Pantries 101: Organizing and Must-Have Items

By: Ylysa Manalo

Are you a newbie homeowner who does not know how to properly organize a pantry? Or perhaps someone who just really need help in organizing their condo or house and lot for sale and the pantry is the number one cause of clutter? Well, this article is for you! From giving you tips on how to organize your pantry to enumerating some must-have items you can buy in supermarkets, this may be just what you need to start anew. So ease your worries and read on.

Tips on How to Organize Your Pantry

Start with a clean slate.

Before organizing, the first thing you have to do is to take everything out and clean the pantry thoroughly. Wipe off the shelves to clean up any dust or food crumbs accumulated over time. Wash every container with soap and water and let it dry before use.

Sanitize and disinfect

It is also best if you can disinfect and sanitize the food pantry to keep off germs and remove built-up bacteria so you can ensure that the food items you intake from the pantry are safe and hazard-free.


After taking everything out of the pantry and sanitizing, go through every food item and discard expired ones. Sometimes, people tend to forget some items until it eventually reaches their expiration and by just throwing out old food, you might be surprised at how much room you still have in your pantry.

You can also determine which ones you actually consume and which are not. If you believe you have stocks left of those that you do not like, consider donating them to a local food bank instead of throwing it out.

Replenish and categorize.

After going through your food directly, you can make grocery lists and go to the nearest grocery stores to replenish your food supplies. Then, categorize your items and place similar items together. For example, you should group condiments together for easy access, similar to snacks, and baking essentials.

Invest in clear storage bins.

Finally, here comes the organization! Because a food pantry may be packed with a lot of stuff, it would be desirable if you could invest in clear storage bins. This makes it easier to know which items are still in stock and which ones need restocking. This also ensures equal space distribution among items. For instance, pantry essentials such as flour and sugar could be kept in glass jars with airtight closures–the same with chocolates or candies. You can also utilize baskets for larger items such as chips or packs of biscuits.

Make labels.

If you plan to store food items in clear storage bins or glass jars, of course, you have to put labels on them to distinguish which one’s which. You can print out simple labels or write them down on a piece of paper. You can also put expiration dates on the label to ensure that you can use it up before it goes bad.

Take advantage of wall space and pantry doors

If you live in a condo for sale in the Philippines, you may have tight spaces with a smaller pantry than those with a house and lot for sale. But don’t worry, you can definitely store a lot more than what it seems if you take advantage of your pantry walls and the pantry doors. Utilizing command hooks, clips, or adhesive strips to store items that can be hung on your pantry door is a great way to reduce clutter and makes it easier to reach for your essentials.

Aside from that, there are food pantries that are usually tall in height. To utilize the space, you can add more wire racks or add a few shelves on top. Adding a shelf helps you make the most use of the otherwise tiny pantry.

Designated section for non-food items

If you are storing non-food items in the pantry, make sure to have a designated section for them and not mix them with the food products. Allocate compartments for paper towels and napkins, disposables such as plastic utensils, plastic bags, foil and plastic wrap, parchment and wax paper, cooking equipment, and cleaning supplies.

It is important to not mix non-food items with food products so as not to contaminate them and spread unwanted bacteria that can be consumed by the family. It is better if there will be a separate pantry for non-food items, however, condo units typically do not have a lot of space so if this is the case, make sure you keep them separated from food items.

Install lighting

Since a kitchen pantry is usually a cabinet type and not open shelving, it can be quite dark, especially at night. Installing lighting inside the pantry allows one to see its contents and grab the things needed.

Must-Have Items for a Perfect Food Pantry

Now that we have gone through the tips on how to organize a pantry, what are the essential items that should never go missing in your pantry? Well, here are some of them:

Herbs, spices, and condiments

You do not need every spice and condiment in the world. Just make sure that you have everything that you will frequently use when preparing meals, such as salt, black and red pepper, sugar, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, mayo, oyster sauce, sesame oil, honey, and many more.

Canned goods and spreads

Beef and chicken broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tuna, ready-to-eat canned items. If you have kids at home, spreads such as peanut butter or chocolate would be perfect for snacks.

Dry goods

Items like pasta, rice grains, all-purpose flour, and bread crumbs, among others.

Refrigerated goods

Eggs, milk, butter, and cheese are just some refrigerated goods that should never go missing from your list.

Snacks in the food bank

Of course, who does not like snacks? Items like chips, crackers, biscuits, and chocolates are also must-have items for some people who want to eat but do not feel like having a meal.

Related Blog: Smart Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

Related Blog