Can't Go Wrong Pantry Design and Organization Rules
Jon Lo, MFA, NKBA
Senior Resident Designer
Don't Miss These Halpful Kitchen Planning Articles
- The Thirty-One Kitchen Design Rules, Illustrated
- Mise-en-Place: Learning About Kitchen Design From Commercial Kitchens
- Budget Kitchen Remodeling: Guide for the Frugal Homeowner
- The Remodeling Design & Planning Process
- How to Measure Your Kitchen (And Other Rooms)
- The Ergonomic Kitchen
For even more in-depth home remodeling articles visit our Index to Articles.
Some Pretty Good Pantry Tips
"On high shelves, store boxes on their sides so their labels can be more easily read through the shelf mesh from below."
Lillian Muller of Rogers, AR
What is a Butler's Pantry?
Since 1900 the meaning of the word "pantry" has changed in America (but not in the UK).
Today it means a place where food is stored, and usually refers to one or more cabinets or a closet adjacent to the kitchen.
In the late Victorian age, the room where food was stored was the "larder" or "buttery".
The pantry was a serving area located between the kitchen and dining room. Often it was not much more than a wide hallway equipped with ample countertop space and, commonly, a sink.
Typically the butler would fetch the cooked food from the kitchen, divide it into serving portions, arrange it invitingly on dishware, then serve it in the dining room.
The pantry usually had swinging doors at both ends which helped keep kitchen noise, heat, and odors away from the diners.
With the simplification of house design that occurred during the Arts & Crafts period of the early 20th century, the butler's Pantry was largely eliminated and replaced with built-in cabinetry inside the dining room for storing dinnerware, glassware, linens, and silverware — all the things formerly stored in the pantry.
Improvements in cooking technology, such as the natural gas or electric cookstove instead of coal and wood stoves made isolation of the kitchen from the dining area much less important to dining comfort.
Today the tendency is to call any walk-through or walk-in pantry a "butler's" pantry, but this term is not strictly correct.
Some Pantry Terminology
Buttery: Has nothing whatsoever to do with butter. It is an old English term for a room (or more likely a shed) where food was stored in large barrels called "butts", hence "buttery".
Dish Pantry: Typically a cabinet or closet just off the kitchen or in the dining room where dishes and serving ware are stored.
Larder: A Victorian term for a small, room, or tall cabinet for storing food. Used today primarily in Britain to mean what we call a pantry on this side of the Big Blue Pond.
Before the invention of the refrigerator, there were still all sorts of foods that needed to be kept cool, including dairy products, meats, and fresh produce.
One solution for keeping things cool in the pre-electricity era was the cold pantry. A cold pantry uses creative ventilation and some skilled design to keep perishable foods cool.
A cold pantry still has a place in a modern kitchen. A great many foods store well in a cool, but not necessarily cold, environment and the cooling uses no electricity, does not leave a carbon footprint, and, best of all, is free.
Read more about cold pantries at Cold Pantries for Green kitchens by Katie Marks.
Every kitchen needs a pantry — a notion that has not always been thought to be true. During the post-WWII building boom from 1945 to 1960, pantries fell out of favor. Architects believed that the new built-in cabinetry and the convenience of local supermarkets had made pantries unnecessary in the modern kitchen.
They were wrong.
According to a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, a kitchen pantry is the kitchen feature most wanted by buyers in the market for a new home.
Before the era of microwave meals, pre-processed cuisine, and Hello Fresh meal kits, a well-stocked pantry was required for good domestic management.
If you own a home built before 1945, you are probably fortunate enough to have a pantry of some sort. If your house was built after 1980, you might have a tall cabinet designated on the kitchen plan as a pantry.
Neither may offer convenient, flexible, or functional storage, but at least it's a start. Bad pantries can be fixed.
Pantries typically hold groceries that do not neet refrigeration, but you can squeeze in extra dishware, rarely used pots and pans, pet food, small appliances, paper goods, cook books, and cleaning supplies.
We firmly believe that no matter the age of your kitchen or its size, it should include a pantry, and this critical storage requires careful thought and planning.
