we’ve eliminated all of the excess and expired items, it’s time to group your food items into categories. There’s no need to get super specific with this; think high level for now. For example, some of the categories we included were: baking supplies, snacks, canned food, sweets, etc.


This is where it gets fun! The Container Store, Target and Amazon are all awesome retailers to find organizational tools for your pantry. Think baskets, clear bins, lazy susans, tiered shelving, and spice racks. Now let’s get into the specifics. Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Airtight Storage Containers: use for baking supplies (i.e. flour, sugar) and other bulk items such as pasta, cereal, rice, nuts. 
  • Clear Can Holders: use for cans of pop or seltzer waters or even cans of vegetables
  • Lazy Susans: use for sauces, oils, and larger seasonings
  • Tiered Spice Racks: use for spices
  • Bins or Baskets: add a label and use them to categorize and organize the remainder of your pantry items


Now that you have all your products in baskets or storage containers, you’ll want to label them to ensure you can find everything quickly and with ease.


 Time to finally put your newly systemized items back into the pantry. Assign each category to a shelf. You’ll want to keep a few things in mind when tackling this part. 

(1) Frequency of Use: obviously, the items that you use the most, you’ll want to keep on the easiest to reach shelves. 

(2) Shelf Height: if you have shelves that vary in height, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking this into account. 

(3) Volume of Items: for example, if you’re a big baker, you may need to dedicate a whole shelf to supplies versus someone whose idea of baking is picking up pre-packaged cookies from the grocery store.


Step back and admire your work! You’re now the proud owner of a beautifully organized pantry.

We want to hear your organizational tips & tricks! Let us know on social at @lifestylecommunities.

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