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Pantry Designs

Updated on August 22, 2013

11 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Kitchen Using Pantry Designs

Pantries are popular again, and for good reason! Find out how including a pantry can help you make the most of the space you have in your kitchen. A pantry is a great way to improve the way your kitchen works and looks, and get more storage space without sacrificing square footage.

Photo credit: sxc.hu - used under license.

Photo Credit: Sofi Gamache
Photo Credit: Sofi Gamache

Using a Pantry to Improve Your Kitchen

1. Clear your counters

Store any small appliances you don't use every day in the pantry. They will be easily accessible there - if you have power outlets in the pantry you can even use them right there - but they won't be cluttering up your counters for day-to-day use.

2. Free-up your most accessible shelf space

Move as many as you can of the food packages you don't use every day into the pantry. That will free up shelf space in the kitchen for things which are in active use, especially the easiest-to-reach shelves and drawers between hip and head height.

3. Gather bulk foods into one place

For those of us to bulk-buy, it's common to end up storing our bulk buys all over the house! With a pantry, you can gather everything together in one place, see what you've got, and avoid buying duplicates or running out. Never find outdated canned goods under the guest-room bed again!

4. Organise your canning

If you do any home canning you know it's a challenge to keep track of what you've got, what's been eaten, what needs to be eaten soon, and especially, what to do with all the empty jars! A pantry allows you to see exactly what you've got, and have a place to stash those jars where they don't clutter up the rest of the kitchen.

5. See what you've got

A pantry can be arranged so that all the storage is open - open shelves, wire drawers, clear plastic containers, glass jars, etc. Because everything is visible, things don't get ost or forgotten, you eat them before they go out of date (or know you're not going to, and get rid of them), and you know when you're running out.

A pantry doesn't take up space in your kitchen...

it saves space! Even a small kitchen can benefit from a pantry.

Pantry shelving and contents by kevinw1
Pantry shelving and contents by kevinw1

More great ways to use your pantry

6. Corral paper goods

Paper goods are very bulky and hard to store. They are another thing that tends to end up under the bed or in the back of the closet if you buy in bulk! Store them all together in the pantry. Also consider replacing some paper goods with cloth rags: paper towels are seldom really necessary.

7. Organise foods for common meals

Some folks like to store all the makings for favorite meals together in the pantry. For example, store pasta, canned spaghetti sauce, and shelf-stable parmesan together for a quick pasta meal.

8. Get vermin-proof storage

Everyone is at risk for insect infestations in the kitchen, and many older or country houses are subject to the occasional rodent invasion. Build your pantry and the storage options inside it to be critter-proof and you'll have a safe space to store grains and other vulnerable foods.

9. Keep foods cool without a fridge

You can build your pantry so that it has a ventilation system accessing cool outside air (preferably on a north wall) to keep it cooler than the rest of the kitchen. While this won't keep foods fresh which need to be refrigerated, many things we keep in the fridge nowadays only really need to be cool.

10. Declutter your kitchen

Do you want one of those clear, tidy, minimalist kitchens that you see in the magazines? Then you need a pantry to store all the real-life clutter that a working kitchen uses.

11. Display your pretties

Other pantry designs work for this too, if you set them up the right way, but a butler's pantry in particular is a great place to store and display your best china, fancy glassware, and special platters and serving bowls.

How do you use your pantry? - Do you want a pantry but don't have one? Why?

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    • profile image

      drewcostello 4 years ago

      We have a pantry. My wife loves to preserve foods that's why she bought a pantry.

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 4 years ago from Vancouver

      My pantry is a life-saver. When we built our new house, I insisted on a pantry above all else. We store bulk things there, our chest freezer is there, and we have space for canned goods, cereal, extra kitchen supplies, baking goods, etc. I LOVE having a big pantry. In my last house we had to use the coat closet, and that wasn't fun!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      We have a pantry down in our basement. Actually it is a small room devoted to our food overflow.

    • jholland profile image

      jholland 5 years ago

      We have two large cabinets about 6 feet wide and 6 feet high. Right now they are housing over 600 pounds of home canned produce, cases of chili and tuna from the grocery store, and baking supplies. We have had to more than double the number of people we are feeding on the same budget - having the space to store canned goods bought on sale or my homemade jam has really helped us keep our food budget under control.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      I have a large pantry in the basement. My kitchen is tiny, so no place for one there. It's much cooler in the basement, so food will keep longer. Only disadvantage is having to walk down there to get things.

    • profile image

      acreativethinker 5 years ago

      A pantry is so handy. Great pantry ideas. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • truorder profile image

      truorder 5 years ago

      I turned a coat closet into a pantry. I love the extra space. Thanks for the ideas.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I like to have easy access to my pantry so there are only a few shelves that are mainly head level. Keeping your pantry organized and putting ingredients together that make common meals is an ingenious way to save time.

    • surfingtheweb profile image

      surfingtheweb 6 years ago

      Hello! This lens has been blessed by an angel. Thanks for sharing this lens on making the most of a pantry. Great lens! :)

    • Enigmaa8 profile image

      Enigmaa8 7 years ago

      I love my pantry as it is my go to place for last minute inspiration. I just rustle something up with what I have knocking around that's why I think a well stocked and organised pantry is essential. Love this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I install kitchen cabinets for a living. This informatio will be very useful for homeowners. Whether they are remodeling their kitchen or doind any type of home improvement project. Great lens and thanks for the info.