The Iron Rules of Storage
Creating a great pantry requires closely adhering to the three Iron Rules of Storage. If the rules are followed, any storage is almost always convenient and easy to use.
The Iron Rules apply to any storage, but particularly to kitchen storage, and even more particularly to pantry storage.
A pantry should be close to where the items in the pantry are first used – usually the food preparation center.
If the kitchen has a baking area, then a separate baking pantry should be considered. It should be located near the baking center unless the main pantry can be placed between the two work centers, and do double duty.
While size does matter, simplicity, organization, and the right location are usually more important than size alone.
A well-designed small pantry will usually provide better, more convenient, and more functional storage than a poorly designed large pantry.
The Ideal Pantry
Convenience, accessibility, and viewability are the key attributes of a great pantry.
A pantry is
Convenient, if it is located at or near the area where food is prepared, not necessarily in the kitchen, but if not, then in an adjacent area;
Viewable, if everything in the pantry can be seen at a glance; and
Accessible, if everything in the pantry can be easily reached and removed without moving anything else out of the way.
If the Iron Rules are closely followed, it is nearly impossible to design a pantry that does not include these key attributes.
For example, if storage is sized to the things being stored, it is easier to implement the Accessibility rule and little space is wasted.
Shelves should be far enough apart so that items stored on a shelf just fit (plus an inch or two to make things easier to remmove).
To avoid wasted space, shelves should be adjustable so as storage requirements change the shelf spacing can be updated.
At-a-glance viewability is also an important goal to strive for in pantry design. Everything stored should be immediately visible.
Nor should it be necessary to move something out of the way to see what's behind or beneath it. There should never be anything behind or underneath anything else.
If your pantry never achieves all of these ideals, no worries. We have been designing pantries for nearly 50 years, and have never reached that level of pantry Nirvana either. But the closer the pantry design is this ideal pantry, the more useful and convenient the pantry will be.
The Basic Pantries
Pantries come in three basic configurations:
- pullout, and
All have advantages and drawbacks.
The reach-in pantry is usually the most convenient, the pullout pantry the least convenient, but a boon to small kitchens with no wall space to spare.
The walk-in pantry holds the most, but since it is often removed from centers of kitchen activity, it is best used as a remote second pantry.
A kitchen can have two, even three pantries.
We commonly design kitchens for large families or everything-from-scratch cooks to include a near pantry that holds small quantities of supplies most often used and one or more remote pantries that hold bulk supplies in large quantities.
The near pantry is re-supplied from the remote pantry periodically as consumables are used.
It can be a multi-step process. A middle pantry is restocked every month or so from the cold room or remote pantry in the basement. The near pantry is restocked weekly from the middle pantry.
The ideal reach-in pantry is shallow.
Deep pantries hold more, but all the stuff in the back is not immediately visible and not easy to reach.
As a practical maximum, the depth of a fixed pantry shelf should be no more than 16" (14" is better).
We have read recommendations that suggest a maximum depth of 18" and even 20". We figure these folks don't build many pantries. Twenty inches is much too deep. Sixteen inches is the absolute maximum.
If you have more depth available, you may be tempted to build deeper shelves on the theory that while you may not use the back few inches for primary storage, it does not hurt to have it for stuff you don't use as often.
Don't give in to the temptation. Deep pantries do not work well!
Inevitably, things you use often get pushed to the back as you add other things, so you end up with stuff you cannot find or get to without moving the things in front of the items you need.
Anything deeper than 16" requires a roll-out tray or a pullout pantry. For cans and bottles even 16" is too deep. Eight inches is the more useful maximum.
One way of using a deeper space effectively is to split the shelves so that no shelf is deeper than 16 (or better, 14) inches.
Let's say you are planning a 24" deep reach-in pantry to align with your standard 24" deep kitchen cabinets.
The available depth inside a 24" cabinet is about 22 3/4" (Subtract 3/4" for the thickness of the front and 1/2" for the back).
A 22 3/4" is much too deep, so we are going to install fourteen-inch shelves in the cabinet, which leaves 8 3/4" of inused space.
