Pantries deserve attention because they perform such an important task: hold our food. Designating a space for the pantry is often obvious because the kitchen is built with a specific closet. What about the kitchens that don’t come with a defined pantry area? Then, cabinet space has to be used. Even the laundry room or basement might have to share. Defining where the pantry is going to be located is an important first step. Then, there are several basics:
*Pantries must have shelving. Shallow shelves are fine. Items are automatically pushed forward for easy viewing. Deep shelving works too. Containers come in handy to take advantage of the space in the back.
*Make sure the shelves are strong enough to hold heavy items. Cans are heavy and over time wire shelving can pull out, so reinforce the attachments. Wood shelves often warp so occasionally turn the board over.
*Use airtight containers to keep the bugs out, especially starches like flour and rice.
*Keep only what you will eat or use. Smaller spaces will have to be cleaned out frequently because of the lack of room and larger spaces tend to get cluttered quickly. Give away anything that won’t be used or hasn’t been used in a six-month period (unless seasonal).
*Throw away expired food. These days, almost everything has an expiration date on it. If medication is stored in the pantry, properly dispose of items no longer effective.
* Store lighter items on the top shelves to avoid injury and heavier items on the floor or lower shelves.
* Store frequently used items at eye level. Make food preparation easier by placing items used most often in reach.
* Store like items together. Group cans of soup together, pasta together, snacks, etc. This offers quick decision making and indicates when something is about to run out. Or, if certain ingredients are used for a recipe made frequently, group them together.
*Use the back of the door for storage. Over the door hangers are made for shoes but can be used for panty items as well. Plastic, clear hangers are better.
* Consider using pull out shelving. These days, suppliers make products that are easy to install and sturdy.
And finally, there is maintenance. Be aware of your family’s habits. This is where problems happen. Once a pantry is set up, keeping it organized is important for the kitchen to flow well. In other words, a well-maintained pantry eases the cooking process because ingredients are easy to find. Occasionally, reorganize your pantry. Pull everything out, sort through it, and put it back. Buy only what is needed and get rid of anything that doesn’t offer value to the family. Linked is a video of a well organized pantry and she gives you specifics, “How To”.
Other Kitchen organizing projects written by same author: