How I’ve Organised my Kitchen Pantry …

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Last month, I shared some simple tips that would be helpful if you were organising your pantry. There’s some great ideas so if you would like to read more, just click here.


My pantry has always been quite well organised but recently I decided it was due for an overhaul after I fell in love with some gorgeous red wire baskets, which I picked up for next to nothing in the Boxing Day Sales. I like to review my pantry at least once a year, as I’m always looking to improve things and my new baskets provided the perfect excuse! As my family’s needs change, I guess it will always be a “work in progress” and, if you decide to tackle yours, the most important thing to remember is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it, there’s only what works for you and for your family.


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My pantry consists of two large double doors, which open to reveal 5 shelves and then underneath, I have 4 large deep drawers, which I use to store baking supplies and other kitchen appliances and dishes.


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So starting at the top of the pantry, on the very top shelf, I tend to store items that I don’t need to access very often. This includes items for special occasions like Halloween and Christmas, plastic glasses for pool parties, large serving baskets, which are used for family barbecues and my good cutlery (a wedding gift), which is also used for special occasions and dinner parties.


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The next shelf again stores items that aren’t used everyday but more frequently than the items on the top shelf. Two baskets store plastic takeaway containers, which are mostly recycled to use for freezing food, one basket stores paper napkins and the fourth basket holds my rather abundant supply of cupcake wrappers because I bake a lot.


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The third shelf holds 4 baskets. Basket 1 stores cooking chocolate, marshmallows and dried fruit; basket 2 stores, biscuits and crackers; basket 3 stores taco shells and noodles and basket 4 stores a variety of dried pasta.


The fourth shelf is around chest height so on this shelf I store items that I use all the time. These baskets are smaller than the other two shelves so there’s also room for a small plastic crate where I store an assortment of containers that are suitable for lunchboxes. This crate has a handle and wheels, making it easy to pull forward, which is great because I access it nearly every day. Basket 1 holds smaller bottles of different sauces; basket 2 holds things like jelly, custard powder, gravy powder and the like; basket 3 holds anything drink related like Salvital, tea, coffee and drinking chocolate; basket 4 holds honey, golden syrup, maple syrup, etc. and basket 4 holds brown rice and basmati rice. This shelf and the two shelves above both have room on the sides at the front. These spaces have been perfect for storing things like plastic cups for the kids, a large jar of mixed nuts, extra tea bags and sometimes a small pile of tea towels.


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And lastly, the bottom shelf, which is about waist height, is quite a tall shelf but I’ve still been able to maximize the space. I use a lot of platters and large bowls so I’ve been able to stack these quite high in one corner. Not only does this make them more accessible but it also means I don’t have to bend into the back of a low deep cupboard. In front of my platters I’ve created enough room to store my 3 main rice jars. I keep Jasmine Rice, Arborio Rice and Long Grain Rice in these. I used to keep these containers on my kitchen bench as they’re very attractive but I moved them to the cupboard to reduce visual clutter and also because they gathered dust on the bench. In the middle of this shelf I have a large blue wire basket where I store all my large bottles of salt, sauces, vinegars and oils, etc. The tall basket is great because it keeps all these items together and the tall sides prevent anything from toppling or being knocked over. Next to this there is a narrow space which is ideal for storing paper towel, a straw container and an Allens Lolly container. I feel quite lucky to have one of these. Many years ago, I used to run a School Tuckshop and this container was given to me by a supplier. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy one of these but it’s perfect for store-bought snack food like Muesli Bars. A lovely basket or container will do the job just as well. Lastly on this shelf I have a little chrome shelf unit that I use to store tinned food. The three shelves have allowed me to use every ounce of the height and it fits perfectly underneath the shelf above.


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You may or may not have noticed that I have no flour, sugar or other baking ingredients stored in my pantry. These are stored in the four lovely deep drawers down underneath and you can read more about that here and here.


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I don’t store my herbs, spices, food colouring and other similar items in the pantry either. We’ve managed to create a set of small shelves above the rangehood, which is perfect for those and you can read more about that here.


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I’ve also utilised a small space between the fridge and the wall. I found a narrow set of chrome shelves on wheels, which fits the space perfectly. I use it to store additional tinned food as well as our selection of cereals. If you’re curious, you can read more here.


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The other noticeable thing about my pantry is that I haven’t used any labels … yet! Whenever I’m organising a new space, I usually don’t label anything until the very end and often not for a few days or even weeks. This gives me the flexibility to keep moving things around until I’m totally happy … then I go crazy and label everything in sight. I’m actually not sure though that I will label much this time because those lovely red baskets allow me to see everything so easily.


I’m pretty happy with my pantry now. I have similar items grouped together, which makes it easy to find things and also helps enormously when I’m preparing my weekly shopping list. I can see what I have at a glance and reducing waste because I don’t overstock or double up on things I already have.


It is a big job to organise a pantry but it’s definitely worth the effort. So tell me, are you happy with the way your pantry is organised and does it stay that way for long?