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3 Easy Tips To Organize Your Pantry (or anything) On A Budget.

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Have you ever looked at an untidy area and think—I can get this organized, I just need some time!—only to find out you don't have the energy for it? Sound familiar?

Well, you're not alone. We have heard this many times over consultations or DM on social media. Truth is, more than energy, what you need is clarity.

Pinterest and Instagram are full of videos on DIY organizing or professional organizers showing a highlight reel of a project, so it's normal and understandable that it gives the impression that home organization it's simple and that all it takes is labels and cute containers but this is far from the truth.

Think about it, when businesses want to organize their facilities or streamline their processes and systems, they don't DIY it. Even if they do it in-house, they have professionals to oversee the projects. If they don't have it, often hire professionals or create departments to design and implement a proper organizing system for their business. Their goal is to achieve the most profit possible and reduce waste. Optimize!

organized and labeled warehouse

Similarly, your home has specific goals:

  • Peace of mind ☑️

  • Faster cleaning and tidy ☑️

  • less time finding stuff ☑️

  • Harmonious ambiance ☑️

Whatever your goal is to keep your home organized, a professional home organizer should be able to capture your goal and needs and then help you design a system that works for YOU and the people in your home.

In this post, I'm going to share with you some my experience and 3 tips to organize your pantry (or anything really,) on a budget. This might be good for you if you're not ready to hire a professional home organizer yet. But it will help you DIY it in a more efficient and functional way.


Organizing common areas in your home—Pantry.

organized pantry form the front with repurposed containers.

Pantry Organization

One of the most requested areas for us to organize is the pantry. Being a common area, families wanting to create a better organizing system encounter many challenges. While every pantry is located in the kitchen, not every pantry is built the same way. Things such as layout, measurements, electrical outputs and more make each pantry unique, just like the family that uses it.

Organizing a pantry may take you several trials. That's ok. Organizing areas it's not only about space and items, it's about use and needs too. This is why it's important to first use containers you already have or repurpose containers. We don't want you wasting money if the system won't work for everyone in your home.

With this in mind, here are our top 3 tips to organize your pantry without breaking the bank.


Tip 1: Use containers you already have.

We believe this might be the biggest tip when looking to save some cash on organizing any space.

If you use what you already have, you will save money. Honestly, if you already have containers in your pantry, find a way to repurpose them to better organize the shelves.

Don't get me wrong, there are beautiful containers at very affordable prices but it's not strictly necessary to create a functional organizing system.


Tip 2: Never buy containers because they're on sale! Only purchase containers after you have measured your spaces.

a wonderful walk-in- pantry completely organized on a budget

Many times we have experienced this problem when helping our clients. Thinking that buying it now and it will serve a purpose in the future is a tempting idea. Unfortunately, most of the time it doesn't work that way. Always measure before purchasing. Take the time to measure, research and sketch or create a Pinterest board before spending that cash.

While it’s best to use supplies you already have on hand, we recognize that it’s sometimes necessary to buy new materials that may organize a space better. I cannot emphasize this more, before you purchase new containers, make sure you measure the space you are working with.

Count how many shelves you have and measure each one so that you know which containers will work best for the space. We recommend purchasing high-quality, sturdy containers for most used pantry items such as breakfast cereals and snacks.

Bonus tip: Whenever possible, arrange at least 3 containers of the same type and height in one shelf. You can add contrast on the shelves by using containers of different materials or textures—such as baskets—which will make the pantry more aesthetically pleasing.


Corner of an organized pantry with repurposed containers

Tip 3: Use budget-friendly labels to organize containers.

When creating an organizational system, the goal is to add simplicity back into your life. We recommend clearly labeling all containers so that everyone is on the same page with the new method and understands where items go. These are the labels we use and are budget friendly. Also, fun fact, did you know that when you get rid of original packaging and put the items in bags or smaller containers, you actually save space on shelves? Those containers aren’t just attractive, they are purposeful!


organized pantry showcasing containers with labels on a walk-in pantry

Conclusion: Create an organizing system that works for you with what you already HAVE and add only what you NEED.

Overall, our biggest piece of advice is to create an organizing system that works for you and your family. Think of ages, frequency of use, categorization, etc. If you take the time to create a new way to keep things tidy, make sure it works for you and not against you.

If keeping pantry items in their original packaging will save you time and energy, then do that! But perhaps you can take the time to make sure all the labels are facing outwards so it’s easier to read. Or maybe, you decide to group items together by how you eat. i.e. all breakfast items on the top shelf versus dinner ingredients on the bottom shelf. Go with confidence, try and evaluate until you get it the right way.

However you decide to organize your pantry on a budget, I'd love to see it! Once you’ve implemented these tips into your pantry, tag me on Facebook or Instagram @joorganizing so that I can see it. If you have any questions, feel free to email me with pictures of your pantry at and I can assist you better.

If you definitely feel like you don't have the time and energy to do this, or want to get it done by professionals reach out to our team, we would love to help you through a complimentary consultation. Book your consultation here and get your free quote.


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