Pantry Organisation And Kitchen Storage Ideas
Kitchen chaos can happen to any home cook, but one of the best ways to prevent it is to keep your kitchen organised. From the pantry and cupboards to your countertop and shelves, utilising every space in your kitchen is paramount to keeping it clean and organised.
At Spotlight we offer a lot of kitchen appliances and tools, so we recognise the importance of keeping it all neat and tidy, both for hygienic reasons, and to ensure you can find what you need, when you need it. We've got heaps of handy pantry and kitchen storage supplies you can use to keep everything in its place, and a few ideas on how to use them - read our comprehensive pantry and kitchen storage guide and refresh your kitchen today!
Your pantry is like your bedroom closet. If it's cluttered and chaotic, getting ready each day is a chore. The easiest part of preparing meals should be grabbing the ingredients you need from the cupboard. But it can easily become a frustrating quest if you're peering into disorganised corners, squinting to find things and see if they're past their used-by date.
The good news: coordinating your pantry isn't difficult and it is easy to achieve on a budget. Follow along with us as we break down the main elements of your pantry storage, along with tips about how to stay organised, so you'll always be able to find what you need and you can do away with unwanted rummaging for good.
Make a clean slate
Before you bring your new world of pantry organisation to life, you'll need to remove everything from your current pantry. Empty it out, dispose of anything that's beyond its safe expiry date and give the shelves a good dust and wipe down. This is a good opportunity to see if you have any pantry pests lurking about - check the corners and edges of your pantry shelves for webbing, husks and insect life, and remove them vigorously if you find them!
This might even be a good time to give your pantry a fresh coat of paint - maybe even in a lighter colour to help with visibility - or a new varnish. Take a photo - it's fun to do a before and after shot when you're set up with your new arrangement.
Plan it out
Next, measure your pantry and draw it out with accurate dimensions. This step will prove to be a huge help in choosing the right organising solutions to streamline your space. When sourcing containers and storage options, refer to your measurements to make sure they all fit comfortably and sit together, or on top of each other, as needed.
Set up for daily use
How you use your pantry on a day-to-day basis should dictate its set-up. It's very frustrating when that item you need is hard to find or out of reach.
When you start configuring your new layout, consider the height of the person responsible for most of the meal preparation, as well as how often certain food items are used. You'll want to place your least-used items toward the back and higher in your pantry, while your most frequently used items should sit towards the front and at eye level.
Contain the chaos
Storage containers are your best friend in the pantry. Using them to hold food items helps you get rid of bulky packaging and make the most of the space you have to work with.
Layer your containers, especially if you're short on space. Investing in stackable storage that can hold cereals, pasta, sugars, flours and everything in between will optimise your storage space. Matching or theming containers will help your pantry look neat and tidy, and you can add a splash of style with colours and patterns that suit your overall kitchen look.
Using clear storage containers for some food items plays an important role in keeping your pantry working well. Plastic and glass containers allow you to see what's stocked inside and where it is at a glance.
This technique, along with setting up your pantry according to its everyday usage and flow, will help you know which supplies are needed and when. This will also save you from accidentally buying something you already had hidden away in plain sight.
If your pantry will support them, installing containers on the inside of the door is a winning idea as well! This underused area is ideal for quick access to smaller, commonly used items like spices, as well as cleaning tools like spray bottles and rolls of cleaning material.
Browse our range of pantry storage containers to discover a great range of clear, air-tight containers perfect for pantry storage.
Put zones to work
Perhaps the best trick in the book for keeping your pantry organised is the art of zoning - creating different areas throughout your pantry that serve specific purposes, and separating them using your containers or special dividers.
Popular zones include baking supplies, breakfast items and snacks. Another trick is to organise ingredients for regular meals into containers so you reduce your meal preparation time. If you have hungry youngsters at home, you can create a zone just for them - full of 'parental approved' after-school snacks in an easy-to-reach position.
Spell it out
If your pantry is well-stocked and well-used by numerous family members, labels can help keep things in order. Use a label maker or adhesive tape to clearly name your pantry zones and the supplies within those zones.
If printed labels aren't your thing, you might like to use a marker to write or draw creatively on the outside of your containers (just make sure you use removable pens - do a test first). A fun idea is to paint a chalkboard on the inside of your pantry doors to create a space for writing your shopping lists or menu ideas for the week. If paint isn't an option, hang a small chalkboard instead.
Multiply your space
There's no rule that says pantry storage needs to stay in your pantry. You can use any drawers or cabinets in your kitchen as overflow for your pantry, stacking containers, bins, baskets or jars. Use them liberally to your heart's content.
Replicate the zoning and labelling system you used in your main pantry space... and watch your storage capacity grow!
Build a routine
Once you've put the final touches on your perfect pantry set-up and you're enjoying the results, remember to check in on a regular basis.
Make sure the arrangement still works for your everyday needs, your zones are still doing the job and the clutter isn't building up. Incorporating pantry checks into your normal kitchen and household routines (just like meal preparation and cleaning) will keep things running smoothly and your pantry shining.
