Getting My Pantry Organised

This post is sponsored by Howards Storage World.
Read on for a fabulous giveaway that I promise will help you to get the problem area of your home organised!

When we recently renovated our kitchen I was excited to add drawers to our pantry, thinking that drawers might be the magical answer to one of my ongoing organisational challenges – the pantry!  I have had a long term love-hate relationship with pantries. Or more specifically, keeping them organised. Having tried everything from glass jars to Tupperware, I have just never really found a complete system that worked for me. And those drawers in the new pantry, well they just caused a whole new set of challenges all of their very own!

In desperation I reached out to the team at Howards Storage World and I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of the help of Cathy Player, HSW’s Organisation Expert. Cathy helped me to see that it wasn’t so much about making one system work for the entire pantry, instead it’s more about creating zones within the pantry and finding a system for each of these areas specific to both the contents and the available space.

Cathy talked me through a simple three step process of STOP, SORT, SOLVE.

  1. STOP: Consider, what is really annoying you? What truly isn’t working?
  2. SORT: Group contents into like items – for example, baking, snacks, tins, bottles, etc, and prioritise the space available so that what you need to access all of the time is easily to see and easily accessible, right in front of you, at eye level. The next highest and lowest shelves become the zones of next priority and so on.
  3. SOLVE: What sort of storage will help you to keep the items in each zone organised? And this, of course, is where Howards Storage World can really help you find answers that will work for you.

Now it might not sound like rocket science but the Aha! moment came for me when I realised that instead of prioritising items that I used most frequently to the prime real estate areas, I had instead been choosing the location of each group of items according to what fit where. Which really wasn’t working!

So this is how it used to look…

…and this is how it looks now…

Here’s how we did it…

wine and recipe book storage

At the very top, our recipe books are kept organised with Viola A4 file holders. Dad 101’s wine sits snugly in a Cellarstak 15 bottle silver wine rack…and that empty shelf is primed and ready for a second rack… but he might just have to wait until his birthday for that one 😉

pantry organisation storage

Heading down the left hand side of the pantry, you can see that we have replaced the uppermost drawer with a shelf. It might not be obvious from the ‘before’ photo but one of the major problems I was having with the top drawer was that it was just too high and I couldn’t easily see down into it. Exchanging the drawer for a shelf has made that space much more user friendly. It’s now home to our cereals which are so easy to see and access thanks to the fabulous Oxo Pop containers from HSW.

pantry organisation storage ideas

Next drawer down is home to our pasta and grains sorted into these handy baskets with front handles that are actually designed for use in the fridge – three baskets side by side fit perfectly in our drawers.

ideas for pantry storage

Then we have various packets sorted into three wide Mimi Separator baskets – two for savoury items and one for sweet.

pantry organisation canisters

The next drawer down is home to most of my dry ingredients now beautifully homed in a collection of Rosti Storers. These work so well in our drawers thanks to the windows in the lids.

kitchen pantry organisation

The last drawer on the left is home to a basket of assorted plasticware and my rolls of cling wrap, baking paper, foil, etc, kept together in a Pull Out Organiser.

On the right hand side, our tins are so much easier to see thanks to an Expand-A-Shelf. Our bottles are kept neatly together in Linus Drawer Organiser.

snack storage ideas

Next shelf down is home to snack foods, kept sorted and easily accessible (thanks again to the Pull Out Organisers) to make it easy for Immy to help pack her school lunchbox or to get her own snacks.

snack organisation ideas

All manner of baking paraphernalia comes next, including one pull out organiser for bread making supplies.

pantry organisation ideas

On the bottom right shelf we have two large pull out drawer baskets for storing items that we don’t use often and duplicate items.

spice organisation ideas

Finally, our wonderful spice storage. Hanging inside the pantry door is a 22 pocket jewellry organiser which is just perfect for packet spices.

Our pantry is still a work in progress, we are constantly re-evaluating what is working well and what needs tweaking. I also need to label our zones and containers, I am hoping to make or source some labels like these. The solution for your pantry organisation, or any other organisational challenge in your home, will be individual to you and your needs but thinking through the STOP, SORT, SOLVE process can help you to make the necessary changes that are just right for you.

You could win your very own personal telephone consultation with HSW’s fabulous organisation expert plus $100 to spend at Howards Storage World.

Entry is simple. This is a game of skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. Leave a comment on this post sharing:

What is your greatest area of organisational challenge and why will a consultation with Howards Storage World make all the difference to your home?

Entries close 8PM AEDST, 29th March 2013.

Giveaway Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition begins at 8AM AEDST, 8th March 2013 and ends at 8PM AEDST, 29th March 2013.
2. The winner will receive a telephone consultation with an employee of Howards Storage World and a $100 Howards Storage World voucher. Prior to the telephone consultation the winner will be required to email a photo of their home’s organisational challenge area to Howards Storage World.
3. Entry is limited to residents with an Australian delivery address.
4. Entry is limited to one comment per household/IP address. Please register a routinely checked email address in the email field of your entry.
5. The winners will be notified via email within 7 days of the competition closing.
6. Should the winner fail to make contact via return email within 72 hours of notification a new winner may be selected.
7. The winner’s contact details will be passed onto a representative of Howards Storage World and the prize organised directly by them.

