We’ve all seen the shows where they create an organized pantry with a rainbow pattern. Sure it’s pretty, but is it manageable?

With a busy household and kids who like to help themselves to snacks, I wanted to make sure that our pantry would be able to function for how we live and be easy to maintain. If you missed how we built our pantry click here.

So let me show you 3 tips for an easy to maintain organized pantry:

Finished Pantry

Tip #1 – Create Main Categories

When it came to organizing our pantry, we started by figuring out the categories of items that we keep in there.

Our categories included baking ingredients, cooking staples, snack foods, extra paper products, and small appliances.

Baking Supplies

Once the categories were determined, we could decide where to put the products that made the most sense.

Snack Area in the pantry

In our case, we made sure snacks were accessible to the kids on the side closest to the trash, while the cooking staples were closer to the stove.

The things we used the least went up higher while the most used items stayed within easy reach.

Tip #2 – Keep Items Frequently Used Together

We found it was easier to keep an organized pantry by having things that are often used together in the same area.

So, instead of having a shelf for dry goods with pasta, rice, bread, and tortilla chips and another area for sauces and canned goods, etc, we looked at how those items are used.

We generally aren’t grabbing alfredo sauce and rice at the same time or lasagna noodles and queso.

Basket with Rice next to the Queso

Instead, we put the pasta sauces next to the noodles, the queso and salsa are near the tortillas and rice, and the peanut butter and jelly are near the bread, etc. At meal time, we can easily grab all the ingredients at once which saves time and energy.

The Bread Area with Peanut Butter and Jelly

This also allows us to quickly know what meals we have ingredients for which is a huge win when you don’t feel like cooking.

Grocery shopping is also easier as we can see meal ingredients at a glance.

These baskets have made keeping similar items together a breeze.

Tip #3 – Make it Family Friendly

If you have independent children like I do, embrace it. Create a zone for them in the pantry.

Cereal Dispenser

My kids love cereal so we opted to get a cereal dispenser. This makes it quick and easy for my 5 year old boys to get their own cereal without making a huge mess.

Easy to See Kid Snacks

We have clear organizers for the kids’ snacks so they can see what is available without rifling through everything. I also can see how much we have of each item with a quick glance (no more empty boxes in the pantry!).

Movie Night Bin with Popcorn and Seasonings

You just need to figure out how your family approaches the things kept in your pantry so that you can determine the best way to store the items. We are a grab and go family, so keeping items used together in the same spot works best for us.

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