How To Organize your Small Pantry With Ease

Having an organized pantry is something we all dream of having.  Small pantry organization can be really hard to achieve.  I recently added some kitchen shelves to help add some extra kitchen pantry storage.

It can be impossible to stock up on food because you just don't have the space to fit it all.  In this post, I'm going to walk you through how I was able to organize our small pantry with ease. I've also put a checklist together to help you.  I added 10 simple tips to help you create your own small organized pantry.

 Small pantry area to keep organized.  With a pantry organization system in place you can created a small organized pantry with ease.  Jenn shares her small pantry organizing ideas with you in this post. #pantry #smallpantry #organizing #smallpantryorganiziation #kitchen #kitchenpantry

We live in an old home.  It was built in the 70's so that means no closet or extra storage space.  I've had to get quite creative with how I organize our home.  For the longest time I stored most of our food out in the garage but I hated having to walk out to the garage to grab the food I was going to make.

About 10 years ago we updated our kitchen with IKEA cabinets and they were so much better than what we had before.  We added storage and we had a kitchen for this century.  However, we did run into a few problems.

  • The cabinets were too deep
  • The cabinets were always unorganized
  • We could never find what we were looking for

That's why I stored a lot of our food out in our garage.  I build some Ana White garage shelves that held a lot of food and household goods.  But I needed most of our food in the kitchen and I needed an organized pantry space.

How to organize a kitchen pantry?

I followed the 5 steps that I shared before to organize our small pantry which made it so simple.


  • Took note of what my family eats
  • Removed and purged
  • Cleaned it all
  • Created Zones
  • Took inventory

I did go a little further.  Before I was using the boxes and bags that all of the food came in and decided that I needed containers to help keep my small pantry organized.

Before as you can see, was a giant mess.  I couldn't ever find a thing.  There were bags and boxes everywhere.  

 small pantry organization before.

small pantry organization before.

 small pantry organization before

small pantry organization before

I wrote down everything that we use and had in the pantry.  Then I got enough containers to store all of the items.  I purchased a few at Target but I got most of them on Amazon (at the end of the post I'll share what I purchased).

How to organize a pantry with deep shelves?

The big problem I faced was that all of our pantry shelves were way to deep.  I had tried plastic containers but it just didn't work.  I added pull out drawers to our pantry to help.  We are able to get to the items in the back and see exactly where everything is.

Since we have an IKEA kitchen I purchased our drawers from IKEA and this made a huge difference but to take our pantry to a place where it will always be organized I felt we needed permanent containers.

Organizing our small pantry

When I put everything back, I made sure that I used zones so everyone would know where to look when they needed to find something.

 small pantry organization after

small pantry organization after

 small pantry organization after.

small pantry organization after.

I organized by shelf.  

The top shelf (or shelf number 1) contained snacks and breakfast.  I used clear plastic containers so it was easy to see what was inside.  I did label a few containers so there was no question of what was inside that container.

 Small pantry organized.  This is a pantry organization idea

Shelf number 2 was baking and vitamins.  I use a small plastic container to hold all of the vitamins and then I added all of the baking essentials to that shelf.

 How I organized my ikea pantry with pull out drawers.

Shelf number 3 I store all of our herbs and spices.  They are all nicely marked so I know I can quickly find what I'm looking for.

 How to organize a pantry with deep shelves can be tricky but I used pull out drawer so I can keep our pantry organized and we can see all of the items in the back.

Shelf number 4 is nuts, rice, and beans.  My family goes through a lot of nuts and beans so I need to buy in bulk.  As you can see I used my label maker to label each of the containers.

 How to organize a kitchen pantry is simple when you label each of your kitchen pantry containers.

Once that pantry cupboard was organized, it was time for me to move to our open kitchen shelves.  I wanted a place to store the most common items we use.  I haven't labeled the containers yet (for another project) but I love how this turned out.

I installed 2 shelves.  The top shelf houses a few of our serving pieces that I didn't have a home for and the bottom shelf stores all of the most common pantry items we use.

 Pantry organization DIY is very simple if you organize your pantry in zones and label each of your containers

I bought 3 2.5 gallon glass containers to hold sugar, flour, and pasta.  I love to bake and we go through a lot of sugar and flour so it seemed like the best thing to do so I could stock up.  

Then I purchased some other glass and plastic containers to house our almond flour, brown sugar, and a lot of other pantry staples.

I finished it off by using a few mason jars.  Since it's canning season while I'm doing this I had a few extra jars laying around and they worked perfect.  I do plan on making some beautiful labels to put on the jars so keep your eyes out for that (promise, coming soon!).

 pantry organization ideas
 Here are some pantry storage ideas.

I really feel that the way I've organized our pantry and maximized the space in our kitchen I won't be running into many problems with keeping up on the pantry organization.

By creating zones, labeling everything, and having clear containers house most of the pantry items I'll be able to buy in bulk without having to store our food in the pantry.  

If you are in desperate need of organizing your pantry and maximizing your kitchen space download the organized pantry checklist to help you take your small pantry to the next level.

Below are a few items that I used to organize our pantry.

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