How to Inventory your Pantry (with free download)

Your pantry containing your food staples and supplies will only work well for you if it is organized and inventoried.  See my guide here on how to inventory your pantry the right way!


Your pantry holds all your non-perishable food supplies, including your pantry staples, baking supplies, cans, jars, and much more.

But in order to make your pantry always work its best for you, it is important to keep it organized, clean and accessible.

One of the best ways to do this is to keep a pantry inventory.  Setting up a pantry inventory to begin with, and then adding and deleting to the inventory as you use and buy items, means that you will always be in control of what you have, need and want in your pantry.



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Why do you Need to Inventory Your Pantry?

We keep a lot of food in our pantries, including cans, jars, packets and more.  Even if your pantry is incredibly organized with certain food types, cans and jars stored together etc, it can still be hard knowing exactly everything that you have in your pantry.

By making an inventory of everything currently in your pantry, and adding to that inventory when you purchase more, and deleting from that inventory when you use something, you will always know what you have on hand to use for meals and meal planning.

Keeping your pantry inventoried is an important part of meal planning.  It is especially useful when you are planning your meals every week.  Knowing what you have in your pantry, and how much of something you have, means that you will know what you need to actually buy at the store when you are coming up with meals, and writing out your shopping list.

If you don’t want to take on a huge organizing project, I would encourage you to eliminate some of the steps below in the step by step guide to inventory your pantry.

For instance, you could omit wiping down and cleaning your pantry. You can not worry about re-organizing with storage items and containers. You can omit taking everything out of your pantry.

However, taking everything out of your pantry is by far the easiest way to inventory it. As you can get to see everything in there, you don’t have to go through items one by one inside the pantry, and you won’t miss anything.

Related: Pantry Staples that you always need to have on hand

Steps to Inventory Your Pantry

Step One

Take everything out of your pantry.  With the things that you remove from your pantry – cans, jars, packets etc – place them all out on a surface somewhere, and try to group them like by like. For instance, group all your jars of pasta sauce together. Group all your packets of pasta together.

As you are doing this, figure out which food items have expired and throw them away.  For something you will never use, but is still good, consider donating to a food bank rather than just throwing it away.  Throw out anything that is leaking or spilling.

Step Two

Wipe down the interior of your pantry completely. Wipe down shelves.  If you have a floor in your pantry, sweep it and clean it.

Related: How to Organize a Pantry

Step Three

Evaluate your pantry storage.  Do you need organizing items that can help you keep everything organized and tidy in your pantry?  These can include stackable can racks, food storage containers, storage bins, and even an over the door storage rack to create more space.

Step Four

Print off the Pantry Inventory Sheet.  This sheet is split into categories for all the items that you usually keep in your pantry (all non-perishable items).  


Step Five

If you grouped together all your different food type items when you first removed everything from your pantry, this part will be easy. If you didn’t do it then, do it now. It will be much easier than hunting through everything to find like items.

Step Six

Decide where in your pantry you will keep certain items.  Decide which shelf will be for cans and jars, which shelf will be for storage containers of pasta, rice and grains etc.

Step Seven

Start putting everything back into your pantry, organized and neatly. As you put everything back write down on your inventory sheet what you have and how much you actually have of that item.  For instance – jars of tomato pasta sauce – 4 jars.

Step Eight

You should now have a completely organized pantry, and a complete inventory of what you have in that pantry!

How to Keep your Pantry Inventoried

Once you have put all that hard work into organizing and inventorying your pantry, don’t let it fall by the wayside and get out of control again.

As you buy new items add them to the inventory list.

As you use items delete them from the inventory list.

This way you always know what you have in your pantry, and you can keep a running list/tally of all the items and foods that you have.

Tips for using the Pantry Inventory Sheet

The Pantry Inventory Sheet is split into common food categories.  These include cans, jars, snacks, condiments, Grains/Rice, Pulses, Pasta, and Baking Supplies.  There is also a Misc (miscellaneous section) for anything that doesn’t fall into those categories.

If you would rather fill out your own categories, there is a blank version of the sheet at the end of the download.

If you want to continuously use the same sheet, you could try keeping track in pencil, so that you can just erase and re-write.

But the great thing about the pantry inventory sheet is that you can print off a fresh copy any time you need to!

Get your pantry organized and inventoried today!  Make it work better for you and help you with all your meal planning and home organization needs!

Your pantry containing your food staples and supplies will only work well for you if it is organized and inventoried.  See my guide here on how to inventory your pantry the right way!

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