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6 Simple Ideas for an Organized Pantry with Wire Shelving

You’ll love these simple and practical ideas to get an organized pantry! Reduce food waste in your home by keeping everything visible.

Raise your hand if you love an organized pantry!

Now, raise your hand if you need to organize your pantry!

Just two weeks ago I would’ve been waving both my hands in the air.

And jumping up and down.

Maybe sending out some SOS smoke signals.

Because my pantry had become a big mess over the past few months.

Before picture of unorganized walk in pantry

You see, I started organizing my pantry two years ago.

I definitely made some improvements.

before picture of unorganized walk in pantry with bags, boxes, cans, jars shoved in

There were no bins.

Everything was just shoved in.

When I cleaned it out a few years ago, I ended up having to throw away so much food.

Those corners are where food goes to expire and get stale…

Have you had that happen too?

I mean, there were some jars of jelly that had expired five years earlier.

I’ll let that sink in.



If you scroll back up to the before picture, you can see the start of the new, high shelf we installed.

And everything else was just crammed in where I could fit it.

I really wanted an organized pantry from the beginning!

I mean, I had 3 large tubs to help.

But three wasn’t enough. There was no organization to them.

So my first attempt at getting organized definitely improved things.

But it still needed a good purge, and it helped me see I needed a few more solutions to have a truly organized pantry.

How Can You Add Lights to a Pantry?

Do you see how dark my pantry was?

I’ll wait while you scroll back up to take a look.

Go all the way to the very first picture.

The only reason the second picture was bright is my husband was installing the top shelf when I snapped the picture and had one of those portable construction lights in there.

I know this is a total first-world problem. But as long as we’ve lived in this house, this has been a pet peeve of mine.

I wish we’d had it wired for an overhead light, but I never thought about it when we were building this house. I was just so excited to have a walk-in pantry!

We’ve tried a variety of tap lights but they’re never bright enough and the kids always forgot to turn them off.

So the batteries were generally dead.

Let me introduce you to my solution!

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product photo of Mr. Beams ultra bright wireless battery powered motion sensing ceiling light

This is Mr. Beams MB990 UltraBright Wireless Battery Powered Motion Sensing Indoor/Outdoor LED Ceiling Light

It is amazing!

before picture of right side of walk in pantry overflowing baskets and partially opened packaging

Look how bright it makes my pantry!

Of course, now you can see the mess better.

But still.

I love it so much!

If you have somewhere in your home that needs an overhead light too, you can get the one I havefrom Amazon.

Take a look at what a difference that one change made!

Side by side comparison of right side of unorganized walk in pantry. One image is unlit, the other has a light in the pantry.

And now that we can see, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty with my tips for an organized pantry.

How to Get an Organized Pantry

1. Pull everything out

This is the worst part. But it’s got to be done.

And while you’re at it, go ahead and throw away anything that’s expired or stale.

2. Sort

Now that everything is out of the pantry, sort it into categories.

If you want to organize your pantry, it helps to put similar items together.

Here are some categories to get you started:

  • Canned goods
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Convenience foods
  • Dry foods (grains, pasta, dry beans, rice)
  • Breakfast food
  • Condiments
  • Baking ingredients
  • Beverages (drink mixes, bottles of juice, tea bags, etc.)
  • Snacks (crackers, chips, nuts)

3. Think about how YOUR Family consumes food

My family of 5 eats at home 6 nights a week. The kids pack lunches and snacks to take to school. My husband and I both work from home so we generally eat lunch at home. Breakfast is also eaten at home.

I’m a meal planner, but I also like to keep certain staples in the pantry. We buy some items in bulk from our local warehouse stores and also from Amazon Subscribe & Save, so at the start of the month, our pantry is pretty full.

I have one daughter who is gluten intolerant so we need special ingredients for her.

I follow the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle so have some special ingredients that I use for baking. We have “regular” baking ingredients too.

4. Plan How You Can Maximize Space

We installed a high shelf that’s out of reach without a stepstool. I use this shelf to store appliances and other kitchen items (like my turkey roasting pan) that I can’t get rid of but don’t use regularly.

That leaves more space on the other shelves for food.

Because we purchase many items in bulk, I decided I wanted to move the individually packaged items into baskets.

This allows me to throw away excess packaging (since so many packages are filled with lots of air!).

I also chose to use large turntables for the corners. Now items don’t get lost in the back. I use these 18-inch Lazy Susan turntables that I ordered from Amazon.

