Organising: Pantry

The pantry can be one of the most cluttered and disorganised cupboards of the home, but today I’ll give you some ideas how to organise your pantry, using boxes, baskets, containers and extra shelves.  Organising the pantry doesn’t have to be a huge task, you have two choices:

    1. Remove everything from pantry onto your kitchen bench and give it a complete clean, declutter and organise; or
    2. Give it a quick 15 minute makeover.

The choice is yours depending how much time you have, but I assure you you will feel oh so good when this task is completed.

    1. Before starting try to plan your storage needs.  Visit stores such as Kmart, Big W,  Target or Ikea for great storage products.
    2. Throw out all products that have expired or past it’s best before date.
    3. Put aside anything that you have never used and probably won’t.  Donate to a charity or friend that you know will use them.
    4. Make a note off all products that are close to expiry, plan to use them while meal planning the following week.
    5. Use extra storage solutions to maximise the space in your pantry.  Using baskets, small wire shelves and containers.
    6. Consider which items are used more frequently and place them on shelves at easy reach.
    7. Group like items together, such as: pasta, baking, cereal, spreads, cans, oils and sauces, tea and coffee etc.
    8. Consider repacking bagged items (such as flour or pasta) into containers like recycled food jars, ice-cream containers, decor or tupperware.  This will help maximise your storage by being able to stack containers onto each other.  Also the decor and tupperware are airtight and will keep your foods fresh.
    9. Label all containers using a dymo, address labels cut in half or masking tape.  This will allow you to easily find items.
    10. Utilise space on walls or door to hang a spice rack.
    11. Step back and admire your organised pantry!

Keep it organised

The most important of this task is to learn to keep your pantry organised.  When returning from the grocery store make it a point to continue with your organising and place like items together.

My pantry

My pantry is filled with Tupperware modular mate containers.  I became a Tupperware Demonstrator 2 years ago purely because I wanted modular mates for my pantry so I earned some for free and purchased the rest at discount.  Apparently this is why most women start selling Tupperware lol, it can become an addiction (that much so that I’m having a party soon because I want more!!).  I’m no longer a demonstrator but I’m thrilled that I achieved my beautifully organised pantry.  In saying that though I’m not trying to advertise tupperware to you, Decor is a great choice as well easily accessible from Kmart, Big W or even Bunnings, it comes in a wide range of sizes.  I did see recently some gorgeous jars at Ikea which would be great for storing rice, flour and pastas.

Below: This is my pantry

Below: From bottom to top:  Recycling box with Containers for storing potatoes and onions.  Storage for foil, cling wrap and baking paper I purchased from homecare.  In basket I store all biscuits as I find if stacked onto each other the kids knock them over.  Spreads stored on top of wire rack with container of freshly made cookies and larger spread and lunch items underneath.  Oils, yes I have way too many oils and a few boxes of cake mixes for emergencies (I usually like to bake cakes from scratch) . On the wall on the left side hiding away is a spice rack filled with spices, I also hang a bag of bags and my dustpan on the wall.

Below: from bottom to top:  baskets for storing extra food items ready to put in containers when they are emptied and storage for kids lunch cooler bags.  I keep my cereal on a low shelf for easy access for the kids.  I need to keep cereal in these containers otherwise I was finding they were going stale as the kids wouldn’t close boxes properly. Next shelf up is crackers, dried fruit, chips, lollies and snacks…this is the shelf I look at when making kids lunches. Containers on the right side store packets of chips, muesli bars etc, all easy access for little fingers when hungry.  Top shelf is all my pasta’s, rice, flours, sugars…baking products.  On the wall on the right I usually have hung here the kids and my aprons, and another spice rack see details below.

Below:  Prior to this little shelving system it was hard for little me (i’m a shortie) to reach and see what was stored in this corner.  Recently I found these cute little shelves at Target and they have worked a treat organising this corner for me.  This system stores all my choc chips, sprinkles, bags of nuts, choc melts, candles and muffin cases.

Below:  The top of my pantry stores a basket of plastic storage bags, bin liners etc.  In the containers are first aide and medicines.  I have 4 containers (1) for bandaides, bandages etc.  (2) kids medication (3) adult medication (4) prescription repeats and medicine measuring cups.  To the right you can see another spice rack hung on shelf this rack stores all my vanilla and other flavoured essences and food colouring.