Let's fill that empty space by attaching 8" shelves to the pantry door for smaller items like bottles and cans. Now we have 22" of shelving, leaving 3/4" for door clearance. Some clearance is required for the doors to close properly, and while as little as 1/4" works, we prefer 1/2" to 3/4" to hedge our bets a tad.
Splitting shelves between cabinet and door is exactly the configuration used in our favorite pantry style, the classic bat-wing pantry. With the doors fully open everything in the pantry is arrayed in a panorama for maximum visibility and is easily reached.
Besides being the pinnacle of storage convenience, a bat-wing pantry is relatively inexpensive to build using standard factory kitchen cabinet components.
It does not require extensive pullout hardware, which, because it must be able to hold a lot of weight, needs to be heavy-duty and can be costly. But it does require heavy-duty hinges to hold the weight of the door plus all the stuff stored on the door without sagging.
On a full-height pantry, we typically install four heavy hinges on each door. These will easily hold the weight of the door and 150 lbs. of cans and bottles stored in the door. (It will also hold the additional weight of a 5-year-old swinging on the door — something we found out quite by chance.)
If the pantry shelves are more than 16" deep, then it is better to convert them to trays mounted on glides so they can be pulled out. Roll-out trays have the advantage of making everything in the pantry accessible, even the stuff at the very back of the tray.
One disadvantage is that above eye level it is difficult to see what's on the tray. For this reason, above eye-level, roll-out trays are usually replaced with lazy susan turntables mounted on fixed shelves.
With a twist of the wrist, a turntable brings anything at the back of the pantry to the front where it can be seen. The tradeoff, however, is that a round turntable stores only about 2/3rds the content of a rectangular shelf.
Pullout trays require full-extension soft-close glides.
In the past, the trays are not height-adjustable which was a serious drawback. However, hardware companies are coming out with systems that allow height adjustment. One that is available now is from Hafele, but it is quite expensive and requires special shelves. See Lavido Adjustable Shelf Pullout Pantry, above.
Another disadvantage of roll-out shelves is that you always need to fully open the pantry door(s) to extend the trays and close the door after the trays are returned to their parked position – a small but continuing inconvenience.
Pullout Pantry Units
A pullout pantry is a reach-in pantry turned on end and inserted into a cabinet. A door panel is attached to the front. Closed it look like just another cabinet door but it operates like a very large drawer.
If it is viewable and accessible from both sides, it can be as much as 27" or even 30" wide. But if accessible from just one side, the 16" depth limit applies.
Dual Pantries Solve Complex Storage Issues
This kitchen was once much larger, but a previous owner had taken the original pantry space to create a first-floor powder room under the stairs. The new owner wanted to keep the powder room, but she also wanted her pantry back.
To get enough pantry, a too-small breakfast nook was converted to pantry storage and coffee bar. A second walk-past pantry was created by building a tall cabinet alongside the stairs leading to the basement. Space for this pantry was gotten by sealing 10" from the back of the powder room and relocating the toilet.
This design violates one of the cardinal rules of pantry perfection: The pantry and refrigerator should be near each other.
We wanted to put the refrigerator in the new pantry, but this would have required removing one of the windows. The owner preferred to keep the existing large windows. The husband's instructions were gently but firmly put as something like: "Leave the damn windows alone!" So, that was that.
But the solution works; did not require major, and expensive, structural surgery; and gives the homeowners enough convenient food storage for several weeks.
Not every pantry design solution can be absolutely perfect, but even an imperfect solution can still be made to work well with a little creativity.
A pullout pantry is not as convenient to use as a bat-wing-style pantry. To get to the items stored, you must first extend the pantry, then push it back into place when you are done.
It is generally more expensive to build per square foot of storage because it requires elaborate, heavy-duty hardware.
But in small kitchens where space is at a premium, it may be the only pantry solution that provides anything like enough storage.
Like roll-out trays, a pullout unit is not practical for anything above eye level.
The individual shelves inside the pullout can be made adjustable, which greatly increases the flexibility of the pantry. It is important to use soft-close gliding hardware that prevents the pantry from being slammed which may dislodge items in the pantry that can jam the mechanism.
A walk-in pantry is usually a small room, essentially a closet for storing food, separate from but adjacent to the kitchen.
