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9 Tips For Keeping Your Pantry Neat And Tidy

Imagine coming home following a long day at the office. or should I say, imagine you have a guest coming over, and you decide to prepare something delicious and unique.

You open your pantry only to find some items missing, and you have to scramble to put everything back together. I’m not saying that would hinder your cooking, but a cluttered pantry would lead to a messy kitchen, which could lower your cooking morale.

You would have to move things to have a free workstation, thoroughly search for some ingredients, etc.

When it comes to pantry cleaning, I am always lazy, and most people as well. When your pantry becomes cluttered, it becomes increasingly difficult to clean.

The work piles up until you have that one weekend to clean it up. Why wait until the weekend to clean up your pantry? Why do you have to go through so much cleaning stress?

I’ll give you 9 tips on keeping your pantry neat and tidy down below. These tips will reduce your workload when cleaning your pantry while making your kitchen tidy and neat.

1.Your cabinets should be placed against the walls

kitchen cabinets

 Food cabinets or shelves should be installed against the walls.

This will give the pantry enough space and ensure that it remains cool and dry at all times. It would also keep the pantry from becoming crowded and cramped.

If you have a small pantry, your food shelf can be as high as they can be; if you are short, you can always use a ladder with stable legs.

This ladder would allow you to reach the top shelves easily. This method also makes it easier to locate your food ingredients quickly.

2. Label your shelves and drawers 

kitchen shelve label

This tip will assist you in locating your food ingredients or kitchen items. You can label each section according to the type of food or kitchen items you keep in it. For example:

  • Grains: rice, wheat, corn, oat, etc.
  • Pasta: spaghetti, ravioli, linguine, lasagna, macaroni
  • Condiments and spices: salt, pepper, seasonings, thyme, rosemary, ginger, garlic, cloves, oregano, curry, etc.
  • Condiments and spices: salt, pepper, seasonings, thyme, rosemary, ginger, garlic, cloves, oregano, curry, etc.
  • Pots
  • Bowls
  • Tablemats

3. Keep it spotless clean

 image of a modern white kitchen clean interior design

A dirty pantry aids in the invasion of pests, insects, and other foreign materials into your food.

A thorough cleaning is not required every day, but the pantry and kitchen should be swept daily. You can keep your food dishes and work area clean with these 7 step cleaning processing:

  • Dispose of the trash
  • Dust the cabinets with a clean rag
  • Spray and wipe with a clean cloth
  • Dust and sweep the floor
  • Mop any wet floor surface with a damp mop
  • Allow drying (if the floor is slick, you can clean it with a clean dry mop to ensure safety in both the kitchen and pantry)
  • Restock your food items and kitchen supplies

cleaning and organizing is a practice not a project, and for every practices require an adequate tools for cleaning.

4. Store cleaning supplies away from the pantry.

kitchen cleaning supplies

Cleaning supplies such as detergent, disinfectants, brooms, dustpans, mops, and other items should be stored elsewhere once you have finished cleaning. You don’t want the odor of those cleaning agents to permeate or spread throughout your food.

Furthermore, a strong-smelling cleaning agent is not recommended for the kitchen or pantry.

5. Keep highly perishable foods out of the pantry

Organically Grown Fresh Vegetables
Organically Grown Fresh Vegetables

Roots and tubers such as potatoes, yams, cassava, and vegetables such as peppers, spinach, lettuce, and onions have a short shelf-life; they also respire quickly when kept in a closed space due to low ventilation and heat, which causes these foods to rot quickly.

Yes, your pantry should be airy and well ventilated, but trust me, when it comes to highly perishable foods, it is not enough.

Spread these foods on trays or sacks and place them in a large room with plenty of airflow. If you don’t have a place for them, find a dry, open area and keep them there.

Onions can be stored in the pantry for a few weeks but not months. I keep my onions in an open space along with other highly perishable foods.

6. Check the area for signs of mice, cockroaches, and other pests.

Homeowner using a fly swatter chasing a huge ant

I’m not trying to scare you, but finding cockroaches in your food drawers and cabinets is terrifying.

Apart from being unsightly, they emit foul odors. With mice and other pests, things can only get worse.

Always keep an eye out for cracks in your walls and in kitchen things like the bottom of your blender, bowls, and other items you don’t use very often.

To keep these bugs from invading, clean them regularly. If you see one or two cockroaches, get rid of them immediately and do a thorough inspection and cleaning since two cockroaches can quickly multiply to ten, and ten can quickly multiply to an army.

If you spot a crack in the wall, seal it right away; don’t overlook it because you think the hole is small; believe me, no matter how small the hole is, they will always find their way in when it comes to bugs attacking your cereal and grains, you can easily control them by storing them in airtight containers.

If these pests have already infested your pantry, you can get rid of them by:

  • Clearing out your pantry and kitchen. Prevent them from entering other rooms by blocking all entrances.
  • Place a mousetrap in each area so that the mice do not escape.
  • Fumigate your pantry; an expert is required because you don’t want the chemical smell to linger and the residue to get into your foods.
  • After fumigation, thoroughly clean using the seven cleaning steps I mentioned earlier.
  • Allow a few days for fumigation and cleaning to get your pantry clean and pest-free.

7. Rotate your supplies

kitchen pantry rotate

It is an extremely effective method for organizing a pantry. Adhere to the ‘last in, last out rule. This means that the last food or supply you purchase should be the last one you consume.

Remember that these foods most likely have an expiration date. Arrange the newly purchased foods behind the existing ones.

8. Adopt the use of airtight containers

pantry airtight containers

Airtight containers should be used to store foods instead of leaving them in some packaging materials.

Most foods are packaged in materials such as plastic wraps, carton boxes, cans, and so on. Some of these materials do not have a long shelf life.

A carton box may be soaked in water, cans rust, and pests can easily penetrate plastic wraps. Plastic or glass jars are suitable for storing food in the pantry.

These containers are spill-proof, airtight, and long-lasting.

9. Return all items to their proper locations

Woman at home in kitchen, near wooden shelves with food, household utensils, jars and containers with food supplies

If you take something from your pantry, and put it back where you got it after you are done with it, do not set them aside with the intention of returning them later; you may not, and your kitchen and pantry will begin to seem out of place.

Bonus Tips:

  • Make sections in your pantry. This makes your pantry appear more organized and sophisticated. You can make one section for food ingredients and another for kitchen items.
  • Install bright lights. Not only would everything in your pantry be visible, but the bright lights will also improve the appearance of your pantry. 


  • Food packages and wraps should be properly
  • Dispose of all used items.
  • Clear out your food and kitchen items before you start cleaning.
  • Before rearranging your belongings, make sure the drawers and cabinets are completely dry.
  • Trash cans should be easily accessible at the pantry’s entrance.


Whether you are a chef or not, having an organized pantry will make you feel like one. If you don’t have a pantry, you may be looking for ways to keep your kitchen neat and tidy. You can find out more by subscribing to our newsletter. Please leave a comment and, if you have any, kindly share your pantry-keeping techniques with us.