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Vicki Norris

Professional Organization Expert

Best Kitchen Pantry Storage & Best Pantry Organizers

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“The Black Hole” is just one of the many descriptive names I’ve heard from clients in reference to their pantry or food storage cupboard. It’s not hard to understand why. In most cases, we don’t have the luxury of custom-designing our dream pantry. We have to make the best of what comes with our house or living space. And often, what comes with our house includes less-than-optimal useable shelf space, poor lighting (or no lighting at all) and awkward storage configurations that allow things to get stuck at the back, never to see the light of day again.

In my fantasy dream home, I have a separate pantry space from the kitchen where in custom-fit, stainless-steel rolling racks line the walls. There’s more than enough room to house all of the necessary food items and there’s even a butler-type pantry rack to house my less-used bakeware, cookware, small appliances, and table linens. I can envision myself in this space, grabbing the necessary ingredients for a batch of chocolate-chip cookies or picking out my favorite table cloth and napkins for a special occasion.

And while it’s nice to close my eyes and be in my fairy tale house for a visit, when I’m standing in front of my actual pantry, things snap back to reality pretty quickly! Our kitchen has its own closet dedicated to pantry items, but it’s definitely not walk-in sized and it’s so deep that the back of the shelves are longer than my arm can reach.

But rather than wishing upon a star about how I’d like to change it, I was able to maximize my space with some simple, but effective, products designed to increase storage space and decrease frustration.

A few cost-friendly items introduced into your own pantry (or regular cupboard for those who don’t have a dedicated pantry space) can make a world of difference and bring you a little closer to your own fantasy pantry.

Get organized with the best kitchen pantry storage. We recommend the best kitchen storage that fits your decor and needs, including pantry plastic containers and stainless steel turntables.

Best Pantry Organizers by Vicki Norris

The Best You Can Get

  • Williams-Sonoma – Personalized Recipe and Entertaining Journal

    Vicki says: Don’t overlook the importance of well-organized recipes as well as the ingredients to make them. Recipe cards and pages torn from magazines can easily overstay their welcome on pantry shelves. I’ve never organized a pantry for a client in which their recipe collection didn’t require its own solution. Aside from keeping the pantry orderly, a recipe binder allows you to actually start using all of those pages you tore out with the best of intentions, only to have them disappear into the long-lost recesses of the pantry. The beautifully-designed Williams-Sonoma recipe journal comes with plastic sleeves to hold 4” x 6” or 5” x 7” recipe cards as well as journal pages to make notes. Divider tabs allow you to group recipes by category. There’s even a large kraft paper envelope to bring some order to those magazine clippings.

    • Additional cards and journal pages available separately
    • Cover can be personalized
    • 3-ring binder format allows for easy expansion
  • The Container Store - Tea Bag Storage Container

    Vicki says: I’ve yet to meet a tea drinker who likes only one type of tea. And while it’s nice to have a variety of flavors on hand, this passion can lead to a lot of loose tea packets in the pantry without a place to call home. This tea bag storage container is like a mansion for your tea bags! Roomy enough to hold 72 packets in lidded comfort; you’ll never have to worry about lack of accommodation again. Its see-through construction lets you see what you’ve got before you even open it, which helps with inventory control. How civilized.

    • Holds up to 72 individual tea packets
    • Divided into 6 sections to arrange by type (if desired)
  • The Container Store - Expand-A-Shelf®

    Vicki says: Three cheers for three tiers! The aptly-named Expand-A-Shelf does exactly what it says – provides additional shelf space without having to renovate your kitchen. In my opinion, the tiered feature should be automatically built-in to all kitchen cupboards and pantries at the construction level! It just makes sense. The stadium bleacher effect allows you to see things at the back rather than guessing about what’s lurking in the dark. If your cupboard or shelf is deep enough, the actual shelf surface creates one more level of storage.

