Saturday, August 17, 2013

Taming the Pantry Closet

Hi everyone!

Today's post is about ideas for taming pantry closets, which can get out of control so very quickly. Where I live, many of the homes have a pantry closet and the end of the hallway that leads to the first-floor bathroom/laundry room. They usually have some wire shelving in them. 

I don't know about you, but I feel like I never have enough space. And, as the adage goes, you will always expand immediately into any additional storage space. But there is no such thing as too much storage in a kitchen! So I have gone to great lengths to make the most of this closet space and ensure that everything is accessible (without having to remove the original wire shelving that came from the builder).

On the very top shelf, I keep bags of chips, odd shaped items, and extras of items that are stored elsewhere, like cereal boxes. I arrange them so that I can see their labels through the wire shelf from underneath, as I am a shortie. And I hang chip clips from the front edge of that shelf so they do not take up valuable drawer space.

I use the next shelf, which is at eye level, for stacking canned goods. First, I put down thin foam padding that is sold in rolls in stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond. It keeps smaller things from falling through the wire grid and keeps stacked cans from tipping. 

I have also inserted a rack that hangs from the bottom of the very top shelf. I use it for often-used items that don't play well with canned goods: Craisins, sunflower seeds, applesauce, pickles. It hangs so that it's halfway between the shelves and enables me to store one level of canned goods under it.

Below that shelf is "reused storage container central." I have two heavy plastic bins in which I store extra heavy items, like peanut butter, syrup, salad dressing, and other condiments. I can slide the bins out if I need to. 

I use empty baby wipes containers to hold packets of sauce mixes and so on so they face out and I can flip through them easily. In the center, between the bins, I even have a low-cut heavy cardboard box that is perfect for storing larger packets of rice and noodle mixes, also upright and facing out for easy viewing. On the far left is another perfectly sized cardboard box (from a monster ramen purchase). It perfectly holds two rows of Kraft and Annie's macaroni and cheese , which my kids devour with alarming speed, about eight deep.

The shelf below this contains a small set of storage drawers in the center. I keep bags of nuts, extra k-cups, stacked microwave popcorn packets, and so on in them. And on either side of the drawers are larger items, like pitchers and my rolling pin. In the narrow space on top of the storage drawers, I store stacked pizza pans and muffin tins. No wasted space!

At floor level, I keep a set of rolling storage drawers in which I keep delicate items, like bags of noodles, open flour and sugar, and baking items. To the left there is a soda bottle storage unit, which stores nine bottles, up to two liters, on their sides, keeping them off the floor. On top of that rack, I keep extra sealed bags of flour and sugar. Again, no wasted space. To the right is a rolling storage wire rack. It has canisters of seldom-used sweetener, and lots of Pampered Chef baking tools. Between the rack and the drawers I maintain a large supply of paper shopping bags for transporting paper and cardboard recyclables to the transfer station. 

There is about six inches of space between the door and the front edge of the shelves. In that space, I have placed hooks on which I keep aprons, a fly swatter, and a wooden yardstick, which is THE VERY BEST THING for shooting out cat toys from under the bottom of the stove. :) I also store a floor cleaner there to keep it handy.

My favorite part is the door rack. You can buy these anywhere, and I store boxed items here: pasta, rice and rice mixes, hot chocolate, soup mix, and, of course, my collection of Crystal Light tubes! The rack extends nearly the entire height of the door and holds quite a bit.

Great blog frustration! My photos keep rotating and I cannot get them to show properly. Sorry about that. I will try to correct it later.

Well, that's the pantry. I hope you got at least one idea from it, even if it's purchasing a wooden yard stick!


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