Is your kitchen pantry in dire need of a makeover? Let these pantry organisation tips from Felicity Meredith, fondly known as Fliss, come to your rescue. A product stylist from Perth and a lover of interiors and organising, Fliss recently shared her very own pantry makeover featuring Kitchen Warehouse’s Kitchen Pro Denny Canisters through her blog. Read on Fliss’ suggestions on pantry organising and let her insights help you conquer the clutter.
Fliss shares that she has always been into decorating and arranging things in order. When asked what inspired her to make this lovely makeover, she said “I’ve always loved organising and decorating so when we first got our own place I knew our pantry was one of the areas I wanted to organise. My partner and I both work long hours so it makes life easier having our pantry organised, being able to find things quickly and to easily see when we are running low on something.”
Aside from that, she is not a big fan of food stored in their original packaging and believes “it can be an eye sore and can also take up unnecessary space.” So to have a sense of order, she prefers to have food and staples stored in labelled containers. And with her easy-to-follow tips, you can also start doing the same to your pantry at home. Dream pantry here we come!
Make a Plan: Clean and Sort
Fliss suggests that before we get to the exciting part of putting everything in pretty airtight containers, we need to get the dirty work done—that is, taking everything out of your pantry and cleaning its every nook and cranny.
Set your pantry supplies aside for now, and start vacuuming your space and wiping your shelves with a damp cloth. After that, go through your boxes of food, bags of chips, and cans. Throw out anything that’s past its expiry date then group your remaining food supply into categories.
Assess and Write Down Notes
Now that your pantry is all sparkly and clean, it’s time to assess your space and jot down notes. Try to come up with a list of important things you have to bear in mind once you start organising and styling your pantry. Fliss shared some of the things you can include in your own checklist.
Types of Pantry Items and Containers
Group Similar Items
Storage Height and Depth
Pantry Space and Arrangement
Room for Growth
Fliss recommends making a list of the items you have in the pantry to help you decide which should go in containers and what kind or size of containers you will need. “I found this helpful so that when purchasing containers and storage items you don’t overbuy and purchase more than you need.”
When Fliss chooses her pantry organisers, she makes sure that they are functional, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing. “For us the containers are the most important part of our pantry, I choose good quality containers that are airtight. By investing a little more in the quality of the containers, our food stays fresh longer and saves us money in the long run by not having to replace or discard food that has gone stale. I then like to buy more affordable versions of the remainder pantry organisers that we use.”
The article on the The Right Pantry Organisation Essential for Every Job may also help you when choosing your pantry organisers.
Note your food supplies that are better stored in bins or baskets rather than in individual containers. “I like to segregate and group similar items such as cans, spreads, sauces and snacks and dedicate a storage bin per category,” Fliss shared. This way, you can simply take out one bin anytime you need to make a sandwich or cook pasta, rather than look for several containers.
While you are noting what containers and bins you’ll be needing, make sure to also consider your actual storage area and shelves. Fliss suggests to “utilise the space by using storage solutions that allow you to make the most of the height and depth of your pantry by using stackable containers, tiered shelving, turntables and storage baskets.”
Fliss noted that “not every pantry is a one size fits all so work out what works for you. Figure out what items you use daily and need to be easily accessible and if any items will need to be kept out of reach i.e. for children.”
Moreover, Fliss believes that pantry size does not matter when you are transforming it into a more organised and functional space. You just have to choose the right organisers and arrange them to suit your existing pantry. “Transferring items into containers saves space by removing bulky packaging and allowing you to stack containers on top of one another.”
Finally, bear in mind that your pantry setup may change from time to time, so allow a space for organisers to store extra food items. “Our pantry’s change throughout the year whether it be seasonal or occasional so I like to leave a basket dedicated to refill items for you to store staple items ready to top up containers with when you run low and also a basket for miscellaneous items.”
Arrange and Design
Once you have finally completed your list of changes for your pantry and made the necessary purchases, it’s time to start your fun makeover! With your clean canisters dry and ready, start filling them with your kitchen staples. If your are using baskets and bins, place your groups of cans and boxes in appropriate containers.
Fliss love labelling her pantry bins and canisters. “Be prepared once you label one area you will want to do the rest of the house haha!,” she said. Aside from making it easier for you to find that jar of sugar or cereal canister, labelled containers do add aesthetic appeal to pantries. Make sure to just use labelling materials or markers that will still let you clean and reuse your organisers.
Arranging your pantry a certain way should not be for design purposes only but should also help you use the space effectively. For instance, Fliss placed her low baskets of produce at the bottom part so she can easily check on her perishable goods and restock. Her small spice jars, oil bottles, and salt that she frequently uses are on the next shelf to make them easier to grab when needed. Tall labelled canisters and bins are perfect on the topmost part since she can clearly see and get them even from way up. Generally, try to group similar or related food items in one shelf so you know exactly where to find them.
Organising your pantry, or any space at home, does not have to be a daunting task. Despite the hard work (and patience!) required, having an organised pantry will help you work faster in the kitchen, reduce food waste, and perhaps inspire you to cook more often. And as Fliss promised, “The finished result and the enjoyment of seeing everything in order is all worth it! Happy organising!”