How to Organise Your Pantry

Practising self-isolation can get a bit boring when you’re twiddling your thumbs and wondering what to do next. The obvious answer (after movies and board games) is a productive task list of spring-cleaning. While it is a definite time killer and will make you feel better at completion, it’s a dreaded task that can leave you puzzled by where to even start.

We’re here to give you a hand (figuratively, because we’re isolating too!) by telling you to start with the most commonly used storage space in the home – the pantry. Whether you have a standard pantry, a walk-in pantry or a butler’s pantry, it’s easy to see the space become a mess of pasta packets, pickle jars and cereal boxes. With this step-by-step process, you’ll end up with an organised space that’ll make food prepping at home a breeze!

Remove & Toss

The first step is an obvious one – remove all of the items in the pantry. As you’re reaching for each item, check the expiry date and toss out anything that is spoiled or stale. Put everything else on the bench or the dining table to give you a good view of all of the goods that you have.

Clean the Shelves

Once your pantry is empty, you might find that crumbs, scraps and small stains are left behind. Give the shelves a good wipe down to remove any residue and then wipe them down again with some disinfectant. Leave your pantry doors open to air out the space.

Section the Food Groups

While your pantry is airing out, turn your attention back to the dining table or kitchen bench and start grouping the foods appropriately. Put all the pasta packets together, the jars, the cans and the boxes. Once you have neat groups in front of you, you can have a think about how you want to organise them according to the size of your pantry and how many shelves you have.

Here are some common food combinations to group on your shelves:

Baking shelf – flour, sugar, cake mix boxes, dried fruit packets.

Cooking shelf – spices, dried herbs, oils, vinegar, salad dressings.

Breakfast shelf – cereal boxes, oats, sandwich spreads, milk powders.

Long-life shelf – beans, canned vegetables and fruits, pasta packets, rice, sauce jars.

Drink shelf – soft drinks, juices, water bottles, long-life milk.

Snack shelf – chip packets, crackers, chocolates, lollies, popcorn.

Pack the Foods

An optional but recommended step before packing away your foods is to line your pantry shelves. Using lining or plastic mats can protect your surfaces and prevent damage caused by spillage.

While packing your foods, strategically choose shelves that are going to be convenient for you based on what you use the most of. For example, keeping the breakfast shelf in the middle region will be helpful for the kids to make their own breakfasts. Whereas the snack shelf might be placed at the top so that it’s not so easy to reach.

Keep your drink shelf at the bottom to not strain the strength of your shelf with the heavyweight and also for your safety. Place the cooking shelf closest to the stove and the baking closest to the oven, and so on.

More Tips

Of course, organising wouldn’t be as neat if it weren’t for some good containers. Containers will help you stack neatly and clear ones help you see the contents so you can reach for them quicker. If you don’t have the budget for a new set of containers, recycle what you would’ve otherwise thrown out! Empty coffee jars and lolly tubs are good options for storing rice and other long-life foods.

Once your pantry is looking like it was organised by Marie Kondo herself, try to keep the shelving system consistent every time you unload shopping bags. Introduce the method to the kids and encourage them to put things back so to keep the pantry clean. Well, you might want to introduce them to all shelves but the snack one…

Ask New Living Homes about pantry options for your new home. From spacious walk-in pantries to luxurious butler’s pantries, we have a range of designs to suit your family’s needs – without breaking the bank. Call 1300 366 766 and get your dream home underway!

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