5-steps to pantry organisation

Written by SM Team

November 1, 2023

Pantry organisation

The pantry serves as the very heart of the home for an efficient and smoothly-run kitchen. As the area for food storage and appliances, this is the very beginning where family, friends and food begins.

With its often hourly use, the pantry can easily become messy and get complicated. Open cereal boxes. Cluttered spices and herbs. Sauce bottles here and there. Messy appliance cords rolled all over the place. Where can I find the crackers?

Heaven is a full pantry

A messy pantry complicates the kitchen so cooking and entertaining is stressful – and this isn’t fair. We deserve to eat and entertain in peace. Effectively organising our pantry will keep meals a breeze and getting out the cheese platter for guests a pleasure.

Essentially, good pantry organisation comes down to
✅ Maximising your shelves
✅ Plenty of storage containers, and
✅ Planning zones and areas

Turn the pantry into a well-organised food storage haven with these easy hacks

5 step pantry organisation checklist


1. Declutter, take stock and group

Kick things off by cleaning out the pantry. 

Get rid of expired, spoiled or stale items and give away ingredients you no longer want – 

ℹ️ Goodwill is always looking for quality staple items to pass on to people who need them most.

Wipe down all shelves so they are clear of crumbs, old packaging and spilled sauces. 

Once all clear, take stock of the pantry and create categories of your items. Separate baking supplies, canned goods, staples, snacks and spices. What categories you have largely depends on you or your family’s needs. 

You’ll also know what’s in stock to avoid doubling up on buying ingredients while keeping the pantry free of clutter.

2. Maximise shelf space

Make the most of your pantry shelves with space-saving techniques. Adjustable and stackable shelves utilise vertical space between shelves efficiently.

Transparent, plastic or wire bins tidily contain ingredients and product, making it easy to always find what you need.

Take advantage of the inside of cabinet doors, installing spice racks, pull-out organisers, hanging storage or hooks.

3. Invest in storage

Storage containers are your best friends. Just like people, they come in all shapes and sizes and love to store things.

Deep drawer containers are great for storing products such as oils, vinegar and sauces. You can pull the entire container out and make your selection without rummaging through the whole of the pantry. Because deep drawer containers come in different lengths, you will want to know your pantry measurements to make sure they fit.

Large bulky boxes take up more space than needed, so airtight containers stackable are helpful in maximising this space while preserving your ingredients.

Clear containers allow you to easily identify what’s stored inside.

Large storage containers can store large quantities of staples such as rice, pasta, flour, and cereals while keeping smells and pests at bay.

Smaller containers for snacks, baking ingredients or spices are also great for stacking

Large mesh shelves are great for increasing space, and ideal for storing potatoes, onions, garlic or ginger.

4. Establish zones and label

Divide your pantry into defined zones according to your categories.

Storage containers also allow you to create zones in your pantry so you can find what you need in one go – rather than sifting through boxes or packages.

Designate particular shelves or spaces for areas such as baking, breakfast or canned goods.

Labels and signs are great with clearly identifying areas as well. If it’s difficult to immediately identify what’s stored in your containers, label them.

5. Rotate and maintain

The main part of a tidy and well-organised pantry comes down to habitually rotating your food items.

New groceries should be placed behind the items you already have to work through the older products first. 

Grocery shopping is also a great time to clear our expired and spoiled food and packaging. 

Setting up a consistent schedule for pantry organisation and cleaning – whether weekly or monthly – will keep everything in order. Sticking to these routines will prevent the buildup of clutter and make it easier to find and access your pantry.


Just like expired food in a pantry, we must make sure to throw out old thoughts that haunt us so we can better see goodness – Darby Dugger

A messy pantry complicates the kitchen so cooking and entertaining is stressful – when we deserve to eat and entertain in peace.

Space Managers declutters and organises kitchens and pantries for busy families and homes.  

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