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Pantry Organization: 10 Tips for Organizing Your Pantry

Organized Pantry from the de Hondol Residence

If you're a Starwood client, then you might remember how exciting it was to plan and build out your pantry. A customized pantry to fit the needs of your family is fantastic. However, keeping your pantry clean and organized is easier said than done. Whether you've built the pantry of your dreams or you're looking for space-saving tips to organize your small pantry — we've got you covered!

Here are 10 easy tips for organizing your pantry. Plus a few helpful tips and resources to ensure the entire family keeps the pantry organized (including the kiddos!).

1. Start Fresh

The best way to start this organizational process is with a clean slate. The first step is to take everything out of your pantry...and we mean EVERYTHING. Check expiration dates and toss out any expired/questionable items. Once you're done with that, make sure to grab some cleaning supplies and thoroughly clean your pantry. You definitely don't want any leftover crumbs hanging around.

2. Take Inventory

Once you're done cleaning out your pantry, take inventory of everything that's left. Make a list of items that you already have plenty of and a list of items that you need to buy more of. That way you can take this list with you next time you head to the grocery store. You'll also want to observe the shapes and sizes of your pantry staples to ensure you can find the best storage solutions for these items. We'll talk more about containers and storage bins in step 5.

3. Plan, Categorize, & Organize

Now that you've cleaned everything out and taken inventory, you can easily see what's left to organize. During this step, you'll categorize and organize everything that'll go into your pantry. You're going to start brainstorming where each of your zones (aka sections) will be. This is entirely customized to the type of items you keep in your pantry. However, we've included a helpful zone checklist below for you to reference.

4. Label Containers & Shelves

Labels are going to be your best friend in this process. We recommend getting a label maker or using a chalkboard label so you can easily update the labels as needed. You can use labels to identify each zone and/or item. Although it is entirely up to you, it's recommended to label every bin, container, and shelf so everyone in your household will know where everything goes.

5. Utilize Storage Containers

When looking for storage containers and pantry organizers, you'll want to consider functionality, stackability, & transparency. Make sure your containers and bins are functional for the entire family. If you have kids, you might look for containers or bins that are open or easy to open. Secondly, you can save a ton of space by opting to get stackable open or closed storage bins. Lastly, we recommend investing in transparent or clear containers so that you can see your supplies and be able to keep track of what's still in stock and what needs replenishing.

6. Enhance Your Space With Lazy Susans

Increase your shelf space and allow for easy access to your items with a Lazy Susan. A Lazy Susan makes it easy to organize your favorite baking essentials, snacks, condiments, or cooking utilities (napkins, paper plates, etc.) in one place so you can quickly find what you need.

7. Utilize Doors

If you have doors on your pantry, a great way to save space is by utilizing over-the-door hang organizers. We found a great organizer by Cabidor, here. This custom door organizer allows you to store items neatly together and at your fingertips.

8. Invest in Pull-Out Shelves

Pull-out shelves can be a huge life-saver for families. If your pantry has cabinets, consider investing in pull-out shelves. They make it easy to quickly identify what you need. Pull-out shelves are a super-efficient way to store items while keeping everything close at hand.

9. Make a Kid-Friendly Spot

The best way to ensure your little ones help keep your pantry organized is by dedicating an entire zone to them. Fill a bottom (or eye-level) shelf with a few storage containers or bins with their favorite snacks. Visibly labeling these items is key so that your kids can help keep up with the pantry organization.

10. Utilize Verticle Storage Space

Regardless of whether your pantry is large or small, open or closed-off in a room, you can always take advantage of the verticle space in your pantry. Place seasonal or hardly used items on the top shelves (holiday cookie cutters, for example). Rather than leaving the space below shelves empty, fill it with pull-out wire shelves, perfect for storing your kid's favorite snacks and lunch supplies. They're a kid-appropriate height, too!

BONUS TIP: Keep It Organized

Over time, your pantry can get disorganized and messy. To help maintain a clean pantry, always put items back in their right spot, and get the whole family on board by keeping food accessible, visible, and properly labeled. If you make time to clean your pantry twice a month, you'll be able to keep things tidy and avoid having to spend hours re-organizing everything.


Are you considering building a custom home in Arizona? Or perhaps you have questions about our building process? We're here to answer any and all questions you may have. At Starwood Custom Homes we are with you every step of the way. We'll work with you throughout the design process to identify precisely what you’re looking for, so your home has everything you need and none of the things you don’t.

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