The New Year gives us time to reflect on what we want to achieve in the 12 months ahead, but between fitness, travel, work, life, and home goals it can be overwhelming. Let’s start with a task that will only take a few hours to complete (depending on the size of your pantry) and will put you on track to getting your home organised for 2023 – it’s time for a pantry refresh!
Whether it’s a walk-in pantry, butler’s kitchen, larder, or simply some dedicated cupboard space, our tips below will help you get one more thing checked off the list. These tips will also be useful if you’re planning a new kitchen and need to think about how you’ll maximise your space moving forward.
Start by removing everything in your pantry and create three groups:
- Keep – everything you plan in putting back in your pantry.
- Donate – if those extra tins of shortbread, bags of crisps, or beans are going to go to waste, search for a local food bank you could gift your unwanted items to.
- Toss – anything that’s expired, stale, or can’t be donated. You’d be surprised how many spices you have that are out of date.
Now you have your ‘Keep’ pile, group similar items together, such as canned goods, spices, and baking supplies. Make a list of any missing items so you can include these in your planning phase, it’s also a good time to note down any items you’d like to use in a meal plan over the next few weeks. Clean down your space with warm soapy water and some disinfectant so it’s ‘New Year, New Pantry’ ready. Set your items back in your pantry while you work on your plan of action.
If you’d like to make your space more visual, we suggest using clear containers to store your items, this will improve the aesthetic of your space as well as help to keep on top of food wastage. Although it’s tempting to purchase your baskets, containers, or labels prior to organising, you’ll have less returns to do if you create a checklist specifically matched to your space and supplies.
Grab a pen and paper to map out your pantry so you can determine how to use your space in the most effective way possible, keep in mind our top tips:
- Put your most frequently used items in a place that’s easy to reach and at eye level.
- Place heavier items on lower shelves, and lighter items on higher shelves.
- Consider using stackable racks to create more storage space, perfect for smaller tinned goods.
- Think about using drawer organisers for small items such as packets of seasoning or tea bags, and baskets to group smaller products together that you can easily pull out when needed.
- If you’re opting to store your food items in containers make sure to measure the space you have and the size of containers you can fit, as well as the supplies going in the containers – if you’re a spaghetti fan make sure to get containers tall enough.
For containers, it’ll be down to your personal preference what you choose, you could opt for glass containers with bamboo lids, some Kilner clip top storage jars, or some stackable plastic canisters. You can also decant your spices and herbs to match with sliver-lidded jars or bamboo-lidded containers.
Labelling containers, baskets or bins will make it even easier to find what you’re looking for especially if you opt for opaque containers to store the likes of biscuits. Wipeable label clips are perfect for these. You can also use labels or white chalk markers to keep track of expiration dates on the bottom or back of your jars and canisters, to make stock rotation easier. If you want custom labels, you can order clear ones or white/brown ones off Etsy or use Canva to create and print your own. If you’ve lots of labelling to do in and around your home you could buy a label maker, like this Dymo version which creates industrial embossed labels which look great in black or a Phomemo label maker which works direct from your smart phone.
If you’re investing in a new kitchen this year and have the opportunity to plan your pantry from scratch, then we have lots of internal solutions that’ll make your space functional and beautiful in addition to the tips above.
Left: Belgravia, Slate Blue – Solid Oak Wine Glass Holder & Wine Rack | Top Right: Clifden, Porcelain & Heritage Green – Solid Oak Half Height Pantry Ladder & Rail Kit | Bottom Right: Belgravia, Lavender – Solid Oak Sloped Dovetail Drawer
Organising your pantry can be a simple and satisfying task that will make cooking and meal planning easier. Start by decluttering and getting rid of expired or unwanted items, then group similar items together and use clear containers or labelled bins to keep things visible and easily accessible. Don't forget to regularly go through your pantry and restock or rotate items as needed. With a little bit of effort, you can transform your pantry into a functional and efficient space. Happy organising!
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