For many homeowners, a walk-in is the dream pantry that calls up visions of canning garden vegetables and making preserves.
But it is not as useful as you might think.
A walk-in is great for storing large quantities of foodstuffs, particularly bulk items, but because it is usually remotely located, a walk-in can be inconvenient to use for the storage of frequently used items.
For that reason, many kitchens with walk-in pantries also include a smaller, more convenient pantry inside the kitchen that is restocked periodically from the larger pantry.
The walk-through pantry may be even more restrictive.
Where the main purpose of a walk-in pantry is storage, the primary purpose of a walk-through pantry is to get from one place to another. It is first a hallway or passage and only secondarily a storage place.
In designing a walk-through pantry, its primary purpose of providing a convenient and safe passage cannot be compromised.
This usually means an extra-wide walk aisle. We usually recommend a minimum of 44". Wider is better and 60" is the minimum for wheelchair access.
If the pantry has storage on just one side of the aisle, the minimum width of the pantry is 60" (76" for wheelchair access). If there is to be storage on both sides of the aisle, then the minimum width is 76" (92" for wheelchair access).
For much more on kitchen passageway widths, see The 31 Kitchen Design Rules.
A pantry/mudroom that you pass through on your way from the kitchen to the garage or back door is a typical example. In old houses, it is often a converted porch. Groceries can be unloaded just as soon as you wipe your feet, which is very handy.
But the main function of a mudroom must be preserved.
Its walkway must be kept clear, and it needs space for stowing coats, boots, and other outerwear, including a bench for putting on and taking off shoes and boots.
A lot of valuable real estate in a walk-in or walk-through pantry is used for walking rather than storage. The temptation is great to minimize aisle space to maximize storage space.
That is always a mistake.
The minimum walkway or aisle width in a walk-in pantry is 36". You'll see why the first time you truck in a bunch of groceries to unload. Narrow aisles make it a knee- and elbow-knocking affair.
A 60" aisle is the minimum for wheelchair access. It permits a wheelchair to turn around — otherwise, the user has to back out of the space — inconvenient at best and potentially dangerous. A 64" or 66" width is better.
Deep shelves in a walk-in or walk-through pantry are no more useful than deep shelves in a reach-in pantry.
The maximum depth of stationary (non-pullout) storage shelves is 16" no matter where they are located, and 14" is better. Depths as narrow as 10" will work for general storage and as little as 6" for cans and bottles.
If one wall of a walk-in pantry could be used for deeper shelves, resist the temptation or install roll-out baskets or bins. Or, better yet, widen the aisle.
Corners are often wasted space. We try to maximize the storage capacity of cabinet corners by installing lazy susan turntables.
Shelving above eye level should be stepped back 2 or 3 inches. The shelf just above eye level should be no deeper than 14" and the one above that just 12", and so on. Actually, 13" and 10" is better. This step back allows you to better see what's on these upper shelves.
Shelving can be solid or an open wire grid.
Solid shelving eliminates the risk of small items falling between the grids but reduces visibility.
It also tends to accumulate dust and debris and needs to be cleaned more often. Accordingly, the surface should be Melamine™ or some other very cleanable material.
Coated or stainless wire shelving does not collect dust and debris, which simply falls through to the floor.
It may not work, however, for small items that can fall through the grid.
It's easy to clean. A little Windex® and a paper towel are all it takes.
We especially like open-wire shelving for high shelves because you can see through the wire to get a better view of what's stored on the shelves.
Vintage Woven Wire Shelving
One drawback, however, is that modern coated wire shelving often looks out of place in a period kitchen. And we remmodel a lot of period kitchens.
To get the look we want in Craftsman and Victorian kitchens, we often build our own shelves out of a woven wire that fits the period stretched on a wood frame.
Woven wire cloth, for example, such as the venerable hardware cloth or chicken wire, has been around for well over a century and a half and works for almost any historic period.
Where we need to minimize the risk of things falling through the wire grid, we merely overlay a sheet of window screening to eliminate the problem without reducing visibility to any large degee.
