Do you dream of having an organized, Instagram-worthy pantry? We sure do. The thing is, those of us who are fortunate enough to have a large designated space for our food storage usually fail to keep it neat and tidy. According to professionals, there's one thing people with beautifully arranged pantries have in common, and that's a core collection of trusty organizers.
Organizing your food makes the world of difference when it comes to meal times, and if you have a well-stocked, neatly arranged pantry, virtually everything else will follow suit. The problem is, while you're busy cooking a family meal, making sure all your sauces, jars, and food packets are being neatly returned to their spot is the last thing on your mind.
To make your meal prep easier and to achieve that oh-so-satisfying pantry you've always longed for, we asked some seriously organized people to list the key items you'll find inside their kitchen pantry. Here are six organizers you should invest in today if you haven't done so already.
1. Food storage containers
Ask any professional organizer and they'll tell you the same thing - the secret to an organized pantry is to decant your food into uniform storage containers. 'Eliminate the visual pollution of different sizes and color bags by decanting your dry goods in matching containers,' explains Di Ter Avest, owner of Di is Organized. 'These are perfect for the likes of rice, grains, flour, sugar, and nuts.'
While there are plenty of different storage containers on the market, according to Di, the secret to a beautiful pantry is to define a style and make them match. 'Some people like bamboo products with black accents, others like clear containers with white details,' she says. 'Be creative and use products that make you happy.'
California-based organizing expert Melissa Gugni agrees that using a consistent style canister is key. 'I love the Oxo Pop line of storage containers,' she says. 'They come in many different shapes, sizes, and lid colors, are easy to clean, and work well at keeping things fresh.'
2. Bins and baskets
Containers for decanting dry foods are great, but they don't work for all food types. When it comes to the likes of bread, crackers, and other packaged snacks, storage bins are a great way to keep everything contained. 'Plus, if you choose a stylish option, they're another way to make your pantry look good,' adds Melissa.
Open-ended bins made of bamboo are a great option for a sleek look, or you could go for woven baskets if you want more of a farmhouse kitchen feel. 'Use them to corral similar items, including those you want to avoid decanting into food storage containers,' says Di. 'Some categories we typically use are snacks, pasta, salad toppings, and dried fruit.'
3. Can risers
How many times have you reached for some canned tomatoes at the very back of your pantry only to find they're past their sell-by date? A must-have for anyone who wants to organize their pantry shelving, can risers allow you to tier your tins so that you can see exactly what you're looking for and rotate your stock easily - and they're absolutely essential for organizing a pantry with deep shelves.
'Not only this, but they also make it easier to maximize the vertical space inside your pantry,' notes Di. 'To make it aesthetically pleasing make sure the front of the cans are facing out and aligned. You can then categorize the items by type of beans, soups, dessert ingredients, etc.'
4. A fruit bowl
You might prefer to keep your fruit bowl out on display on your kitchen island or countertop, but during the summer - or for those who live in a warmer climate - keeping your fruit inside your pantry can help keep those pesky fruit flies at bay while also helping your food stay fresher for longer.
On the larger shelf of her pantry, Melissa always likes to use a beautiful fruit bowl to display her cornucopia of fresh goods. 'I love to find a pretty way to store fresh fruit - it always makes for a beautiful focal point,' she says. 'A simple bowl like this one from Amazon makes the colorful fruit the star - and bonus points for giving it an easily accessible home for healthy snacking.'
5. A lazy Susan
When it comes to pantry storage ideas, a lazy Susan is a professional organizer's best friend. These nifty little turn tables make it easy to access jars, bottles, and cans that typically get lost at the back of your pantry, especially for shelves that are higher up where the deeper contents are out of sight.
As Di explains: 'Lazy Susans are especially good to use in the corners and top of the pantry to ensure items don't get lost in the back. You can use them to organize extra sauces, oils, and vinegar you use on special occasions.' For items you use more frequently, it's best to keep them lower down at eye level for ease of access while you're busy cooking.
6. A spice rack
Last but not least, no kitchen is complete without a spice rack. No one wants to mistake their cinnamon for their cumin powder, so ensuring they're neatly arranged and labeled will reduce the risk of a culinary catastrophe.
While many pantries come with designated shelves on the inside of the door that are the perfect spot for small spice jars, others don't have the same advantage. As Di notes: 'Vertical space often needs to be more utilized, especially in panties.' If you don't have one already, a door-mounted spice rack should go straight on your wishlist.
You might prefer to use your door shelves for the likes of sauces, oils, and other condiment bottles. If this is the case, a good old-fashioned free-standing rack within your pantry itself is a great alternative. 'We recommend that our clients decant the spices into matching jars with custom-made labels to make the space more functional and pretty,' adds Di.
Ready to shake up your pantry layout for beautifully organized food storage? Time to invest in some of these reliable organizers that promise to streamline your space.
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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