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By Jolie Kerr, CNN Underscored
Published 12:39 PM EST, Wed January 3, 2024
What's in this story
- Pantry storage containers
- Pantry storage bins
- Can, bottle and jar organizers
- Lazy Susans
- Pantry door organizers
- Pull-out drawers for pantry
- Portable pantries
There are so many options when it comes to finding solutions to organize a pantry and maximize home storage space that it can be overwhelming to sort out what’s worth your money and what will just add clutter.
To find the absolute best pantry organizing products, we scoured Amazon for top-rated products that people swear by. We also enlisted the pros —literally! We asked professional organizers Kate Pawlowski and Ann Lightfoot, co-founders of Done & Done Home and authors of the forthcoming book “Love Your Home Again,” and Nonnahs Driskill, the founding organizer at Get Organized Already!, to tell us what organizers they recommend to their clients. We also tapped Danielle Dorn, a creative director for mDesign, and Suzanne Woodrow, a senior merchandiser for soft storage at mDesign, who shared some of their go-to organizing products for the pantry.
Ahead, you’ll find the best pantry organizers to fit every space, need and style to give you better storage throughout your home kitchen.
Pantry storage containers
"We don't always decant, but when we do, we use Oxo Pop Top containers," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say. "They keep food fresh, and all of the different shapes and sizes make customization a breeze!"
This set of 24 food storage containers gets high marks from users for durability, design and price. The set includes four each of four differently sized clear plastic containers with lids as well as stick-on labels and a labeling pen.
Reviewers love this Rubbermaid set of 10 durable containers with snap-on lids. The BPA-free containers are freezer- and dishwasher-safe, and come in sizes ranging from 19.9-cup to 0.5 cup.
The Chefstory food storage set includes 14 containers with snap-on lids in four sizes: two tall, and four each in small, medium and large. They come with chalkboard labels and a chalk pen that can be wiped off so the labels can be redone or reused.
Large households or people who do a lot of baking will love these extra-large food storage containers for decanting extra-large bags of flour, cereal or sugar.
Pantry storage bins
Lightfoot and Pawlowski love this basic clear plastic bin, which they call “one of our versatile essentials," for organizing in pantries, kitchen cabinets and refrigerators. Opting for clear bins ensures you can see what’s inside, which will help to cut back on food waste and overbuying, and the handles make it easy to grab and pull down from a shelf.
"These divided bins are great for your fridge, pantry or cupboard because the four sections allow you to keep like items together," Dorn and Woodrow say. "Separate your baking supplies, tea bags, nutrition bars, cocoa, soup mixes, tea, instant coffee and other small cooking essentials neatly in their own designated compartment."
While clear storage bins are generally a good choice, there are times when a bit more privacy is called for. Driskill likes these white plastic storage bins “to corral many bags of snacks, grains, beans or other categories of unruly packaging.”
"Made from eco-friendly bamboo, our Bamboo Stacking Bin is perfect for organizing all your favorite snacks, drinks and foods," Dorn and Woodrow say. "It’s convenient and versatile, so these bins can be used all over the home, not just in the kitchen! Also, the open fronts let you see and grab what you need instantly without unstacking them." The brand also makes bamboo storage bins with dividers.
Pantry bins come in all shapes, sizes and materials. These small woven plastic bins can help to maximize storage and organization in a pantry by taking advantage of small or awkwardly shaped spaces.
"The most common problem we run into when organizing pantries is deep shelves," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say. "For that reason, our favorite pantry bins are stackable storage bins with handles. Items remain visible, and the ability to stack bins means the available space is doubled."
This set of eight clear plastic storage bins in two sizes gets high marks for durability and price. One reviewer says, "Much more affordable and great quality. Cheaper than the Container Store similar products and seems better made."
"This storage bin fits boxed foods, condiments, spices, baking supplies, dry goods and many other kitchen essentials," Dorn and Woodrow say. "You can use it in the refrigerator and freezer, and the design features handles for easy pull-out or carrying."
Organizing bin sets can be pricey, but this collection of plastic bins is high-quality bargain. It includes eight containers with easy-grip handles that make it easy to pull in and out of even the most packed pantry.
Can, bottle and jar organizers
"As professional organizers in New York City, we run into a lot of small pantries," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say. "Sometimes one cabinet is all we have to work with. When that's the case, our go-to product is a three-tiered adjustable bamboo riser. Cans and jars in the back of the cabinet remain visible, and we love that this shelf is made from sustainable materials."
Reviewers love this set of expandable shelves, saying they're easy to assemble, durable and "stylish for smaller spaces."
The bestselling can rack on Amazon has a lot to offer: The simple metal design can hold a whopping 36 cans on its three-tier risers. Reviewers love it for its ease of assembly, sturdiness and large capacity.
