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.

Renovated Scandi style kitchen and butler's pantry.
Group like items together and invest in a number of storage solutions including clear canisters, jars, tins and baskets. (Credit: Photography: Simon Shiff)

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.

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.

Select jars and baskets that allow you to use up every inch of pantry space. (Photography: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Corina Koch)

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.

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.

Best pantry organising accessories


Spode blue Italian spice jar set

$131.24, Amazon

We’ve all seen the viral clear glass spice jars with sticker labels, but if you want to display your spices on an open shelf as a practical yet beautiful kitchen accessory, opt for these Spode porcelain spice jars. Even though the pattern is hand-applied, these jars are still durable enough to be cleaned in the dishwasher. “It really is difficult to describe the beauty of this set,” wrote one reviewer who called the jars, “Breathtaking.” 

Key features:

  • Porcelain construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Hand-applied pattern


Iron and bamboo storage baskets (set of 2)

From $59.95, Temple & Webster

Large baskets are best for storing things like potatoes and onions. You can even use them to corral large packaged items like chip packets and assorted snacks. Constructed from iron, these sturdy baskets will stand the test of time. Bamboo handles are aesthetically pleasing and gentle to hold. 

Key features:

  • Made from powder-coated iron and bamboo
  • 2-year warranty
  • Large baskets perfect for storing produce and bulky items


The Cooks Collective extendable 3-tier shelf in bamboo

$29.95, Myer

Things getting lost in the back of the pantry? Raising them up on a tiered shelf may solve the problem. This shelf, made from bamboo, is expandable, so you can stretch it to fit your pantry perfectly. Great for keeping spices, small jars and cans visible. 

Key features:

  • Expandable shelf
  • Allows you to see items at the back of the pantry clearly
  • Great for spice jars


Glass jar (3.8L)

$7, Target

Sometimes, small or medium-sized canisters just don’t cut it. That’s where large glass jars come in handy. This airtight glass jar is perfect for biscuits, rice, flour and other grains you cook with frequently. The best thing about this jar is that it’s affordable, so you can add several to cart without feeling guilty. 

Key features:

  • Made from lime soda glass
  • Large size great for storing dry goods
  • Airtight lid


Academy 14.5cm European beechwood scoop

$7.77, Harris Scarfe

If you store bulk quantities of dried goods, such as oats, rice or flour, using a scoop to transfer the food from the jar to the mixing bowl is much easier if you use a scoop. This large scoop made from European beechwood looks great, is comfortable to hold and will last for years to come. 

Key features:

  • Made from European birch wood
  • Great for scooping up dry goods without spillage


Kitchen Pro denny cube storage canister starter pack (24-piece)

From $119.95, Woolworths

The key to any organised pantry is having enough space-saving canisters to contain all of your cooking staples. This 24-piece set is stackable, air-tight and crystal clear, meaning you can clearly see the contents of each container at a glance. They’re also BPA free.

Key features:

  • Includes range of sizes for storing all pantry staples
  • Airtight, stackable lids
  • Crystal clear plastic makes content easy to see


Lazy Susan organisers with non-skid base (4-pack)

$64.59, Amazon

Lazy Susans can take a dysfunctional cupboard where nothing is visible and condiment bottles are constantly toppling over and turn it into a neatly organised space where everything is visible and within reach. They’re popular for a reason! This set of 4 lazy Susans will have your pantry looking neat and tidy in no time. 

Key features:

  • Handy 4-pack will allow you to transform your entire pantry
  • Non-skid base
  • Raised edge prevents products falling over

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