6 Ways to Make Room in Your Pantry for All of Those Holiday Goodies

published Dec 14, 2022
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Credit: Diana Liang

One of the best things about the holidays? All the delicious goodies. One of the hardest parts about the holidays? Finding space in your pantry for all those holiday goodies. The good news is that you don’t have to completely overhaul your pantry organization. Instead, focus on high-impact organizing tweaks that create just enough room for everything you need and everything you want.  

1. Toss expired items.

An easy way to free up space, according to Jen Rowe, a professional organizer with NEAT Method? Toss out any expired food items — and if there’s anything broken, get rid of that too. You can also re-home any aspirational pantry items, like specialty spices you thought you’d use but never opened. 

2. Make use of all your storage space.

We all have those empty up-high shelves and awkward corners in our pantries and cabinets. Ben Soreff, founder of House to Home Organizing, calls those spaces “black holes.” During the holiday bustle, move lesser-used items (like summer Popsicle molds or BBQ skewers) to the less-accessible spots, so you can make room on shelves you can see and reach.

3. Invest in a few key organizers.

Lauren Saltman, owner of Living. Simplified., suggests investing in shelf risers to automatically increase storage. If you have a lot of canned goods on hand, then grab a dedicated can rack to take advantage of height in your pantry. You can also purchase an over-the-door hanging system for holiday extras. (It’ll probably come in handy year-round.)

4. Get creative with your stacking.

If you’d rather not splurge on organizing bins, professional organizer Debra Baida of Liberated Spaces has a super-smart tip. “Sometimes temporarily inverting the lids on pots or serving dishes can do the trick by creating new unimpeded horizontal surfaces on which to stack upwards,” she says. 

5. Create a special holiday bin.

Mary Jo Contello, owner of Organized by MJ, often tells clients who love to bake to get a big storage bin for baking supplies (or other holiday goodies) and put it on the floor of the pantry or in another area of the home. For added convenience, try keeping all your baking supplies on a rolling cart you can wheel over to the counter as needed.

6. Don’t forget your freezer. 

Brenda Scott, owner of Tidy My Space, advises keeping what you can in the freezer in the weeks before the holidays. When you’re ready, bring those items out to thaw right before you need (or want) them.