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Sarah August 28, 2010 - 8:20 AM

If and when my husband ever builds me my new pantry I aspire to have a pantry as beautifully organised as yours is!!!

Katrina - The Organi September 1, 2010 - 6:46 AM

He will one day and it will be stunning!!

Eat Out With Kids August 29, 2010 - 8:57 AM

My Grandfather said- a thing of beauty is a joy forever, and your pantry is a thing of beauty! I shall try to get my pantry under control.

Katrina - The Organi September 1, 2010 - 6:47 AM

Your grandfather is a wise man…thankyou my pantry keeps me sane on busy cooking nights.

Bacadak Designs August 31, 2010 - 3:39 AM

I found fantastic plastic bag holders from Howards Storage world and also House. They screw to the inside of a cupboard door. We keep ours on the inside of the cupboard under the sink. I know we are meant to be trying to go plastic bag free, but we just aren't there yet. These are sooo much better than the bag bags, as they never lose their elastic!!

Katrina - The Organi September 1, 2010 - 6:49 AM

Love howards storage world, I walked in there the other day and saw the bag holders, they are great aren't they. The backs of cupboard doors is a great unused space to hang them on.

May September 7, 2010 - 6:17 PM

What a wonderful post. I have been trying to sort out my pantry. Your photo's are a great inspiration.
Thanks for sharing

Katrina - The Organi September 8, 2010 - 1:44 AM

Thanks May, glad your inspired, let me know how you go. I'd love to see some photo's

Niesha October 25, 2010 - 8:40 AM

I love my tupperwre too! I too started Tupperware to fit out my pantry. So if anyone in Perth WA would like some help with their pantry I would love to come help you! Nothing like a clean organised place to store your food! Thanks for a inspiring blog!

Katrina - The Organi October 27, 2010 - 6:53 AM

thanks Niehsa

Christie December 31, 2010 - 7:54 AM

Wow, your pantry certainly is one to aspire to!

Katrina January 2, 2011 - 7:10 AM

Thankyou Christie!

Nikki @ Styling You January 8, 2011 - 8:27 AM

I have pantry envy! Mine is pretty organised but just too small. Would love a walk-in variety.

Katrina January 10, 2011 - 2:45 AM

lol, pantry envy….that's funny.

Sherelle January 23, 2014 - 10:00 AM

Me too! Mine is as organised as a small pantry can be! Similar to yours too!

Hear Mum Roar January 8, 2011 - 8:42 PM

Wow, what a well organised pantry! This is my goal..eventually, lol. I was using Sistema containers, but I'm going to switch over to Lock and Lock. They are really cheap, BPA free, easy to open and close, and have excellent seals.

Katrina January 10, 2011 - 2:49 AM

Keep your eye out of specials when they are on buy up plenty!! You'll get there in time 🙂

Christie @ Home Grow January 9, 2011 - 7:27 AM

Now that is some serious organisation, very inspiring!

Katrina January 10, 2011 - 3:02 AM

Thanks Christie!!

Jude January 29, 2012 - 12:58 PM

Your pantry is a work of art! I want one like yours!

Michelle February 16, 2012 - 7:52 AM

Thank you!!!!
My pantry is my number 1 frustration.
Now I have some new ideas to get it sorted once and for all.
AND my pantry is a corner one just like yours which I am excited about because your organisation suggestions will be perfect in my pantry too.
Thank you for the inspiration to give it yet another make over.

Rachel Adams February 29, 2012 - 1:21 PM

wow no way i could my panrty like that ,only a single door one with five shelves,im wondering i do store my sauces/condimnts on a lady susan maybe shoulld remove medicnes are on top of my fidge for extra space.

Sjpearce March 14, 2012 - 2:43 PM

The top of the fridge is quite warm – it could be damaging your meds 🙁

Amanda Croft March 14, 2012 - 8:46 AM

hi, that’s freaky!!! i cleaned out my pantry on the weekend – totally emptied it. Mine looks nearly exactly like yours – black tupperwre lids, white baskets, wire racks – even half the food is mine! hahaha. gotta love a tidy pantry!

