From Chaos to Calm: Pantry Organisation Ideas

From Chaos to Calm: Pantry Organisation Ideas

An organised pantry is visually pleasing and can help you save time, reduce waste, and simplify meal planning. With a little bit of effort, you can transform your cluttered pantry into a well-oiled machine. Imagine opening your pantry and easily finding the ingredients you need, with everything in its proper place. Imagine knowing exactly what you have on hand and what you need to buy without having to search through endless bags and containers. With a well-organised pantry, you can turn this vision into a reality.

Pantry organisation may seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. In this guide, we'll take you step-by-step through the process of assessing your pantry's current state, planning your space, and organising your items for maximum efficiency. We'll provide long-term pantry organisation ideas and tips for maintaining your organised space. Whether you're an expert home cook or just starting, a well-organised pantry can make a world of difference. So, let's get started on how to organise your pantry and transform it into a stress-free, well-stocked haven!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to organise a pantry?

The best way to organise a pantry is to group like items together, use storage containers and labels, and prioritise items for easy access. You can create a functional and efficient pantry space by implementing these strategies.

How long does it take to organise a pantry?

The time it takes to organise a pantry can vary depending on the size of the space and the level of clutter. However, on average, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to completely clean, declutter, and organise a pantry.

How to organise deep pantry shelves?

When it comes to deep pantry storage ideas - it's important to maximise the use of vertical space with shelf risers or stackable containers. Use clear containers or labels that make finding items at the back of the shelf easy. Also, group like items together and place them within easy reach.

Assessing your pantry's current state

Pantry Storage Shelves

Before diving in, take a moment to assess the situation and determine your pantry needs. Start by taking a good look at your pantry. Is it cluttered and disorganised, with food items stuffed haphazardly onto shelves and into corners? Or is it already fairly tidy, with some semblance of order? Next, ask yourself questions to help identify your specific pantry organisation needs. For example:

  • What are your goals for your pantry?
  • Do you want to create more space, reduce clutter, or be able to find items more easily?
  • What items do you use most frequently, and which items do you rarely use?
  • Are specific areas of your pantry especially difficult to access or use?
  • What storage solutions do you currently use, and are they working effectively for you?

With a clear vision of what you want to achieve, you can begin to plan and implement effective pantry storage solutions that will work for you. Stay tuned for the next section of our guide, where we'll discuss how to clean out and declutter your pantry to make room for your new organisational system. With our pantry storage ideas, you'll be on your way to a beautifully organised space in no time.

Getting Started: Cleaning & Clearing Out

Now that you've assessed the state of your pantry, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! The first step in organising any space is to clean and declutter, and your pantry is no exception.

Begin by emptying your pantry. This will give you a fresh start and allow you to see everything you have. As you remove items from your pantry, take a moment to examine each one and determine whether it's worth keeping or not. Here are some tips for decluttering your pantry:

  • Check expiration dates

    Get rid of any expired items. If you're unsure whether something is still good, check the expiration date or use your senses to determine if it's still fresh.

  • Toss items you don't use

    Get rid of any items you haven't used in a long time or know you won't use them in the future. This includes items you bought on a whim, duplicates, and foods that don't fit your current dietary needs.

  • Consider donating unexpired items

    If you have unexpired items, you don't need or won't use, consider donating them to a local food bank or pantry. This is a great way to reduce waste and help those in need.

Once you've decluttered your pantry, it's time to clean it. Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth, paying special attention to any spills or sticky spots. You may also want to vacuum or sweep the floor to remove crumbs or debris. Remember, the key to a well-organised pantry is to create a system that makes sense for you. The next section of our guide delves deeper into pantry organisation ideas and storage solutions to help create a beautiful space that works for you.

Planning your pantry space

Now that you've cleaned and decluttered your pantry, it's time to plan out your space and determine your storage needs. A well-organised pantry requires thoughtful planning to ensure that everything has a place and is easily accessible.

Step 1

Start by measuring your pantry space, including the shelves' height, width, depth and any available floor space. This will help you determine the types and sizes of storage solutions you need.

Step 2

Next, assess your storage needs based on the items you plan to store in your pantry. For example, you might need to consider the following:

  • The food items you'll be storing include canned goods, spices, or dry goods.
  • The frequency with which you use different items. For example, you might want to keep frequently used items at eye level for easy access.
  • The amount of storage space you need for each item, such as tall shelves for cereal boxes or shallow baskets for snacks.
  • Any special considerations, such as storage for small appliances or pet food.

