17 of the Best Pantry Storage Ideas for Creating a Tidy Space

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labelled woven pantry baskets
Photo: Michelle Drewes

Any cook worth their salt knows that a great home-cooked meal begins in the pantry. One of the most frequently visited spots in any home, the pantry houses important ingredients for your favorite dishes and is where you store everything from extra snacks to drinks. But because this is such a popular area, keeping your pantry staples in order can be time-consuming and difficult.

If you keep it well-stocked with spices and everyday staples and do what you can to ensure those essentials are well-organized, your pantry will serve you well. We're sharing kitchen storage ideas that will help keep your food fresh for longer and make the most of your space. Ahead, explore some of our best pantry storage ideas that will make your area neater and your life easier.

01 of 17

Mark Shelves with Bookplates

organized pantry
Ryan Liebe

Rather than putting stickers on each container, designate zones (for oils, condiments, snacks) with bookplates. "They keep everything organized and add vintage charm," says Lorna Aragon, Living's home editor. Using inexpensive crates—which allow for air flow—to store potatoes and onions extends shelf-life; putting your prettiest bowls to good use—we like Ohio Stoneware's Utility Crocks (from $5.49, stonewareoutlet.com) and Shoulder Bowls (from $27.99, stonewareoutlet.com)—makes for a pretty display.

To cut down on visual clutter, Lorna also advises decanting nonperishable staples like rice and beans into canisters and taping their boiling instructions to the bottoms of the jars to avoid "How long do I boil this for?" moments.

02 of 17

Use Bins

spacious white shelving pantry filled with various items
Courtesy of Simply Spaced

Wicker bins, or bins of any natural material, help keep your pantry organized by storing anything from canned goods to children's snacks. Clear labels describing exactly what's inside each bin makes hunting for your midday snack or that last dinner ingredient a breeze.

03 of 17

Curate Canisters

pantry organization canisters of dry goods and snacks
The Home Edit

Assign shelves a type of food or use, like baking essentials, dry ingredients, and snacks, and place boxed goods into glass canisters for effective pantry storage.

04 of 17

Keep It Sealed

Martha Stewart Collection Six-Piece Bakery Set
Courtesy of Macy’s

Ensure your baking ingredients are properly stored and organized in your pantry with these containers, which have air-tight seals. As an added bonus, they stack like a dream.

Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection Six-Piece Bakery Set, $118, macys.com.

05 of 17

Install Smart Shelving

Janelle Jones

Use your pantry's varying shelf heights to your advantage by storing taller items, like bottles, on the bottom.

06 of 17

Keep It Simple and Streamlined

A pantry in Remodelista: The Organized Home”
Matthew Williams

For a home with limited and open pantry space, opt for a uniform look by placing items like cereal and baking essentials in clear storage containers.

07 of 17

Color Code

kitchen-pantry-1216.jpg (skyword:371554)

While color-coding might not be feasible for your everyday pantry, arranging your favorite beverages on full display in a butler's pantry is an aesthetically pleasing option.

08 of 17

Make It Kid-Friendly

pantry organization baskets of snacks
The Home Edit

Designating a storage bin in your pantry (preferably on a low shelf) for your kids with a clearly written label is a great way to stash their favorite snacks where they can get them.

09 of 17

Opt for Magnets

Annie Schlechter

Use unused areas in your pantry for storage, like the back of a door. Place your most-used spices in magnetic or adhesive tins for easy access.

10 of 17

Store Over the Door

Elfa Utility White Mesh Over the Door Rack
Courtesy of The Container Store

Hang an over-the-door rack on your pantry entrance to house anything from spices to oils.

Shop Now: Elfa Utility White Mesh Over the Door Rack, $214, thecontainerstore.com.

11 of 17

Go Vertical

Ditte Isager

If you're lucky enough to have a ledge or shelf above your pantry door, it's a great storage opportunity for your less frequently used items, like specific flours and oils.

12 of 17

Roll It Out

pantry organization broom closet and drawers in blue kitchen
Adam Kane Macchia

Drawers that you can pull out instantly make the back of the pantry shelf accessible.

13 of 17


pantry organization alcohol bar bin drawer
Adam Kane Macchia

Store spirits on a shelf or in a drawer that has enough height to allow the bottles to stand up. Here, vertical shelves separate the types of alcohol, making it easy to find exactly what's needed.

14 of 17

Store Bags


What to do with those extra grocery bags? Reuse them with this handy holder—it even makes for a pretty addition to the décor.

15 of 17

See Clearly


Store ingredients in airtight containers, away from heat and light sources. These etched-glass storage jars are both functional and decorative.

16 of 17

Ward Off Pests


Insects are unwanted little guests that can nonetheless creep their way into the crevices of your pantry. Protect them with an age-old trick: Drop a dried chile pepper or bay leaf into each jar. These colorful plants are nontoxic and have natural insect-repelling properties.

17 of 17

Sugar and Spice Stored Nice


Stored the right way, spices will last up to one year. So keep them in airtight, light-proof containers, away from heat. Use clip-art labels for organizing and identifying each one.

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