Katrina March 14, 2012 - 11:57 AM

Makes it so much easier to find things when it’s organised…. love your taste!

Mel Mosley March 14, 2012 - 1:28 PM

Ohh I have just brought the tupperwear modular set for my new kitchen, such great ideas for storage, can’t wait to try it in my new pantry!!!

ana3168 March 14, 2012 - 1:31 PM

OMG i hate you, in a good way of course!!
Thanks for all the photos

Tanya March 14, 2012 - 1:45 PM

OMG this is my dream pantry!!!

Kimnikola March 14, 2012 - 1:48 PM


Natasha Johnson March 14, 2012 - 2:03 PM

Awesome. I love the baskets down the bottom for the lunch bags. Stealing this idea… From another Tupperware addict (I had to buy another double cupboard to keep my Tupperware in so it could be neatly organised when I am not using it. Maybe I have some issues LOL). Thanks for sharing all of your great tips.

Jacelle March 14, 2012 - 2:25 PM

I love your website! Had lots of fun today tidying up my pantry cupboard. All neatly organised now! I now my shopping list will be so much easier this week for having completed this daily task.

sam- o March 14, 2012 - 2:37 PM

I joined Tupperware in the 1990’s for the same reason! I always get comments on my pantry.

Lyndal @ NorthWest Tanning March 14, 2012 - 2:39 PM

Katrina … great advice. Love the photos as well. Thanks for the motivation. Have been looking at my pantry all week thinking I must reorganise it for the fourth time in 6 months!! Having read your post now I might be able to do it properly. Cheers, Lyndal 🙂

Sjpearce March 14, 2012 - 2:41 PM

I also have a heap of tupperware from when I was a demonstrator, with decor to fill the gaps since I left. While the tupperware is amazing I have found the decor isnt air tight at all. Biscuits go stale, caster sugar clumps and something happened to the smarties. I am now saving up to replace all the decor with tupperware – its definitely worth the extra money

C.C. March 14, 2012 - 3:45 PM

Thats one gorgeous pantry! Everything must be so easy to access. I love the Tupperware Custom Kitchen PLanning – I’m also a Tupperware Demonstrator on the Gold Coast. Theres a real process to the planning – I have planned my own pantry but have not yet purchased everything I need – one day I will have a fantastic and functional pantry just like you!

Kylie March 14, 2012 - 7:51 PM

I also have a heap of Tupperware as its virtually air tight unlike the cheaper options. But I use Decor etc for things like tea bags & museli bars as they don’t need to be airtight.
A lazy Susan works well in deep/high corners, I used to keep my spices on one.

Jodie March 14, 2012 - 8:59 PM

i have to agree with you about tupperware thats why i joined up last year and my pantry is awesome!! i find it so much easier and everything fits, it may take an extra 5 minutes to empty the rice and the biscuits ect into the right containers but now i know where everything is and i havent got 6 packets of everything opened at the one time!
thankyou for showing me some new ideas aswell, love the idea of the baskets underneth.. have been trying to figure out a way to store things like the 2 kidlets lunch boxes ect .. the only thing is i have a 22 month old so the chips may need to find a new home for now!
you are doing a wonderful job thankyou for sharing!!!

Angela Ives December 10, 2013 - 11:29 AM

I only did my pantry the other week. Instead of tuppaware I reuse the empty Maccona jars (the big ones). The lid on the jars I can cut out the label and put in inside the lid. Great for lentils, dried fruit and cooking sugars as they keep better. I also have a chest of draws in my pantry which I use as for the spices (yes I have a very large walk in pantry) The spices lie down so I can see their label.
Thanks for your tips I am enjoying getting your blogs 🙂

Katrina December 10, 2013 - 4:38 PM

Those Maccona Jars are a great size, I save them up through the year and use them to make cookies in a jar for friends

fitri January 25, 2014 - 1:27 AM

what is the product’s name for ur potatoes storage?

