Small Pantry Organization: How to Make Your Pantry More Functional

I’m going to do a much-needed small pantry organization. My pantry is not the most functional. It is very tall, has a deep back, and is not very wide, so it's hard to get to the things in the back or see what’s up top.

This means I have to organize and plan the space creatively and thoughtfully. I hope this organizing challenge I’m taking on inspires some ideas to help you manage small spaces in your home.

Using storage items in the pantry

I will try to repurpose the storage items I have around the house. Then I’ll grab storage items from Dollar Tree and a few things I ordered on Amazon. We'll try to make this pantry somewhat functional and hopefully way more organized and more appealing to the eye.

How to organize a small pantry

The first thing to do when you're starting any organization project is to take everything out of the space so you can see what you're working with. It’s important to see if you have duplicates, or expired items. Just getting everything out so you can see exactly what you have will help you organize more efficiently.

Cleaning out the pantry

Now that everything is out, we're going to scrub it down. There are little fingerprints everywhere from the kids’ sticky hands. There are crumbs and all sorts of mess in the pantry, so we're giving it a good scrub down. 

I found an organizing container that I did not know was hiding there. If you're like me and always buying storage containers, check and see what you already have.

Try and repurpose storage items that you already have around the house because that will obviously help you save a lot of money. Once you get everything organized, then you can hit up Dollar Tree or Amazon to shop for any storage items you might need.

When you have a lot of similar items in such a small space, you want to try to combine them as much as you can. Once you're more organized, it'll be easier to prevent yourself from buying duplicate items, which will help you save a lot of money.

One of the most important reasons to stay organized is so you know what you have and what you need.

Using bins for organization

I found these bins I had from Target. I got them a while ago to store lunch boxes and water bottles above our sink, but we haven’t been using them for that. I think they'll make good drawers at the bottom of the pantry.

Transferring items into storage containers

 A lot of people wonder, why bother with transferring things from their original packaging into pretty clear packaging. It actually does help because you can see what you have and when you're about to run out of things.

It just makes it easier and quicker when you're making your grocery list. It also just looks better, and for some reason, that just makes me feel a lot more organized and functional.

Pantry makeover

No pantry makeover is complete without cute labels for your containers. For this, I had to bust out my Cricut Joy. It’s like a miniature version of the Cricut, which is excellent if you have a small space.

We don't have a craft room or anything, so everything needs to be compact. I am not a cricket or vinyl expert. I am a super beginner. It's straightforward to use.

Using Dollar Tree containers

I have these containers from Dollar Trees. I'm not going to label them because I'm just using these for random snacks, so I know they'll be different every time, depending on what snacks are on sale for the kids.

We usually get cereal to snack on or goldfish crackers. I'm just going to leave them blank and we'll just know that these are snack containers for the kids.

Rotating trays for organization

I got these rotating container trays on Amazon. I grabbed two of them because at the very top of the pantry, there are these short shelves. I thought it would be perfect for organizing spices, oil, and other condiments that are always getting lost at the very top of our pantry.

Putting baskets at eye level

I'm putting this basket at eye level in the pantry. I want it to have things that we need for cooking that week's dinner or making lunches and just things that you need readily available. Again, I want to be able to see what we have so I don't buy duplicate items.

Small pantry organization ideas
Organized small pantry

Small pantry organization

Small pantry organization

Overall, this pantry makeover turned out way better than I imagined. I am so happy now when I open it up and everything is visible or easily accessible.

I hope this gave you some ideas if you're struggling with a tiny pantry like me. Do you have any small spaces that are challenging to organize? Leave me a comment and tell me about your organizing adventures.

Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • Carolyn Carolyn on Feb 03, 2023

    I use a turn table in the fridge for my condiments. Works great

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Feb 06, 2023

    Two round pie plates and a bag of marbles, p,ace one plate down, out marbles in that plate, cover eith other plate instant lazy Susan......all at the dollar store......