Tuesday 21 August 2012

Pantry Organisation

My pantry - one of the most important cupboards in the house!  Since I have been blogging, I have had numerous requests to share how I organise my pantry, and thanks to Larissa at My Pigeon Pair, I am finally coming through with the goods!  

Larissa is starting a series, called One Space At A Time, which you can read about here, where she will be linking up bloggers' and readers' organisation tips for a certain area of the home.  Larissa's idea behind this series is: together we can motivate, inspire and challenge each other to transform our homes and lives “One Space At A Time” - and this week it is the pantry!

So, here is a picture of my organised pantry.  It is like my little shop!  I love having lots on food on hand, so that I can cook or bake whatever my heart (or tummy) desires at short notice.  

  Let's break down the shelves... 

The top two shelves are stocked with Tupperware Modular Mates, with black seals.  I worked as a Tupperware demonstrator about 7 years ago, and this is how I built up such a collection.  The top row has my big containers (MM squares), such as flour, rice, sugar, etc.  You will notice that these containers are pushed to the front of the shelf.   This serves two purposes: 1 - so that I can reach them without needing a ladder! 2 - I store spare containers and our liquor supply behind them (items we don't access very often, so they are hidden away).

The second row has my smaller containers (MM ovals and mini-rectangles) for smaller quantity items (stock, bicarb, nuts) and cereals.  All of our snacks are also stored in the mini-rectangles - if I open a packet of biscuits or chips, they go into a container to keep fresh.  And because the containers are see-through, my husband can see exactly what he can choose from to snack on ;)  These items are pushed to the back of the shelf.  Sometimes in front I put containers of baked goods or loaves of fresh bread.

My third shelf has my cans/jars on an expanding rack (below), which I bought from Howards Storage World.  I love that the items are tiered, so that you can see what is in behind.  And spare foil and lunch wraps slide in perfectly underneath (as you can see on the left hand side).

Next to the cans/jars is my Tupperware Place for Packets organiser, which is perfect for organising all of the sachets and packets that I keep supplies of in my pantry.  And beside the packets, I have all of my oils lined up against the far right wall of the pantry.

The fourth shelf (see original photo above) has my Tupperware Access Mates, one for snacks, one for potatoes and the small one for onions.  The rest of this shelf is pretty much spare containers or excess containers of less commonly used food that won't fit on the top two shelves.  Again, the Access Mates are pushed to the front, and the spare containers all hide in behind.

My bottom shelf has two pull-out drawers (which I also bought at Howards Storage World), which store all of the big packets, boxes, etc of food.  The drawers pull out, so that it is easy to see what is stored in behind.

Quite recently, I have added these storage baskets to the inside of the doors of the pantry.  I bought a range of different sized baskets, based on what I wanted to store in them.  They come in a variety of lengths and depths, so it is really easy to find something to suit all of your needs.

On the right, there are four baskets that are big enough to hold cans and jars of food.

On the left hand side, I have six baskets in total.

I have three spice racks.  I store my spices in alphabetical order - this is just logical to me, as if I am looking for something, it is easy to scan through and find the item according to its letter order.

Below this I have one basket for essences, colours and flavours.  The spice racks are the perfect size for these little bottles.  Then I have two more baskets underneath, which hold odd boxes, cans and jars of items I don't use all the time, but like to have in stock in my pantry.

These baskets have created SO much additional space in my pantry, as all of these items that are now magically on the doors, used to take up precious shelf space.  I love being able to see everything at a glance, and it is so easy to maintain, as things just go back into a basket, and don't need to be lined up or stacked strategically so that they don't take up too much room.

And that, my friends, is my pantry.  I hope that you found a few organising ideas that might work for you.  I promise that the inside door shelves will make so much extra room for you, this vertical space is honestly free real estate that is waiting for you to use it!  And the tiered shelf for cans and the big wire drawers allow for things all the way at the back to be seen and then used!

For me, having an organised pantry helps me to save money in three ways:

1)  It makes it simple to organise meals when I do my weekly meal planning, as I can see exactly what I have available, and combined with what is in my freezer, I can plan meals using food that I already have, saving me money when I do my weekly grocery shopping. 

2)  As food gets used and rotated regularly, before its expiration date, I rarely throw away food that is out of date, because I know exactly what I have, and I use it.

3)  If I am having unexpected guests or we need an easy dinner for the weekend, I know that I have staples that I can count on to whip up a meal or snack that is yummy, without racing to the shop and spending my money on a random impluse buy, which is likely to be unhealthy too!
I believe that having an organised pantry keeps your head clear, your body beautiful and your purse happy too :)

Make sure you come and join in the pantry party over at My Pigeon Pair, and share your great pantry organisation tips with us! 


Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts said...

Wow, awesome pantry!! I love the spice racks - so much easier to find what you need!

onshore said...

That is truly very organized. I can believe how easy it is to find all.

This is also very inspiring since the cabinet you have there is quite deep. Ours is too and I've find that to be difficult, but you seem to have made it work.

Cassandra said...

Me too Alyce! They are the best thing for freeing up shelf space, but also to allow everything to be seen more easily! xx

Cassandra said...

Hi Leena! I have struggled with the depth of my pantry for a long time. Bringing things to the inside of the doors has helped to move items hiding at the back into clear view! If I had my chance again, I would buy Modular Mates rectangle containers, rather than squares, as these use more horizontal space, rather than vertical. But I am happy with the current arrangement for now :)

Anonymous said...

I tried doing this in the past although not nearly as nice as yours but i found that when i would go to use something i was concerned that it was dated..i have an obsession with expiry dates what would be your suggestion for this

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