Carissa October 14, 2014 - 4:10 PM

One of the only places in my home to stay organised is my pantry! It’s not huge and I am a stocker-upperer so it’s imperative that it’s sorted. I am tempted by Tupperware but I love old glass jars too much! Not easy to find the square ones but worth it for how much easier it is to arrange. I use an old picnic basket for the spuds and onions. And another for the pet food.
Funny how important it is to have it looking good even tho it’s behind closed doors!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 15, 2014 - 11:20 AM

Fantastic Carissa, I love the sound of howl organised your pantry is!!.:)

tam December 27, 2014 - 11:55 AM

This is on my list to do this week and would live a big panry as mine is in 4 different cup

Sheridan January 2, 2015 - 7:12 PM

Hi Katrina, Im so glad I found your blog on organising the pantry. Mine has been on my to-do list for quite a while. But today I have achieved success. My pantry is quite similar to your one. I found the perfect storage containers at kmart, plus a lazy susan & bunnings for large baskets for bottom of pantry for lunch bags,shopping bags & campfire cooking items. My next mission, the linen cupboard. Thanks again xx

Lorraine February 19, 2015 - 11:47 PM

HI I love your pantry and wish our new house had a pantry such as yours but alas we do not – my kitchen has pull out large drawers and some wall cupboards (x2) so I struggle to find a system that works as all my food is in drawers so I would love any suggestions!!

Jen @ lifewrangling August 6, 2015 - 1:07 AM

I just recently spent a WHOLE DAY cleaning out my pantry and boy do I feel good now! I was absolutely amazed at the types of things that made their way in there and never came back out again. It’s definielty something I will do more often.

Kate - Kat's Assistant August 6, 2015 - 11:55 AM

Well done, Jen! How good does it feel once it is all done. I just love opening up my pantry and seeing how lovely organised it is LOL.:)

Gwenda Darling February 1, 2016 - 8:03 AM

Trouble is that just about every square inch of my pantry and fridge is full.
I grew up in a corner store and no longer have a car so the thought of running out of anything is stressful.
My brother came the other day and wondered if I will ever use sixteen packets of butter.
In the pantry, I really struggle. Mostly with packets. I have containers but too many packets. Like ten packets of rice.
I need to overcome my food hoarding addiction

Sherry February 2, 2016 - 12:30 AM

I don’t have a pantry, but I do have a corner cabinet “in the round”. Do you have any ideas on how to organize it as nicely as a pantry?

Therese May 11, 2016 - 11:45 AM

I love those little wire racks! What a great idea! Like you I am a little vertically challenged so I too have trouble reaching into the higher corners of my pantry. Looks like I am off to Target!

Cat January 21, 2018 - 5:09 PM

I love your pantry! I’ve just been buying up second hand Tupperware as I can’t afford new, but want quality. My pantry is now looking so organised, it makes me happy seeing it like that.
I love the racks & baskets you have too. I have one rack for cans & one of the largest baskets for bits n pieces like light globes, etc. thank you for the inspiration.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 22, 2018 - 9:07 AM

Sounds great Cat. Feel free to post a photo to help inspire others

Aradhana September 27, 2018 - 7:08 PM

Very good explanation tips you have shared with us. All the tips you have given will make my pantry arrangement very easy this time. Reading the above tips, I’ve definitely picked some good ideas for my list. Thanks for sharing. Great Work.

Nadia August 4, 2020 - 2:48 AM

Hi Kat….just used your pantry as inspiration to get up and finally tackle mine. Everything is now organized and the family is happy.
Thank you and know that your work is inspiring us all over the world.

Love from the beautiful island of Barbados!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 6, 2020 - 1:13 PM

Nadia this put a big smile on my face! I am so happy that you felt inspired. I bet the weather is beautiful where you are (I’m just a little bit jealous!). Kat x

BellaInAus August 15, 2020 - 9:21 AM

We are moving again soon and setting up a new pantry is something I’m looking forward to. We went from a walk in pantry in our old house to some cupboards under the bench in this rental. We’ve just signed the contract for a new smaller house that has a tall pantry cupboard and I’m really looking forward to not having to crouch to see what’s at the back of the cupboard.

One hint – add (big!) labels to your shelves so that everyone knows where the containers belong. That way they have one less excuse for not putting things away.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 17, 2020 - 3:07 PM

How wonderful! Enjoy your fabulous new tall pantry, and thank you for the sticker tip too 🙂


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