Wanna see my kitchen pantry?

Kitchen pantry PONM cover

Have you ever wanted to peek inside the kitchen pantry of a professional organizer? How about eight of them?

I am a founding member of PONM (Professional Organizers of New Mexico — click here to read our story). This post is my contribution to our latest FREE tips ebook: Get Organized! Kitchen Pantry Tips for You. I wrote it before subscribing to the Hello Fresh meal program. Click here to read Cooking for Dummies: A glowing “Hello Fresh” review and a $40 referral code for you!

Wanna see how pros organize their kitchen pantries? Click To Tweet

I don’t have a real kitchen pantry. But then, I don’t cook much, either. When I do cook it’s usually for one. But we all have to store our food one way or another!

Behind the scenes: In writing back and forth, preparing for publication of the ebook, one of us misread “pantries” as “panties”. We all had a good laugh, and the whole notion of giving everyone a peek took on a whole new meaning! From then on we referred to them as “kitchen pantries” for clarity’s sake.

One of my favorite dishes is a one-bowl meal consisting of rice, pasta, or beans, with protein (usually frozen and microwaved, or cooked by adding to the pasta water at the last minute) and vegetables (usually frozen broccoli, and again either microwaved or cooked by adding to the pasta water at the last minute). Add butter, shredded Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Yum!

pantry staples

I am a fan of plastic shoe boxes and use them everywhere in my house.

I have a fancy label maker, but painters tape and a black sharpie work just as well.


frozen food in plastic storage binsI organize my freezer by putting frozen fruit, meat, and veggies in their own containers.


"filing" frozen meatI “file” meats by dividing into single portions, then storing in labeled, dated, zip-top freezer bags.

more pantry items batteries and light bulbsNot everything in a pantry is food.

My kitchen-adjacent utility room has one shelf of food, and things like light bulbs and batteries.

Don’t let your containers overflow!


PONM tips booklets

Wanna see how the rest of my PONM colleagues organize their kitchen pantries?

Get Organized! Kitchen Pantry Tips for You is the third in a series.

Click here to download them all!

Did I mention they’re free?

What does your kitchen pantry need to make it more functional?

What tips do you have to share with us? Please leave a comment!

Copyright 2015-2016 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
Social media links directly to this page are encouraged!
Please contact me for other types of reprint permission.


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  1. Sabrina Quairoli on April 1, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Hazel, I never thought of putting batteries in the freezer. Do they last longer?

    • Hazel Thornton on April 4, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      The batteries aren’t in the freezer, just the meats, fruits and veggies. Everything else is on “pantry” shelves. Although….it used to be a thing that people (like me) would keep their batteries in the refrigerator (to make them last longer). But eventually “they” decided it didn’t really help after all.

  2. Seana Turner on April 2, 2016 at 7:07 am

    I think we all love plastic shoe boxes. I also like the ones that are set into a frame, so they pull out like drawers– great for when you need to stack them!

    • Hazel Thornton on April 4, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Yes, I like those too!

  3. Janet Barclay on April 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I bought Tupperware Modular Mates when they first came out (1980s?) and have since added to my collection. They’re perfect for pantries because they’re translucent, so you can see what’s inside, and they’re designed to maximize use of space in the cupboard. And no, I don’t work for Tupperware; I just think this is a really good product!

    • Hazel Thornton on April 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      I don’t happen to have any, but I like them too! Thanks for the suggestion, Janet.

  4. Jamie Steele on April 2, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I love this post. Your pantry and freezer look great. One of my favorite hacks for the pantry is putting Lazy Suzanne’s in the corners. I use them for my oils and vinegars. Thanks for sharing your pantry.

  5. Linda Samuels on April 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

    That’s so cool how your organizing colleagues put together the etips books including photos from your own spaces. Love that! I’m also a huge fan of using plastic boxes for organizing all kinds of things from food to clothing to art supplies. They’re so versatile, easy to label, and move around.

  6. Sarah Soboleski on April 2, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I love your painters tape labels. Often times they’re so much easier to see and easier to keep up with because markers and tape are usually closer at hand than your label maker

  7. […] Area How To Keep Pantry Organized by SQ Wanna see my kitchen pantry? by Hazel Thornton from Organized For Life Pantry Organization by Jonda Beattie from Time Space […]

    • Hazel Thornton on April 10, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Ah, this is a link to another blog post. Thank you for including me in your Kitchen Organizing Challenge, Sabrina!

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