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Leslie Pantry April 05th, 2018 - 12:46:40
Pantries are enjoying an upsurge in popularity, and for good reason. They are a great place to store both bulk foods bought at the store (saving time and money for todays busy families) and home-grown or home-preserved foods produced in our once-again-popular home gardens. Three Pantry Designs There are three main types of pantry designs: walk-in pantries, pull-out cabinet pantries and butlers pantries. A walk-in pantry is like a small room lined with shelves, drawers, and perhaps a countertop. Because the interior doesnt have to look as pretty as the main kitchen, you can use cheaper open shelving to create a great deal of storage space for less cost then by using regular cabinetry. Some people do choose to finish the pantry to the same standard as the main kitchen though. A walk-in pantry is great if your household buys certain foods in large quantities and needs to store big bags, boxes or other containers, or large quantities of smaller containers. Its also good for storing some non-food items like paper goods, which come in large packages.
The style of your kitchen pantry can be as varied as your design. Most pantries are a small room carved out of the kitchen space and have standard walls and a small standard door for access. Dont have enough room for a pantry? If possible, when you are designing your kitchen, borrow the space from an adjoining mudroom or laundry room, to enlarge your kitchen space. You will be spending more time in your kitchen than you will in other small utilitarian rooms. You can also build a food pantry to match the rest of your cabinets. Many cabinet makers offer floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets of varying sizes which allow you to add the option of a kitchen pantry within a small kitchen space. While you gain a significant amount of storage space with a pantry cabinet, you do lose some counter space, but the trade-off may be worth it to you. A cabinet pantry will look very upscale in any design and should be considered as an option when you design your new kitchen.
I have found that it is best to try to reorganize your pantry when you are alone, or have a block of time available for you to concentrate and complete the project quickly! Remember to store cleaning products and chemicals away from your food items! Keep items that you use the most often in front and readily visible! Stack cans, jars and other items so that the labels can be easily read. Always be on the lookout for new organization aids such as: baskets, wire baskets, adjustable racks, stacking containers, and more that will improve your pantry organization. Make a "guest" or "refreshment" shelf to keep crackers, dips, chips, drink mixes and other items handy so you are ready to have an impromptu party or your childrens friends. Keep paper/pencil and/or a small whiteboard in your pantry. You could also paint a chalkboard on the back of your pantry door. You will be surprised how this will encourage family members to add what they would like to the inventory or what they have noticed is out-of-stock.
The easiest meal for me is spaghetti and my family loves it, so you will always find spaghetti fixings in my pantry -- either the ingredients to make sauce or pre-made sauce, noodles and parmesan cheese (fridge storage). As well, I keep some ground chicken or sausage in my freezer to add to the sauce or serve on the side to accommodate the meat haters in my family. I actually like to keep pantry staples for several possible meals at the ready "just in case." I always have a jar of pesto, mushrooms, pasta, macaroni and cheese, refried beans, canned chicken, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, cans of fruit, kidney and/or pinto beans for chili, and usually a smattering of "cream ofs" are in there too. Thats how you want to think when stocking your pantry. Think about the foods your family likes to eat and meals made in a hurry -- stock those items as you can afford them. Your pantry staples may differ, but should meet your familys unique tastes.