How to Organize a Pantry With Deep Shelves

organized pantry

The pantry is one of the most challenging places in your home to keep organized. The stock held within is constantly changing, and everyone in the house is always getting in and rearranging. It’s even more of a challenge when you have kids. 

An average pantry may seem difficult to keep organized, but it is doable. But how about if you have a pantry with deep shelves? You know, the kinds of shelves that are so deep things get shoved to the back and easily forgotten? 

Deep pantry shelves can be a blessing and a curse because your precious food stock can get lost and can expire before you even remember those foods exist back there.

Organizing is essential to keep your foods from expiring and creating a mess of a headache when you’re trying to look for foods you need for your meals. 

With the right supplies and a great organization strategy, you can have a well-organized practical pantry to make your life a little easier during mealtime. Here are 10 tips to organize a pantry with deep shelves.

This article may include affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” You can find my full disclosure at the bottom of this page. 

How to Organize a Pantry with Deep Shelves


1. Stock up on Your Pantry Items

It may seem counterproductive, but you will want to make sure to start the organization process with a full pantry.

That way, you have an idea of all the food items you regularly stock up on, and you are less likely to forget an essential item.

Having everything that you like to keep in your pantry will show you how much space you need for each category and where you want to put it.


How to organize a pantry with deep shelves

Here is the exact decluttering process I used in my actionable Decluttering E-Book.

Check out my Get Things Done Printable to stay organized and on task.


2. Pantry Space

So how do I sort out my pantry?

The next step in organizing your pantry is to go through and pull everything out, and I mean everything.

Toss out any foods that may be expired and start to organize all the foods into broad categories or like items.  


3. Create a Plan for How You Want Your Pantry to Look

Once you have everything out and organized into like items, start thinking about your goals and how you want to use your pantry.

Creating a plan is a necessary step you don’t want to skip.

A pantry with deep shelves makes the most sense to store the ingredients you don’t use often or any overstock towards the back. You can do some measurements to get a good idea of the bins you will need to ensure you don’t overspend. Make sure to use the full depth of the shelf by putting the larger items at the back and the smaller ones at the front.


4. Purchase What You’ll Need to Organize the Pantry

After you’ve got a good idea of the bins you’ll want to use, go ahead and purchase what you’ll need.

You can find some pretty inexpensive and stylish ones on Amazon that are affordable. Clear plastic bins are a great option so you can see through and know exactly what you’re grabbing.

Pro tip: Lazy Susan’s are great for spices or frequently used sauces or jars to easily spin it around to get what you need.

Smaller baskets are great for snacks that are currently open. I like to use a variety of bins, baskets, and risers in different sizes. This is a good way to see what will work together on each shelf.

Transparent containers are nice because you can see exactly what is in them and if they are dirty and need to be cleaned.

organize bins pantry



Watch How do you organize a Pantry step by step Video Here:


5. Set Up Specific Zones

 Set up zones or specific areas for different types of food groups in your pantry. This makes it much easier to find exactly what you’re looking for and easily track your stock and inventory.

Take it one step further and get matching bins for every zone.

With zones, you’ll create a muscle memory when you go to find an item giving you a tiny bit of time back when you can quickly grab what you need.

Food zones will help family members find things easily and if you have a small kitchen it will help to stay organized.

Here I zoned all my items

  • The cans on the top left
  • Cookies and snacks on top right
  • Middle Shelf I put back up supplies, noodles, and nuts
  • Bottom Shelf I mostly had baking supplies and dry goods


6. Use the First in First Out System

When you go grocery shopping and stock up your pantry, you can reduce food waste by rotating your food stock.

You can do this by pulling your old foods forward and placing the new foods in the back. It may take a little more time when putting away groceries, but this method is a must. Label everyday items with the date so it’s easy to see when items need to be replaced.


7. Organize Your Pantry Goods by Size

When you have deep shelves, you can organize them by size to make sure everything is visible.

Those tall bins can sit in the back with smaller containers in front, utilizing and making the most of your space. This way, you don’t have to move everything around to try and find something.

Store items you use less often at the top of your pantry since they are harder to access.

This way of storing items is a great way to avoid a messy pantry.


8. Create a Label for Everything

Labels are not a necessary need, but it is helpful, especially if you have things in clear containers like different kinds of rice or noodles.

It just makes it easier to find what you need and quickly.

Not only that, labels create a nice pleasing look to the pantry. Labels are also great to always have a dedicated bin for specific foods. The other people in your home can easily put the food where it belongs.

Buy Labels Here


9. Use Risers for Canned Goods

Risers are a great option, not only for filling up space but also for organizing your canned goods in a way that makes it easy to review your stock without having to move the cans around.

Risers can be great for other items too. If you want to organize your cans with another option, I recommend the can dispenser containers that make it easier to have a larger stock of canned goods.

It is important to take advantage of the vertical space in deep pantries. Use the back of the pantry for your shelf risers and smaller items you don’t use often.

pantry organize


10. Organize Your Baking Goods in Clear Stackable Containers

I don’t know if there’s anyone out there that loves to keep their sugar and flour in those messy bags they come in. When you place them in clear storage containers, you can easily keep track of your stock.

Those bags don’t always hold a lot of the product, so you can buy smaller stackable containers to save space to make room for your other items.

Large glass jars are also a great storage option for brown sugar and other sugars. Of course, we use clear plastic containers because we have young children that want to help bake.


Organizing Options

  • Use the upper shelf for things you don’t need to get to all the time.
  • Put the things you use all the time within easy reach.
  • Fill any dead space with see-through storage bins that can hold open chip bags or snacks.
  • Store all the paper products together so they are easy to find.
  • If you have room pull-out shelves and pull-out drawers make everything easier to access.
  • A hanging spice rack on the pantry door is an excellent idea if there is room.
  • Once similar items have been organized by category putting your most used category at eye level will make cooking easier.
  • Make sure the heavier items are towards the bottom of your pantry so nothing falls on your head.
  • Clear bins always look great but see what you already have to save money.
  • Think about what you use on a daily basis and if you need more space try a rolling cart that has storage, but can also be used as an island.


Deep Pantry Storage Organization System Conclusion

Using these storage solutions to organize your pantry can help you create an efficient and effective pantry.

Your well-organized pantry will make it easier to grab the foods you need and reduce the amount of stock that ends up going bad when you can’t find it. Not only that, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to put away groceries because you won’t be looking for a place to put them.

Getting your pantry organized today is a great way to feel more at peace in your kitchen.


Read More Organizational Posts:


7 Benefits of Less Clutter In Your Kitchen

Shared Boys Room Organization

How to Organize Hall Closets Quickly

Organize a Messy Garage

How to Organize Kids Games


For more organizational tips, check out my YouTube here or browse my website to help simplify your life. 

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10 ways to organize a pantry with deep shelves

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