For Organizing & Decluttering Help

5 Steps to Organize Your Kitchen Pantry 

Keeping your pantry organized can be a nightmare, especially if you have deep shelves that involve a lot of stooping and rummaging. 

When cooking or putting away groceries, the need to move fast can often lead to pantry disorganization. Items get placed in the front or back based on most recent use instead of any real system. Even assigned shelves and rows can get cluttered to the point of disorganization.

So what you need is a system: a way to organize your foodstuffs and keep them organized. So here’s how to organize your kitchen pantry in five basic steps that will create a system you can easily maintain.

1. Start With a Clean Slate 

Start with an empty pantry and clean shelves. That means pulling everything out and placing it onto the countertops and dining table. Then climb into your deep pantry shelves with a cloth or sanitizing wipes to clean everything. 

Wipe to the corners and clean spills, the dust in hidden recesses, and ring stains from tin cans. Scrub until you are satisfied. Pro tip: Consider installing a shelf liner to make this process easier next time.

You can also take this moment to wipe down everything you took out of the pantry, removing lingering flour, dust, and unknown sticky residues.

Now, with clean, empty shelves and clean pantry items, you can start organizing.

2. Purge Unneeded Items

With all your pantry items laid out, you can easily see your entire supply. It’s time to declutter. 

Get a sturdy box and fill it with everything you won’t cook in the next six weeks and what you won’t plan to use before the expiration date. 

Canned foods you don’t eat and boxed meals you don’t enjoy can be donated to the nearest food kitchen. Anything past the expiration date (or badly dented) should go in the trash.

3. Sort and Categorize Items

Next, organize what remains — sort by container, food type, brand, size, and even color. 

When organizing, consider the following:

  • How do you want to view the items in your pantry 
  • Convenient ways to store each category 
  • The best system for easy put-away and retrieval when you’re in a hurry 

Line up items on your countertop based on how you want to arrange them in your pantry.

4. Introduce High-Quality Organization Products

Now it’s time to make the magic happen. Introduce high-quality organizational products to your pantry. You’ll want baskets, sliders, vertical shelves, and storage bins. 

You’ll also want elegant, tall canisters for your pasta, dispensing scoop canisters for your baking goods, and drawer-like rows for your canned goods. 

You can invest in a prefabricated pantry system or build your own system by upgrading each shelf and your total pantry space.

Where to Find Organization Supplies

You can find great organizational supplies from a number of sources. Home decor and home improvement brands both often carry the baskets, drawers, and tracks you’ll need to optimize your pantry system. 

You can also use online stores like Amazon and department store delivery branches to have specified products delivered to your door. 

If you are working with a professional organizer, they can help you source the perfect organizational supplies and products for your specific pantry design.

Some of our favorites are 

5. Label Your Organized Items

Last but not least, label your organizational containers. Even if the containers are transparent or translucent, labels make it easy to identify items at a glance or if the light level is low.

Chalk pens are a great option for label making. The chalk “ink” shows up clearly and is easy to remove with a wet cloth if you make a mistake or need to write a new label. Additionally, you can use sticky labels if you prefer. 


Getting your pantry organized doesn’t have to be a challenge. Starting with a clean slate, categorizing items, and then using the right containers can go a long way to keeping your pantry organized. 

And with the help of a professional organizer, anyone can build the perfect organized pantry system. If you are in need of home organization in New Orleans, we are here to provide live or virtual support as you get your pantry into gear. Contact us today to find your New Orleans home organization services.