Kitchen Pantry Ideas
Make sure kitchen items are easily accessible with an organized pantry
By Josienita Borlongan
Every kitchen, no matter what size and no matter what age, requires a good organizational plan. A pantry is one ways to organize food supply, utensils, pots and pans, all in one place. Create a pantry that will work well with the size of your kitchen and your budget.
Build a cabinet to use as a pantry. Measure the width and depth that the space will allow, and then build a plan that will go with it. Plan to build a big cabinet if space permits. Choose the same cabinet materials and finish for your built-in as the rest of the kitchen so that it will blend well as part of the grouping. Choose between built-in or standalone cabinets. Built-in cabinets are more expensive than most standalone cabinets and require carpentry skills but can be custom-made to match the kitchen. Standalone cabinets can be purchased from home improvement stores and come ready to assemble. Choose the finish that will complement the rest of the cabinetry in your kitchen.
Build a walk-in pantry if space is not an issue. Find a location near your kitchen that will fit a walk-in pantry. A good-size walk in pantry is at least 4 feet wide by 7 feet long to allow you to move comfortably inside. Choose a corner location to maximize the space by taking advantage of the added depth. Install solid or wire shelving and use bins. Use your walk-in pantry not only to store food supplies, but to store small appliances, pots and pans. Install pull-out shelves to keep things organized. Install wine or bottle racks to keep your drinks organized. Choose a door made of solid wood or glass. Avoid choosing clear glass doors if you cannot keep the shelves neatly organized; choose a frosted or etched style instead. Add a light source to your pantry to ensure that you can find things inside. Install an exhaust fan if your walk-in pantry has no window; doing so will ensure an even, year-round temperature.
Install a slim, sliding pull-out pantry cabinet next to the refrigerator if space is at a premium. Incorporate a pull-out drawer if space is very tight. Replace a couple of lower cabinets with a pull-out system that you can use to organize your cooking essentials. Purchase the pull-out pantry system from a home improvement or kitchen cabinetry store.
The first step in organizing your pantry is assessing your inventory and getting rid of items that you won't actually use. If you have food items that you've accumulated but never think to use, it's probably time to donate them or throw them away (if they are expired). Next, start grouping your items together, keeping cereals, canned goods, sauces and condiments, etc. in separate groups. Evaluate the storage space in your pantry and add organizers to help make items more visible and accessible. For shelves, consider expandable stair-step shelf organizers that create several tiers (or steps) on each shelf. For larger areas, consider a lazy Susan that helps transform parts of your pantry into rotating storage.
About the Author
Josie Borlongan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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