Pantry Ideas for Perfect Kitchen Organization

When we were renovating and planning our new kitchen, I was obsessed with the idea of a walk in pantry. But unfortunately, we just didn’t have the available space. We’d already managed to squeeze in a downstairs toilet, a little utility and laundry area and even space for a boot room. But, my pantry ideas just didn’t dwindle! So our kitchen designer created a couple of floor-to-ceiling larder cupboards, which is an excellent alternative for optimum kitchen organisation. You can incorporate some really cool pantry ideas such as a spice rack or labelled shelving to keep all your condiments in place.

It would be lovely to have the space to create a proper walk in pantry but — ultimately — most of us simply don’t have the room.

These storage solutions and pantry ideas offer optimum kitchen organization; for those of us who don’t have the space for a walk in pantry.

Pantry Ideas for Perfect Kitchen Organization — LochAnna Kitchens The Durham Pantry Collection in the colour Heather Green
Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens.

Pantry Ideas for Perfect Kitchen Organisation

An organised kitchen can definitely make meal prep more efficient and, as a result, more enjoyable. If you know where everything is, at a glance, without having to open every cupboard or drawer to find it, it makes life so much easier!

You don’t have to employ all of these tips but adding even a couple of these pantry ideas to your kitchen can help streamline organisation.

Categorise Your Items

Group similar items together, such as grains, canned goods, baking supplies, snacks, and spices.

Use baskets or bins to keep smaller items organised within each category.

Add Adjustable Shelving

Install adjustable shelves to accommodate different-sized items and make the most of your pantry space.

Use Clear Containers

Transfer items like pasta, rice, and cereals into clear, airtight containers. This not only keeps things organised but also helps you see when you’re running low. Other pantry ideas include neat clear dispensers, as in the picture above. Such a great, no-mess way to store — and serve — cereals etc.

This amazing cupboard belonging to Home_Of_Tiny_Monsters on Instagram gives the best in pantry ideas for a small space.
Image credit: Home_Of_Tiny_Monsters on Instagram.

Label Things Clearly

Label containers, shelves, or bins to make it easy to find what you need.

Use a label maker or chalkboard labels for a neat and uniform look.

Use Lazy Susans

Lazy Susans can be helpful for storing condiments, sauces, or smaller items. The spinning design makes it really easy to access items at the back.

Install Pull-Out Shelves

Install pull-out shelves or drawers for easy access to items deep in the pantry.

Designate a Baking Zone

Designate a specific area for baking ingredients like flour, sugar, and baking powder. Keep measuring cups and spoons nearby.

Organise Your Spice Rack

Consider a spice rack or spice drawer organiser to keep spices visible and easily accessible. We decanted all our spices into little glass jars with black lids, and then Mr D wrote the name of each herb or spice in white acrylic pen on each lid.

Pantry ideas — decant herbs and spices into little glass jars with the same colour lid, then write the name onto each lid for easy identification.

Create a Snack Station

Create a designated area for snacks, making it easier for kids or family members to grab a quick snack without disrupting the entire pantry.

Organise Canned Goods

Use a canned goods organiser or build slanted shelves to ensure you can see and access all your canned items.

Use Hanging Hooks

Utilise the inside of the pantry door by adding hooks for aprons, reusable bags, or even small kitchen tools.

Storage Baskets

Wire baskets can be hung or placed on shelves for items like onions, potatoes, or even small kitchen gadgets.

If you want to keep a cohesive look to your pantry shelving, rattan and wicker baskets are a great alternative to wire, as they can hide multicoloured labels and less than Pinterest-worthy packaging.

Pantry ideas include, rattan and wicker baskets are a great alternative to wire, as they can hide multicoloured labels and less than Pinterest-worthy packaging.

Decant Bulk Items

Store bulk items, especially rice, nuts, dried fruits, and grains, in clear containers with labels.

Create Vertical Storage for Trays and Cutting Boards

Utilise vertical space by adding slots or dividers for trays, cutting boards, or baking sheets.

Use an Inventory System

Keep track of pantry items with an inventory system to avoid overbuying or running out of essentials.

