Check out these tips for organizing the pantry to always find what you need

Feb 2, 2023, 3:00 PM
(Shutterstock Photo)...
(Shutterstock Photo)
(Shutterstock Photo)

Is your pantry stuffed with half-empty cereal boxes and duplicates of items because you couldn’t see what you already had before you went grocery shopping? Are your spices falling all over each other? Having trouble finding what you need when you need it?

It’s time to organize the pantry.

Getting started

Getting organized can feel overwhelming. Bridges Connor, Get Organized with Bridges & Co., a Rosie on the House Certified Partner, offers these tips for starting the process and making it less overwhelming.

Set your goals: Take stock of your goals for getting organized. Knowing what you want to achieve will help in the organizational process.

Store it where you use it: Not all items are best stored in the pantry. If you keep your coffee in the pantry and have enough counter space, consider moving it near the coffee maker where it’s most used. If you have appliances that are out of sight, consider moving them onto the countertop or donating them if you don’t use them.

Sort, toss or donate: As you take items out of the pantry, sort them by category, so you’ll see if you have duplicates and what has expired. From this sorting, you can toss your expired items, sort what you want to keep, and donate the rest.

Organize based on your needs: Once you have everything out of the pantry and sorted, it will go back into the pantry based on your needs, habits, and priorities. For example, if you make a smoothie every morning, keeping the smoothie powder in a prime spot makes sense. Make the kids’ snacks easily accessible, too.

Place items of the same size, such as spices, on graduated steps, so they are easily visible. Place items not used as often, such as for baking, higher up. Keep those ingredients in one bin. When you want to bake, grab the bin. You will have everything you need.

Categorize: Store food and other items by category: rice and grains, cereals, pasta, sauces, paper goods, etc.

Placement: See what you have by ripping the box tops off your food products and storing them sideways. This way, you can quickly and easily see how many tea bags, bags of popcorn, or garbage bags you have, so you won’t buy more than you need.

Helpful organizing accessories

Shelves: Chances are that your pantry has two to three feet of wasted space near the floor. Add more shelves. Choose slide-out shelves so you can easily retrieve cans and small appliances Inside kitchen cabinets. Place lazy Susans on shelves that do not slide out. A simple turn will make all items visible.

Baskets and jars: Use baskets and jars to store ingredients. Dedicate a basket to pasta, another to canned goods, and the last to produce (potatoes and onions). Then, use glass jars to store grains, beans, and nuts, so you can always see what you have at a glance.

The Cabinet Caddy: When getting organized, vertical storage is always best. This vertical organizer is a perfect fit in the pantry for spices. It is engineered to fit and function neatly side-by-side to create a “library” of organized stuff.

Organizing the pantry will make it easy to find what you need when cooking and before shopping.

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

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Check out these tips for organizing the pantry to always find what you need