If you’re thinking about including a pantry in your new or remodeled kitchen, you’re not alone. While pantries were out of fashion for many years, lately their usefulness has been rediscovered and pantry ideas are in all the shelter magazines.
If you don’t already have a pantry, and you want one, the first question is probably where to put it. First, let’s think about possible locations for a walk-in pantry:
“Walk-in” in pantry terms doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be able to walk in and walk around: it can mean that you step through the door and are surrounded by storage, all within arms reach: more of a “step-in” pantry.
If you absolutely have no room for a walk-in pantry, then a pantry cabinet is probably the solution for you. There are many designs or swing-out, fold-out or pull-out pantries made to fit in full-height cabinets, base cabinets or wall cabinets, from large to small.
Inside your pantry, once you’ve found the space, you have a long list of choices for the storage structures you choose to build. Many of them depend on the type of things you want to store in the pantry.
Shelves – narrow so you don’t lose things at the back, easily cleanable, labelable if you want to have specific areas of your pantry for specific types of goods. The vertical space between shelves can be customized to the height of your stored objects. Adjustable shelving is a great idea if you think you’ll change your mind about heights, but in reality most people find that they never change their adjustable shelves once they’ve initially been set up.
Baskets – these can be hung under shelves, stacked on shelves, placed or stacked on the floor, racked up in rolling carts, and made of natural materials like wicker or seagrass, or of wire (chrome or plastic coated). Plastic baskets are also available, and cheap, but they tend not to last very long unless they are seriously heavy duty.
Bins – made of metal, wood or plastic, with or without lids, stackable, with open, glass or solid fronts or lids, placed on shelves, the floor, or in drawers.
Drawers: can be solid or open (wire); wood, plastic, basketry or metal; compartmented or otherwise organized or subdivided inside; large and deep or small and shallow, with or without label holders, full extension, or removable to carry to a work area.
Hooks – to hold bags, aprons, clipboards, strings of onions or garlic, etc
Barrels, clean garbage bins, or sacks for holding seriously large quantities of bulk foods
Racks on walls or the inside of door(s) can hold smaller packages, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, etc. Pegboard racks are especially useful for walls or spaces where you can’t stick out into the room much and so don’t have space for shelves. A plate rail at the top of the wall can decorate your pantry while storing extra plates or platters.
You might also consider including these other items in your pantry:
If you live in an earthquake zone, your pantry ideas should take that into acount. Breakables need to be held in place, and heavy items like canned goods should be stored so that they can’t fall, break other things, block the door closed, or hurt people.
Your pantry contents would be part of your emergency food supply if an earthquake happened, so you want them to be in usable condition and accessible.