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Pantries can be bottomless pits, sticky messes, or one big headache without room enough for everything. We’ve all had those moments—scrounging around for a box of pasta only to find it hiding behind the bag of flour days later. Toppling over jars of spices in search of the cinnamon. Buying yet another bottle of pancake syrup only to discover you already have three. Where the heck is the wine?

Cooking is so much easier when there’s a place for everything, and everything in its place. An organized pantry sets the stage for a clean kitchen, and a clean kitchen means a happier dinner time—and a happier you in the process. Whether you’ve got a spacious walk-in or glorified corner cupboard, here’s how to best utilize pantry organizers for a clutter-free kitchen.

You Can Decant

Instead of squeezing various boxes and bags into precious pantry space, decant your dry goods into different tubs and jars for a prettier—and more organized—look. Cooking spices can be poured into small Mason jars, flour and sugar into ceramic or glass lidded containers, cereals and crackers into clear tubs. Opt for similar containers for all of your goods for a more streamlined look, such as all glass or all clear plastic tubs. 

The next step is to label your pantry organizers for easy retrieval. Chalkboard decals and a chalk marker make for an easily-changeable label, or opt for an old school label maker. Decanting isn’t just good for the looks of your pantry. Shop in the bulk bins and fill up your own jars at the grocery store, which is better for the environment and your wallet, as well. 

The Perfect Arrangement

Where you place your pantry items is just as important as what you place them in. Keep like with like: baking ingredients can share a shelf, huddle sauces together, stack cans, and cluster the snacks. Place more frequently used items such as flour and sugar at eye level, while seasonal items like Christmas cookie cutters can be stored up high. 

Bonus tip: make sure kid snacks are reachable on their level, and tuck sweets up higher if you’re trying to control cravings.

Give It Space

Shelf risers increase the surface area of your more spaced out shelves for more storage. Arrange spices alphabetically on tiered shelves, and cluster sauces on a two-tiered lazy Susan to make it easy to find what you need at a moment’s notice. Adding pull-out drawers to the bottom shelf better utilizes otherwise empty space and offers the perfect place to stash kid snacks. 

Remember, keeping your pantry organized is key. Wipe up spills and drips when they happen, dust frequently, and toss expired goods when necessary. Happy organizing!

Words by Avery Johnson