It’s time to face up: your kitchen pantry is probably a mess. You had good intentions for it once, but then you started putting things back where there was an empty space and before you knew it – disaster. Today I’m sharing 15 beautifully organised kitchen pantries to inspire you, as well as some tips for organising and styling your own cupboards.
The first thing you’ll need to do in clear out your cupboards. Get rid of things that are expired, group the remaining items together by type, and give your cupboards a good wash. This will allow you to see what you have, and what kind of storage you’ll need for them.
Invest in prettier storage. Wicker baskets allow you to keep messy items neatly corralled, and they also prevent colourful packaging from distracting you. Keeping your storage in line with the room design also helps to create cohesiveness, and it will feel tidier simply because the decor matches.
Organise your items like you’re shopping in a store. You’ll want to see everything you might need. Different flavours should sit side by side, and duplicates can be hidden behind each other. When you’re doing this, make sure to put the newer product at the back so that you’ll be reaching for the older one first.
Utilize custom storage solutions if you have products that simply don’t work on traditional shelves. Pull out drawers let you lie products down without losing their labels. This is good for taller things like wine bottles, pasta sauce jars, and even containers for spaghetti and fettucini.
If you’re painting your cupboards a bright colour, opt for clear storage so that you’re not blocking too much of it. Glass jars and wire baskets don’t take up a lot of visual space, and you’re able to easily see through to the back, but also to find what you need in seconds.
If you intend on using your pantry to store items like cookware, make sure that you select pieces that go together. Keep your mis-matched stuff hidden away, and let your prettiest items shine. Colourful items will give your space a pop of personality, and will look tidy due to the repetition.
If you have deeper shelves and are constantly losing things to the back, install a lazy susan. This tower here lets you rotate your shelves so you can always have what you’re looking for within reach. This is especially good for shorter people who have higher shelves – no more climbing on the bench to reach your boxes of tea.
Style your shelves like they belong in a magazine. You’ll instinctively keep things tidy if the rest of your pantry looks perfect. Organise items into zones and use matching containers to help channel that magazine-worthy feel.
Add slim shelves to doors of cupboards for your herbs and spices. The smaller containers take up so little room that it’s easy to install thin shelving and have them all on display. This also frees up proper shelving space for bigger and bulkier items such as cereal boxes or canned food.
Leave a little space! The easiest way for your pantry to start feeling messy is to have items crowded up together. It causes visual heaviness, and encourages you to add more to each little pile. Even if it’s only a finger-width apart, leave some space between your items so that they can breathe.
Deep cupboards can sometimes be a pain. You either lose things in the back, or you keep everything toward the front and have tonnes of empty space behind. You can either use that space to store things like out-of-use appliances and tupperware, or you can switch your shelves out for drawers. Full-extension drawers let you utilise the entire space, and it’s also easier to get to each item.
Label your clear containers so that you don’t get mixed up. Otherwise you might end up with three containers each holding different amounts of the same macaroni. Chalkboard labels are cheap and easy to change out, but make sure you get them in a shape that you like. A simple rectangle or oval will go with pretty much anything, but more decorative shapes can look good as well.
When it comes to jars and cans, make sure to put different types on different shelves. Store your jams away from your pesto, your beans and tomatoes away from your peaches. It may seem like a simple thing to do, but it will stop you from adding the wrong thing to a dish you’re making in a hurry.
There are no rules about pantry shelving, so go for something you can either adjust, or that works for your lifestyle. Mix drawers, small cubbies, larger shelves, and cupboards together to create a unique and customised space. PS: I say adjustable, because there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to fit newer items into already existing spaces.
My final tip is to zone cooking items away from snacking items. Being able to find everything you need for enchiladas or bolognese in one cupboard is so much quicker and easier than opening all of your cupboards in search of the elusive seasoning you want. I personally like to create separate areas for meal supplies, breakfast supplies, and snacks. It also means you wont be bumping elbows when you’re cooking and someone wants a packet of potato chips.
There are a whole lot of things that I haven’t covered in this post, and you definitely should keep researching. Plan out your cupboards to suit your own taste and style, and never buy storage items before you know what needs to be stored! Every person is unique, and every kitchen is different. Keep working at it until it makes you happy.
Header image is via The Container Store.