15 Items You Can Use To Organize Your Pantry

A perfectly organized pantry doesn't simply serve the sole purpose of looking nice. It also helps you and your family function more easily throughout the day. From ensuring a healthy breakfast is had by all to quickly getting dinner on the table, packing lunches, and making meal prep a breeze, a tidy pantry is the backbone of it all. 

Problems tend to arise, however, when pantries are overlooked during the home design process and end up small, oddly-shaped, or forgotten altogether. It's then up to you to think outside the box to create a system that meets all of your household's needs. Fortunately, there is an abundance of organizing tools and methods that help make the most of whatever space you have.

So regardless of the state that your kitchen is currently in, read on to discover 15 tools that, according to HGTV, you can use to not only create a better organized pantry, but also help all household members keep it that way.

Airtight containers

Clear canisters to store dried goods aren't anything new, but there has been a surge in interest as more pantries featured on social media make use of them. They're genius organizers for a few reasons: 

One, they prevent items such as pasta and cereal from going stale due to their airtight seal. Two, they reduce both visual and actual clutter because packaging can be discarded or recycled once the food is decanted. And three, they help you to see exactly what you have on hand, preventing both overbuying and realizing mid-recipe that you're out of what you need.


If you decide to decant any of your food into reusable canisters, make sure that the contents are labeled clearly. This is especially important if a family member has a food allergy or special diet. It should be obvious which pasta is gluten-free and which isn't.

You can purchase labels or make inexpensive DIY versions yourself. Take a dry erase or chalkboard pen and write the expiration date on the back of the container so there's no second guessing whether it's still edible. Feel free to also make notes regarding any cooking instructions for a quick reference.

Lazy susans

We've all felt the frustration of reaching into a cabinet for something and having to push other items out of the way to get it. Lazy susans keep things contained and much more accessible to grab in a flash.

The best items to store on lazy susans are tall, round containers, which is why you often see oils, vinegars, and condiments arranged nicely within. The added bonus is that if anything oily or sticky spills, it won't damage your pantry shelves and should be easier to clean up. 

Spice risers

If you keep your spices in the pantry, they can easily get lost in the shuffle due to their small size. Organize them all in one place using a rising shelf made specifically for spice jars.

This type of organizer utilizes the full depth of the shelf, and many are available in an expandable version so you can maximize the width. You can find them in almost any material, including bamboo, acrylic, or metal. Matching jars aren't necessary,  but they do lend a neat aesthetic look if you want to take the extra step.

Can risers

Canned goods often take up a good portion of space inside of a pantry. It's understandable given that it's smart to stock up on items on sale, save money by buying in bulk, or prepare in case of extreme weather conditions. 

One of the best ways to keep your cans organized is by using a bigger version of a spice riser. Look for risers labeled "large" to make sure that both bulky cans and jars can sit securely on the shelves without teetering off.

Stackable can organizers

An alternative, but equally effective way to organize cans is by using a stackable system. Similar to risers, this type of stacking can organizers make the most out of the depth and height of shelves, whether it's in a walk-in pantry or simply a cupboard in the kitchen.

Unlike the previous example, they don't expand width-wise and you're not able to see how many cans you have left as easily as you can with a riser. They do, however, maximize space and make keeping cans organized as simple as humanly possible.

Labeled baskets

Baskets and bins are an excellent way to hide visual clutter within your pantry. They're also good to keep large or oddly-shaped items contained. They can be placed on a high shelf to store the things you don't need on a regular basis, or set on the floor to corral heavier items such as drinks.

Be sure to clearly label the baskets so you and everyone in the home knows where to retrieve things and then put them back away. Use labels that are not too specific, however, so you can adjust as your needs change.

Open front bins

Like to eliminate clutter but still need to see exactly where everything is? Open front bins give you the best of both worlds. They allow you to contain pantry items and conceal some of the chaos but still give you a direct look inside.

The best part is that they often stack on top of one another as well. That then lets you make the most of the height on a shelf, especially if it is a fixed size that cannot be adjusted.

Open produce baskets

For any fruits and vegetables that don't need to live in the refrigerator, consider open baskets to confine them to the pantry. A basket with ventilation, such as metal-wire style, permits air to circulate, which will keep your produce fresher for longer. 

As a plus, many of these types of bins stack one on top of each other, saving space in the long run. Just be sure to avoid commingling potatoes and onions in the same container, as the gases from the onions can make the potatoes sprout faster.

Slim containers

Sometimes large baskets aren't the best tool to store smaller pantry items. They can easily get lost at the bottom and forgotten about entirely.

Narrow containers are ideal for kid's snacks and drinks, breakfast bars or individual chip and popcorn packs. They provide support to allow items to stand upright, making them easy to grab in a pinch as you rush out the door. Look for ones that match the depth of your shelf to maximize your available space.

Pull out drawers

Deep pantry cabinets can sound like a great idea at first thought because they can hold greater quantities and accommodate bulkier products. The problem is accessibility, as some items can fall to the back of the cabinet, out of reach, and never to be seen again. It equates to wasted food, money, and space.

If this is a common occurrence in your home, a solution is to install sliding pull-out drawers. They come in a variety of sizes and price points so it's relatively simple to find one that suits both your shelves and budget.

Beverage organizers

The refrigerator can only hold so many cans and bottles at once but sometimes you have to buy in bulk or are left with extras after a recent party. Luckily, you can easily create a small section in your pantry to store overflow beverages using a couple of different smart organizers.

For wine, liquor, or champagne bottles, use stackable water bottle holders to keep them from toppling over. Soda, seltzer, or beer cans can be organized into dispensers that are available with or without a lid for additional storage space.

Cereal dispensers

If you have the space for it and are tired of hearing your kids ask for help pouring their breakfast, consider adding upright cereal dispensers to your pantry set-up. With a turn of the handle, they can dole out an appropriate portion, making them a multitasking gadget beyond simple storage. 

Best of all, dispensers like these are not restricted to storing cereal. Feel free to use them for dry dog food, candy, rice, or even whole coffee beans.

Under-shelf baskets

Typically used in kitchen cabinets to store dishes such as plates and bowls, under-the-shelf baskets are very versatile and make use of what is often under-utilized space. You can slide them onto a pantry shelf that has an open area below it to give yourself additional storage space.

Easily movable to meet your shifting needs, they can be used to store bread loaves and tortillas, or your stock of extra paper goods such as paper plates and cups. 

A back of the door organizer

For pantries with a standard full-sized door, consider installing a sturdy track for a customizable basket system. Ideal for smaller items, you can use it to store sauce packers or grab-and-go snacks such as granola bars or apple sauce. This method prevents loose items from disappearing and makes it easier for kids to pack their own lunches. 

If your pantry lacks a suitable door, no need to fret. If you have even a narrow strip of blank wall space, you can affix the system there instead.