Location, Location, Location
Careful design is important to the convenience, functionality, and efficiency of a pantry. But its location in relation to the other elements in the kitchen is even more important. A well-designed pantry put in the wrong place is less useful than a poorly designed pantry in the right place and impairs the efficiency of the cook. We know of no cook who prefers impaired efficiency.
The very best-designed and organized pantry is of only marginal use if it is not conveniently located. This means, according to the first Iron Rule, near where the provisions in the pantry are going to be used. This is usually the food preparation center.
Multiple Pantries for a Large Kitchen
Ideally, a pantry should be placed within a few steps of the area where food is prepared. The general rule is not more than 48", although this dimension is somewhat flexible.
This is a large, gourmet kitchen for an everything-from-scratch cook.
Food storage is located along one wall adjacent to the main walkway from the house to the family room, patio, and pool. This location allows beverage and snack seekers to fetch items from the refrigerator or pantries without crossing into the work areas of the kitchen, which already has enough unavoidable traffic to an from the back door.
To allow easy passage through the kitchen without interfering with meal preparation, we enlarged the distance between facing cabinets to 62" to allow a clear walk path. Normally we recommend not more than 52".
The refrigerator is flanked by two base cabinets that form the "landing zones" for both pantries and the refrigerator. Landing zones provide a convenient place to set bags of groceries while they are unloaded. Each landing zone has its own light, and overhead recessed lighting illuminates the entire area.
Locating it reasonably close to the prep area is usually enough, and being flexible about location can also make it easier to take into account some important factors affecting the placement of other cabinets and appliances.
From a purely aesthetic point of view, locating a tall pantry and refrigerator at opposite ends of the room is good design because the height and bulk of these two large features balance each other.
But for ease of use, it is usually better to place cold storage (refrigerator) fairly close to dry storage (pantry) so that multiple trips are not required to gather the ingredients for a meal.
Snack and Beverage Centers
In addition to being storage places, both the refrigerator and pantry are snack and beverage centers, especially in households with children.
Access to between-meal snacks without traversing the main part of the kitchen reduces kitchen traffic and possible interference with meal preparation and clean-up.
If at all possible, the pantry and refrigerator should be located on the perimeter of the kitchen.
Every pantry should include or be adjacent to a landing zone at countertop height.
The landing zone is a place to set bags of groceries while they are being loaded into the pantry or a place to temporarily stash items being retrieved from the pantry.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association has developed guidelines for just about everything in a kitchen but does not have a rule for the size of a pantry landing zone.
For refrigerators, it recommends a landing zone 15" wide on the handle side of the refrigerator or across from the refrigerator, but not more than 48" away.
These are also good rules for pantry landing zones.
For more information on landing zones and the other 30 rules for kitchen design, see The Thirty-One Kitchen Design Rules, Illustrated.
Lighting, Appliances, and a Charging Station
Very often overlooked, but extremely important is pantry lighting. The ability to see what's in the pantry depends to a great extent on how well it is lit. This is especially true for reach-in pantries, which tend to be black holes without good lighting.
Lighting a pantry can be a problem. The usual solution is to install a recessed light in the ceiling in front of the pantry and call it good. Unfortunately, the usual solution doesn't work. The top few shelves are well-lit, but the illumination decreases toward the floor until the bottom shelves require a spelunking helmet (or flashlight) to find anything.
The ideal lighting illuminates the contents of every shelf evenly – hard to do effectively.
What we do is install an LED light strip down the two front corners of the pantry cabinet. In this location they are out of sight, and, at 400 to 1,000 lumens per linear foot, the strips illuminate each shelf quite well.
So the shelves don't pinch the light wiring, the front corners of the shelves are clipped.
If more light is wanted, install the strips in the back corners as well — we have rarely found this to be necessary, however.
If appliances are to be used (as opposed to merely stored) in the pantry, their placement should be decided early on in the planning process. The electrician needs to know where to install outlets.
Coffee bars are becoming increasingly common in walk-in and walk-through pantries. A coffee bar needs not only electricity but a source of water, which usually means a small sink with a faucet.
You might also explore the possibility of a charging station for those modern essentials: cell phone, tablet, and laptop computer. Where a walk-through pantry is also the mudroom, it provides a convenient location for a charging area.
