How to: Organise your pantry

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Home storage solutions are a lot more effective than manufacturers of fancy cupboard organisers would have you believe. Most people have different clothing storage and bathroom storage needs because everyone wears different types of clothing and everything uses different kinds of bathroom products. However, there’s one area where almost everyone has the same products and the same storage problems – the kitchen pantry. It’s pretty safe to assume that most people have the usual suspects in their kitchen cupboards – cans, bottles, boxes and packets. Considering this list is rather short and very standard, it’s amazing how quickly a clean pantry can slide into chaos if left unattended.

Do a massive overhaul: Remove everything from your pantry and throw away anything that is expired or inedible. Place the remaining items on your kitchen bench or table. Give your shelves a good dust and wipe them down with a damp cloth. Then divide your pantry items into the following categories.

• Cans
• Cereals
• Baking goods
• Snacks
• Spreads
• Sauces and oils
• Seldom used items
• Frequently used items
Similar items should be stored together for convenience. For example if you’re cooking dinner, you’re likely to use oil and several sauces so it’s best to keep these items near each other.

Invest in storage drawers:  Many organisation experts recommend tubs for pantry sorting but drawers tend to remain neater for longer. Buy clear plastic drawers so you can see what’s stored inside and use them for organising snacks, baked goods and even bottles and cans.Boxes tend to become dumping grounds for items that don’t have a place of their own and are easy to over fill, which defeats the purpose of them in the first place.Buy clear plastic drawers so you can see what’s stored inside.

Consider a Revolving tray:  One of the main reasons why kitchen cupboards become cluttered is because it’s often difficult to locate the item you’re looking for. We also tend to forget what’s in our kitchen cupboard and we can create a lot of chaos looking for items that aren’t there. Most storage shops sell cupboard-sized  revolving tray – that you can use to store bottles and cans. You simply spin the  revolving tray  to get a full view of whatever you have in your cupboard rather than constantly scrambling around to find what you’re looking for.

‘Stack’ your pantry items :  If a   revolving tray isn’t your style you could try creating fake shelves inside your pantry. If you place a large rectangular plastic container upside down on your cupboard shelf, you can stack cans in front of it and on top of it to create ‘stacks’ where you can see everything at a glance. This diminishes the need to create chaos in your pantry every time you need to look for something.

Store baking paraphernalia in baskets : Baking trays, muffin tins and cake tins can be really difficult to store. They tend to get trapped in drawers and they don’t store well with other items.We suggest investing in a collection of tall rectangular baskets where you can store them on their side in a rack like formation.It gives them a designated spot to live so you always know where they are and it also keeps them out of the way for when you aren’t using them.

Store frequently used items at the front: Seldom used items can be kept in a more inconvenient location.If you use the brown sugar every day to sprinkle on your porridge, keep it in where it’s easy to find and access. There’s no point keeping it with the baking goods you only use twice a year. Seldom used items can be kept in a more inconvenient location. 

Store dry goods in labelled glass jars : This system is a bit fiddly to set up but once you’ve got it in place it will revolutionise your pantry organisation. For example if you frequently use desiccated coconut and you store your coconut in a labelled jar, it’s very easy to see when you run out of this product and when you need to buy more.It’s important to date your jars as well so you know when the food item inside has expired.This also an excellent way of figuring out if you use an item regularly or not. If you have a jar of quinoa with a date from four years ago on it, it’s pretty safe to say you shouldn’t buy more quinoa because you don’t use it.


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