I couldn’t find any this large in stores locally.

how to use lazy Susan turntables for an organized pantry

5. Decide on Containers

This is the fun part! You get to choose what types of containers would work best for your needs.

I opted for a variety of inexpensive plastic and woven baskets, clear canisters, and an over-the-door shoe bag.

6. Return Everything to the Pantry in its new Place

As you put everything back in your pantry, try to group like items together.

It’ll be easier to find what you need and you’ll be more likely to put things back in the right place!

Clear over the door shoe bag hanging on inside of pantry door filled with large spice containers

I put all my large seasoning blends and packets in this over the door clear pocket shoe bag.

This is one of my favorite life hacks to store all sorts of things in my home!

Craft supplies, cleaning products, toiletries, mittens/gloves all get stored this way in different closets.

Close up of  containers with chalk labels in an organized pantry with wire shelving.

I like these simple plastic buckets to hold similar items.

Not only does it look neater to have all the bags contained, but it also helps reduce the chance that small bags get lost.

Since we have some different dietary needs in my family, this lets each person easily find things they can eat! These baskets from Amazon are very similar.

Close up of  containers with chalk labels in an organized pantry with wire shelving.

I use larger versions of those baskets for categories that have more to store.

Amazon sells 6-packs of these larger baskets at a great price.

And for variety, I also used some of these larger woven baskets.

You can purchase similar woven baskets from Amazon.

Close up of  containers with chalk labels in an organized pantry with wire shelving.

I decided to store ingredients like flour, sugar, sweeteners, etc. in clear airtight canisters.

The canisters allow me to stack them, see what’s inside, and avoid spills if bags aren’t properly closed (hello, kids!).

I buy some things in bulk to reduce shipping costs. Any unopened products that won’t fit into a canister go in another woven basket.

Close up of  containers and plastic drawers with chalk labels in an organized pantry with wire shelving.

I love these stackable drawers for the area under my shelves.

The drawers have tops that offer a little extra protection from the crumbs that invariably get on the floor!

These reusable chalkboard labels also help everyone to find everything easily.

Before and After

Everyone loves a good before and after, so here are your comparisons!

First Before 2017:

before picture of unorganized walk in pantry with bags, boxes, cans, jars shoved in

Second Before Pictures 2019:

Right side:

before picture of right side of walk in pantry overflowing baskets and partially opened packaging

Left Side:

before picture of left side of walk in pantry overflowing baskets and partially opened packaging

And the big reveal:

Right side

after picture of right side of walk in organized pantry with labeled baskets, clear storage canisters, and turntables in corners.

Left Side

after picture of left side of walk in organized pantry with labeled baskets, clear storage canisters, and turntables in corners. Plastic drawer units sit on the floor below bottom shelf.

Resources and More Kitchen Organization Ideas

Once you get your pantry organized, you might want to tackle other areas in your kitchen!

After all, it feels so good to put things in order.

We shared some of our kitchen favorites that we know you’ll love too.

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Click on any image to shop for items from this post

Collage of products described in this post about pantry organization.
Amazon Pantry Organization Finds

Sources: Airtight Food Storage Containers | Chalkboard Label Vinyl Stickers | Extra Large Stackable Plastic Storage Drawer | Woven Basket Set | Large Ventilated Storage Baskets | Medium Ventilated Storage Baskets | Clear Over Door Pocket Organizer | 18-inch TurntableLazy Susan | Extra Bright Wireless Motion Sensor Light

I hope these simple tips will help you organize your pantry too.

Do you have any tips that help your pantry stay organized? Share them in the comment section below!

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Rachel Harper

Monday 16th of January 2023

I love all these tips. It looks great


Monday 16th of January 2023

Thanks, Rachel!

Katrina Schmitt

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

I moved to motion/usb charging lights in my laundry room under the cabinets. World of difference. ♥️


Tuesday 13th of October 2020

I love having the motion light! You'll have to share what kind of lights you used under your laundry room cabinets!

Erin Sedgley

Wednesday 30th of January 2019

Anne this looks amazing. When Simply2Moms does a road show I offer up my pa ty. It makes even “2017 pantry” look pretty good! ❤️Erin


Wednesday 30th of January 2019

Thanks, Erin! We would LOVE to do your pantry and feature it here! Gotta love an excuse to come up for a visit. <3