Deep pantry shelves provide a wealth of food storage, but can pose a challenge when items are stored out of reach or out of sight. Effective use of your pantry requires smart space management so that the items you use most often are placed in the most accessible locations. Organizing pantry shelving begins with a complete overhaul of your current storage layout. Regular maintenance will keep your newly organized pantry in order.
Things You'll Need
Vertical storage containers
Take all items out of your pantry. Wipe down shelves for a fresh start.
Inventory your food supply. Use the kitchen counter as a work space to categorize similar items. Create separate groups for canned goods, dry staples, cereals, meal helpers and spices.
Purchase air-tight vertical containers for storage of everyday items and dry goods. Your personal taste will dictate the exact style of the containers, but they should be transparent with lids.
Pour pasta, rice, beans, cereals and other dry items into storage containers. Label if desired. Place a backup supply of these items toward the back of the shelves with the storage container in front for easy identification and use.
Put spices in a wire bin, placing the seasonings used most often in front. Place the bin on a shelf.
Put canned goods in a wire bin and place this bin on the shelf beside the spices.
Place meal helpers and nontransferable boxed items so the label on the side of the box is visible. Place similar items in front of each other, with the items to be used first in front.
Use the top shelf for storage of paper plates, napkins and paper towels.
Place frequently used items at eye level. Use storage containers for prepackaged items, such as granola bars, microwave popcorn or tea bags. This will increase space by reducing the number of bulky boxes stacked in the pantry. A hanging wire rack over the door provides another storage solution for frequent-use items. Spices can go in a lazy Susan instead of a wire rack. Install sliding shelves for easy review of each shelf's contents.