A well stocked, well organised pantry is the key to a good functioning kitchen and meal preparation, particularly when you have a large family. I am very lucky as I have a large walk in pantry with plenty of storage space but you don’t need a big pantry to have everything organised. In previous homes I have used cupboards and even open shelving as pantry space.
Here’s how I keep my pantry organised and clutter free.
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The first step is to remove everything that shouldn’t be in the pantry. For me it was the kids craft supplies which I had put in the pantry one day to quickly clean them up and that’s where they’ve stayed since. I’ve moved these to my linen cupboard.
Next up is to throw out all of the expired food.
Then all of the open food that you didn’t like or haven’t used within the recommended time.
Then take a look at what’s left.
Anything unopened that you don’t like or won’t use consider donating it to charity or giving it away to friends.
Now you’re left with only food that’s still within it’s use by date and that you’re actually going to use.
You should declutter your pantry every 3-4 months.
So here’s how I’ve organised my pantry. As I’ve said above, you don’t need a big pantry. Work with what you have, the storage baskets and food storage containers I use (from Kmart and Ikea) can work in cupboards and on open shelves.
So, I’m not sure if your “supposed” to use this part of the pantry but I do.
In the corner I have magazines and recipes I’ve printed over time. This is a declutter mission all on it’s own and one I will tackle soon.
Then I have my party supplies, I keep plates, cutlery, cups, serviettes etc in Greenco Clear Foldable Shoe Storage Boxes-10 Pack because they stack nicely and you can clearly see what is in the boxes. Then I have large platters, bowls etc in a big tub.
Also in this part of the pantry I store my picnic basket and shopping bags.
This is where I store all of my appliances. I don’t store any appliances on my benches so even the coffee machine and kettle are in here. Because it’s just me that uses them I bring them out as I use them, the coffee machine is only a couple of times a week and the kettle is once or twice a day. It might sound inconvenient but it keeps my benches clear leaving me more room for cooking so I don’t mind.
I keep everything in baskets. It gives a cleaner, less cluttered look. These baskets have lids which would make it look even cleaner but not really functional so I haven’t used them (actually I use the lids as serving trays at parties!) This is how the baskets are organised:
Basket 1 – spare tea, coffee, sugar, flour etc
Basket 2 – spare “dinner” supplies – stocks, sauces etc
Basket 3 – Kids snacks
Basket 4 – Spare snacks
Basket 5 – oils, salts etc for everyday cooking
On this shelf there is a basket with plastic wrap, baking paper, snack bags etc. Next to that is a basket with meal kits for dinner. Then I have food storage containers for storing cereals, rice, pasta, cat food etc. Then our water filter.
In the morning I fill up a drink bottle for each of us and then refill at lunch time and dinner time so that the pantry is not constantly open by someone getting water.
This one is much higher and not as wide. On here is mostly baking goods. The first basket holds spreads (honey, vegemite etc), next is a basket that holds lollies and treats (shhhh, the kids haven’t figured out where I store them yet!!!). Then a basket for coffee pods. Then cake decorating and icing are in the last 2 baskets. The food storage containers hold various baking goods – nuts, popcorn, sugars, coconut etc and then I have larger canisters for flour.
I can’t reach this one without a step so on here I have my recipe books, wine (I’m going to see if I can fit a wine rack up there). I also have spare wine glasses and cake holders that I don’t use very often.
Pantry management/Shopping lists
Easiest way I’ve found to keep up with what I need to buy each week is to keep a pen and shopping list in the pantry, there’s also one attached to the fridge.
For Christmas the kids got me a Google Home mini so I’ve been playing around with adding things to a shopping list with that which gets saved straight to my phone. Doesn’t work too well with cheeky kids though who add things to the list when I’m not in the room and then when I’m at the shops I can’t remember what I needed and what they added!!! Let’s call that a work in progress.
I will point out that the photos of my pantry were taken the day before a big grocery shop. After a big shop the baskets are a little fuller and there might be a few extra things on the 3rd shelf but other than that this is how my pantry looks day to day!
How do you keep your pantry organised?
Next up in the kitchen is the fridge/freezer, keep an eye out for that post coming soon and be sure to take a look back at my kitchen cupboards.