June 8, 2019  

How To Organize Your Small Pantry


Need pantry organizing ideas? Take a look at these tips for organizing a small pantry cabinet in your kitchen Using the KonMari Method. You’ll Have Things decluttered and organized in no time!

clear-bins-in-organized-pantry-cabinet

Of all of the spaces in a home, the kitchen is probably the hardest working. That’s why it’s so important to have an organized pantry!

Having an organized pantry in your kitchen will make everything run smoother so you can get dinner on the table and snacks in your kids’ hands as quickly as possible.

Our house has a nice-sized kitchen, but the one thing it is lacking is a dedicated pantry cabinet, pantry closet, or walk-in pantry. So we rely on the upper cabinets for dry food storage.

Last weekend, I decluttered our pantry cabinet that holds all of our cereals, snacks, and treats. It had gotten really full and everything was shoved on the shelves wherever would fit. We’ve lived in our house for a year and a half and I felt like it was about time I put some attention into organizing our small pantry!

Today I’m sharing a tour of our newly organized pantry (complete with pretty labeled bins!). I’ll give you a rundown of how to organize a pantry step by step following the KonMari Method of decluttering.

If your kitchen needs some organizing help, I hope my organized pantry project will inspire you! Whether you have a giant walk-in pantry or a small kitchen without a pantry at all, you can still follow the steps below to create an organized kitchen pantry. And all of that organizing just might just make you want to spend more time in your kitchen!

Related:KonMari Method Basics & A Free KonMari Checklist

clear-bins-in-organized-pantry-cabinet

A huge thanks to iDesign for sponsoring this project. All content and opinions are 100% my own! This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

How To Organize Your Pantry

The KonMari Method outlines a specific order of categories to declutter. First is clothing, then books, then paper, and then what Marie Kondo calls “komono” or miscellaneous items. (If you’re unfamiliar with the KonMari Method, check out this beginner’s guide.)

The first three categories are pretty specific, but then you get to komono and realize it’s a GIANT category. Marie glosses over this giant category of household items of which the kitchen is only a small part of.

Whenever a project is overwhelming, I try to zero in on one small project at a time. So I chose one kitchen cabinet to declutter first! I’ll be tackling some of the others throughout the summer.

Take a look at the video below and then keep scrolling for all of my tips on organizing a pantry of any size.

Video: How To Organize A Small Pantry

Watch this video to see how I decluttered and organized our kitchen pantry from start to finish!

Want these clear bins to organize your pantry? Check them out on Amazon (they come in several sizes).

Ready to jump into decluttering your house following the KonMari Method? Be sure to download the free checklist using the form below!

Download Your Free KonMari Checklist!

Review the rules, check off your progress, and see which category is next with this free KonMari checklist! Subscribe to have the free guide sent straight to your inbox. By downloading this guide, you will also receive weekly emails from me filled with organizing tips!

I'll never send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Step 1: Remove Everything

If you’re decluttering your pantry, the very first step is to remove everything. And when I say everything, I really mean it!

Pull all of the foods and items out of your pantry and pile them up on your kitchen counter or table. It’s important to get everything out so you can start with a clean slate.

Once you’ve removed everything, go ahead and clean the shelves. If you plan to make improvements like painting or installing new shelving, now’s a good time to get started.

empty-upper-kitchen-cabinet-with-pantry-foods-on-counter

Step 2: Purge Excess Packaging & Expired Foods

Take a few minutes to sort through every item and purge as much as you can. Throw out all expired foods as well as any food items that your family realistically will never eat.

Bulky packaging is a big culprit of taking up precious space in pantries, so get rid of as much as you can!

I had a lot of excess boxes in this cabinet because a lot of our snack items come in individual packaging inside the box. So I got rid of the outer boxes that take up a lot of space.

Step 3: Sort Your Food Into Categories

Now that you’ve purged as much as you can, begin sorting everything into categories.