The "Can't Go Wrong" Rules for the Perfect Pantry
So, after considerable discussion, we arrive at some specific rules for pantry design and organization to supplement the "Iron Rules of Storage", that, if followed, will almost certainly result in the perfect pantry.
If it's unavoidable, any of these rules can be bent or broken, but the further you stray from the rules, the less serviceable your pantry is likely to be.
The Design Rules are guidelines for designing and building a pantry that permit the efficient organization of provisions in ways that make them easy to find and retrieve. While it is possible to organize a poorly designed pantry, it is much, much easier if the pantry is built for efficiency in the first instance.
Rule 1 - Pantry Size
Recommended: A pantry should be large enough, at a minimum, to hold a week's worth of provisions.
Rule 2 - Pantry Location
Recommended: Locate the pantry within 48" of the food preparation areas of the kitchen.
Rule 3 - Pantry/Refrigerator Placement
Recommended: Locate the refrigerator (cold storage) and pantries (dry storage) together.
Comment: Designers are often tempted to place large pantries and refrigerators at opposite ends of a kitchen for aesthetic balance. This sort of placement requires the cook to walk to opposite ends of the kitchen to gather supplies for a meal and should be avoided.
Rule 4 - Snack Center
Recommended: Locate the refrigerator and pantries at the edge of the kitchen so that snack and beverage seekers can get what they need without crossing into the working parts of the kitchen.
Rule 5 - Pantry Shelf Depth
Recommended: The maximum depth of a stationary storage shelf is 16" (14" is better).
Rule 6 - Pantry Shelf Spacing
Recommended: The vertical space between shelves should be
- 16"-18" for bulk storage,
- 10"-15" for general storage, and
- 6"-10" for bottles and cans.
|Can Number/Name||Diameter x Height (Inches)||Approx. Capacity|
|#6Z||2-2/16||3-1/2||6.08 oz. (2/3 cup)|
|#8Z Short||2-11/16||3||7.93 oz. (1 cup)|
|#8Z Tall||2-11/16||3-1/4||8.68 oz. (1 cup)|
|#1 Picnic||2-11/16||4||11 oz. (1-1/3 cups)|
|#211||6-3/16||7||12 oz. (1-1/2 cups)|
|#211 Cylinder||2-11/16||4-7/8||13.56 oz. (1-3/4 cups)|
|#1.25||4-1/16||2-3/8||13.81 oz. (1-3/4 cups)|
|#2 Vacuum||3-7/16||3-3/8||14.71 oz. (1-7/8 cups)|
|#300||3||4-7/16||15 oz. (1-3/4 cups )|
|#1 Tall||3-1/16||4-11/16||16 oz. (2 cups)|
|#303||3-3/16||4-3/8||16.88 oz. (2-1/8 cups)|
|#300 Cylinder||3||5-9/16||19.4 oz. (2 3/8 cups )|
|#2||3-7/16||4-9/16||20.55 oz. (2-1/2 cups)|
|#303 Cylinder||3-3/16||5-9/16||22 oz. (2-3/4 cups)|
|Jumbo||3-7/16||5-5/8||25.8 oz. (3-1/4 cups)|
|#3 Vacuum||4-1/4||3-7/16||23.9 oz. (3 cups)|
|#2 Cylinder||4-1/16||4-11/16||26.4 oz. (3-1/3 cups)|
|#2.5||4-1/16||4-11/16||29.8 oz. (3-3/4 cups)|
|#3 Cylinder||4-1/4||7||51.70 oz. (6-1/2 cups)|
|#5||5-1/8||5-5/8||56 oz. (7-1/3 cups)|
|#10||6-3/16||7||110 oz. (13 3/4 cups)|
Rule 7 - Pantry Shelf Adjustment
Recommended: Shelving should be adjustable in maximum increments of of 2 inches. Smaller is better.
Comment: Most commercially available drilling guides space shelves 32mm or 1.25" apart. This spacing meets this guideline.
Rule 8 - Pantry Shelves Above Eye Level
Recommended: Shelves above eye level should be stepped back in increments of 2-3" so contents can be viewed easily without a step stool or ladder.