Maximise The Rest Of Your Kitchen Storage
Most of us aren't blessed with huge showroom kitchens, so we have to take advantage of every available inch. Smart storage is essential for a highly functional kitchen that lets you get the job done while also being an appealing heart for your home.
Before you start planning your storage, you should think through how much space you'll need. Consider your kitchen inventory (crockery, cutlery, pots, pans and food items), including how many people live in your home and how often you use your kitchen.
Take a look at the following tips to help you get a handle on maximising your kitchen storage and keeping cooking chaos under control.
One of the best ways to handle your kitchen clutter is to make your kitchen drawers work extra hard. Drawers often attract stray objects in your kitchen but, with the right equipment, they can be a more space-efficient option than a standard kitchen cupboard.
Trays, dividers and organisers are your secret weapon. Cutlery trays will keep your knives, forks and spoons orderly and always ready to use. But drawers aren't just for cutlery. Dividers will section off your drawers into separate, workable areas where containers or trays can then house things like spices, pantry items and other bits and pieces that might get lost in the disorder of a messy drawer (ties, clips or rubber bands).
Tip: Draw your drawer (no pun intended) before you start filling it with your kitchen tools and utensils. Measure out where you want different things to live, as well as the various dividers and organisers you'll need to build it.
Containers and jars
Sealable containers are, quite simply, a storage lifesaver. They're perfect for organising meals in advance for refrigeration, pre-making lunches for the family, and keeping food fresh after it's been opened. Available in all manner of shapes and sizes, your sealable containers might also be designed to fit together neatly in the fridge, freezer or cupboard.
Cereal and pasta holders will keep those ingredients tucked away, while the transparency of the receptacles can also be an attractive statement. Other containers are tailor-made to store sauces and dips. If you like making your own jams, chutneys or preserves, storage jars are ideal for keeping your handiwork protected until you want to use them.
You can combine storage ideas and stack small containers side-by-side in a drawer to house cooking and baking ingredients that are most used, such as seasonings or flours. These options can be extra helpful if you have a small pantry and minimal cupboard space.
Tip: Always store your most frequently used items at the front of the pantry, cupboard or drawer so you don't have to dig behind other items to access them.
Not all your kitchen goodies have to be tucked away. Make functionality a feature by showing off stylish storage items on your kitchen countertop - the perfect way to keep everyday essentials close at hand while maximising your kitchen space.
Some items are too big to keep in drawers. These are ideal for utensil holders to strike a pose on your countertop and keep your larger cooking instruments ordered. For example:
- Canisters for coffee, tea or sugar might be stowed near your kettle
- Containers that share a pattern or colour scheme will help add cohesiveness and personality to your counters
- Mug trees are a fun and attractive way to store frequently used mugs on the counter
- Paper towel holders are a must to keep this important item out of the way but still handy at all times.
- Another smart addition to your countertop is decorative trinket trays and containers for keeping your important knick-knacks together and within easy reach.
Lastly, don't forget your sink. Make it do double duty by putting dish racks and in-sink organisers to work. While they're not a permanent storage option, they're indispensable tidy helpers while you're cooking or cleaning. Double-decker sink racks and storage systems add even more capacity to a tight space.
Shelving and hanging
If you have spare wall space in your kitchen, consider introducing shelving as a clutter-buster. Open shelves let you move cookbooks, pantry items, dishes and even appliances out of the way, and offer another place to nest those themed jars and canisters.
You can also try hanging storage. Affixing a rail and hooks to hang your favourite or popular pots, pans and cooking utensils is fantastic for putting under-utilised wall space to work, and can add a stylish or fashionable industrial touch to your overall kitchen look. Rails and hooks might be installed on splashbacks, near stoves and on walls - anywhere they look great, can easily be accessed and will be safe from the elements or smaller prying fingers.
The inside of your cupboard or cabinet doors is another effective place to fit small shelves, racks or baskets. And pegboards or magnetic boards can be placed on walls or the sides of cupboards to hang cooking or cleaning items or smaller containers, such as magnetic tins.
A great space-saving trick is to turn one shelf in your cupboard into two. How? By using shelf risers or racks. A big, empty open cupboard or alcove is ripe for reimagining into multiple layers of vertical storage space.
Go through our range of quality organising trays and shelves to find the best ones to suit your kitchen storage needs!
All of these clever ideas and options are flexible so, if your needs change, you can easily adjust your storage set-up without having to embark on a major renovation or spend a lot of money. Unlock hidden space in your kitchen you never knew you had.
Create A Neat And Tidy Kitchen With Spotlight
Cooking and cleaning the kitchen is so much easier when it's organised! Find the right kitchen and pantry storage supplies for your needs at Spotlight - shop online and have your kitchen pantry storage supplies delivered, or shop at your nearest Spotlight store and our friendly team will help you find the right pantry organisation supplies for your needs.
Want more info on outfitting your kitchen? Read our buying guides on cookware, kitchen appliances and kitchenware online. And for great ideas and inspo for your kitchen, check out our blogs on cleaning your kettle, setting up a home bar and outdoor entertaining.