10/01/2014 12:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Smart Kitchen Pantry Organization and Design Ideas

Contribution by Andrea Davis

Kitchen pantry design and organization requires a personalized approach -- budget, size and aesthetic depend on what you need. What is your pantry right now: a compilation of shelves or a walk-in closet? How much space do you have to remodel and renovate? What is the storage used for and how do you want it optimized?

You might be able to convert the pantry into a separate room where you can have multiple shelves, sliding cabinets and hanging baskets. If you don't have the space, it might be a large pantry cabinet with slide-out shelves, racks or other organization options depending on its size. Here are some tips for your kitchen pantry design:

#1 Declutter Your Kitchen Pantry

Photo courtesy of Alicia Carter in Moorpark, CA

Before you start deciding how to reorganize and design your new kitchen pantry, you should clean it out. If you have expired or barely used items, consider throwing them out or donating them to a soup kitchen. Then you can start organizing what you have left into groups, whether it's by frequency of use or spice groups. Then when you go to return them to the pantry, they'll be organized for easy access.

#2 Everything Should Be Visible

Photo courtesy of DesignMine

The design of your pantry should focus on visibility. Smaller items, like bottles and spice containers, could be on a rotating table or on a door rack. If you have the space, you could install a lazy susan or a riser shelf. You can also reinstall shelving for easy reach if they're too high, so feel free to do it yourself or hire a cabinet professional to help you.

#3 Use Up Older Items First
You should also organize your pantry with older items in front and newer items in the back. That way you won't have to worry about opening a new package and then have the added issue of spices expiring or drying out.

#4 Touch Up the Exterior

Photo courtesy of Vita Moderna in Sarasota, FL

If you enhance the interior, why not make your exterior look brand new as well? If you have a walk-in pantry, you might repaint the door to hide any scratch marks or other wear after years of use. With a pantry cabinet, you have the option of resurfacing, refinishing or painting, depending on whether it's made from wood, metal or plastic.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine