Tips and Tricks to Clean and Organize Your Pantry

Learn tips and tricks for how to clean a pantry and make it functional and accessible!

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Pantry Cupboard

An organized pantry is the first step to a well-functioning kitchen. While it’s easy to accumulate pantry items, it can be just as simple to reorganize them and enjoy a functional space. Use our hacks to organize your pantry in a clever, budget-friendly, and practical way.

Get Creative with Reusable Storage

Repurposing items you buy regularly is an inventive way to reduce waste and organize food with containers you already have. Thoroughly clean them, and remove labels with rubbing alcohol so you can see what’s inside.

  • Salsa Jars: Perfect for storing dried goods like nuts and dried fruits.
  • Coffee Creamer Bottles: Use these bottles to store sugar, cinnamon, coffee grounds, or snacks like crackers. The easy-pour spouts are great for keeping snacks from getting squished, storing chocolate chips or pouring sugar into coffee without dragging out an entire bag.
  • Plastic Juice Bottles: Reuse these pourable storage containers for cereal, pasta, beans, or grains.

Spice It Up

Since it’s nearly impossible for all spices and seasonings to make it to the front row, spice racks and spinning lazy susans come in handy for spice storage. Choose whichever fits your space best.

  • Set all of your spices out in a large area.
  • Spices don’t spoil but will lose their flavor and potency over time. As a general rule, whole spices last four years, ground spices and dried herbs last three years, and spice blends keep for two years. Get rid of spices that may have gone bad and combine any duplicates.
  • To save time, organize by alphabetical order.

Clear Airtight Containers

Investing in a set of clear, airtight containers can help keep a pantry tidy and uniform. These containers keep items fresh, prevent spills, and make it easier to see the ingredients you have on hand. Look for stackable sets or square-shaped containers that fit side by side to maximize pantry space. Use for storing everything from pasta, beans and grains to cereals and snacks.

When transferring ingredients from packages, cut out the package instructions and tape them on the back of the container for handy reference.

To make your clear containers functional and appealing, add labels! There are many DIY labels online for labeling and dating pantry items.

Wire Bins

With an open design, wire bins allow you to see exactly what’s inside, plus many come with spots for labels and handles that make them easy to move. Use them to store individually packaged goods like bagged snacks or for storing onions and potatoes that require a cool, dark place. If you have a gap between the bottom shelf and the floor of your pantry, make the most of this space with wire bins containing extra kitchen linens that are often too bulky for drawers.

Tips for cleaning and decluttering:

  • Pull everything off the shelves.
  • Purge expired items and things you don’t use.
  • Group items in a way that makes sense to you, i.e., grains, pasta, dry ingredients, wet ingredients, breakfast foods, and spices.
  • Wipe down shelves with hot soapy water.
  • Sketch what you want your newly organized pantry to look like, putting your most-used items at eye-level or making them easily accessible.

Save Time & Stay Warm

Organizing your pantry can help you find what you need, reduce unnecessary stress and simplify home cooking. Use these tips for an organized pantry, and find everything you need at a Giant Eagle or Market District near you!