11 Best Pantry Organizers for Streamlined Kitchen Storage

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Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Container Store

Full pantry organization is a crowning achievement for novice home cooks and trained chefs. Easy access to the right ingredients will give you the best results out of your kitchen, so it's an element that we aspire to perfect. As the founder and CEO of the spice company Diaspora Co. Sana Javeri Kadri is a lover of pantry products and is deeply committed to a beautiful and functional kitchen. Her home is short on storage and lacks a classic, walk-in pantry, so she's gotten creative about how to store the dry goods she buys.

"I bulk shop for a lot of my favorite things," Kadri explains "I see bulk shopping as a way to support great companies and get a better deal on some of the things that I eat all the time like rice and olive oil. But that also means I have to get creative about organizing and storing."

Kadri organizes her pantry and kitchen according to what she uses most often. Important things like her masala dabba live right next to her stove, with items of lesser importance and less frequent use tucked further away. Kadri says she doesn't bother to decant into containers for items like spices that she goes through quickly. However, for big-ticket things like rice and flour, she prefers to store them in airtight containers that keep them fresh longer and prevent wasted space.

"I'm always tinkering with storage and what should go where," Javeri says. "I don't think storage is a one-size-fits-all thing, and I think it's OK for it to change over time."

Thanks to Kadri's advice and our experience with kitchen storage, we've rounded up the best pantry organizers to use at home. Read on for all of our favorite options.

Our Top Picks

Best Bins: White Omaha Stackable Bins

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Container Store

Stackable bins in a neutral color are a pantry essential. The Omaha steel mesh line from the Container Store is both visually appealing and super functional. Use them for everything from storing onions and garlic to corralling bags of snacks and other smaller, easy-to-lose pantry items.

Specs: These bins come in three sizes, made to stack together in a customizable system. The epoxy-coated stainless steel is easy to wash with soap and water.

Best Shelving: SafeRacks

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Amazon

Kadri doesn't have a classic walk-in pantry, so she uses an industrial stainless steel shelf to create extra storage. This style of the shelf, often used in restaurant kitchens, is super durable and comes in various sizes. It's also easy to customize the distance between shelves depending on your storage needs.

Specs: Stainless steel is easy to clean, and the rubber feet prevent damage to floors even when stacking heavy pantry goods.

Best for Bulk Dry Goods: Rubbermaid Commercial Food Storage Containers

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Amazon

Rubbermaid's commercial bins are great for bulk shopping, one of Kadri's biggest pantry hacks. These bins are space efficient and tightly sealed to keep things fresh for items like rice, flour, pasta, and other dry goods that you might buy in large quantities.

Specs: These bins come in sizes from 2 quarts to 22 quarts. Polycarbonate is heavy-duty as well as dishwasher safe.

Best for Non-Bulk Dry Goods: Rubbermaid Brilliance Airtight Food Storage Containers

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Amazon

If the Rubbermaid commercial bins are too big, Kadri suggests stocking up on these Rubbermaid containers. These containers have become essential in Kadri's pantry with a satisfying snap closure that creates an airtight seal. They come in tons of sizes and shapes, which Kadri likes because it allows her to customize them to her needs without wasting space.

Specs: BPA-free plastic made to survive dropping and be easy to clean. These containers are also easily stackable.

Best Turntable: Stainless Steel Lazy Susan

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Container Store

A turntable is an essential tool to avoid losing things in the jumble of a cabinet. Use it to organize sauces, jars of spices, or even canned goods. This one from the Container Store is easy to clean, doesn't slide around, and has an even spin that is neither too lose or too tight.

Specs: Stainless steel won't rust with use and is easy to wash. At 10 ½ inches in diameter, it fits in most standard cabinets.

Best In-Cabinet Shelving: Medium Flat Wire Stackable Shelves

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Container Store

One of the ways that Kadri makes the most of her limited storage is by taking advantage of vertical space. These shelves allow you to do just that and can even stack on top of each other for particularly tall spaces.

Specs: These shelves can fold up when not in use and are easy to clean with soap and water. The half-sizes can accommodate shallower spaces, and the bigger version can help for larger items. In addition, they can support 75 pounds of weight, so you won't have to think twice about stacking them high with cans and other heavy items.

Best Over-the-Door: HomeBuddy Over the Door Pantry Organizer

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Amazon

The back of the door is a great spot to store items you reach for often. Flexible fabric pockets are a common tool for this storage style, but they're difficult to clean, and the pockets are often too small to store many household items. This over-the-door shelving system is sturdy, easy to wipe clean, and can accommodate anything from snacks to cleaning products.

