How To Organize And Keep Pantry Clean Plus Keeping Bugs Out Of Food.
Always nice to have a window in the Pantry if you can.
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.
Antique measureing cups I use and a bread box and jars for flour.
Add A Small Pantry Under the Stairs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bugs that can get into your pantry. LINK
- Pantry Pests
Managing common pantry and food pests. Includes Indian Meal Moth, Flour Beetles, Dermestid Beetles, Grain Beetles and much more. UNL Extension in Lancaster County.
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.
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Old Country Pantry. How To Organize.