If you’re anything like me, your pantry is a jumbled mess of expired items, spices from 2010 and about 27 different varieties of flour.
A renewed love for baking combined with a quiet, rainy weekend was just the motivation I recently needed to start researching how to finally get my pantry in order.
Here is the inspiration (and instructions) you need for a pristinely presented pantry.
How To Organise Your Pantry in 4 Steps
This may feel a little daunting but you are going to have to clear those shelves. Make some space on the dining table or kitchen bench and take everything out. You’ll be amazed how much you managed to squeeze into the pantry!
Take this opportunity to give your empty shelves a good wipe down and inspect for any pests (or their droppings) hiding in the corners. You should also check all containers for weevils or moths and throw out any affected ingredients.
Grab the garbage bin (or green waste bin for food scraps) and start getting rid of any expired items, or ingredients that have been in the pantry for a long time that you know you’re unlikely to use again.
For example, I found a jar of sambal paste in our pantry which I used to make a dish a few months ago – the flavour was a little on the spicy side for the family so it was unlikely to be used again. In the bin it went!
Have your shopping list ready, just in case you throw out any pantry staples and have to buy more – that way, your pantry will be readily stocked with exactly what you need, when you need it.
On your shopping list, make note of how many storage containers you’ll have to buy. Don’t do this before you clean as seeing everything set up out of the pantry will give you a great indication of precisely what storage you need.
Time to categorise! This is an important part of the process. You’ll need to have a good think about your household and what would work best. Well thought out categories can turn your chaotic pantry into a streamlined system.
It can be something as simple as: snacks, kids’ snacks, baking, cereals, sauces/spices, dinner items, cans/jars.
Think about the things you use regularly and place them up front. Don’t be shy about relocating items to other cupboards in your home, such as special occasion plates or appliances you don’t use often.
Storing your items can be tricky. There is a range of storage containers and ideas available at stores like Kmart and Big W – they’re affordable and also an easy way to maximise your space.
It can take a little trial and error, as some items may work better than others. We have a deep pantry, so I’ve found this tier shelf great for storing cans and being able to see what we have without reaching to the back of the pantry.
Have a small pantry? Over the door organisers are a fantastic way to make the most of your space.
Be strategic with where you place things. My 3-year-old has recently started setting the table for dinner and now that they’re placed on a lower shelf, she loves that she can open up the pantry and put the sauces and shakers on table all by herself.
On that note, put yummy snacks on a higher shelf, so those little fingers don’t go grabbing sneaky treats just before tea (or when you’ve said ‘no’!).
Embrace labels as well, whether you write on blank labels from a store like Officeworks or buy online. I personally love these because you get more than 300 options, plus some blank labels should you need them.
The Benefits of a Brilliantly Organised Pantry
You can see EXACTLY what ingredients you have as soon as you open the door. Seeing everything means you won’t double up on items while shopping (I found 3 packs of wholemeal flour during my clean), but you may also uncover ingredients to inspire you for next week’s dinner.
It will save you time. Having a clean and structured pantry will also make organising dinner after a busy day at work so much easier. No more digging through the pantry to find ingredients. Putting groceries away is also simpler – everything has a place!
It may even bring you peace (sort of). This article explains how high levels of clutter in our homes can contribute to anxiety or lack of focus. As something you open at least a couple of times a day, an uncluttered pantry could certainly have its benefits.