Remember to periodically review and declutter your pantry to maintain an organized and efficient kitchen space.

What Should a Pantry Contain?

A well-stocked pantry is essential for efficient and versatile cooking. Here’s a list of essential items that you might want to consider for your pantry:

  1. Dried Grains and Cereals:
    • Rice (Basmati, Jasmine, brown, or other varieties)
    • Pasta (various shapes and types)
    • Quinoa
    • Oats
    • Couscous
  2. Baking Ingredients:
    • Plain flour
    • Self-raising
    • Wholewheat flour
    • Baking powder
    • Bicarbonate of soda
    • Caster sugar
    • Icing sugar
    • Dark Muscovado sugar
    • Soft brown sugar
    • Yeast
  3. Tinned Produce:
    • Tinned tomatoes (plum, chopped)
    • Beans (baked, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans)
    • Tuna or tinned salmon
    • Tins of soup
    • Vegetables (sweetcorn, carrots, mixed veg)
  4. Cooking Oils and Fats:
    • Olive oil
    • Vegetable oil (sunflower, rapeseed)
    • Butter
  5. Condiments and Sauces:
    • Soy sauce
    • Worcestershire sauce
    • Dijon mustard
    • English Mustard
    • Ketchup
    • Mayonnaise
    • Vinegar (white, malt, balsamic, apple cider)
    • Hot sauce
    • Tomato purée
  6. Herbs and Spices:
    • Salt and pepper
    • Onion powder
    • Curry powder
    • Paprika
    • Cumin
    • Chili powder
    • Dried oregano
    • Bay leaves
    • Thyme
    • Rosemary
    • Nutmeg
    • Cinnamon
    • Ginger
    • Mixed spice
    • Star Anise
  7. Nuts and Seeds:
    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Chia seeds
    • Flaxseeds
  8. Dried Fruits:
    • Raisins
    • Sultanas
    • Apricots
  9. Pantry Staples:
    • Stock cubes or bouillon
    • Gravy granules
    • Olives in brine
    • Anchovies
    • Capers
    • Cornflour
    • Garlic (fresh and paste)
  10. Dried Noodles:
    • Ramen or instant
  11. Sweeteners:
    • Granulated sugar
    • Demerera sugar
    • Artificial sweetener (Erythritol, Sweetex etc)
  12. Cereal and Breakfast Foods:
    • Oats
    • Granola
    • Breakfast cereals
    • Honey (liquid, set)
    • Jam or fruit preserves
    • Maple syrup
    • Peanut butter
    • Nutella
    • Marmite
  13. Beverages
    • Tea (regular and decaffeinated)
    • Herbal tea
    • Instant coffee (regular and decaffeinated)
    • Fresh coffee (ground, beans or pods)
    • Fruit squashes and concentrate
    • Cocoa powder
    • Angostura bitters

Whilst these are the basics in our own pantry, remember this list is non-exhaustive! Adjust it to your own personal preferences, dietary restrictions, cultural preferences etc.

But by keeping stock of things like olives, anchovies and capers, together with cans of chopped tomatoes and garlic, means you always have the ingredients to cook up a delicious Puttanesca sauce from scratch. My family’s absolute favourite.

What is the British Name for a Pantry?

Finally, I was chatting to my American friend about this blog post the other night and she asked what the British name for a pantry is? I was a bit flummoxed as I thought it was a British name! Turns out that the word ‘pantry’ originates from the French word for bread — pain — pronounced ‘pan’. As centuries ago, bread was stored in a dry, cool room. And — according to Wiki — the earliest known use of the noun pantry is in the Middle English period (1150—1500).

A traditional pantry may also include a stone shelf, which would be used as a larder to keep food cool. Larger houses in the UK would have pantries or larders, especially for storing food, whilst others would simply store their provisions in the cellar or basement.

I think she may have been thinking that the word larder is British but pantry is American, but it turns out they’re both British words, adopted by our American cousins!

kitchen organisation goals — the dream in pantry ideas!
Caro Davies editor of The Listed Home
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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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