Elfa Pantry (Courtesy of The Container Store)

Besides the fridge, the pantry is the other most frequently accessed space in the home. When you go to grab a snack or a meal, wouldn’t it be nice if everything were easy to find? You’d be surprised at how much of difference an organized pantry can make to your home. After a pantry makeover, many people say that the pantry is now one of their favorite spaces in their homes. If you’re ready to transform your pantry, then here are some pantry organizing tips you can implement:

Divide and Conquer – Divide all the shelves in your pantry by category.  Common categories include: canned goods, dry goods, baking goods, breakfast foods, snacks, cooking ingredients, bottled drinks, paper goods etc.  Frequently used categories, such as snacks and breakfast foods, should be placed on shelves within reach.  Less frequently used categories, such as dry goods and paper goods, should be placed on the highest or lowest shelves.  To encourage family members to put things back in the correct place, label each shelf accordingly.

Canned Goods – Canned goods stack perfectly, which makes them easy to accumulate, yet impossible to access the cans in the back.  To avoid this frustration, try using a 3-tiered shelf (pictured below) which will allow you to easily see the labels of the cans while all being extremely accessible. When organizing your canned goods, always check the expiration date on the bottom to ensure you are not storing extra items that are no longer edible.

Tiered Shelf

Dry Goods – Dry goods such as flour and sugar should never be stored in the original paper bags packaged by the manufacturer.  Instead, transfer the contents to stackable air-tight containers.  Storing dry goods in air-tight containers preserves the freshness of each item.  Transferring dry goods to stackable containers allows you to maximize your shelving when space is limited.  Be sure to label each container appropriately to avoid confusing similar looking items.  Want to save the nutritional information or recipe from the paper bag or box?  Attach a clear photo pocket to the side of the air-tight container and slip the cut-out label in the pocket. Viola – problem solved!

Baking Goods – From the sprinkles to the muffin cups, it can all be hard to contain with all the various sizes and shapes.  Consider storing all of your baking goods, such as extracts, sprinkles, or powders, on an easy to access lazy susan. Storing baking goods on a lazy susan makes finding the sprinkles a piece of cake!  This innovative organizing tool also works perfectly in hard to reach corner kitchen cabinets.  For unusually shaped baking items, such as cookie cutters, rolling pins, or tubes of icing, consider storing these items in a labeled clear plastic box. Plastic boxes can be stacked at the top or bottom of the kitchen pantry.


Cookbooks – When was the last time you used a cookbook?  If you are like most people, you can’t remember.  Most recipes worth saving are handwritten from family or friends on a recipe card, or have been printed from the internet.  For the next six months, add a sticky note to each recipe used from a cookbook. At the end of the six months, consider donating any unused cookbooks.


Pictured Above: White elfa Ventilated Pantry available at The Container Store. For improving your pantry in short order, nothing beats elfa. The elfa system allows you to instantly see the ingredients you have on hand. Also, elfa shelves and drawers can be arranged to store the items you use most frequently within easy reach. And, with epoxy-bonded steel shelves, you can rest assured that elfa is strong enough to hold your entire collection of canned goods, cookbooks and appliances. Made from exceptionally durable epoxy-bonded steel, customizable lengths and widths, divided vertical space allows for more storage, and easy to install.

About Alejandra

About Alejandra

Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and “The Decluttering Queen” by Good Morning America, Alejandra’s expertise has been featured in The New York Times,, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. 


Want to join our next FREE organizing challenge?

Sign up to get notified when our next organizing challenge rolls out so you can get the kickstart you need to tidy up!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.