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How to Renovate & Organize a Kitchen Pantry

How to Renovate & Organize a Kitchen Pantry

A kitchen pantry is the backbone of many homes, offering a convenient place to store dry goods and nonperishables. Pantries have changed down through the years, going from an essential storage area to an optional one in many homes thanks to refrigeration. Yet, a pantry offers walk-in convenience and can prove an effective food storage area that is so close to your kitchen.

If your home lacks a pantry, but has a kitchen closet or offers an old pantry that is no longer in use, you can put in a new pantry or renovate the current one to enjoy desirable food storage space.

1. Remove the closet door. If you’re dealing with a closet, remove its door. You want a pantry that is open to the kitchen and offering easy access to what lies inside. With a cleansing solution and a rag, wipe down the door frame and fill in holes with putty. Wipe down the interior walls, the ceiling and floor. Patch whatever holes are present and sand it as needed. Coat the walls with a primer and follow up a few days later with a coat of paint.

2. Inspect and repair the flooring. An old sheet of linoleum may be present or your pantry may feature wooden floors. If the floors are in good condition, you can stain or clean as needed. Consider putting down a fresh floor cover with vinyl tiles being the most cost effective. For a fancier look, consider parquet tiles. Allow the flooring to dry before moving on to the next step. Install or update lighting as needed.

3. Install pantry shelving. If shelving is already in place and is suitable for use, then strip it as needed. A bare closet requires new shelving, what you can put in place with metal brackets for adjustable shelves. Line up the shelf standards by first marking the locations with wall studs, then by drilling pilot holes. Hang the first shelf standard and hold it in place with one screw. Hang the second shelf standard, using a level to ensure that both standards are precisely parallel. Finish installing the remaining screws and then hang your shelves. Repeat this step as often as you need hanging shelves in your pantry. Shelf standards should be at least 30 inches from the floor to allow for floor storage underneath.

4. Stock your pantry. Choose a variety of canned goods and dried goods to store in your pantry. Develop a food storage system that works for you, with soups in one section, beans in another section and meats, vegetables and fruit sensibly displayed. Underneath the bottom shelves of each shelving section, you can place airtight containers to store grains and pet food. Choose sealable 5-gallon buckets that can be labeled and stacked.

5. Consider a screened door. If the thought of having your pantry open to the kitchen doesn’t interest you, then consider installing a screen door to replace the heavy wood door you took down. Paint the door to match your kitchen’s trim. If you’re working with an old door, replace the screening as needed.

Pantry Considerations

Label your shelves and storage containers to keep everything in its place. Put dates on long term storage containers and include expiration dates. Rotate your items — new items go in the back, older items are placed in the front.