The big clean-out
When it comes to storage and organisation, it really is best to start from scratch. Pull everything out and – you know the rule! – if it doesn't spark joy, or worse, if it's past its best, bin it! Make note of any essentials that you've had to bin and add them to your shopping list.
Remember, once your pantry is in ship-shape, you'll waste less food as you'll have a much better idea of what you do and don't have.
Group what you have into categories - cereal, baking ingredients and decorations, tea and coffee, rice and pasta, cans and jars, and spices. Hare says that once you've established your categories, it's helpful to group them by frequency of use.
Select your storage
Clear is always the best way to go, because you can see exactly what you have at a glance. If you buy all your storage from the same range, check that they stack – this becomes very useful down the track! Also think about the different kinds of sizes you'll need; there's nothing more frustrating than not quite fitting the flour you just bought into its designated container.
"Use smaller containers with handles for items you reach for every day in the pantry and ensure they are at eye-level and easy to reach. Use big, containers for heavy bulk items and store these at the bottom of the pantry and add a scoop to the containers to avoid having to lift! Using stackable glass containers of varying sizes enables you to store all items from the same category depending on how much you use them and how frequently," says Hare.
Clearly label all of your food items. This is where you can be a bit creative if you like and go for different label styles! Kmart have a range of pre-made ones and Ikea have a super easy and cost-effective DIY selection.
Another smart tip from Hare is to add the expiry date, "reusable labels on food storage containers allow you to write what is in the container and its expiry date so that no food is wasted."
Sure, not everything needs a container, but you can still store these items in a way that makes your life a little easier and more clutter-free. Utilise baskets and tubs to organise and store oils, sauces, ready-made meals, and other loose items.
Hare also recommends opting for things like clip-on baskets and carousels. "Accessories such as shelf inserts and clip-in baskets allow you to maximise the storage in your pantry. There is often a large amount of space between shelves that is not used, and shelf inserts can help to double your storage space," she says. "Carousels allow to you to access items at the very back of your pantry, stopping things from getting lost and double buying."
Products we love...
The Baskets, $59, Mustard Made
These super-cute storage baskets come in a trio of three different sizes, and are available in 10 different colours.
6 piece dry food storage set, $12, Kmart
This represents just one of many of Kmart's smart and budget-friendly storage solutions.
365+ IHÄRDIG, $4.99, IKEA
Love the idea of matching spice jars? Of course you do! Complete with their own sprinkling/pouring lid, these are the perfect pantry organisers.
Kilner stackable bottle, $9.99, House
Mismatched, clunky oil and vinegar bottles, be gone. This space-saving solution will take your organisation game to the next level.
Canisters, from $19.95, Country Road
It doesn't get much more sophisticated than a kitchen pantry that's decked out with Country Road canisters, does it?
KORKEN series, IKEA
Display your homemade (or non-homemade) goods in these tight-seal jars.