How To Organize And Keep Pantry Clean Plus Keeping Bugs Out Of Food.

My Country Pantry
My Country Pantry | Source

Always nice to have a window in the Pantry if you can.

Window In Country Pantry
Window In Country Pantry | Source

Old Country Pantry. How to Organize.

This hub is about my old country pantry and how to keep bugs out of food.

We lived in an old house when we were first married and it had a pantry. I loved pantries from the moment I saw this pantry. They hold so much and keep lots of clutter from the kitchen. The old pantry had a window, shelves on four walls and a trap door to get into the cellar or buttery. Pantries also called larders used to store food and keep it cold. The house built in 1900. The pantry was on the north side of the house I'm sure for keeping food cooler. I wondered why they put the trap door in the middle of the pantry. I think it may have been to open up and let cool air into the pantry keeping the food cooler. There was no refrigeration in those days and pantries were often built this way. I knew someday I would have my own pantry. When we built our new house we made sure to have a pantry in it. Our friend did the plans for us told us no one had pantries and they're just a waste of space. I disagree and a pantry went into the plans.

Men, I'm the woman of the house I should be the one to decide on a pantry and that's just what I did. I'm short so pantries are easy for me. I have trouble reaching tall cabinets in a kitchen. Now we live in an old farmhouse and we made sure when we remodeled to put in a pantry. I designed the pantry my husband carried out my design. Thank goodness he's handy. The pictures on this hub are pictures of our pantry.

Pantry | Source
Country Pantry
Country Pantry | Source

Antique measureing cups I use and a bread box and jars for flour.

Add A Small Pantry Under the Stairs.

Pantry Under Stairs
Pantry Under Stairs | Source

The first items to buy for a pantry

My first item to buy for a pantry were jars. I try to always get vintage looking jars. Wal-Mart carries some nice looking ones. Buy any kind which can hold pasta, rice, sugar, flour and other items. I believe in removing an item from the box and putting into jars. This keeps any kind of bugs out and keeps items fresher longer. Be sure to label and date items in the jars. I have forgotten to do this at times. It's not easy to always figure out what the item is in the jar if you don't use it often and don't have it tagged. There are different ways to label. Buy chalkboard sticky rolls place them on the jar name with chalk and then erased and a new name put on if need be. You can also paint chalkboard paint on the jars. A cheaper way to add a tag cut from the box or bags the name of the item and place inside the jar. You can put the names in a small plastic sandwich bag and write the expiration date inside. A pantry needs to be well lit, it's nice to have a window so during the day you don't have to turn on lights. This will also let in fresh air. Make sure you have a nice light. My light is an old school house type of light.

Buy liners to cover the shelves. You can get grip-it shelving in a roll and or you can buy cork board in a roll. Either one will work well and keep items from hitting each other.

I try to keep my pantry well organized, but, believe me, it gets away from me at times. Every so often you have to go through everything. Now dust, reorganize and check dates on everything.

You can also use floor space can also. We keep dog food in a container on the floor. Use a large basket for chips, popcorn, and lunch chips. Large jars and cans go on the floor, but I do try to keep them out of my way so I can get to the shelves. Use of baskets for potatoes and onions are also good.

Don't put so much in the pantry you can't move around. It won't work if you do. You need to be able to move around.

If you don't have a big or small closet to use for a pantry try an armoire if you can find one on the cheap and have a place for it. You can find them now because so many people are buying the new televisions and getting rid of the armoire. Rework them and add shelves they make cute pantries. How about under the stairs like the photo on the right.

Items for the pantry.

Here’s a list of items that should be in the pantry. If there's a blizzard or any kind of disaster you will be set.

Canned Soup and big cans of soup broth, vegetables, canned sauces, tomato sauces

Jelly, jams, gravies

All things for baking spices, flours, baking powder and soda, salt, pepper, all sugar, raisins, chocolate chips, nuts I put in the freezer.

Jell-O and puddings

I also keep kosher salt

Canola oil, olive oil

Vinegar, red wine and plain.

I keep many spice, Italian spice, parsley, chives, garlic, and red peppers.

Pasta, rice, anything you think you can add to soup. Dry beans, peas,

Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard etc. whatever you like to use and with a pantry you can keep extra

Syrup and pancake mix which I put in jars

Bread, cereals, cake mixes, frosting

Paper towels, napkin, wax paper, plastic wraps and trash bags. We're trying to get away from paper products ( going green)

I have a place in the pantry for soda and water

Cookbooks, hot pads, cutting board and dish towels

Always a Rachel Ray garbage bowl. I bought mine on eBay before she had one to sell. I was using a garbage bowl way before Rachel! When I think of all the Melamine I got rid of and wish I had back.

