Love Your Space Again | The Pantry

love your space pantry
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I don’t know about you, but I love my pantry space.
First, let’s be clear about what a pantry is. 

pantry noun
pan·try | \ ˈpan-trē \

1: a room or closet used for storage (as of provisions) or from which food is brought to the table

Free dictionary
1. small room or closet, usually off of a kitchen, where food, tableware, linens, and similar items are stored.

2. small room used for the preparation of cold foods.
  1. a room or closet in which food, groceries, and other provisions, or silverware, dishes, etc., are kept.
  2. a room between the kitchen and dining room in which food is arranged for serving, glassware and dishes are stored, etc. / aka Cindy
  1. a space in or very near the kitchen that stores food to be used in meal preparation, snacks, and rarely used and/or larger appliances.

Here are the reasons I love my pantry:

  • Things are easy to find, for both myself and for the others that use them.
  • It’s not messy
  • It’s just the right size
  • It’s in the kitchen
  • Nothing falls over when I reach into the pantry

What would it take for you to love your pantry?

Maybe you already do love your pantry.
If you aren’t in love with your pantry, I bet the things that make me love my pantry would probably help you to love yours as well.

Here is how my kitchen is set up, away from the pantry.

  • Things we eat with or drink with are located near the table for ease of setting.
  • Pots and pans are near the cooking area.
  • Mixing bowls are near the prep area.
  • In the higher cupboards are things I don’t use much like extra baking pans, liquor, a griddle, and I just discovered I still have a couple of large containers I bought to hold 10 lbs of sugar and 10 lbs of flour. I rarely bake anymore, and they currently are about 3″ full.
    Looks like I am getting a couple of smaller containers and passing these larger ones on to someone who needs them. 
  • The only “food” I keep in the cupboards in the actual kitchen workspace are oils and vinegars, and salt and pepper. These are stored by the stove where they are used most.
    I don’t keep my spices near the cooktop as I use them in the prep area. We eat a lot of fresh food, so we really don’t have a lot of canned or boxed foods. Those we do have live in the pantry.

I understand not all kitchens are the same.
However, they can all be set up with the same premise. Put what you use near where you use it, and organize your kitchen and pantry as if you were in a grocery store.
As with anything, space and contents are going to determine what goes where. Kitchens with no rhyme or reason, with things crammed wherever they will fit, just create disorder, chaos, and wasted food, money and time are often the results of a chaotic kitchen.

Here are a few things that helps me love my pantry:

  • store things in clear containers
  • store likes with likes (aka, like the grocery store)
    • all pasta and grain together in containers like these
    • all snacks together in containers like these
    • canned fruit together
    • canned veggies together
    • you could store things that are used specifically for ethnic dishes together
    • condiments are stored together
  • label shelves with what you want on that shelf
    • this helps others to see where you want things put
    • disclaimer: no promises that they will actually read the labels, but, it’s worth a try
  • some people like to use bins for each day of the week and put each night’s meals in the bins
    • this keeps roommates from eating what you have set aside for dinner
    • you can pull the bin out and get to cooking!
A kitchen is a busy place. The busier a place is, the more organized it needs to be. Do yourself a favor and try some of my suggestions.

Tell me in the comments below how you are feeling about your pantry today, and the reasons why. 

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