How to keep a pantry organised – my #1 tip

Kitchens are the busiest room in the home. From the breakfast rush to afternoon snack sessions or late-night chats, having a functional kitchen pantry, where you know where everything is, makes running a household much smoother.

There are a million ways to organise a pantry and plenty of cute and practical containers you can use to sort out your spices and oils. However, if you are just starting out with your organising journey, it can be hard to know where to start. If having a hundred clear containers with labels is the right system and investment for your home, then do it!

When it comes to organising your kitchen pantry, my number one piece of advice is to use categorised tubs or baskets.

This means that you have larger tubs or baskets for broader categories. Rather than having an individual container for every type of pasta (spaghetti, spiral, fettuccine, bow, etc) you simply dump all the packets into ONE single container. 

If you want to create a system where you have a container for each type of food, go for it. But it does mean that you will need to top up containers, rotate the contents when you add new packets and wash the individual containers. There is also the investment into each container and label. If you have the time and are willing to make the investment, go for it. You do you.

However, if looking at pantries on Pinterest will dozens of containers look great, but you don’t think it will be the right fit for your home, try using larger tubs or baskets to keep a category together. 

Here are some examples of categories to put into tubs/baskets:

  • Cereals
  • Grains, Noodles, Pasta and Rice (create separate categories if one category is quite large)
  • Kids snacks 
  • Parents snacks
  • Biscuits + Chips
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Sugars (if you bake a lot!)
  • Baking (baking kits, flours, cocoa, powders, decorations)
  • Meal sachets and sauce packets
  • Protein powders/supplements 

There are some items that are better put either straight on a shelf or on a lazy-susan. Glass bottles generally work better without having to pull out a basket given their height and weight. 

Items to put on Lazy-Susans (those mini-turn tables)

  • Oils
  • Vinegars
  • Sauces
  • Daily vitamins

Managing stock levels

When organising your pantry, you may find that the stock levels in your pantry either change differently week to week or remain quite similar. You may find that some categories will be larger one week and smaller other weeks. Just go with the flow. 

Having a tub or basket that doesn’t quite fit everything is something to be grateful for. If over time, you are finding that you need to split a category – for example, you may want to have Noodles and Pasta as separate categories as you always have a lot of stock for it. You will need to do a quick edit of your pantry organisation. Play around with keeping like with like, but don’t be afraid to change things up if it’s simply not working for you. 

If you have a smaller kitchen (or a larger family) and like to buy your staples in bulk, think outside the box of where you store extra stock. There is nothing wrong with putting extra cans at the top of the linen cupboard or moving less-used appliances out of the kitchen cupboards to make way for food storage. 

And there you have it! Instead of loads of cute labelled jars, opt for the larger tubs or baskets with simple labels. Less time messing around with rotating old + new food, yet still a sound system to keep the pantry organised.