Comment: If possible, shelves above eye level should be coated wire or open grid wood to make it easier to view items on the shelf from below.
Rule 9 - Pantry Walk Aisles
A. Walk-In Pantry: The minimum walk aisle width in a walk-in pantry is 36", 44" is better.
B. Walk-Through Pantry: The minimum walk aisle width in a walk-through pantry is 44", 48" is better.
C. Universal Design: The minimum walk aisle width for wheelchair access is 60", 64" is better.
For more in-depth information on walkways and work-aisles, please see The Thirty-One Kitchen Design Rules.
Rule 10 - Pantry Landing Areas
Recommended: A pantry should include or be adjacent to a countertop-height landing area at least 15" wide to facilitate unloading groceries.
Rule 11 - Pantry Lighting
Rule 12 - Appliances and Electronics
With the proliferation of small appliances in modern kitchens, it has become increasingly necessary to find convenient places to store little-used appliances to minimize countertop clutter.
In just the last thirty years the list of kitchen small appliances has quadrupled to include:
Almost certainly there are others. This list does not include, for example, specialty appliances required for ethnic cuisine like panini grills, tortilla makers, and wok ranges or the many variations of the George Foreman grill.
Increasingly, homeowners are choosing to not only store appliances in the pantry but also use them in place without moving them to a countertop.
Coffee bars and microwaves have long been a feature of walk-in and walk-through pantries. What's different today is that many reach-in pantries also include appliance stations. And not just traditional appliances – computers have become a must-have kitchen "appliance."
In addition to food pantries, some of the kitchens we have designed in recent years include a dedicated appliance pantry.
Using appliances where they are stored makes sense. It increases kitchen efficiency and saves the lower back. Many appliances are bulky and difficult to carry. Some are heavy. The KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer, for example, weighs in at a whopping 26 pounds. Using it should count toward your weight training at the gym.
Organizing rules are intended to help you store items in your pantry so that all of the pantry space is used effectively, yet individual items can be found and retrieved easily and quickly.
The critical concepts are Bundling, Stacking, and Stringing.
Together, they make up the core concepts for organizing a pantry so that the full height, width, and depth of the pantry are effectively used.
Rule 13 - Bundle Like Items
Recommended:Group like items on a Shelf together.
Rule 14 - Stack Like Items Vertically.
Recommended:Arrange like items of different sizes in a vertical stack across as many shelves as are needed.
Rule 15 - String and Rotate Like Items
Recommended:If it is necessary to store some items behind other items, ensure they are like items.
Rule 16 - Keep Stuff Off the floor.
Recommended:Keep the pantry floor free of clutter.
Rule 17 - Eye-Level Storage
Recommended:Keep the most frequently used items at eye level.
Rule 18 - Do Not Decant (With Some Exceptions)
Recommended:Keep provisions in their original containers.
Rule 19 - Keep a Record of Removed Items
Recommended:Record items removed from the pantry.
Rule 20 - Reorganize Regularly
Recommended:Reorganize a Pantry Every 30-60 Days
And that about wraps it up. If you design and organize your pantry according to these guidelines, it will work well for you.
The next step is integrating your pantry into the rest of your new kitchen, and that's a whole other issue. But if we can help, contact us to see what can be done. Even if your are not fortunate enough to live in Nebraska, we can help with the design of the pantry or even the whole kitchen.
Getting More Kitchen Space
Now, for a new issue.
Many existing kitchens are just too small for everything you want to have in the kitchen: including a decent-sized pantry. Of course, you can add space by building an addition. Although appropriate in some cases, additions can be costly and not always feasible.
For that reason, it pays to consider the less expensive alternatives. What you don't spend on structure, you can invest in better cabinets, lights, counters, fixtures, flooring, and appliances… (Continues)
Provey, Joseph R., 1001 Ideas for Kitchen Organization, Second Edition, Amazon Books.
Donaldson, Mary, Containing Food Safely With the Right Containers (3 parts), November 18, 2022.
Kitchen design guidelines: The Thirty-One Kitchen Design Rules.
Kitchen lighting guidelines: Effective and Efficient Kitchen Lighting.