I sorted my foods into piles of like items–all granola bars in one pile, crackers in another, and cookies in another.

While sorting our snack items, I noticed a few duplicate foods where we had two boxes of the same thing open at the same time. That’s why it’s helpful to keep similar items together!

pantry-foods-sitting-on-kitchen-counter

Step 4: Organize With Containers

Use small containers to corral categories of food items in your kitchen pantry. When I began organizing our small pantry cabinet, I took measurements and shopped for bins that fit the space perfectly.

These clear bins made by iDesign are designed to fit the depth of a standard upper cabinet so you can utilize every square inch. I also love that the bins are crystal clear, very durable, and have nice handles which are great for sliding the bins in and out of our pantry cabinet. The 10x6x5 bin size fit our cabinet perfectly, five bins per shelf (they come in a variety of sizes).

organized-small-pantry-with-clear-bins-and-labels

The middle bin is back behind the center divider so it can’t be pulled out as easily, which is why I positioned lesser-used items in those center bins and also put granola bars in one because they are small enough we can pull them out of the bin without needing to move the bin itself.

I love using clear bins to organize any space in the house because they keep everything neat and tidy while also allowing you to quickly see exactly what’s inside. Clear bins are helpful in the kitchen so you can see at a glance which food items are running low and which things you have plenty of.

Adding bins to your pantry shelves keeps all of those foods items neatly organized by category so you don’t end up with a disorganized mess. You can also slide the entire bin out like a drawer which helps with seeing and reaching those foods that would otherwise get lost and forgotten in the back of your pantry.

Here are the categories I used for our snacks/cereal kitchen cabinet:

  • Cereal
  • Treats
  • Snacks
  • Cookies
  • Bars
  • Chips
  • Nuts & Raisins
Can you tell we really, really like Oreos? 😉

Step 5: Add Labels

Pretty labels are the icing on the cake of any organizing project. They may seem unnecessary to some, but I would argue that they are super important. For one, they allow you to quickly identify what’s in each container. I know this isn’t as necessary with clear bins, but it’s still helpful sometimes! Labels also help you and your family members maintain your organizing system.

And finally, I think the extra touch of a pretty label will increase the pride you have for your newly organized pantry. And when you’re really proud of that pantry, you’re much more likely to take care to put things back where they belong and keep things looking their best.

organized-small-pantry-with-clear-bins-and-labels

I created DIY labels using white Premium Vinyl and my Cricut Maker cutting machine. Watch the video tutorial below or check out my DIY labels blog post to see exactly how I make mine. They look so good on these clear bins, don’t you think?

cricut-maker-cutting-diy-labels-for-pantry

And if you don’t have a Cricut, don’t worry. There are a lot of other ways to label clear bins! I’m actually working on a blog post with TWELVE different ideas for labeling them, but until then I’ll share that the most simple way is to use a paint pen or dry erase marker to handwrite labels on your pantry bins.

Step 6: Refine

Once you’ve set up your pantry organization system, you’re going to wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

As with any organizing project, it’s always a good idea to refine things as you go.

organized-small-pantry-with-clear-bins-and-labels

I can’t get over how neat and organized our small pantry cabinet feels now! I’m really impressed with the amount of food we are able to store in the upper kitchen cabinet.

The clear bins keep everything contained, maximize our use of the space, and make it super easy to locate what we’re looking for. It’s also going to be helpful for me keeping tabs on the snack items we’re running low on so I can be sure to stock up when we go grocery shopping.

Looking for more kitchen organization ideas?

Ready to jump into decluttering your house following the KonMari Method? Be sure to download the free checklist using the form below!

Download Your Free KonMari Checklist!

Review the rules, check off your progress, and see which category is next with this free KonMari checklist! Subscribe to have the free guide sent straight to your inbox. By downloading this guide, you will also receive weekly emails from me filled with organizing tips!

I'll never send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Happy organizing!

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