10 Secrets to an Organized Pantry

Photograph by Dustin Aksland, courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista

You probably know the basics of pantry organization: Use bins and baskets, store dry goods in clear containers, and group like with like.  But here are 10 things you may not have thought of when planning and executing a well-ordered pantry.

Photograph by Mark Weinberg Design Credit: Brad Sherman

To subdivide your foods, consider frequency of use—or, consider routines and designate discrete storage areas for them, like a coffee station.

1. Think about how you use it.

Items that you may have multiples of should be stored in such a way that the older stuff gets used first.

2. Remember “first in, first out."

Photograph by Sara Tramp Design Credit: Emily Henderson

Onions and garlic shouldn't mingle with potatoes; keep flours and breads away from strong-smelling items.

3. Some foods aren’t good neighbors.

Photograph by Joe Fletcher,  courtesy of Malcolm Davis Architect

Putting dry goods into glass jars is about more than aesthetics: It prevents flour beetles and other bugs from getting in.

4. Decant.

Photograph by Matthew Williams;  styling by Alexa Hotz for The Organized Home

When choosing storage vessels, think: Will you want to scoop the ingredient out with a measuring cup? If so, make sure you source containers with wide mouths.

5. Consider containers carefully.

Photograph by Delbarr Moradi Design Credit: Megan Bachmann

More important than marking a jar’s contents is marking the bought or expiration date on washi tape.

6. Label.

Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista

Make sure to plan a spot that accommodates large-sized items, too, like pet food or cereal boxes.

7. Plan for big items.

Photograph by Dustin Aksland, courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

Consider adding a shelf to keep appliances—rice cookers, blenders, mixers, etc.—in your pantry and off your countertops.

8. Make room for appliances.

Photograph by Jodi Mockabee

If you have small kids, store healthy snacks on a shelf that they can easily access; keep the sweets and less nutritious snacks on a higher shelf.

9. Make it kid-friendly.

Photograph by Vivian Johnson Photography for Shira Gill Home

The key to keeping an organized pantry is to check in a few times a year to assess its contents, tossing old ingredients, cleaning spills, and tweaking systems.

10. Keep re-evaluating.

Photograph by Maria del Rio Design Credit: Blisshaus