CHECKLIST: The Clever Mum’s Guide to Creating an Organised Pantry

Keep thinking you’re out of tomato sauce? Can never find the bag of sultanas? Do you have more cans of tuna than any one family can eat? It’s time to purge, declutter and get your pantry storage sorted. 

Here’s all the budget-friendly ideas you need to feel inspired to declutter and reorganise the pantry, plus plenty of pantry storage tips and tricks to get you started!

First things first, you have to work with the space you have. Some of you have glorious, light-filled butler’s pantries and some have a dark, awkward sized cupboard. Them’s the breaks. Rest assured, organised pantry magic can still happen. An organised, neat and orderly pantry will save you money and that thing we all wish we had more of – TIME.

But first, the eye candy

It’s the very height of pantry porn! These pantries are works of organised ART. Be envious, but above all else, be INSPIRED. Yes, we can ABSOLUTELY have pantries like these too!

Pantry storage organisation
Image source: Classy Clutter
pantry storage organisation
Image source: Classy Clutter and Clean Mama

Where to start in decluttering your pantry

I’m not one to over exaggerate, but really try to allocate a whole afternoon to organising a pantry. There’s nothing worse than being knee-deep in half-filled bags of pasta and tins of beans when you have to abandon the mission!

  • Make sure to measure your shelf heights and widths before buying anything. When sourcing pantry containers, pay attention to their size – they must not only fit your food, they must fit your space! You don’t need to spend a fortune either. Kmart (pictured top of post) and IKEA definitely house all the budget-friendly options.
  • Empty everything out of your pantry spaces. Every. Single. Thing. Chances are, you will be equally horrified and pleasantly surprised at how much you can cram in there. Give the inside of your cupboards and shelves a good clean.
  • Now that you have your pantry contents splayed all over the kitchen, now is the time to be ruthless. Check every use-by date, binning it if it’s out of date (no one needs 1998 mustard powder, just saying). That cereal your kids begged you to buy then hated the taste of, throw it out. Same rules apply for anything else you’re not likely to use in the next six to 12 months. It’s just wasting valuable pantry space.
  • Label, label, label! You might know which container is icing sugar and which is cornflour but not everyone else who uses the pantry might.
  • Use containers and storage solutions to create food zones within your pantry. Keep the spices together. Same for sauces, snacks, cereals, baking items and canned goods. A zoning system makes it REALLY easy for the whole family to know what direction to look in for whatever it is they’re looking for.

Helpful tips and where to buy pantry storage without breaking the bank

Want fancy labels? Here’s a sweet pack of 30 adhesive pantry labels from Words She Wrote, priced $30.

Vinyl pantry container labels, pantry storage organisation

Group your tinned goods together and use shelf-raisers (this Kmart three tier shelf, $5, is awesome) so you can see what you have at first glance.

Pantry storage, Kmart tiered shelf

Using transparent containers makes it really easy to see when you’re low on something so you add it to your shopping list. Kmart glass jars, $5, and storage container set, $12, both get the big thumbs up from me!

pantry storage jars and containers

If you have deep corner shelves, use a lazy susan to make sauce and oil bottles a cinch to reach. This Kmart storage turntable, $5, is a worthy investment.

Kmart pantry storage turntable

Baskets are great for pooling school snacks (individual packets of biscuits, popcorn, chips), dry store vegetables (onions, pumpkins, potatoes) and bread products (sliced bread, rolls, crumpets) – just tip them all in! Storage solutions include Kmart wire baskets, $5, (and have a handy chalkboard surface to label), IKEA Pluggis (priced from $9.99) and IKEA Variera (priced from $3.99) bins.

Ikea pantry storage

Everything has a place

It’s true, when everything has a place, you can see when you’re out of tomato sauce. Or alternatively, when you end up with five bottles of it! It also makes it a whole lot easier for others to find what they’re looking for or put the groceries away – there are NO MORE excuses for anyone not to be able to find something!

We wish you well in organising your pantry. There’s absolutely no denying it’s a BIG job, but well worth the effort – PLUS you can be #pantryporn smug when the job is complete!

Want to get a handle on the clutter in the other rooms of your house? There’s always Marie Kondo to whip you and your home into shape!

Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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