Shelving for a pantry

You need shelves for food and smaller shelves for spices. We put the knives on the side because there's no room on our counters for them. We also put a counter-top in this pantry. Good for putting groceries on and unloading. We also keep our small appliances in the pantry such as bread machine and mixer. You can't see it but we also have our microwave in the pantry. Our pantry is pretty big to keep everything in, but even a smaller pantry will work great. Nowadays so many people are putting open shelves and cabinets in the kitchens. Pantries aren't needed like they once were.

Pantry Jars
Pantry Jars | Source
Floor Space
Floor Space | Source

Grandmother's door

When my family had to sell at my grandmother's house after she passed away I had them take off one of her old dining room glass doors. I put the glass door on my pantry. My grandmother also had a pantry in her small house. It was a small closet beside her big red stove.

We have been trying to find that red stove. I can't believe my family let it get away from them. Why didn't someone keep it? I wasn't there at the time or I would have taken it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Country PantryShelves In PantryLarge LightVintage
Country Pantry
Country Pantry | Source
Shelves In Pantry
Shelves In Pantry | Source
Large Light
Large Light | Source
Vintage | Source

Vintage Collections Look Nice

I also keep some of my vintage collections of kitchen antiques in my pantry. I like having my antiques close by because I do use some of them. They also look nice when taking pictures for HubPages. My husband builds shelves around the top of the pantry to put items on. We hang things on the wall and on the shelf in front of the window. I also hang baskets in the pantry. Make sure the floors in your pantry are easy to clean. Carpet is not a good idea for the floors.

Larder Beetle
Larder Beetle

Jars And Bugs

Keep your pantry and kitchen clean that is the best way to keep out bugs but often it doesn't work. I have seen people use their potholders over and over never wash them. They wonder why they get larder beetles in with their potholders. The bugs are after the grease. You should be sure to wash potholders, dish towels and dish clothes often. Keep the drawers they're in clean. It's easy to drop food in the drawers while cooking around the kitchen and that will bring in bugs.

I use jars for most of my flour, sugar etc. because of the pesky little monsters you see in the picture. It doesn't matter how clean your house is these things can come in from the store or anywhere for that matter. I put anything that fits in a jar.

Buy chalkboard paint or chalkboard paper and put the names of the items you have in the jars on the front. If you put oatmeal in a jar cut the instruction off the back of the box. Stick that inside the jar, this should be with just about everything you put in a jar.

I also love canning jars and now Ball has them in colors, blue and green, pint or quart. I use small jars for my candies for decorating cakes and cookies. Ball now has a jar lid you can add to your canning jar that has a shaker top on it or you can also buy the jar to go with the lids. All the items are so good for storage.


Whip off any jars you put in your pantry. The containers that hold oil or even spray will get greasy, be sure to wipe them clean with hot soapy water.

Always keep your toaster clean. Bugs love bread crumbs.

Keep cereal in something they can't get into.

I'm careful with bird seed, sunflower seed, dog and cat food always put them in a plastic container. Bird seed is the worst for bugs.

Add a bay leaf to your flour to keep out the boll weevils.

Clean under the refrigerator and stove.

Keep the oven in your stove clean and all grease off your stove.

Keep all food covered and put away. You don't want anything crawling on your food like mice and bugs. We put food in the microwave or if need be in the refrigerator.

Do you ever worry about cockroaches getting in your house? I do when we stay in a motel I always worry about cockroaches crawling in my suitcase. I have never had them and never want them.

Keep drawers in the kitchen clean and the pull out drawer on your stove. Crumbs fall in and bring in bugs.

Bugs will also get in spices so keep them in a tight container.

I always keep my glasses upside down so nothing crawls into them. That is one of the reasons you see glasses like this in restaurants.

I also put sandwich plastic bags over the top of my vegetable and olive oils. It seems no matter how much you wipe they seem to have oil by the top.

The link can explain all the bugs.

I listed cookbooks because I keep all my cookbooks and recipes in the pantry. I wanted them to be handy and easy for me to reach.

Burger King house.

If you're ever in Rhinelander, WI on Lincoln St. on the corner is Burger King. Our old house was where Burger King kitchen is now. The house is long gone, but it was the house we lived in with our first pantry.


Copyright © 2015

Old Country Pantry. How To Organize.

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Comments 61 comments

moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America Author

Au fait, Oh boy, you should see my house now. We have not been home for almost five months just off and on. Everything is out of place so the last couple weeks I have been trying to get things in order. Paper work gets out of hand for me and it's worse when there is so much more from doctors and hospitals. One thing I do is try to keep all paper in one place if there isn't time to go through it, a big basket works great. You can always get to it later which is what I have been doing. I have a big box for Goodwill handy for other things I need to get out of the house. Just watch Hoarders one time and you will clean like crazy.

