How to Declutter Your Pantry

The pantry gets it’s own mention because there are many who have great looking kitchens but neglected pantries, which is so easy to do.

And unlike kitchens, you can sometimes close the pantry door & ignore what’s going on in there, though the negative impact of a cluttered pantry shows in how you spend time cooking & making food choices.

I know when my pantry was cluttered that it took me much longer to cook because I was searching for ingredients & I was always eating whatever I saw first rather than making healthier decisions.

Below I’ll share how I decluttered my pantry & work at keeping it this way.

But firstly, a quick recap on how to declutter.

How to declutter

Decluttering as you’ve heard me mention before is all about deciding what to keep, throw away or donate. It sounds like such a simple process, however, many get overwhelmed when having to make such decisions.

My best advice is to create 3 piles (you can use recyclable plastic bags or boxes) & label them – keep, rubbish & donate. Doing this will streamline the decluttering process & help you understand what kinds of things you use & what you don’t use (an important part of living organised when it comes to shopping habits too).

  • Keep – items that you use often or will have an immediate use for
  • Rubbish – items that are broken or in poor condition
  • Donate – items you do not use, in good to new condition

Still stuck?

If you find you’re still stuck when it comes to placing items in the keep or donate piles because you’re worried you may need them at some stage look at it this way:

If you haven’t used a particular item in 6 months, have no immediate plans to & can afford a new one if a use becomes apparent in the future, then it may be best to decide to donate it.

All other items that you do use, especially the daily items, should be easily accessible.

Benchtops & shelves

If you have a butler’s pantry or one with benchtops where you can prepare food in, you really need to treat them like you do with the kitchen benchtops mentioned here.

The shelves in your pantry need to save you time when looking for food to eat or ingredients to cook with & this means having everything easily accessible.

For each shelf, sort each item on them using the decluttering system.

  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the shelves a thorough clean.
  • Re-organise your shelves into both functional & purposeful spaces for all members of your household.
    • You can sort by type of food, e.g. snacks, sweets, sauces, baking etc.
    • You can sort by packaging type, e.g. cans, bags, boxes etc.
    • You can sort by a combination of both (as I do)


Floors can get cluttered too, especially in corners where you may store things piled up until you’re “ready” to deal with them (I’ve done that!).

  • Declutter the floor as per the decluttering system.
  • Once you’ve finished decluttering, give the floor a thorough clean.
  • Re-organise the floors so that only must-have items remain
  • If you need to store an item on the floor, first see if you can find another home for it as this will make cleaning the floors a lot easier.


Maintaining an organised pantry is such a time & money saver.

Cooking & grocery shopping is a lot easier because:

  • I can see all the items I have in my pantry
  • I decided to dedicate every Monday to my kitchen only

What next?

Once you’ve decluttered your pantry & understand how to maintain a clutter-free space you can:

  • Invest in durable & functional storage systems
  • Move on to other areas within your home
    • Bathrooms
    • Bedrooms
    • Office/Study
    • Laundry
    • Loungerooms
    • Playrooms

Hope you found this helpful in getting your pantry under control & clutter-free.