Reclaim power over the pantry with these eight tips on how to declutter and organise!

The dynamic duo behind Melbourne’s very own decluttering and organising queens of the cupboard, TIDEE (Emma and Michelle), is here to set things straight for all Australians.

There’s no denying that one of the most important food storage compartments in the kitchen (second only to the almighty fridge) – the pantry – can be a tedious and dreaded task for most of us to tackle. But, just take a look at this incredible transformation created by TIDEE:

TIDEE Melbourne Before and After client. Image supplied

TIDEE Melbourne Before and After client. Image supplied

Admittedly for most us, the pantry can seem like a mountain of surprises, storing everything from spices to cereals, baking ingredients and an array of sauces, oils and so on – some of which are no longer identifiable thanks to recanting and mislabelling. Let’s not mention that lingering tin of tuna which closer inspection will reveal is over 10 years old…

All of this can finally be meticulously de-stressed thanks to the Melbourne-based tidying team TIDEE. So, if you have found that your pantry is starting to resemble a dumping ground with food items here, there and everywhere then now is the time to press reset, and create some pantry calm with our top eight TIDEE tips:

<strong>1.</strong> Relax
Photographed by Dean Drobot. Image via Shutterstock.

1. Relax

Grab a coffee, tea or gin, and breathe in. Organising your pantry is a completely achievable home improvement task to tick off the isolation to do list. Prepare yourself for things to get worse before they get better – there will be chaos before the calm. Set aside enough time to do the job in one hit. For an average sized pantry, we would suggest a minimum of three to four hours (or a bit longer depending on how big your collection of cocktail concoctions is) to do this. 

<strong>2.</strong> Measure
Photographed by dnd_project. Image via Shutterstock.

2. Measure

Measure the pantry. Much like buying a pair of jeans, there is nothing worse than going crazy and buying a whole heap of organising products only to find they don’t fit the space. Adjust your shelves if you can – if you know you want your cereal containers in a specific spot or your spaghetti containers on certain shelves, make sure the shelves are tall and wide enough… just like your pair of jeans. 

<strong>3.</strong> Choose products that suit your lifestyle and your look
Photographed by littlenySTOCK. Image via Shutterstock.

3. Choose products that suit your lifestyle and your look

You need to know what products will work before you buy them. To create instant uniformity, choose products that you like the look of and try to keep to the same style. While you’re here, don’t forget to consider your budget too. Whilst splashing out on one classic piece might work for the wardrobe, it is not going to work for the pantry. Moving your products into containers looks great but it is a commitment. So, if you are time poor, only decant the basics like flour and sugar, and focus on using storage baskets to house other food items. 

<strong>4.</strong> Get everything out of the pantry
Photographed by Vivitta. Image via Shutterstock.

4. Get everything out of the pantry

This is the messy bit. Once you have the right containers you can get cracking with organising the space by taking out the items that don’t belong in the pantry (like the light bulbs) and discarding items such as out of date food. If your pantry is overflowing, this step is especially important to free up space. 

<strong>5.</strong> Sort your items into groups
Photographed by BriMor. Image via Shutterstock.

5. Sort your items into groups

Now you should only have the items that you are going to put back into the pantry. So get sorting. For example, put all your pastas together, baking items together, grains together and so on. Now it’s as easy as one, two and three to put these items into any chosen containers and back into the pantry in their new home. 

<strong>6.</strong> Labels, Labels, Labels
Photographed by Ulf Wittrock. Image via Shutterstock.

6. Labels, Labels, Labels

The best chance your pantry has of staying ordered, is for all your pantry containers to be labelled. Nothing spells disaster like mixing up your self raising flour with your gluten-free. You might want to buy some labels, get out the label maker, or write on your containers with a waterproof marker. Now it’s time to get all the household members to repeat after you, “I will put everything back where it belongs, every day, after I have finished using it.”

<strong>7.</strong> Implement a system that works for you
Photographed by BERMIX STUDIO. Image via Shutterstock.

7. Implement a system that works for you

Like to eat your chocolate regularly, like every day? Then place it on a shelf that’s close to hand. Prefer to have it out of sight where it won’t tempt you, then put it on a high shelf. Work out what items you need regularly, such as breakfast cereals and what items can be stored up high that you don’t need (or want) to access often. 

<strong>8.</strong> Celebration time
Photographed by TnkImages. Image via Shutterstock.

8. Celebration time

Pour yourself a glass of wine or another gin, sit back and admire the view. Congratulate yourself on a job well done! Maintenance is key, so put a monthly calendar reminder in for a TIDEE pantry party. A quick 10 to 20 minute check of the pantry to get rid of anything out of date and to straighten-up things if needed will go a long way to ensuring enduring calm and order in the pantry. Remember, it will filter into your everyday life too!

Of course, if you’d like to let the professionals do all of the hard work for you, the TIDEE team is currently offering virtual consultations nation-wide. Otherwise, keep posted on the TIDEE website for more information on when you can book in the TIDEE team to come to you.

Why stop now? Recently we sat down with Three Birds Renovations and we’ve got the next do-it-yourself project: how to luxe up the laundry. Thank us later.