While the sink, stove, and refrigerator might be the beating heart of any kitchen, a well-organized pantry is still a thing of beauty. Of course, organizing your pantry and keeping it well-stocked without it falling into disarray can be a major challenge.

Sorting through cereal boxes, canned goods, snack pouches, juice boxes, bags of rice, sacks of beans, random baking ingredients, and kitchen appliance storage can be staggering. Especially if you didn’t take the time to get your pantry properly organized right from the start.

Compounding this disorganization is that without any sort of system in place, your kids, your spouse, and even your family pet can all make a mess out of your pantry in minutes.

So, it seems clear, that if you want to get your pantry organized you need to have a plan and stick to it. This starts with making sure that everything has its own place, and everyone in the family understands they are responsible for helping keep things orderly.

Yet even with due diligence in place, there are still some things you can do to take your kitchen pantry’s organization and storage potential to the next level. If you want to take command of your pantry to keep it organized today, and into tomorrow, then you might want to consider one or more of the following ideas.

Wipe The Slate Clean

We’ve all been there before. You move into a new home, and you just want to get everything put away quickly so you can relax. It’s all too easy in these times to just jam cans and dry goods into your pantry with reckless abandon. While this approach might let you put your feet up and ease the stress that comes with any major move, chances are good you’ll hate yourself later for the mess you’ve left in a disorganized pantry.

When you’re ready to get your pantry properly organized, it helps to start from a clean slate, rather than trying to play an advanced game of Tetris inside the pantry itself. The truth is, you’ll likely save more time, by pulling everything out of your pantry and giving it a thorough wipe down. Rather than trying to install your innovative storage solutions around plumply packed shelves.

Shelf Divide & Conquer

Shelf divers are a great way to ensure everything has its own place and stays in its own lane. Especially handy for families who love to buy canned goods in bulk. Putting temporary labels in place will also encourage your kids to put things back where they belong.

Being able to keep your shelves divided will cost you a few square inches of horizontal storage space. Though it more than makes up for itself in organizational efficiency. Not to mention keeping you from losing cans in the back of a shelf when they intermingle.

Adjustable Shelves

Adjustable shelves come in very handy for making the most of your vertical space. Especially since most pantries change in dynamics throughout the season. Being able to adjust the height and distance between each shelf, lets you customize where everything is kept, while also ensuring that you’re making the most out of every vertical inch.

There are a lot of different ways to add adjustable shelves to your kitchen pantry. Even if you already have static shelves that are secured in place. You can still add track systems or adjustable dowels with ease.

Be Transparent With Tote Bins

Opaque canisters might have their place on the kitchen counter, but they sort of defeat the purpose in a pantry, which prioritizes functional storage over aesthetics. This is where heavy-duty transparent tote bins come into play. They are great for holding bulk items and loose things like bags of beans and rice.

Strong sealable totes with reinforced lids can be stacked one on top of the other. If they’re made from transparent or semi-transparent plastic, you can see what’s in them without having to label them or keep some sort of tally inventory sheet. Transparent bins are also easier to mix and match, which will help your space look more uniform.

Label Away

When you just put things on shelves you are trusting your kids and other family members to put them back in their place by object recognition alone. This leaves open bad habits like just putting cans with cans, bags with bags, and boxes with boxes. When what you want is cans of beans with cans of beans. Then bags of rice with bags of rice, and boxes of mac & cheese with boxes of mac & cheese.

When you take the time to install a labeling system for each shelf and section, it encourages everyone to put things away in their specific spot. This will save you precious time by not having to put things away twice.

Wire Baskets Are Your Friend

A lot of family pantries are used to hold lesser-used kitchen tools and lightweight items that can take up an abnormal amount of space on a shelf. By installing wire baskets under shelves or into a freestanding cart you give these things their own place. It also frees up a lot of real estate on your pantry shelves.

Best of all everyone in the family can see what’s in the wire basket. They don’t have to open drawer after drawer looking for the spiralizer or poking around for those last two bags of peppermint cocoa powder.

Tis The Season To Reorganize

Pulling everything out of your pantry to get it reorganized isn’t a one-time thing. It’s the sort of thing you should and probably need to do with the change of seasons. Especially if your family has a bad habit of letting things expire because the dry goods aren’t being properly rotated.

Not only does it give you a chance to install season-appropriate food items, but it also helps clear out the dust and debris that can attract household pets to your pantry over time. You can then take the inventor to easily see what’s left to organize and start assigning storage containers.

Shine A Light On The Problem

Lighting in a pantry can sometimes be sparse. Especially if your pantry is made up of a giant cabinet or two that stands away from the main lights of the kitchen. Simple battery-powered LED lights can be installed with simple Velcro tabs in corners and under shelves to let you see what’s lurking in the back of the pantry. They’re energy efficient and will last for months, if not years in your pantry without having to run any sort of wiring to them.