Shelf life: Why it's time to get a fancy pantry

·3-min read
Organised Pantry Items In Storage Room With Nonperishable Food Staples, Preserved Foods, Healty Eatings, Fruits And Vegetables.
An enviable walk-in pantry (Getty Images)

There's a 'larder' interest in pantries on social media at the moment, with over 218 million hashtags for built-in pantries on TikTok alone. On Instagram, meanwhile, the #pantryshelves tag has over 1.3m posts and #pantry has 494k posts. 

With celebrities such as Mandy Moore and Victoria Beckham showing off their impeccable 'shelfies' online, it's little wonder that we've all caught the shelf-stacking bug. 

Forget fishing that crumpled box of Frosties out from the back of the very back of a crowded cupboard - it's all about neatly stocked and labelled shelves filled with artfully displayed food products good enough to show off. Back your shelves with statement wallpaper for extra style points.

Watch this: How to stock your pantry in case of an emergency

Not everyone is going to have enough room for a proper pantry, of course, but you can get almost the same effect in an ordinary kitchen cupboard.

While loving this level of organisation used to be unusual, the preserve of characters like Monica from Friends, it's now not only seen as normal but something to brag about.

Read more: How to organise your pantry, according to experts

And while the first lockdown might have initially fuelled our pantry-stocking fire, the shelfie movement definitely isn't about hoarding - it's actually far easier to keep track of what food you've got, and thus stop buying things you don't need, when you've got an ultra-organised pantry.

What's more, those sleek shelves lend themselves to displaying eco-friendly (and more visually appealing) storage jars - making it much easier to head to a zero waste shop.

Read more: Take a look inside Victoria Beckham's well-stocked pantry

Julie Leonard, a life coach and decluttering expert with a background in psychology, believes that pantry-mania has been helping us regain a sense of control during the uncertain, 'unprecedented' times we're living in. 

"The pandemic increased our fear of scarcity," she told Yahoo, recalling the aisles empty of toilet paper and pasta.

"Most of us want to feel that we have plenty of food and that we won't run out. When life is out of control, this is what we can control. 

"What's more, many people (at least in the beginning) had more time to tackle projects that they didn't normally have time for." 

While clearing out our whole house can feel overwhelming, a pantry is a small and manageable place to start. 

"Organising our pantries is one of the easiest areas to tackle," said Julie. "The items don't usually have any sentimental value and it's easy to make it look neat, tidy and a pleasure to look at."

"Looking at neat rows of mason jars or foods organised by colour triggers the pleasure sensors in our brains."

Food storage at home, sunflower oil on table in pantry. Pantry interior, wooden shelf with food cans and kitchen utensils
The shelves we all want (Getty Images)

For Julie, creating the perfect pantry isn't just about showing off. "The benefits should not be underestimated," she said. 

"It’s not simply about being tidy, it’s about a real change of mindset. To create a home and lifestyle that frees up time, space and energy, to bring you joy and happiness." 

What's more, we shouldn't feel guilty about wanting to show off that #shelfie on Instagram. 

"Sharing motivates us to do it and to keep it tidy," she said. "And of course, an organised pantry - especially if it's ordered and labelled or organised in colours, is aesthetically pleasing and looks awesome on Insta!" 

So, label-maker at the ready - it's time to stack those tins. 

Watch this: Decluttering expert, hailed as the UK's Marie Kondo, has seen her business soar in lockdown

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