5 Creative Ways to Organize and Beautify Your Zero Waste Pantry

It can be so easy to let your pantry devolve into madness — half-used packages piled on top of each other, spoiled food pushed to the back. Without a clear system of organization in place, chaos becomes the norm.

Maybe you’re here because you’re ready to embark on your zero waste journey and bulk shopping is the first step. Or maybe you looked in the pantry this morning and thought, “Enough is enough!” Whatever the reason, these creative tips will help you reclaim your pantry and make the best of the space you have available to you. You interact with it daily after all . . . might as well make it usable!

Find peace through uniformity

Uniformity creates a feeling of balance and intention. Use a series of identical clear containers in 2-3 different sizes, fill with bulk goods, then arrange in order so everything is clearly seen.

Some container options include: Weck, Le Parfait, OXO, Ball and Kerr

Introduce a space for reusable bags

Keeping reusable totes and produce bags handy is key to using them. If you don’t know where they are, you’ll never remember to take them with you. Create a dedicated space for reusables in your pantry, and get them out when you make your shopping list.

Some storage options include: A decorative basket or hooks on the door

Apply contact paper for a fun update

Feel like your pantry area needs a little…life? Spruce it up by adding colorful contact paper to the inside of cabinet doors or shelf surfaces. There are so many fun options out there.

Some favorite patterns include: Antique Blue, Orange Herringbone, Fun Floral

Get crafty with a label maker

An embossing label maker like this one can be a really fun addition to the pantry. Ideally, you want to be able to scan your space and find what you need immediately. Just create your system and punch away.

Some favorites include: This standard option and this more versatile option

Get eclectic with secondhand selections

Prefer creativity to uniformity? Do your shopping at local secondhand stores! You’ll likely walk away with a wide variety of containers in all sorts of fun shapes and sizes. Wash them thoroughly when you get home, then mix and match based on their varied height and form to create something truly one of a kind.

Some ways to arrange them: By color, by shape or by size (inspiration here!)

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Marie W
Marie W4 months ago


Vincent T
Past Member 9 months ago


Cindy S
Cindy Smith9 months ago


Chrissie R
Chrissie R9 months ago

Thank you for posting.

Ruth S
Ruth S9 months ago


Danuta W
Danuta W9 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Thomas M
Past Member 9 months ago

Thank you

Peggy B
Peggy B9 months ago

Good tips

David C
PANDA B9 months ago


Beryl L
Beryl Ludwig9 months ago

This all seems like a good idea when I read the title. Working with the assumption that people are using half a box of food and putting the rest in the back and letting it go bad is totally wrong. Why would you think that people are so disorganized with their life and with their consumption of food? Sprucing up your pantry with contact paper? it is environmentally bad it stinks and is toxic. Brown paper is a much better idea. I always reuse packing material as many things are shipped in brown paper today. Plus it's wasteful to go out and buy a label maker when a little bit of Scotch tape and paper that you reuse along with the brown paper you have used to line your shelf. Also I find that cutting the label off of a brown paper box and taping it on is very easy if you purchase a box of brown rice cut off the part that says brown rice and type it on the jar it's as simple as that you don't need a label maker who cares if it's eclectic it's a darn food pantry unless you're really obsessive compulsive you don't need to decorate it.