I received a range of pantry organisation products from Howards Storage World for editorial consideration. Read more in my disclosure statement.

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  1. My greatest organisational challenge would have to be my pantry. My bestie moved away and emptied her pantry into mine so it’s a bit full. The cake baking and decorating section is just overflowing. I also have small children who tend to leave empty containers on the odd occasion. A facelift for the poor old cupboard would be much loved and appreciated 🙂

  2. Maree whitehead says:

    Pantry is my disorganized space
    And it is a total disgrace
    Naturally it’s full to the brim
    Too full and lots gets out of date and goes in the bin
    Really frustrating please rescue me
    Yes Howard’s world I need help can’t you see.

  3. What is the email address we send our entries to?

  4. Annette Higgins says:

    Packets of sauces and rice packets etc are the greatest challenge

  5. Love the jewellery organiser as a solution for all those spice packets – great idea!! I have serious pantry envy!!

  6. I’d love some help sorting out my fridge so as things don’t always go out of date:

    The fridge is so full,
    with what, I’ve no clue,
    There was cheese in here somewhere,
    Oh dear, it’s now… blue.

  7. My organisational challenge is that I don’t have a pantry in my renovated kitchen – I have only two overhead wall cupboards and a few lower cupboards, two corner cupboards – I’ll need to be very creative with my stacking and packing.

  8. My greatest organisational challenge is actually being able to finish a job with two kids always one step behind. It would be great to have those extra dollars to buy some of the awesome space saving solutions so I could whip my linen cupboard in to shape all in one go – not quite sure that would stop the kids though! 🙂

  9. Themotherexperiment says:

    My pantry is currently sorted quite well, although my options are limited. Due to an active 16 month old my current system is: breakable and expensive things on the top two shelves; everything else on the bottom two shelves. I do have a lock on the pantry but as soon as I open it to get something out he is in there instantly. My nemesis is, as always, the loungeroom which unfortunately doubles as the playroom. My children have been blessed with an abundance of toys. My daughter unfortunately in this case has an extremely wonderful memory which causes her to remember and search for any items I have had the courage to dispose of, relocate or donate. I desperately need a system that we can all appreciate. Please save my poor aching feet from Lego and train tracks and tiaras.

  10. My pantry definitely needs reorganizing but not as much as hubby’s office!

  11. Samantha Savva says:

    We have just made the big ‘sea change’ from city living! I did not envision this to entail NO PANTRY in my tiny (one person) kitchen. As a family of four the kitchen and storage solutions are completely impractical! We have 4 small drawers, one double cupbaord (which is under the sink) one small overhead double cupboard and one tall slimline cupboard. I literally can not fit my sauce bottles anywhere and we all know how 4 year olds love their sauce!

    I also love baking and cooking and have no where to store my ‘from scratch ingredients’! I need help with a free standing cupboard (which I love the kits available from HSW) and also containers to group my ‘like’ foods together so they can be pulled from the slimline pantry with ease!

    I don’t want to get stuck making miss kindy’s lunch everyday because she can not reach her food! HELP!!!

  12. My garage is almost beyond hope, for me anyway, not for the Howards Storage world people anyway I’m sure. Nothing seems to have a home there, there are kids bikes etc that I hadn’t counted on, and I don’t know what to do with. I need help basically!!

  13. I need to keep the food at bay,
    plus tips to keep the twins away.
    It’s a never ending lot of mess,
    and I need a way to make more less.

  14. Melanie M says:

    My desk needs serious Howards Storage help! Notebook sitting on an iPad box, papers everywhere, pens are MIA, cords living in a jungle and 2 mice!! The printer sitting in the corner is the only thing that looks neat Help me please!!!

  15. Catherine Plush says:

    What is your greatest area of organisational challenge and why will a consultation with Howards Storage World make all the difference to your home?

    From Catherine Plush – Adelaide :

    Our whole homette is hugely cluttered with too much stuff everywhere !!! To win a HSW Consultant would be a big dream and so valuable experience to our ABBA – Adelaide Busy Bees Assistants, micro small business on Facebook. I am needing help in every room and cupboard of our home. I have this problem that I love collecting more junk and papers that we don’t really need. Yes, it would make enormous difference to win this competition and learn some useful tips from HSW Consultant and enable me to post new ideas for our de-cluttering, organising, extra chores and sorting business. 🙂 🙂 🙂 :))X

  16. I found the Martha Stewart chalkboard labels at Officeworks at Capalaba, Brisbane. From memory they had two types – the curly edged ones which you link to, and plain rectangular ones (maybe with rounded corners?) I bought some, but I can’t remember what I’ve done with them (but that’s another organising story, lol!)
    My pantry is an organising nightmare – the shelves are about a metre deep and a metre wide, it’s very dark , and I keep ‘losing’ things at the back. I am ssooo sick of wasting food! 🙁
    We’re planning on renovating the kitchen (including creating a butler’s pantry), but I’d really appreciate advice on how set things up properly from the start.

