How to Organize a Pantry with Deep Shelves?

The pantry is the heart of your home where you store all your delicious ingredients and food items. Having deep pantry shelves in your home means extra storage and it can be incredibly useful.

Whether you have a walk in pantry, wall pantry, or even a built-in cabinet pantry, it can become messy and home to unnecessary clutter if you don’t have any storage system in place. Olive containers, jars of honey, and other items disappearing into your pantry with deep shelves can be very frustrating.

That’s why we have come up with this guide containing easy to implement pantry organization ideas. Not only will these organization solutions allow you to utilize all the wasted space, but you also won’t need to move things around to reach the exact item you need.

What to Keep in Mind While Organizing a Pantry with Deep Shelves?

Before you start your pantry organization process, you should keep the following points in mind to achieve the best results.

  • Use baskets to place similar items such as dinner or breakfast foods.
  • Lease some space between different items to keep things tidier.
  • Start with the bottom shelves and move all the way up.
  • Use shelf liners to keep the surfaces clean and dry.
  • Use small storage bins for bottles such as oil.
  • If the boxes of your cereal are too big, place them in dispensers.
  • Use Lazy Susan for small items such as spices.
  • Place small appliances and other items that you don’t use frequently on the top shelves.
  • Place canned goods in standing can dispensers

You can now start organizing your deep pantry shelves by keeping these points in mind. So let’s jump into it.

Steps to Organize Deep Pantry Shelves

The following steps will allow you to have a perfectly organized pantry and it’ll also increase the beauty of your house.

1. Categorize Everything

First, you’ll need to gather all the food items you have on your kitchen table, countertops, and pantry and categorize everything. You can categorize items broadly like baking items, grains, snacks, spices, or you can go specific if you want like cereals, oats, granola bars, and so on. The goal here is to make sure that you group all the similar foods together.

2. Designate Zones for Each Category

The next step is to designate zones for all the categories that you have created. You’ll need to determine how much stuff you use and store for each category. For example, if you have a lot of baking supplies or snacks then you’ll need to allocate a bigger zone for them.

This strategy to organize your deep pantry will allow you to find the items you need without any hassle in the future.

3. Use Easily Accessible Zones for Frequently Used Items

It makes sense to place most frequently used items such as bread and cereal in an easily accessible place. If you own a walk in pantry, then consider placing these items close to the door. On the other hand, if you have a deep pantry then consider picking middle shelves.

4. Place Newly Bought Items at the Back

If you purchase more of something from a grocery store, consider placing them at the back. It might take a couple of extra minutes but it’s worth the effort. All you need to do is to pull forward already-own items and place new stuff behind them.

5. Consider Size

Placing longer boxes and larger items at the back of your deep pantry shelves allows you to see everything easily. You also won’t need to move anything around to pick up the right box. You can use this technique separately for each basket to have better visibility.

6. Use Matching Baskets or Bins

Using matching baskets or bins gives your deep pantry a consistent and tidy look. It keeps your stuff from getting buried. You can easily buy baskets that match the theme of your home from any container store. However, it’s important to categorize your items and purchase only the number of baskets you’ll actually need.

7. Use Clear Containers for Baking Supplies

Other than using matching baskets, using clear bins for baking supplies also comes in handy. You can place different baking ingredients such as vanilla, flax seeds, chia seeds, chocolate chips, baking soda, baking powder, and so on. It’ll also allow you to see if you’re running low on certain supplies and buy them timely.

Other than baking supplies, you can also use the same technique (if you have extra room) for the items that you often use like brown sugar, beans, cereal, powdered sugar, to have everything perfectly visible.

8. Add Drawers

Adding drawers to your deep pantry shelves is yet another great way to keep everything organized. This way you won’t need to move the front items to pick up the ones that are placed at the back. That’s because you’ll only need to slide the drawer to easily access anything you want.

You can also add multiple drawers on a single shelf to utilize the vertical space that’s often wasted. If you use a small cupboard with limited space to store your stuff then fret not. You can use hanging shelves by attaching them to the cupboard’s door to have some extra space.

9. Use Lazy Susans

If your pantry also has high shelves and you find it difficult to reach them, then consider using Lazy Susans. It’s one of the best techniques to organize your deep pantry. All you need to do is to leave enough space to spin your Lazy Susan around.

10. Avoid Buying Things that You Won’t Use

It’s very tempting to buy different things you see while shopping in a grocery store but you don’t want to buy things that you won’t use. Not only will they cost you money but they’ll also consume valuable space in your pantry.

We recommend you create a list on your smartphone before going to a grocery store and stick to your plan. It’ll help you to look for only the things you need and it’ll help you to stay organized.

11. Store Snacks in the Higher Shelves If You have Kids

Most parents learn this lesson the hard way. Kids love to eat snacks and they don’t care whether it’s food for their health or not. If you have young kids and you often find them coming out of the pantry with a little pack, then you should use the higher shelves to place the snacks.

Similarly, if you want your kids to grab something easily from the pantry, then use the lower shelves for those items.

12. Label Everything

Last but not least, you want to label everything and when we mention it we actually mean “EVERYTHING”. When it comes to organizing your deep shelf pantry, labeling is one of the best strategies you can follow. Not only will it help you to maintain your perfectly organized deep pantry, but it’ll also allow you to identify everything you need while cooking easily.

Tips to Keep Your Deep Pantry Organized

Almost all the steps and tips that you have mentioned so far can be used to organize pretty much all types of pantries. Keep in mind that it’s an ongoing process and it’s not about doing it once in a blue moon. You can use the following tips to maintain your organized pantry.

  • Buy new items when you really need them.
  • Only have the backup for most frequently used food items.
  • Purchase goods in quantities according to the size of your pantry.
  • Keep in mind that the less is more.
  • Periodically (once a month) check the expiry dates of items you have in bulk.
  • Place every new item that you buy in its designated place.
  • Make sure that you’re not hoarding anything.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to organize a deep shelf pantry?

The best way to organize a pantry with deep shelves is to start fresh and categorize all the items you have. Consider designating a specific zone for each category and use baskets and bins to keep everything tidy. You’ll also need to check all the shelves periodically to stay organized.

How deep can your pantry shelves be?

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen and need a pantry with deep shelves to have more space, then you must keep in mind that the ideal depth for a shelf ranges from 16 to 20 inches. It’s also important to note that you should reduce the depth of the higher shelves and they shouldn’t be deeper than 12 inches.

How far can your pantry shelf span without support?

There is no straightforward answer to this question as it entirely depends upon the material of the shelves. For example, if you are going for a pantry made of pure lumber, then the span limit will be larger than glass shelves, particleboard and plywood.

The average shelf span is around 18 inches and you’ll need to consult with the professional to determine what suits you the best.