6 simple tips for prettying up your pantry


Amy Richardson

A good pantry should include the building blocks to an almost infinite number of dishes.

A good pantry should include the building blocks to an almost infinite number of dishes. Photo: Mrs Meyers Clean Day

For many of us, a Pinterest-perfect pantry is a fantasy, as out of reach as that tin of tomatoes hidden behind the multi-pack of 2-minute noodles and pancake mix on the top shelf.

But for a select few, opening the pantry is a blissful, ahhhh-inducing experience, and locating rarely-used ingredients (cream of tartar? mirin?) is a piece of cake.

What's their secret? We asked home organisation specialist Georgie Rees from Clutterfly for her pantry pimping tips.



Tip 1: Make use of vertical space on shelves

Kim from Tidbits & Twine opted for striped wallpaper, wicker baskets and shelf dividers to perfect her pantry. 

"Utilise not only the depth but also the height of shelves, and use graduated shelf inserts for easy access to cans," advises Rees. These are readily available at storage shops.


Tip 2: Keep back-up products with current ones

Picture: homeedit.com

"Keep the back-up product next to or behind the open product, so that you can instantly see what you need more of. This also stops excess purchasing and potential 'out of date' wastage."


Tip 3: Uniformity = tidy

Picture: Mrs Meyer's Clean Day

"Uniformity of containers and labels immediately makes a pantry look more tidy and 'pretty'," Rees explains. "You can shop for your budget but the key is try and keep it uniform." 

Similar plastic containers create a uniform look in this pantry by Amber from Wills Casa (also love the stencilled cheetah spots).


Tip 4: Create a system and stick to it

Picture: Neat Method / Bhg.com

"Whether you store items by type [cans, jars, boxes] or by category [breakfast foods, baking, snacks], either way can work so long as you stick to it! Maintaining order is about what makes sense for the individual, and most of the time it is just about ensuring there is a system. Storing by category is more practical but perhaps doesn't look as neat as by type."

Picture: Home Shopping Spy


Tip 5: Incorporate drawers

Picture: marthastewart.com 

"Drawers are great for lower levels, ergonomically, as they save you bending too much. Also they make better use of the depth of an area, to give you easier access to items pushed to the back. Just remember that you need to label the top of the containers instead of the sides," advises Rees.


Tip 6: Get your label on 

Elsie from A Beautiful Mess DIYed pantry labels with a paint pen.

"Labels make a huge difference. Not just on the containers but even on the shelf where the container/item belongs so that when you or the rest of the family put it back you can instantly see where to put it," says Rees.


Shopping list

OXO Pop BPA-free containers, $130 per set of 10, Williams Sonoma

Vardagen glass jars with lid, $4.99 each, Ikea

Orla Kiely canisters, $54.95 per set of 3, Hard To Find