  17. Once there was a girl who longed to organise her toys…but all she had was a huge box that they were dumped in (early one morning she fell head first into it from her top bunk trying to reach a toy).

    Then she grew, and became a girl who longed to have a neat dresser surface–but there were always a few odds and ends from which she couldn’t bear to part, but neither did they have a home.

    Then she grew, and became a young adult who learned to share a tiny flat and used all sorts of creative ideas, such as storing saucepans in her wardrobe, to maximise her storage space.

    Then she became a mum. And although she tries to keep on top of things, she’s feeling terribly guilty because the only way she knows to keep her kids small play space clutter free is to throw things out–and the kids object.

    The girl is me. And I would love to help set my children on the path to organised peace, and have time to do all the fun creative things we love instead of tidying up so we can find the missing Thomas train yet again!

  18. My greatest challenge is a small pantry I have set up in my kitchen. I put things away in it, they get pushed to the back and I forget about them… that is until my toddler brings them out and begs me to open it and I realise it’s now expired 🙁

  19. My greatest challenge is that I am in a wheelchair and need everything at a certain height to be able to reach it, and unfortunately there is only so much space to put everything, so everything just gets piled on top of each other!

    I believe a Howards Storage World consultant would make all the difference to my home as they’d be able to guide me into finding accessible storage solutions to re-organise my pantry and re gain my independence in the kitchen.

  20. rochelle dial says:

    My kitchen is a total disgrace, it never seems to have any space. No organisation there for me, it’s something I want nobody to see. The fridge & pantry I dare not go ….

  21. My area of need is my laundry. It really needs a make over. We have been the out new place for 3 years and I am still no closer to figuring out how to fix the narrow space.

  22. My greatest area of organisational challenge: my husband.
    He just doesn’t get my ‘place for everything mentality.’
    If a professional agrees with me I might be allowed to sort his camping and DIY stuff out!

  23. Tessa Grosvenor says:

    My home office! I have just started a new business and I have no clue how to keep my office in such a way where I can find anything. There are big bits, small bits, once off bits, multiple bits and everything in between! I definitely need a professional to help me organise my office x

  24. Catherine says:

    The linen cupboard is full,
    of doona covers, sheets and pillows.
    Are they for the single or double bed?
    Who knows, best to put the clean ones back on then risk everything falling out on top of me.

  25. My greatest organisational challenge is dealing with the toy chaos in our loungeroom, it looks like a toy monster threw up all over the floor :/
    A consultation with Howards Storage World would have my feet singing with joy, as it would hopefully help me find a better storage option for the multitude of matchbox cars and blocks that always seem to end up under my barefeet OUCH!c

  26. Rachel Thompson says:

    My study/hobby “room” is actually a built in wardrobe and is just stacked full of storage containers holding supplies. I have absolutely NO idea how to go about organising it – where do I start? What do I need? The options are endless and it’s in total CHAOS!

  27. Karina W says:

    The bedroom. Where do I store my future husbands clothes and shoes when I only have a tiny wardrobe!? Currently, garbage bags are working fine for now..

  28. Nikki Austin says:

    All of our wardrobes are the greatest organisational challenge for me. I personally have a massive big air conditioning tube and a four drawer filing cabinet on my side leaving extremely little space for my clothes, where as my husband has all of his wardrobe, a tallboy, a lowboy and two bedside tables that he stores his stuff in as well as quite a few jackets in my sons wardrobe, and even more at his mothers place. We seriously need some help.

  29. Rachel N says:

    Our home office is a shambles. Heaven forbid if the Tax Office ever does an audit, it will take me until next financial year to find every thing! Please help me organise my space to make it more conducive to work and less to spending my life climbing out of the stacks of paper!

  30. Jodie Daniel says:

    There are SO MANY area’s of my house that need organising…. but I would narrow it down to two places:
    – the “toy room”. I could do with some professional advice on that room, as I’ve given up on it.
    – our pantry. Hubby & I are seriously considering a total reno of the pantry. It’s the most non-user friendly pantry ever. I hate it. (I’m loving your pantry drawers!!!).

  31. Jennifer B. says:

    Folders, intrays and files. Computer mess stretching for miles.
    My HOME OFFICE sure needs some streamlining! THAT would bring smiles!!!

  32. Renee Ballantyne says:

    My pantry is my big mess…. with young kids and a husband going in and out of there all the time it never stays tidy

  33. Beck Andrew says:

    goodness me I must confess,
    our bathroom cupboard is quite a mess!
    Sprays, lotions, hair dryers and more,
    when I open it up, stuff falls on the floor.
    Howards Storage would help solve the mess,
    Id know where things are without having to guess!


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