Next, it's time to choose the right storage solutions for your pantry. Here are some options to consider:


Adjustable shelving is a must for any organised pantry. Consider installing additional shelves or using shelf risers to maximise vertical space.


Baskets are a great way to corral small items and keep them organised. Choose clear baskets for easy visibility.

Lazy Susans

A great solution for storing small items like spices or condiments. They make it easy to access items at the back without having to move everything around.

Stay tuned for the final section of our guide, where we'll share some additional pantry organisation ideas and tips for maintaining your organised space.

How to organise a pantry: a step-by-step guide

Now that you've planned out your pantry space and selected your storage solutions, it's time to get organised! Follow these steps to create a beautifully organised pantry that works for you:

Step 1: Use vertical space

This is a particularly useful step for small pantry organisation. Make use of your pantry's vertical space by installing shelves that go all the way to the ceiling. This will give you extra space to store items that you don't use as often. You can also use vertical organisers or hooks to hang items like brooms, dustpans, or reusable bags.

Step 2: Group like items together

One of the key principles of pantry organisation is grouping like items together. This makes it easy to find what you need and helps prevent duplicate purchases. For example, group all your canned goods together, all your baking supplies together, and all your snacks together. Ideas like grouping similar items are great if you have a small walk-in pantry. But don't stop there. There are other ways to store your food items and maximise the efficiency of the space. For instance, you could create a breakfast shelf, lunch section, etc.

Step 3: Use storage containers and labels

Storage containers and labels are essential for keeping your pantry organised. Use clear, airtight containers for dry goods like pasta and rice, and label them with the contents and expiration date. This makes it easy to see what you have and when it expires. The side benefit of decanting your flour and rice in an airtight container is that you'll avoid flour beetles and rice weevils. Use baskets or bins for snacks or small items, and label them.

Step 4: Prioritise items for easy access

When organising your pantry, it's important to consider the frequency with which you use different items. Keep frequently used items at eye level for easy access and less frequently used items on higher or lower shelves. Store heavy items on lower shelves to avoid injury.

Step 4: Utilise the back of the door

Having a small pantry doesn't mean you have to sacrifice organisation. The back of the pantry door is prime real estate for small pantry organisation. Over-the-door organisers are a great way to make use of this unused space. Install hooks to hold items like spices, snacks, or cleaning supplies. This will free up valuable shelf space and make items easily accessible. In fact, they're excellent as walk-in pantry ideas. Use them to store small items like snacks or spices.

Step 5: Consider the aesthetics

A beautifully organised pantry not only functions well but looks great too! Consider using coordinating storage containers or baskets to create a cohesive look. Choose a colour scheme that complements your kitchen decor, and use decorative labels or tags to add a personal touch.

[BONUS] Tips for an organised pantry

Read on to discover our bonus pantry storage ideas and tips for even more inspiration!

  • If you're stocking up on onions and potatoes in the pantry, ensure you don't place them in the same basket. You see, onion and potatoes or garlic and potatoes placed together will accelerate the deterioration process of both food items.
  • Similarly, keeping spices like cumin and curry powders away from flour and bread is wise, as the latter can absorb these flavours.
  • Source containers with wide mouths for items like rice and flour - especially if you prefer scooping it out with a measuring cup or spoon.
  • If you have children, an easy-access shelf corner dedicated to healthy snacks is a great way for parents to save effort and time.
  • If you have space, we recommend a counter for small appliances. This means you can keep those rice cookers, blenders, mixers and toasters off your kitchen bench.

Once your pantry is organised, it's important to maintain it. Take a few minutes each week to tidy up, dust the spills and check expiration dates. When you bring home groceries, take the time to put everything in its proper place. This will only take a few minutes each week but will save you time and frustration in the long run. Use this time also to wipe down shelves and containers and make a note of any items you may need to restock. By staying on top of your pantry organisation with these small weekly check-ins, you'll have an always organised pantry ready to use. Lastly, consider doing a quarterly or bi-annual pantry purge to keep everything fresh and up-to-date.

An organised pantry sparks joy

In the words of Marie Kondo, there is joy in a tidy pantry. An organised pantry can help reduce stress, save time, and simplify meal planning and cooking. With a clear and clutter-free space, you can easily see what's already there to avoid buying unnecessary duplicates. Plus, a tidy pantry can make you feel more in control and accomplished, leading to a sense of joy and satisfaction. From canisters and containers to food storage solutions and general kitchen storage - Harris Scarfe offers a range of options. We've also created an exhaustive kitchen organisation guide to help you give this space a complete overhaul. Stay tuned to the Food Hub for more kitchen inspiration.