My husband has been doing better and is back to work as of last week. He wanted to go back and the doctors told him to try it. We will find out on the 19th what is going on with the cancer. We sure need prayers that the chemo and radiation did it's job.

He still has problems with his strength. He is getting his hair back. Thank you so much for stopping by my hub. I appreciate it.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Excellent adice here! Here in the South cockroaches are far more of a problem than beetles, but following your directions will keep them out of the pantry for the most part. Yes, and packaging things so that bugs have no access is essential.

Oddly, I've never had a problem keeping my cupboards (or pantry when I had one, and I love them and miss not having one now) clean and organized, but the rest of the house . . . UGH!

If you have any pointers are getting the rest of the house in shape before the vastness of the mess becomes overwhelming (and that happens within seconds), please share them. I'll be laid off for a few weeks this summer starting soon and I desperately want and need to get this place cleaned up. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Sharing this article as there may be other people like myself who need any help they can find to get household cleaning/organizing/and chores under control.

Do hope things have improved at your house and that everything is as good as it can possibly be, all things considered.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America Author

CraftytotheCore, This was originally the entrance to our house but there was just not enough room in our kitchen so we changed this to pantry. Some people would have kept the entrance but I have regretted change it. Thanks so much for coming by I appreciate it.

CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Wow, I'm amazingly jealous! We have a pantry in a closet. Originally, it was meant for a washer/dryer. But when we moved in, my grandfather advised us to put the washer/dryer in the basement just in case there was ever a flood or washer leak. So we put some wire shelving (which I dislike) in the closet and turned it into a pantry. You have a whole room! That is so cool!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America Author

Indian Chef , Thank you and thanks so much for stopping by.

Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 3 years ago from New Delhi India

Very well organized pantry and I can see that all things are so easy to find and access. Very nicely written hub.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America Author

misslong123, Thank you. Glad you like it.

misslong123 profile image

misslong123 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

I really like those jars you used. It looks so organized with the similar containers. Great job!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America Author

rajan jolly, I love my pantry it's so nice to have everything I need in one place. Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate the vote and share.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Great hub. Your pantry is a delight to see and so well organized. I like the list of items which you have put in here. It'll benefit many readers.

Voted up, useful and shared.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America Author

CrisSp, Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

I love the character of an old farm house except for some bugs. (: This hub reminds me of our old house where we used to have a nice big organized pantry. I love the idea of having a pantry. I wish we have it here in the big city as well. But nah, I haven't seen any modern house now a days that comes with a built in pantry.

I enjoyed reading this.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America Author

Thelma Alberts. Thank you for stopping by. Oh it can get in a mess I just have to check it every week and make sure to put it back in order. Most problems are with the floor area and to much stuff ending up in the pantry. I appreciate your comment.

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

What a beautiful pantry! It looks so orderly and neat. Thanks for sharing.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America Author

mvillecat, Thanks for stopping by. I love a pantry too. Just added more groceries to mine today.

mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 4 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

I love a great pantry! We lived in an old apartment building when we were first married and I miss having a pantry.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America Author

kittythedreamer, Thank you so much. It is so handy and I love it. Thank you for stopping by and for the vote. I appreciate it.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

I am SO jealous of your kitchen pantries! Too adorable. Jealous jealous jealous. Voted up and beautiful. You have WONDERFUL taste!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America Author

Eddy, Thanks for stopping by I'm glad you liked my hub. You also have a great day.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

What a great hub and here's to so many more for us both to share on here.

I wish you a great day.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America Author

connie, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

connie 4 years ago

I love a well-stocked, easy access pantry!! Unfortunately, we move a lot (it's a good thing, part of our job, but it's hard adjusting) and my current kitchen has no pantry. Maybe next time. One day I want to retire to a place with a pantry... or build one :)

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America Author

thelyricwriter, Thank you, for stopping by and for an up vote. My nieces were just here for a visit and they just loved this little old farm house and the pantry. They live in nice houses and one has a big new house yet they loved this little place walked all around taking pictrue. So I guess they also feel the way you do about older homes.

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Good hub Moonlake. I miss my pantry that was in the old house I grew up in. I haven't seen them in many of the new houses I have seen. I like the older houses better then the newer ones. Are old house felt comfortable. I don't feel that way in the new house. Anyway, good hub. Voted up.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America Author

Well, men are usually the ones that figure out how to build something. Women get the ideas and men do the know how on how to build it. At least that's what goes on in our house.

Cutters profile image

Cutters 5 years ago from South Carolina

I have not seen any. I kinda feel weird being a guy though writing about it lol

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America Author

Cutters, your right are there any hubs out there about what to do with small spaces?

