23 Pantry Organisation & Storage Tips & Ideas
Put up your hand if your pantry is a disorganised, higgledy-piggledy jumble, with most things showing no semblance of order or why they should be even occupying the same space, let alone the same shelf.
Then again, maybe you have tried to organise everything, but it either became all too hard, or the ravages of family life and small children have rendered your efforts a waste of time?
One way or another, our pantries could all do with a bit of love now and again.
So to make it that much easier for you, we've created the Minimax list of 23 clever organisation and storage tips to get you started.
Before you read through our tips, don't forget to check out the incredible range of pantry organisation sets and containers on the Minimax website. You'll find them a huge help in organising your pantry the way it should be.
1. Buy Pantry Containers
Vital to any well-organised pantry. Easy to stack and see-through for at glance stock-taking of pantry supplies, these air-tight canisters will keep your food fresher for longer. The Click Clack Pantry Cube Set of 10 Starter Set from Minimax is a brilliant way to start organising your pantry. Similarly, the OXO Pop 2.0 10-Container Set is an excellent addition to your kitchen organisation tool kit.
2. Have Some Fun in your Pantry
Apart from being a great place to fit spice racks and shelves for small jars, you can paint the inside of pantry doors with chalkboard paint or even self-adhesive White Board Contact. That way, you can write down grocery lists and other important reminders. When it comes time to do the shopping, take a photo of the list with your smartphone.
3. Baskets Make Great Storage
No matter where your pantry is or what you have stored inside, cane baskets are ideal for keeping things neat and tidy, particularly if your pantry doesn't have doors. Put items you use more frequently on the lower shelves. The top shelf is the ideal spot for those once a year items.
4. Easy Access For Children
When the kids are looking for a healthy snack, make sure they're stored on one of the lower shelves, making it easy for them to reach.
The Kitchen Classic 8 Piece Storage Set is a terrific colourful storage set in which kids will just love storing their favourite snacks!
5. Pull-out Drawers
If you're finding wasted space immediately under each shelf, think about installing wire rack drawers. They're inexpensive and can create storage space out of thin air.
6. Shelf Arrangement
Take a long hard look at the shelves in your pantry. If they're adjustable, is there a better way to arrange them? Is there room for additional shelves? Some hardware stores and timber yards will cut new shelving frames to size alongside iron-on edging for a professional look.
7. Keep Baking Supplies Within Reach
Some pantry items are used more than others. Ingredients such as sugar, flour, salt, pasta, etc., can be placed into large glass jars with lids. Then place them on the most convenient shelf, generally the middle shelf, for easy access. You can keep smaller jars and containers of secondary ingredients such as nuts, spices, herbs, and dried fruit on the shelf above.
The Click Clack set of 3 Large White Pantry Cubes is perfect for flour, pasta and other ingredients, as you can see everything at a glance.
8. Grow Your Pantry Space
Stainless steel or chrome industrial wire shelves can look great in any kitchen. So if you have a full pantry but free wall space, wire shelves with cane baskets on them can look fabulous. Don't forget to label each basket, particularly the ones up high.
9. Label Everything
Probably the easiest and most helpful thing you can do in your pantry. Download your designs from the internet and print them onto self-adhesive labels from your local stationery store. Otherwise, handwritten labels look 'homely' and add a great touch of rustic decor to your pantry.
It's not just jars and containers that need labels. All your baskets, boxes and other storage containers should have their easy-to-read, interchangeable label. Stationery stores also sell a great range of large swing tags on strings, making tying them on dead easy.
10. Antique and Retro Storage
If you're ever at a Sunday market, second-hand shop, or you like online auction sites, keep an eye out for old crates, boxes or kitchen containers that can look awesome contrasted against a modern kitchen environment.
But if you like the idea of retro but haven't got the time to go hunting, the Typhoon 1 Litre Cream Coffee Canister or Typhoons Black Tea Storage container is an excellent option for that old fashioned look. However, we can’t say no to a good cookie jar.
11. Pantry Decor
Think of your pantry as a mini room and not just a cupboard. And like any room in your home, it deserves some decor. Paint or wallpaper can give your pantry a colossal lift in style and hopefully encourage you to keep it neat and organised.
12. Fit Tiered Shelves
You can store cans and other containers on a stepped or tiered shelving system, making it easy to see the labels on every container.
13. Glass Jars Save Money
While a swear jar is a great way to save money and curb cursing, we’re talking pantry organisation, not lousy vocabulary. Purchase a range of glass jars in various sizes. Then purchase bulk staples such as grains, dried fruits and legumes from the supermarket in plastic bags. Transfer the items to the glass jars, making it easy to find what you need. Don't forget to label the jars too.
Minimax has a massive range of glass storage jars. The OXO Pop 2.0 3-Container Set is an excellent idea for storage and seeing at a glance what you have in the pantry. And speaking of great ideas, the Fido 3 Litre Storage Jars are a brilliant way to store large quantities of dry food as well.
14. Enhance Space With a Lazy Susan
Corners are a tremendous waste of space and sometimes hard to reach. Purchase a two-tiered Lazy Susan to make the most of the area and make it easy to get jars and other items in the corner.
15. Paint Walls a Bright Colour
Store dry goods against a colourful background to make your pantry instantly appear more orderly.
16. Only Buy What You Need
There's a temptation to buy everything you can think of to ensure you have it on hand, 'just in case'. But that invariably leads to clutter and foods pushed to the back of the pantry, which just ends up going past their use-by date.
Declutter and throw away anything that’s out of date. Look for items that haven't been used in years and anything that could do with an upgrade. Go Marie Kondo on your kitchen, and ask yourself, does this bring you joy? Do you really need them? Because more often than not, the answer is a resounding no.
17. Organise By Use-by Dates
Another way to organise foods within a group is by their use-by date. Place foods with the most recent use-by at the front to ensure they're used up first. That way, you'll minimise wastage and any nasty surprises in the back of the cupboard in months to come.
18. Store Small Items in Deli Containers
Probably the cheapest and most practical storage containers you'll find anywhere are the deli-style containers - the ones that you get olives in at the supermarket. They come in a range of sizes, and you can buy them in bulk cheaply from your local supermarket in the storage aisle or even cheaper online.
19. The Power of Silicone Storage
Stretch, grip, and seal, these super flexible silicone covers stretch up to 2 times their size to fit containers of various sizes and shapes. Say goodbye to cling wrap, and say hello to an airtight seal that keeps food fresher for longer. And you can use them again and again.
Then there are these epic standup silicone storage containers. Made from microwave and oven-safe silicone, which means you can cook or reheat food directly inside the bag. The two-toned design and easy-open seal make these ideal accessories for storing anything you need on the go or in the fridge or pantry.
20. Check Expiration Dates
This hot little tip sounds easy, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! Doing a quick check on expiration dates is the fastest and easiest way to reclaim space in your pantry. I challenge you to find a tin of Keen’s Curry Powder that’s within its best before date. In all of our years organising people’s pantries, we’ve only come across three.
21. Group "Like with Like"
Give your brain a break from wondering what is where and group your food into categories, e.g. Baking supplies, cooking oils, pasta and rice, breakfast supplies, snacks etc. Product placement is critical here. Store You can store your most used items on the middle shelves and the items you only use every so often at the bottom or up the top. The easier you make it on yourself to put things back, the easier it will be to keep your pantry neat and tidy.
22. Decant, Decant, Decant!
The pinnacle of pantry organisation is a shelf lined with matching, labelled storage containers. Decanting your dry goods into air-tight containers isn’t for aesthetics alone. The real reason to decant may be lurking in your open bags of dry goods and laying eggs in your flour. Yep, I’m talking about weevils. Recurring infestations can contribute to food waste and cost you money over time, and the same factors that attract weevils can also attract mice which is a whole new ball game!
23. Use Your Walls & Doors
The inside of your pantry door, or a blank wall is an opportunity for precious storage space. Consider installing a spice rack on your wall to keep all your spices within view or a pegboard that can act as a life admin command station.
Get Organised with Minimax
If your pantry could do with a bit of TLC, then be sure to browse our range of pantry organisation sets and containers for a neater, cleaner pantry. Shop with Minimax today for all your kitchenware essentials.