"Can organizers allow you to organize all your favorite canned soda, soups, fruit and vegetables compactly and conveniently," Dorn and Woodrow say, adding, "Use them in both the fridge or pantry."
The bestselling riser-style can organizer on Amazon is also a great budget pick. For under $10, this three-tier shelving system can hold cans, jars, bottles and more. Reviewers call it "very sturdy" and "immensely helpful."
Driskill suggests buying two or more of this stackable bottle holder “to use in a cabinet for empty water/sports bottles.” The clear plastic design allows you to see what’s stored so you won’t mistake a travel coffee mug for your water bottle in a dark cabinet.
When it comes to pantry storage solutions for small or awkwardly shaped spaces, look for products with small footprints to maximize limited space. This mat-style can organizer provides stability for stacking cans, pyramid-style, without taking up any extra width.
"Pantries become chaotic," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say, "when containers in every shape and size vie for limited shelf space. We like YouCopia's Divided Lazy Susan because sections can be easily removed to transport items from pantry to counter, and smaller cans and bottles won't get lost in the back."
Lazy Susan turntables come in a huge variety of sizes and materials, allowing you to pick exactly the right thing for your space and style. This black metal spinner tray elevates the form and is attractive enough to go from pantry to table.
Another great option for those looking for a lazy Susan stylish enough for use on a table is this wood and metal organizer.
Driskill calls this 9-inch lazy Susan “genius” and uses it to store small bottles in cabinets and pantries, where the smaller footprint doesn't take up as much space as turntables with a larger diameter.
Large pantries will benefit from this inexpensive set of four nonskid turntable organizers. Use them to organize and maximize dead space in the corners of shelves.
Using vertical space is a great way to maximize storage in a pantry. This two-tier lazy Susan gives you double the space of a traditional turntable organizer.
"These spinners make it so easy to store and organize all your canned goods, snacks, dressings, oil, condiments and more," Dorn and Woodrow say. "The raised outer edges help keep everything in place while spinning the organizers."
Pantry door organizers
"We are longtime fans of the Elfa system from The Container Store," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say, "and their over-the-door kitchen rack is one of our favorites. There are a multitude of baskets, racks and hooks, so it's highly customizable and will work in most any kitchen."
This over-the-door organizer takes inspiration from closet organizers with its oversized fabric pockets. Use it to store lightweight but bulky items like paper goods or large bags of potato chips, pretzels and other snacks.
One-piece organizers are limited by their size. For small or oddly shaped pantry doors, this set of modular over-the-door baskets is a great choice. They can also be mounted on the wall for more versatility.
Reviewers praise this pantry organizer, which they call "very sturdy, and larger than I expected," "well designed and constructed" and "definitely worth the purchase!"
"This self-adhesive bin can be hung under kitchen sinks, inside cabinets or behind doors for discreet storage," Dorn and Woodrow say. "Take advantage of unused space to create extra storage wherever you need it."
Pull-out drawers for pantry
"For people who have to store the majority of their pantry staples in a cabinet," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say, "pull-out drawers can make a world of difference. We like to maximize the vertical space by using a double-tier sliding drawer system. These are also great for organizing and containing food storage containers!"
Slide-out spice racks are a good way to take advantage of small or narrow space in a pantry or cabinet. Reviewers praise the Lynk Professional spice rack, calling it "easy to install, glide is super smooth" and "great for storing all your spices in an upper wall cabinet."
Freestanding pull-out basket organizers are a great choice for people who prefer not to install wall- or shelf-mounted styles, and an organizer with two tiers takes advantage of vertical space to offer more storage with a smaller footprint.
Pull-out basket organizers come in all sorts of fabrications, colors and styles. For those who like a clear organizer, this set of divided, two-tier storage containers is a great choice.
"These stacking drawers make it simple to organize everything," Dorn and Woodrow say, "and the clear construction makes it easy to see what’s inside, while the slide-out drawers allow you to quickly grab what you need without unstacking."
The lids to pots and pans are oddly shaped and can be difficult to keep organized — and even more difficult when it comes to finding the size you need from a big heap of lids. A pull-out lid organizer solves that problem, making it easy to grab for lids when you need them without all the clatter.
"Occasionally, we have clients who have extra available floor space but lack built-in cabinets or shelves," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say. "The perfect solution in this situation is a freestanding pantry. The ClosetMaid Pantry Cabinet is a great choice because of its sturdy design and adjustable shelving."
Pantry cabinets are available in many sizes and styles, and there will be one that fits every need. This white farmhouse pantry cabinet has double doors that open to reveal six shelves.
