Pantries were one of the biggest kitchen trends of 2020, and, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere this year either. This versatile space is the perfect solution for storing a trove of edible goods, kitchen equipment, or simply, whatever you desire- you make the rules with a pantry.

Though, the freedom of a pantry means it is easy to let them slip out of control. We’ve all had days where our spice jars overrun onto our cereal shelf, and we discover the olive oil we hand-carried from duty-free is 2 months past its expiration date. Therefore, while an organized pantry is the secret to a functional kitchen, keeping these multi-purpose spaces in check is easier said than done. At least, until now.

Vanessa Arbuthnott, interior expert, and CEO of Vanessa Arbuthnott, has revealed one easy hack that will ensure your pantry will function seamlessly, long into the future. Plus, it’s a tip that is so simple, you’re going to wish you had known about it sooner.

The secret, Vanessa shares, is feeling like you have ownership over your pantry, and this is achieved through the refreshingly simple method of labelling.

‘Handmade labels are the best for making the pantry feels like it belongs to you,’ the designer began.

‘Regular, sticky white labels work to add a personal touch, rather than having masses of bought items that sit on the shelves without acknowledgement. I would label recycled glass jars and containers and avoid buying anything plastic. However, Tupperware’s are excellent for perishable goods like flour, sugar, rice, and spaghetti.

For baskets, I would recommend labelling with a traditional luggage label or opting for baskets with enamelware. These are great to put open packets in and stop any creepy crawlies making a new home.’

Simple labels are the key to a successful and sustainable pantry? We can’t wait to adapt this time-friendly hack and hopefully see more control over our kitchen, minus the spiders, which is another win.

If you’ve already tried and tested Vanessa’s method, and you’re looking to renovate your kitchen over lockdown, Jennifer Jarvis, Senior Designer at Helen Green Design, also offered her tips on transforming your pantry, with one fundamental change.

‘A pantry door can serve as a visual and audible barrier for your secondary storage area, particularly if it houses your dishwasher. We have had a lot of requests from clients for glazed pantry doors in order to make the space feel as though it isn’t entirely separate from the kitchen,’ the designer shared.

Jennifer expanded: ‘Steel framed doors with internal glazing are a great way to make a design statement whilst still showing off the attention to detail and design of the internal joinery of the pantry. A freestanding pantry cabinet can be great for smaller spaces. They work well as breakfast stations and you can utilize the inside of the doors as additional storage that, when opened, are easily accessible.’