How can I organize the pantry in my new house most efficiently? I have 28 linear meters (90 ft) of shelves that are 38cm/15" high x 38cm/15" deep.

I’m not so concerned about what should go where, but how to use the space. What kinds of shelf inserts, stair-style/riser shelves, or other organizing solutions make a space like this work? (The depth of these shelves makes them challenging.)

I buy most staples in bulk, storing them in wide-mouth quart and pint Mason jars, as well as traditional canisters (some round, the newer ones rectangular). Items not in canisters or jars tend to be primarily tins, small to medium jars, the occasional box - Diamond Crystal kosher salt, biscuits, and the like -- and smallish baking ingredients such as baking powder, cocoa powder, vanilla, and other extracts, etc. I’m not even sure where to begin. Thank you, everyone.

Mrs Beryl Patmore


Carla October 20, 2019
It may be helpful to consider who else might be using the pantry. I have a long narrow pantry with shelves only on one side and the short wall in the back. I'm the only cook in the house so I put all things that would part of a recipe toward the back. Right up in front I put things my husband and kids would grab : cereal, snacks, canned soup ... I didn't have it this way originally but once I switched it around I found it stayed a lot more organized. At least I wasn't finding a random box of cereal with the baking supplies.
Nancy October 11, 2019
Mrs Patmore - Lovely to be starting with a clean page of empty shelves.
There are lots of ideas out there (you tube, general search, books). Have a look at sites like Better Homes and Gardens, House and Garden TV, Martha Stewart, house beautiful, thekitchn.
I would stay away from commercial sources at first, as they tend to push you to buy their containers. Later, when you know more what you want, consider them.
Also, if the job seems to big, break it into workable units, stop, start another day.
A few tips:
1) Store the things you use most often at the easiest-to-see and reach. Usually this is around eye height, and just below.
2) Make things easy to see. You'll use them more often. Or know what you have, and not double buy at the store unwittingly. Clear containers for eye height and above. Baskets or boxes ok below eye height because you can see into them.
3) Group things to reflect how you cook...all for a particular cuisine, all baking, all liquid sauces, etc.
4) Put infrequently used items highest and lowest...heavier ones low, lighter ones high up.
By the way, the 15" depth is a benefit...less space for things to get pushed back and hidden.

Nancy October 11, 2019
Should read: if the job seems too big.
Mrs B. October 11, 2019
Thank you, Nancy. So many helpful tips here! This is going to take at least a week, as I also need to coordinate putting spices and oft-reached-for items in the store cupboards in the kitchen itself, plus I'm allocating some of the acreage in the pantry for storing small appliances, less frequently used kit, seasonal serve ware, etc., and I am still unpacking all of that. Plus of course, I just want to be outside enjoying the lovely autumn weather (the snowstorm yesterday notwithstanding) . . . .
Thanks again.
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