What I Learned Organising Our (VERY) Small Pantry

I am sooo excited about today’s reveal and let me say this, it has been a long time coming!!! πŸ’πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Probably since before Jake and I were married, my brain was already ticking over how I would make this space work for us. So everyone… it’s now time to have a look inside my pantry!! Seriously what girl doesn’t love to have a squiz inside someone’s pantry… no? just me then haha πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ.

Reflecting back on the effect that our pantry make-over has had on both the function and how our kitchen works has been massive! To give you guys some perspective… when I moved in, the pantry was bare minimum (like mother hubbard bare hehe), however after just a few weeks of me living there, we now actually had a heap of food and kitchen staples that needed somewhere to live. But our pantry had started to look a little like this…

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Pure chaos!!!! πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ Cue me going absolutely nuts anytime I had to find anything while cooking! Just ask Jake haha. Something needed to be done and ASAP!!!

It probably took just over a month to work out everything we needed to create more space and some easier storage options. There was so much Kmart and IKEA trolling, measuring shelves and spaces, and multiple visits to my two favourite stores to ensure everything would fit.

And ta-da… here is the end result!!!!! Is it even the same pantry space as before?!!! 🀩

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The fad at the moment, as you are probably aware, is a beautiful, clean, open-feel pantry. Everything individually labelled and even going so far as possibly every single food type you MIGHT need! And as much I looooove this idea (and seriously there is some major pantry eye-candy out there) it just wasn’t functional for our small pantry!!! There was no way we could fit four different types of pasta in our pantry even if they are in beautiful glass containers #endgoals.

Needless to say, I needed to be creative with the space to create a clean and open feel without over cluttering or *ahem* needing to build a second pantry.

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Pssst… I think this might be my most favourite shelf!!! Haha but don’t tell the others!

There was some ideas that I loved but had to modify it to make it work … like using containers which all matched together, focusing on making it feel cohesive or simply creating cute custom labels for pretty much everything!!! (I did these ones up myself!).

Other ideas I just had to let go of and move on, they weren’t going to work for our space… or budget. Buuuuuut I thought it might be helpful if I put down some things that I’ve learned throughout this whole process so you too can have a beautiful and fashionable pantry too! (Whoever thought we would want our pantry’s to be fashionable as well as our wardrobes!!!!!!!) πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ.

  1. Sit down before you even start and plan it all out!!! Take the time to work out what you need your pantry to be able to do. Sounds silly but if you do this and think what are the important things you need to store, what you need to have easy access to, how can you simplify storage, most importantly your budget and then work out how you can achieve these all together and the time frame it may need to take to execute.
  2. Take everything out of your pantry and do a massive declutter! Check those use by dates people!!! Make note of what you don’t use regularly (ahem that tin of tuna that has been there for years) and what you motor through. This helps you know what needs to be more front and centre in your pantry re-organisation.
  3. MEASURE everything haha. I had a great little mud map with the width, height and depth of each of all our shelves and used these measurements with the online dimensions from Kmart and IKEA. Have this mudmap with you ALWAYS haha, otherwise in the shops you get distracted by something that ‘looks’ like it will fit but with a small space… you really don’t have much wiggle room.
  4. Choose to have an essentials only pantry! This is the hard one and as much as I’d love to have a cute glass jar with almond meal in it… I just don’t use it often enough to justify it taking up valuable space. But now we use everything in our pantry and it means we will always have the basics on hand. I can make those pancakes or cupcakes on a whim… or like maybe even a chocolate mugcake after a long day at work #worthit.
  5. Make sure everything has its place, its own special little home. It makes for putting the grocery shopping away sooooo much quicker and even someone else could do it for you *thanks Jake!*.
  6. Maximise your space by artificially creating levels. Yeahhhh get those tier shelves or shelf extenders!!! Seriously they have made the world of difference in this pantry. This means rather than stacking things in like some major Tetris nerd, you can easily access one thing without dismantling the whole shelf. Use the whole height of your shelf to give you more space!
  7. Smaller containers for the win. BUT you still buy in bulk! Think of the savings and decreased packaging overall! What we did was to create a refills section to store the extras. Our pantry is no longer filled and over crowded and cluttered, but I still can easily access everything I need! You can store anything extra either in the bottom of the pantry (like ours) or not even in the kitchen. Hello linen cupboard. Also think about finding containers that will stack well or fit neatly into each other *those vinegar and oil containers 😍*.
  8. Have extra containers for unexpected items that might pop into the pantry. This avoids having those half empty packet of cranberries from that recipe one time just sitting on a shelf, starting to clutter it up! I’ve got a few empty glass containers that I keep just for this occasion. And the best thing … it doesn’t take away from the whole look of the pantry either πŸ˜‰.
  9. Refill regularly, ideally after every shop and add those items that you need from your shop next time to your list straight away. This means you avoid any double ups and keeps your pantry stocked up and user friendly when you are cooking. No need to rummage through the refill container while cooking!
  10. And finally don’t forget to get creative with other spaces in your kitchen. You may have noticed that there are no spices in our pantry… because ours are now stored in the 3rd drawer down. Maximise those little nooks and cranny’s that might not have otherwise been useful!

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Pantry Storage Details

  • Extendable Tier Shelf – Kmart
  • 1L Cork Bottles (Rice etc) – Kmart
  • 550ml Cork Bottles – Kmart
  • 250ml Oil & Vinegar Bottles – Pack My Product
  • Dry Goods Glass Containers (in 4 different sizes) – MYER
  • Large Extendable Shelf – Kmart
  • Clear Can Holder – Kmart
  • Clear Drawer Medium & Narrow – Kmart
  • Clear Drawer Medium & Wide – Kmart
  • Brankis Natural Baskets – IKEA (small and large)
  • Clip on Basket – IKEA

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And that’s it! What do you guys think? Do you have a small pantry? I wanna know allllll about how you keep it organised and use it to the max!! Just comment below!Β I hope ours will be a mix of function and beauty while still maximising the small space we currently have.

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