Real Solutions to Pantry Problems

Whether you are a consummate amateur chef or a proud supporter of Lean Cuisine, finding adequate storage space in the kitchen can be a constant challenge. Fortunately, today’s pantry concepts provide practical solutions.

Expansive kitchen pantries rate high on the wish list of homeowners, thanks to increased accessibility to food and tools, and decreased clutter on counters and work spaces.

When building or remodeling, adding a pantry is not only more space efficient, but more economical. Open shelving and simple wall racks cost less than an elaborate custom cabinet system. My preference for shelving in kitchen pantries is ventilated wire shelving, because It offers visibility, adjustability and air circulation. These versatile shelves come in depths of 9″, 12″, 16″ and 20″, and they have tightly spaced wires that prevent smaller items from toppling over or falling through.

Wire baskets are excellent for all those items that don’t sit well on a shelf, like bags of chips, snacks, pasta and packages of condiments. Potatoes and onions are also great candidates for baskets.

BONUS: Drawer inserts are perfect for organizing your basket space for gadgets and utensils!

Don’t overlook the space on the back of a door. Turn that wasted space into shelf space with wire wall racks. Less than 5″ deep, they are great for any space where you have less than 5” of available depth.

After you have the structure of your kitchen pantry in order, that is half of the battle won.

Organize your pantry in order of accessibility, so that items handled less frequently are on the upper shelves and the heaviest, bulkiest items are on the floor. The middle shelves should be devoted to foods and supplies that are used daily.

Breakfast cereals and snacks should be placed on lower shelves so that children are able to help themselves.

Keep in mind the same guidelines you use for your clothing closet – group by category: fruits, vegetables, condiments, baking supplies, etc. should all live in their categories for easy access and assessing.