Pantry storage made simple for knockdown rebuilds and new homes

Mark Bryson - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

You’ve moved into your shiny new home, built by the nice people at Berstan Homes. Now it's time to organise the kitchen and fill up the pantry.

Modern kitchens which are part of a larger family room or living area may not be as big as traditional kitchens which had a room of their own. New streamlined kitchens often sacrifice cupboard space for breakfast bars or larger appliances, and your new pantry may be smaller than the previous one. So it needs to be more structured.
Your pantry is the most used cupboard in the house, especially if you have children rummaging through it for snacks. Convenience food, baking and cooking ingredients and small appliances fight for space and often it is a jumble of half-open packets and expired sauces.

But it is easy to organise, and surprisingly cheap to source shelves and containers. Firstly, decide where everything should go. Large, heavy items such as pet food or potatoes should be stored on the floor. Rarely used items like popcorn makers can go on the top shelf, provided you have steps to retrieve them. Frequently used food or crockery should be stored between eye level and waist level.

There is a huge choice of containers, shelving and baskets from specialist shops such as Howards Storage World or Ikea. Kmart, Target and Big W sell a wide variety and the Reject Shop has some attractive products. With a lifetime guarantee on containers, Tupperware is a tried and true, if more expensive, option. Make sure to measure the shelves before you buy large containers to ensure they will fit.

Put all loose products such as flour, sugar etc in containers. This will eliminate insects and make the product easier to see. Transparent containers are best, but label different products such as different types of flour to prevent mix-ups. Square and rectangular containers fit better than round ones, and certain brands such as Tupperware are designed to be modular and can be stacked together.

Rather than store five different pastas in containers, they can be grouped in a labelled drawer or basket. Use baskets for smaller items such as gravy packets. Shelf inserts and tiered shelving can be used for cans and boxes to maximise the space on each shelf. A lazy susan can group bottles together for easy access. Narrow wire baskets attached to the inside of the door makes great storage for spices and small bottles. Once your pantry is organised the way you like it, remember to clean out thoroughly once a quarter, throwing out expired food and cleaning up any spills.