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5 tips for the most organized pantry *ever,* from a registered dietitian


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Photo: McKel Hill
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One second, your pantry is completely spotless and perfectly organized, and the next—well, let’s just say after an afternoon snacking sesh, a mad dash to find your ashwagandha, and a new grocery haul, everything is everywhere yet again. So what’s a girl to do to keep things looking fresh? Look to a pro for advice, of course.

It’s easy to get a case of pantry envy every time Nutrition Stripped founder and Well+Good Council member McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN, posts pictures of her lust-worthy, mason-jar-filled space on Instagram. But her #shelfie isn’t so hard to replicate—especially with some organization tips straight from the registered dietician herself.

“An organized pantry offers quick access to ingredients, keeps healthy food staples stocked and ready to be used, and makes cooking at home fun and easy. Not to mention, it takes you to pro-status when you’re meal planning.” —McKel Hill

“You want to have a kitchen you really love spending time in—and an organized pantry plays a huge role in that,” Hill tells me. “An organized pantry offers quick access to ingredients, keeps healthy food staples stocked and ready to be used, and makes cooking at home fun and easy. Not to mention, it takes you to pro-status when you’re meal planning.”

Below, grab some tips from Hill to make your pantry shelf reflect your most organized self.

Here are McKel Hill’s 5 tips to the most organized pantry ever.

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1. Use a consistent style of jars

Get rid of all those random containers and go for a fresh and uniform look by investing in some—you guessed it!—trusty mason jars.

“Over the years, I’ve found that storing everything in airtight jars like mason jars or glass canisters is a must,” Hill says. “A consistent style of jars immediately brings a tidy simplicity to the space, and it eliminates unnecessary plastic and packaging. Just remember to use labels on your jars to correctly mark what’s inside—they’re necessary to make the pantry work for quick access.”

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McKel Hill healthy pantry
Photo: McKel Hill

2. Use turntables for awkward spaces and tight corners

One of the easiest ways to avoid mess? Get some turntables, which prevent you from having to shuffle through all of your pantry goodies to find what you’re looking for.

“Mason jars easily fit on lazy Susan turntables, which make storing frequently used foods fun and easy,” Hill says.

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3. Store snacks and bulk items in large bins

Have a lot of snacks but no where cute to put ’em? That’s how bins will become your new BFFs.

“To keep things organized, I store all snacks and bulk items in white metal baskets that allow me to see what’s corralled in each basket on the top shelf,” Hill says.

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McKel Hill healthy pantry
Photo: McKel Hill

4. Utilize a three-tier step for cans or spice jars

Spices are hands-down the easiest pantry staple to misplace, and this tip will keep you from doubling (or tripling!) up after the original gets hidden in the back corner.

“I use spices in almost every dish, smoothie, and beverage I make, so having a functional spice shelf is important to me,” Hill says. “I store all of my glass spice jars on a small bamboo stackable shelf.”

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5. Place nourishing, nutrient-dense ingredients in plain sight

Sorry, sugar, but there’s no prime placement available for you in a healthy pantry. The best seats in the house are reserved for wholesome go-tos.

“The top middle shelf—the most direct view when I open my pantry—is where I store nuts and seeds in jars,” Hill says. “Be strategic about what you put front and center on a shelf like this; you want nourishing ingredients to stay top of mind and in clear eyesight.”

Want more tips? Get Hill’s full pantry tour on Nutrition Stripped. Or, get her advice on how to give your nightly wind-down routine a healthy boost.

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