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As a family, we love our snacks. Snacks serve as a fantastic solution for taming hunger pangs between meals and those moments when we’re on the move.

The idea of a snack pantry came to us one day when we found ourselves frantically searching for snacks for our little ones, only to realize they were nowhere to be found. And when we did stumble upon a few, they were either stale, expired, or hidden away in some obscure corner cabinet.

Finally, I reached my breaking point and decided it was time for a change. Our days were jam-packed with tasks, from getting our kids ready for school and daycare to juggling work and running errands. We knew we needed to step up our game, and organizing a dedicated snack pantry seemed like the perfect solution for our household.

A well-stocked snack pantry with a wide assortment of goodies became necessary! It would make it easier for us to grab and go.

Whether you’re working with a compact pantry or have a spacious kitchen, I’ve got some incredible ideas to help you make the most of your storage space while ensuring your snacks remain fresh and easily accessible.

Check out why this snack pantry was featured in Taste of Home, and get ready to revolutionize your snack storage and experience the pure bliss of a perfectly organized kitchen.

snack pantry closet makeover

Why a Snack Pantry?

Our kitchen pantry started as a place where we would store food-related items. Eventually, it took on a life of its own and became a storage facility for whatever random things we had in the kitchen that didn’t have a designated home.

From dry foods to paper towels and linens, our panty had no real organization. Our pantry was unorganized and cluttered. It was a messy black hole that was desperate to be rescued.

before picture of pantry

As featured in Taste of Home

How to Organize a Snack Pantry

Step 1: Purge the Pantry

To kickstart our snack organization process, we meticulously assessed every single item in our pantry. We cleared out the entire pantry, leaving no items behind.

It was an all-or-nothing approach—we were determined to start afresh. Anything that didn’t make the cut was either discarded, donated, or relocated to another area in the kitchen. Those unfortunate items that met their fate in the discard pile were mostly plagued by staleness or expiration.

At long last, our pantry was on the brink of a rejuvenating new beginning. Our pantry was finally going to have a fresh start.

Step 2. Create a Grocery List 

Crafting a comprehensive grocery list that contains all the delectable delights you intend to stock in your pantry is an absolute game-changer. Our snack inventory was an assortment of snacks that spanned the entire flavor spectrum, from mouthwatering sweet and savory treats to nourishing and wholesome options—there was something to satisfy every craving.

These delightful snacks became the ultimate go-to companions for the kids’ post-school munchies, energizing gym sessions after work, or our epic road trips.

But the benefits of a grocery list don’t end there. It serves as your trusty guide, keeping you firmly on the path to snack paradise while holding you accountable. It empowers you to vigilantly monitor the stock levels, preventing unpleasant surprises when your favorites run out or the risk of inadvertently hoarding excessive quantities.

By avoiding unnecessary duplicate purchases, we curbed any excess snacking expenses and cultivated a mindful and cost-effective approach. So, unleash the power of the grocery list and witness how it transforms your snack game while optimizing your budget.

Here’s a grocery list of items we keep stocked.

  • Omega Trek Mix or Trail Mix
  • Fruit Cups
  • Dried Fruit ( Mango or Cranberry )
  • Granola Bars or Protein Bars
  • Organic Applesauce Pouches
  • Fruit and Vegetable Pouches
  • Cheese Crackers
  • Peanut Butter Crackers
  • Roasted and salted Cashews, Almonds, and Peanuts
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Juice
  • Chips
  • Cheese Sticks
snack pantry storage bins with labels

The one thing we don’t keep in our snack closet (or even in the household) is candy. According to my taste buds, I have a slight addiction to candy, so it’s best that both candy and I keep our distance. However, some might argue that some of our snacks might as well be candy, but I beg to differ.

Step 3: Figure out Storage Needs for Different Snacks

Now that you have a list, it’s time to figure out your storage needs.

We aimed to create an open and easily accessible pantry while maximizing shelf space for optimal storage.

Categorizing our treats helped determine the precise storage requirements for each item. We then optimized our shelf space by accurately measuring the pantry shelves.

With these measurements in hand, we purchased various containers, bins, and vibrant baskets in different sizes and colors. Each carefully chosen container contributed to the transformation of our snack pantry.

When selecting containers, it’s important to consider your snacks’ size, shape, and quantity. Airtight containers are recommended to maintain snack freshness and prevent staleness.

Following these steps, you can efficiently organize your snacks while ensuring they remain delectably fresh.

storage bins with labels

Step 4: Start Decanting for Snack Organization

Decanting involves transferring pantry essentials from their original packaging into alternative containers. This practice offers the advantage of clear visibility, making it effortless to locate snacks within your pantry. Removing items from their packaging and decanting them into streamlined containers allows you to create a visually pleasing pantry space that facilitates easy access.

During our decanting process, we replaced boxed items with storage bins and jars, enhancing accessibility. Utilizing containers in the pantry proves to be a durable and efficient storage solution. Additionally, they protect against fluctuating temperatures by minimizing moisture and preserving the freshness of your food items.

Step 5: Labeling is Key for Snack Storage

Labeling enhanced access to items within the storage space while promoting a sense of organization. Moreover, labeling had a transformative effect on my pantry’s aesthetics and functionality.

I diligently labeled every bin and container, tailoring some labels to generic items I occasionally purchase and others to frequently bought favorites. For example, I designated a specific bin for juices within the pantry’s storage area, ensuring that any juice I had on hand that week found its place.

By employing labels, my pantry became a well-orchestrated haven where grabbing and going became effortlessly streamlined. The labels not only optimized accessibility but also brought forth a visual harmony that enhanced the overall pantry experience.

snack closet

Top Tips for Organizing Your Pantry

Keep healthy snacks on hand for your next snack break. With as much snacking as we do, we still maintain a healthy lifestyle by incorporating as many healthy snacks as possible for the babies and us.

Organize snacks by keeping a list of what each family member likes to snack on and trying to find as many healthy versions as possible. The best snacks taste good and are also good for you.

Buy small-sized snacks in bulk – We no longer buy large bags of chips because we either never finish the bag or someone forgets to close the bag, and the chips go stale. We can control portions and increase the snack’s shelf life with small sizes. Even though it might be a bit more expensive to buy things this way, it is much more convenient.

We typically shop at Costco or Walmart for the best prices and stock up on all the snacks we need. If you buy larger chip bags, you can separate them into little snack packs using ziplock snack bags. Ziplock bags help to keep them fresh.

Be honest with yourself – Organizing the snack pantry does not have to be Instagram-worthy or the Home Edit version, which I, too, am obsessed with. The snack pantry needs to work for you and your family. What’s the point in having something that looks aesthetically beautiful but isn’t functional?

Keep everyday snacks at eye level and less frequently used snacks on the bottom shelf. We kept our daughter’s healthy snacks and granola bars at eye level since they were used daily.

Make use of the pantry door – You can add an over-the-door organizer or shoe organizers to your pantry door to help create more space in the pantry. The pantry door is often less used, so shoe organizers or other over-the-door organizers are great organization ideas to help maximize additional storage.

Put things where they immediately belong after grocery shopping – Putting things where they belong is the best way to keep your pantry consistently organized.

I hope you found these snack storage ideas helpful. These pantry organization ideas can be applied to any pantry, big or small, oddly shaped or quirky.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money to reorganize your existing storage space, but it can make a world of difference in your daily life. At some point, I hope to switch out the wire shelves and make them wood shelves. Stay tuned for that project.

For more DIY content, check out these Quick and Easy DIY Kitchen Updates You Can Do in One Day and other Easy Home Makeover Ideas You Can Do on a tight budget.

Please comment below to let me know what you think of this article.

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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13 Comments

  1. This article came right on time fore me. I appreciate you for providing the snacks you stock because that gives me a few ideas.

  2. Granola bars are my go- to snack. We have fruit snacks in the pantry, too, but one thing we do not have is the organization you recommend! This is a great idea and it makes it much easier to find the snack you want.

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