Specs: At 60 inches long, 18 ½ wide, and 7 ¼ inches deep, this shelving system fits a standard door.

Best for Cans: DecoBros Supreme Stackable Can Rack

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Amazon

If cans are the bane of your existence, opt for a can rack that offers buildable storage with easy access. For more storage, this rack can be stacked, making it a great option for floor or garage storage and in a cabinet or pantry.

Specs: Accommodates up to 36 cans; 17 inches wide, 11 ½ inches deep, and 13 ½ inches tall

Best for spices: The Home Edit 3-Tier Shelf

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Container Store

Kadri prefers not to decant her spices, which she says is a lot of work - especially when Diaspora Co. has such cute labels. Instead, she uses the original jars the spices are sold in and stacks them on this clear acrylic shelf, which slides easily onto a shelf.

Specs: This shelf is 10 ⅛ inches by 11 ⅝ inches by 5 inches, made to fit in standard cabinets. It's not dishwasher safe but is easy to wipe clean.

Best Pan Organizer: CAXXA Heavy Duty Pan Rack

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Amazon

You may think of your pantry as food storage, but chances are good that you also keep some cooking tools tucked away among all the cans and containers. While it may seem like the obvious answer, stacking can damage the surface of nonstick pans and make it difficult to access the pan you need when you need it. Instead, opt for this pan rack, which helps you keep even heavy cast iron pans within arms' reach and can be used vertically or horizontally, depending on the size of your cabinet or pantry.

Specs: At 12.8 x 10.4 x 8.9 inches, this rack will fit inside most standard cabinets. It's made of alloy steel and is adjustable based on your pans' size.

Best Under–Shelf Storage: SimpleTrending Under Cabinet Organizer Shelf

Best Pantry Organizers
Courtesy of Amazon

If you have a lot of dead space underneath high shelves or in your refrigerator, under-shelf storage can give you a lot of extra storage without any real work. These simple metal shelves have one-inch brackets that slide onto a cabinet or refrigerator shelves. Tough-to-store things like plastic bags, pot lids, or even small cans like tuna can be stored easily on these shelves.

Specs: The one-inch bracket fits most cabinet shelves. The shelf itself is 4.25 inches tall, 12.75 inches wide, and 12.75 inches deep. The metal is easy to wipe clean.

Factors to Consider

Material

No matter how careful you are, the tools you use to store food will eventually get dirty. That's why Kadri leans heavily on sturdy, BPA-free plastic and stainless steel for heavy-use areas. For areas that are more visible, like the shelves above her stove, she uses wood but makes sure to wipe it down regularly. Wood can absorb moisture and warp over time, so if you live in a humid climate, think twice about using it in your pantry, where you'll want everything to be super-functional and easy to clean.

Pantry Size

Most of the items recommended here come in various sizes, so make sure to measure your own space and buy the things that will fit yourspace. Pantries vary significantly from house to house, as will your specific needs depending on what you like to cook, how many people you cook for, and how you use your kitchen.

Pro Panel Q+A

What should I keep in my pantry?

For Kadri, the pantry encompasses all dry goods - meaning items that can be stored for long periods at room temperature. That includes spices, baking ingredients, canned goods, rice, lentils, beans, packaged snacks, and more. Because she doesn't have a walk-in pantry, her pantry storage is spread throughout her kitchen. Her example is a good one to follow: just because you don't have a walk-in closet or even a reach-in pantry off your kitchen doesn't mean you shouldn't think strategically about organizing and optimizing those items.

How often should I clean out my pantry?

Kadri's kitchen regularly hosts photo and video shoots for Diaspora Co., so it gets deep-cleaned fairly often. She says she sorts through her pantry at least once a year, but for less avid cleaners, more often is better. The good news is that the better organized your pantry is, the less often you'll need to clean it. Loose bags of flour and rice tend to spill or leave residue, while sealed plastic containers will save you the hassle.

What is a butler's pantry?

Unlike a pantry where you store food, a butler's pantry is an amenity typically reserved for large, high-end homes, where items like china, glassware, linens, and tableware are typically stored. Some also have space for food prep, a dishwasher, and even a small refrigerator. In those cases, the butler's kitchen is used as a staging area for caterers.

Our Expertise

Maddy Sweitzer-Lammé is a food and restaurant writer based in Philadelphia, where she has limited space to organize a very overstocked kitchen. An avid bulk shopper with a professional cook for a partner, she's always looking for ways to better optimize what little space she has.

Sana Javeri Kadri is the founder of Diaspora Spice Co., a spice company dedicated to creating an equitable trade and increasing the quality of spices in American pantries. She travels often and lives in a small home in Northern California, where her kitchen doubles as the test kitchen for her company.

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