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America Author

Peggy W, anything that works is worth having for a pantry. Even if it is a closet. My grandmother had one in her house that was more of a closet but she loved it.

Cutters profile image

Cutters 5 years ago from South Carolina

I guess I am forced to write a hub about it lol

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America Author

Cutters I would like to see it but not sure how to do it either.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a terrific looking pantry...especially with the window and pretty glass jars reflecting light. Ours is more like a closet with shelves but I would hate to do without it. Good hub!

Cutters profile image

Cutters 5 years ago from South Carolina

You got that right! I have a pic but I am not sure how I would show you it.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America Author

Cutters, thanks for stopping by that sounds interesting we do what we can in small apace, right?

Cutters profile image

Cutters 5 years ago from South Carolina

I made one out of a window once! I lived in a very small home and decided to make use of every space!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 6 years ago from America Author

Thanks onegoodwoman for stopping by this hub. I would go crazy without a pantry. I'm short so I don't have upper cabinets except for one small one in my kitchen everything goes in my pantry.

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town

I am so liking this hub!

It reflects me and all much that shaped me.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 7 years ago from America Author

Dry Store that's very interesting....never heard it before. Thanks for stopping in and posting.

The Pudding Club profile image

The Pudding Club 7 years ago from ENGLAND

LOL. I knocked my down to make the kitchen bigger. I wish I hadn't now. Men like pantrys too, only we call them a dry store.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

We had a friend that was an architect when we buildt our first house and he just thought a pantry was a waste of space. I don't think women think that way. We didn't listen to him put one in anyway.

Thanks for comments, megankouz.

megankouz profile image

megankouz 8 years ago

Who ever said a pantry was a waste of space, must eat out every day. My pantry is just a small closet with shelves, and I wish it were bigger!!!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks for comments I love pantries. So much easier then finding things in a cabinet.

RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

This is a dream of mine that I hope to achieve. We want to add onto the house soon and put in a nice country kitchen. One request I have it to have a large walk-in pantry.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Good idea with the freezing. Have to try the bay leave. Thanks for stopping by my hub and for your nice comments.

beabop407 8 years ago

very nice! hub and the pantry , I've heard bay leaves sitting on pantry shelves help keep bugs at bay, hehe also freeze flours for a week or two first before putting in jars. I enjoyed your hub, thanks for sharing.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks for comments and for stopping by.

desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

OOOH EEEE! Loved everything, especially top photo and all the old fashioned, very practical jars...right up until that last photo. Boy oh boy, that critter sure spoils the atmosphere, but critters like that are one reason we try to keep things neat, clean and in jars! Enjoyed!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks Blackberry.

Blackberry profile image

Blackberry 8 years ago

nice pantry.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

You're very welcome.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

trish1048 Thanks, for stopping and for your nice comments.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

hi Moonlake,

I love your window view.  I too have a pantry, however, it doubles as the laundry room.  There is only room for a floor to ceiling shelving unit.  Cabinets are built over the washer and dryer.  It is much too small, but there is no room for expansion whatsoever.  It does, however, free my kitchen cabinets for dishes/glasses and cups.

I love your idea of dating things.  That is something I often neglect to do.  I also love the idea of a counter area for unloading groceries.

Very nice hub, thanks for sharing,


moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks for comments.

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

Pantries are such an integral part of country kitchens. People in my hometown spend a lot of time and energy on their pantries, whether by installing pull-out shelves or linings or whatnot, and organizing and improving :)

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks for your comments. Isn't any fun to find critters in anything your right.

marleymauve profile image

marleymauve 8 years ago from near Toronto

Very interesting hub. Emergency preparedness is a great idea! I also am very careful about keeping things sealed as well. It's not pleasant when you try to use something for a recipe and find a critter living in it!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks much for signing my hub.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona

Wow, your pantry is almost like another kitchen! Mine is just a tiny closet with shelves that you can't even walk into. I use our hall closet to store overflow food. If I ever build a house from ground up, I'd love to have a pantry like yours! Thanks for an interesting hub!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my hub. I love pantries and mainly because everything can be seen and not reaching up into a high cabinet for everyday things.

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

I love your pantry. I have one too. I bought and still live in my grandparents house. The whole house has been remodeled except for my pantry. Like your pantry mine has a window, a door leading to the basement and blue antiques over the sink that belonged to my grandmother. What is truly special to me about my pantry is that it is the only room left in my home since remodel (besides the basement) that my grandfather built. Pantries are great! Thanks for the writing.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 8 years ago from America Author

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my pantry.

herblady profile image

herblady 8 years ago from Indiana

Very nice,I have a collection of cobalt blue in my kitchen also, my sister keeps so many things in glass jars,I think it is a good idea,and it looks good to, enjoy your pantry.

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