I know it’s not time for spring cleaning, but I always like to get a jump start before the holidays and all the ensuing kitchen activity, so this is the time of year I clean out my pantry. To inspire you to join me in my organizational bliss (okay, that might be a stretch, but you have to admit, it’s a good idea, right?!), here’s my recommended plan of attack, as well as lots of container and storage ideas I’ve found to help keep your staples in order:

Start by taking everything out of the pantry, then clean the shelves. Next, check the expiration dates and chuck anything that is old. Then, group like items together by category, such as baking, grains, cereals, broths, dried fruits and nuts, Mexican, Asian, pastas, tomatoes and tomato sauces, canned veggies, snacks, paper products, baggies, foil, etc.

After cleaning out and sorting, take a good look at what you have and decide how you want to display it. Baskets, lazy susans, canning jars, glass and plastic containers – there are endless possibilities. Take a look around the house. You probably already have some baskets or storage containers that are being underutilized, or visit an organizing store like Let’s Get Organized, The Container Store, your local Target or even the Dollar Store to purchase food storage containers and shelf organizers. Here are some photos of great pantries to get your wheels turning:

Pantry perfection.

This one kind of makes me want to tear down my house and start all over just to include this swoon-worthy walk-through pantry! Glass jars are a beautiful way to display items in your pantry, provided you don’t have little ones running around. Baskets on lower shelves are a great way contain snack packages, potatoes, onions, various spice packets, etc.

Love the baskets on the bottom shelves.

There are tons of storage basket options available. Here’s one I liked from World Market:

Chicken wire baskets come in multiple sizes at World Market $8 – $25.


An organized pantry.

Lazy susans, like the ones pictured above, are great in the pantry, as well as the fridge for easy access to bottles and jars.

Labels are a must for organization.


Another label idea.


Stacking containers are a great solution.


Put all those mason jars you have to good use.


Use a clear over the door shoe holder to contain little items.


An organized pantry will make you feel so proud!


So Martha!

I hope you’re feeling inspired to put your pantry in order. It’s a daunting task, but one you will be so proud of once you’ve accomplished!