This floor-mounted four-section cabinet is as simple as it gets, offering a lot of storage space with a relatively small footprint (24 inches wide by 16 inches deep). It comes in four colors: Beech, Cherry, Chocolate-Gray and White-Beech.
Perfect for storing your dinnerware essentials, this hutch-style cabinet has upper and lower cabinets as well as a pull-out drawer, giving users a variety of options for storing items of all shapes and sizes.
"Portable caddies let you conveniently transport items from your pantry or cabinet shelves to the countertop, island or kitchen table," Dorn and Woodrow say. "They are also perfect for carrying condiments out to the grill or picnic table."
"If you have a lot of different family members searching for food items or putting groceries away," Lightfoot and Pawlowski say, "labels can be a huge help. We recommend the Brother P-Touch labeler. It's simple to use, reliable and the refill tape is always easy to find."
The Brother P-Touch Smartphone labeler allows you to design and print labels from a smartphone or tablet. The app works with Apple and Android devices and offers a huge selection of label templates, and also allows users to design custom labels.
This pink handheld labeler is as cute as can be! Reviewers praise its simplicity and ease of use, and love that its connected app offers loads of design options.
"These labels can be used to organize drawers, storage bins or baskets," Dorn and Woodrow say. "Each combo set includes eight tags and four sheets for 32 labels total, featuring a bold font that is easy to see in your pantry."
Preprinted pantry storage container labels make organizing as easy as it gets. This set of 134 waterproof peel-and-stick labels includes duplicates for common items like cereal and snacks.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed price at the time of publication.
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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
YouChat, Expert in Pantry Organization and Storage Solutions
As an enthusiast and expert in pantry organization and storage solutions, I have a deep understanding of the various products and strategies available to maximize home storage space. My knowledge is based on extensive research, personal experience, and a passion for creating efficient and organized living spaces.
Pantry Storage Containers
Pantry storage containers are essential for keeping food fresh and organized. The Oxo Good Grips 10-Piece Pop Container Set is highly recommended by professional organizers for its ability to customize storage and keep food fresh []. Additionally, the Praki Airtight Food Storage Containers Set With Lids offers durability, design, and a set of 24 containers with stick-on labels and a labeling pen [].
Pantry Storage Bins
Clear plastic organizing bins, such as the mDesign Plastic Organizing Bin With Handles, are versatile essentials for organizing pantries, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerators []. For those looking for a more eco-friendly option, the mDesign Bamboo Stacking Bin, made from eco-friendly bamboo, is perfect for organizing snacks, drinks, and foods [].
Can, Bottle, and Jar Organizers
Efficiently organizing cans, bottles, and jars is crucial for maximizing pantry space. The Songmics Spice Rack and Mooace 3-Tier Expandable Spice Rack Set are highly recommended for their durability and stylish design []. Additionally, the SimpleHouseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer is praised for its large capacity and sturdiness [].
Lazy Susans are excellent for maximizing storage and accessibility in pantries. The YouCopia Crazy Susan Turntable is recommended for its versatility and ease of use, allowing for easy transportation of items from pantry to counter []. For those looking for a stylish option, the mDesign Rustic Lazy Susan Turntable Metal Spinner Tray is an attractive choice for both pantry and table use [].
Pantry Door Organizers
Utilizing the space behind pantry doors is essential for efficient storage. The Elfa Utility White Wire Kitchen Over-the-Door Rack is highly customizable and suitable for most kitchens []. The Smart Design Over-the-Door Pantry Organizer Rack is praised for its sturdiness and larger-than-expected size [].
Pull-Out Drawers for Pantry
Pull-out drawers are a game-changer for organizing pantry staples and food storage containers. The Knape & Vogt Double-Tier Pull-Out Cabinet Organizer is recommended for maximizing vertical space and containing food storage containers []. Additionally, the SimpleHouseware 2-Tier Sliding Cabinet Basket offers two tiers for more storage in a smaller footprint [].
For those with extra floor space and a need for additional storage, freestanding pantry cabinets are an excellent solution. The ClosetMaid Pantry Cabinet is praised for its sturdy design and adjustable shelving []. The Hodedah 4-Door Kitchen Pantry With Four Shelves offers a lot of storage space with a relatively small footprint, making it suitable for various kitchen sizes [].
Labels are essential for keeping pantries organized and easily accessible. The Brother P-Touch Everyday Label Maker is recommended for its simplicity and reliability, making it easy for different family members to find food items or put groceries away []. The Phomemo Portable Bluetooth Label Printer With Tape offers a cute and user-friendly option with a connected app that provides various design options [].
By providing detailed insights into the concepts used in the article, I aim to assist you in making informed decisions about organizing your pantry and maximizing your home storage space. If you have any specific questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!