Whether you’re organising a small cupboard or looking for walk-in pantry organisation ideas, these organisation tips and tricks will make cleaning and upkeep a breeze. Plus look awesome too!
Feel organised every time you walk into your kitchen while maximising food storage and minimising mess and also being able to easily find everything you need.
Supplies to get
Before getting started, here’s a handy list of supplies to have on hand:
- Shelf liner and scissors
- Permanent marker and a dry erase marker
- Garbage bags and recycling bins
- Cleaning supplies
- Labels or label makers
- Pen and paper (or a notes or shopping list app on your Smartphone)
- While it is very tempting to buy storage containers and baskets straight away, it’s highly recommended to wait until the end. This way you’ll know exactly what you’ll need before buying them. As you work on your pantry, make a list of the exact containers and sizes you need, as well as baskets etc. Use what you have around your home first and then replace items to avoid wasting money on storage vessels that don’t work.
- Have fun and create a Pinterest board of pantry storage ideas you like to get an idea of labels and containers to suit your space. That’s the fun part after all.
Step-by-step Guide To Organising Your Pantry
Once you have this step-by-step process in place for cleaning and organising your pantry, upkeep is minimal, requiring only a seasonal or annual cleanout to check expiration dates and wipe the shelves.
Step Up Staging Area:
The very first step is to set up a staging area where you can sort out the contents of your pantry and have a temporary usable workspace. You’ll need an empty surface such as a table, island bench or countertop, plus some garbage and recycling bins out and ready.
This is also the perfect time to take a ‘before’ photo of your pantry as well, so you can reflect on your achievements later on.
Empty Out your Pantry (Or Anywhere You Store Food, Cabinets Included)
Take everything out of your pantry and sort items into the following categories:
- Keep – sort into smaller categories on a flat surface as you do this, such as ‘baking’, ‘snacks’, and ‘canned goods’, etc.
- Toss – expired food or empty wrappers.
- Recycle – empty boxes and recyclable containers.
- Donate – food that’s not yet expired but you aren’t using.
- Move – items that belong in another part of your home.
Important Note: This will be messy but well worth it. Trust the process.
Whether you have a full pantry or cabinet space, get in there and do some deep cleaning. Start from the top shelf and work your way down. Then, vacuum and clean the floors.
Now you have a sparkling pantry, ready to showcase your delicious nutritious food!
Add Shelf Liners
Try not to skip this step to avoid scratches and chipped paint on your surfaces that affect the look of your pantry and upkeep motivation – use shelf liners.
You can get shelf liners at any hardware or homeware store and it adds a layer of protection to the shelving itself, plus it also makes any spills easier to clean too. It also gives the shelves a nice, finished look!
If you have wire shelves, this is a great way to catch spills and food from falling through the wires too.
Shelf liners now come in all sorts of stylish textures and patterns from plain white, timber to marble. Grip liners are handy to avoid glass jars slipping too.
Decant Items Into Containers & Baskets
An easy way to make your pantry sparkle is to decant your packaged items into containers and baskets for that nice, clean, neat and tidy look.
Transparent containers allow everything to be grouped together by their category. It also makes preparing your shopping list a breeze too, because you can see exactly how much you have of each item. You can find these containers at your local supermarket, department store, discount store or op shop.
Reusing glass jars is another fantastic way to display your products as well as upcycle some old materials.
For a bit of extra pantry pizazz… simply use matching containers, jars or baskets for the ultimate Pinterest perfect look and remember that you can stack the containers on top of each other or position smaller containers in front of taller containers.
Arrange Pantry Items Into Zones
Once you get to this section, it is time to add some practicality and functionality to the pantry. Arranging your products and produce into zones will ensure that ‘everything has a place and everything is in its place’.
So now is the time to put everything back into your pantry in an orderly fashion and here are the zones you are going to want to have:
- Household and emergency supplies – preferably up higher, so it is out of reach of toddlers, yet not too high that your family can’t access it easily when it is needed.
- Paper products – these include packaging wraps, lunch bags, paper towels, etc.
- Canned goods – displaying your canned goods on tiered expandable shelves is a great way to showcase exactly what is available, insread of stacking them one behind the other.
- Snacks – grouping together your nutritious snacks will ensure that they are a fast and easy option when the hunger bug bites. Also putting your nutritious snacks at eye height and your less nutritious snacks out-of-sight is another great way to keep your families wellness on track.
- Breakfast items – keeping all of your wholesome breakfast together will ensure that your mornings run smoothly and everyone knows exactly where to go for a nourishing start to their day.
- Beverages – storing all your beverages in one zone, creates a little hydration station in the pantry. Again, organising the more nutritious beverages to the front of the display can assist your family with their wellness journey.
- Baking ingredients and mixes – having all of your baking ingredients and mixes in one zone of your pantry makes meal prepping simple. We also love adding in a lazy susan to maximise the space, while still ensuring that everything is within easy reach. If you are using clear containers, you can also put the expiry date of the product on the back of the container, so that you can keep an eye on its freshness.
- Quick meals and pasta – this zone is perfect for those quick, healthy and easy dinners. Place all of your speedy ingredients, meals and pastas together to maximise your mid-week meals, while minimising the time you need to spend in the kitchen after a big day.
- Gluten-free flours, herbs and spices – this zone is best to live next to your baking zone and quick meal zone, so that you have everything you need to spice up a meal right at your fingertips.
- Cleaning supplies – if you are unable to store your cleaning supplies separate from your food storage, then just ensure that it has its own dedicated zone that is as far away from your food as possible.
Label Containers & Baskets
Now here is the really fun part! Grab out your label maker (if you have one) and get creative with your labels. If you don’t have a label maker, we’ve got you covered (pun intended!) We simply love this variety of free labels that you can simply print out and use.
Next label everything in your pantry, so the entire family knows exactly what is inside the container and therefore which zone it lives in too.
Add Hooks and Back of Door Pockets To Use Every Available Space
Lastly, take a step back and identify any valuable space that is still available.
Consider adding hooks and over the door hangers to store those final items that you need to put in the pantry. these include aprons, small step ladders or even your reusable shopping bags.
Share The Transformation
Now that your pantry is looking organised, it is time to take that final ‘after’ photo and compare it to your ‘before’ photo. See the difference?!
Remember to share your transformation in our Facebook Group too, as we’d all love the inspiration.
Having an organised pantry is one of the most powerful ways to boost your wellness, reduce your wastage and save yourself money in the long term.
Loved This Tip?
Has this article helped? Are you feeling inspired to clear out your pantry?
If you loved this tip, then there are plenty more over on our Kitchen Success Resources.