    • Expands length-ways to fit cabinet or shelf
    • Accommodates a variety of can and bottle shapes
    • Available in white plastic, silver mesh, and environmentally-friendly bamboo
  • The Container Store – Stainless Steel Turntable

    Vicki says: Isn’t it ironic that the strangely-named “Lazy Susan” is actually anything but? Turntables are hard-working, elegant solutions for keeping a wide array of pantry items conveniently accessible. From oils and vinegars to condiments and spice jars, this stainless steel version will hold all of your favorite cooking ingredients. If you’ve got enough room between shelves, there’s also a double-decker version for twice the storage. Maximizes storage and provides easy access, not lazy at all!

    • Made of rustproof, brushed stainless steel
    • 10 ½” in diameter
  • Storables – Date Reminder Food Containers

    Vicki says: We can’t discuss pantries without exploring the world of plastic food containers. And these ones are smart! Not only do they come in a variety of sizes to fit multiple needs, but there’s an ingenious feature on the air-tight lid… a 31-day date dial so you know exactly how long your leftovers have been left over. Made of durable plastic, these stackable containers are also great for pantry dry goods like sugar, flour, rice, and pasta.

    • Available in small and medium sizes
    • Capacity ranges from 850 mL to 1.2 L

You will be happy with any of these

  • Storables – 2-Tier Chrome Cabinet Shelf

    Vicki says: Ever wish you had just a little more shelf space in your pantry? Well, here it is! Vertical space inside a cupboard or on a shelf can often be overlooked, but this two-tier shelf is a great way to maximize it. “Going up” rather than out gives you multiple options for storing dishware, canned good, or any other items you may have hiding at the back of the pantry. The chrome finish adds a nice touch of style.

    • Multi-functional size (18” x 9” x 9”)
    • Stable chrome wire construction
  • Storables – Revolving Spice Rack

    Vicki says: I don’t know about you, but I find spice racks that hold 30-40 different bottles or jars way too overwhelming. Aside from a few basics like basil, rosemary, and parsley, plus a few less-used but still essential herbs and spices, I don’t find myself dipping into the turmeric or marjoram all that often. This smaller, 16 bottle-sized spice rack is a much more sane solution. Not too big and not too small; it’s a great size for a pantry shelf. Rather than a never-ending row of jars, these 16 bottles stack in their rack and revolve around for quick and easy use.

    • Comes with multiple pre-printed labels
    • Includes 16 glass bottles and lids
    • Additional bottles available (in case of breakage)
  • The Container Store - Stainless Steel Packet Storage Basket

    Vicki says: One of the questions we hear from clients when working on a pantry is, “What do I do with all the little packages of seasonings or sauces?” It’s a valid question – numerous packets in varying sizes can become an issue in a pantry. They can take on a life of their own and end up in various nooks and crannies. A storage basket like this one can easily and effectively keep soup, sauce, gravy, and seasoning packets at your fingertips.

    • Rustproof stainless steel construction
    • Can be mounted to a cabinet or cupboard door
  • The Container Store – Gravity-Feed Can Rack

    Vicki says: Canned goods usually take up a good deal of real estate in a pantry. Stacking the cans isn’t always the best way to store them, but sometimes, it feels like we have no other choice. Well, this gravity-feed can rack can be your choice! This product needs little fanfare as anyone can see just by looking at it what a space-saver it is. As you pull one can out, another one automatically moves forward to take its place. Readily accessible and easy to see when it needs to be re-stocked, a can rack is also a great way to make sure you’re getting your daily fruits and veggies!

    • Includes dividers to keep like-sized items together
    • Constructed of vinyl-coated wire for durability
  • The Container Store – 4-Sort Dividers

    Vicki says: Pantries aren’t just for food. Many times, an area that serves as a pantry also has to house bake ware, less-frequently-used appliances, and overflow pots and pans. These wire sorters can make short work of corralling loose muffin tins, cookie sheets and pizza pans. It’s so much nicer to see these items all standing at attention, ready to be put into use, rather than lying around on the shelf in a jumbled mess with the one that you really need always at the bottom of the pile!

    • Comes in small, medium, and large sizes
    • Constructed of white, vinyl-coated steel wire

Related Articles

The best kitchen pantry storage can transform chaos in cabinets and closets into organized storage. These best kitchen storage accessories include plastic containers, turntables and other organizers. Choose these best pantry organizers anytime you want an orderly way to arrange your canned vegetables, spices and other pantry foods.