Kitchen Cupboard Ideas

5 tips for creating an organised pantry that stays that way

Organise your pantry like a pro.

A well-stocked and organised pantry will save you time, money, minimise food waste, and let’s face it, make you feel pretty pleased with yourself. Not only a place to store non-perishable food, the humble pantry can be one of the hardest working spaces in your home, helping keep your kitchen clean, tidy and clutter-free. 

And with the prospect of guests to cater for at this time of year, you’ll want to be fully stocked without having piles of snacks and extra supplies on benchtops and falling out of overstuffed cupboards. “In a well-functioning kitchen, the pantry will serve as the main storage hub,” says Briony Mikrou, marketing communications manager for Kaboodle Kitchen. “It’s where you keep everyday items out of sight but within arm’s reach, and in some instances, a place to store appliances and get food prep done.”

Professional organisers and declutter experts Emma and Michelle from Tidee have these helpful tips to get your pantry organised once and for all.

Organised pantry with clear canisters and a pull out basket
Group like items together and invest in a number of storage solutions including clear canisters, jars, tins and baskets. (Credit: Photography: Maree Homer)

1. Store like with like

Create zones for similar items, such as grains, snacks, spices, baking items and so on. Keep frequently used items at eye level, low-use items up top and bulky items down low.

2. Select your containers

Decant dry goods into clear, airtight containers – they look great, stack well, keep food fresh for longer and allow you to see what items need replenishing. Label each container and include its use-by date.

Best pantry containers

3. Use every inch of pantry space

If your pantry permits, utilise the back of the door as extra storage space. Everything from spices to a roll of paper towels, shopping bags or aprons can be hung from hooks on a door.

“Adjustable shelves allow you to move items to different heights and utilise every inch of space,” she explains. In her kitchen designs, Lauren likes to include baskets for onions and potatoes – “Häfele makes a great system of wicker joinery baskets on runners to store these items,” she says.

“You may even like to personalise your pantry with an organiser wall for recipes, notes and kids’ artworks or a whiteboard or chalkboard to jot down items as you use them up. “I like to add some hooks to hang an apron, tea towels and shopping bags,” Lauren adds.

Organised butlers pantry
Open shelving is perfect for butlers pantries and walk-in pantries. (Credit: Photography: Kristina Soljo)

4. Invest in handy pantry accessories

Increase the visibility of small items like canned goods and condiments with some handy accessories. We love a tiered shelf organiser for cans and turntables for easy access to sauces, condiments and spices.

For new and existing pantries, companies like Blum, Häfele and Tansel offer a range of space-savvy solutions, such as wire shelf helpers for a second tier of storage, rotating units for corner cabinets, pull-out drawers and slender pull-out pantries that are viewable and accessible on both sides. Studio Trio interior designer Lauren Mahoney swears by the Blum Space Tower for small kitchens. “It’s a series of high-sided, extension drawers with glass sides, which makes it so easy to see what you have inside,” she explains.

Best pantry organising accessories

5. Let there be light

One of the aims of organising a pantry is to increase the visibility of every item. Lighting the space, be it naturally vi a skylight or with LED strip sensor lights that turn on as you open the door, will help you see exactly what you’re looking for.

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