How to Design a Pantry Closet

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A well-designed pantry closet can make it a joy to work and cook in your kitchen. Smart design can allow you to make the most of your pantry space, whether it is a quite small or large walk-in pantry. Your pantry design should be individualized to meet your needs and correspond to how you cook and use your kitchen. As you visualize your new kitchen pantry, think about frequency of use, functionality and even appearance to create a storage space for all your kitchen needs today and for years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure

How to Design a Pantry Closet

  • Measure out the pantry space you have available. Write down each of these measurements. If you are building a pantry closet use your planned dimensions when you design the storage and organization in the pantry.

  • Draw your pantry closet on graph paper using the grid on the paper to create a scale representation of your pantry.

  • Think about what you will store in your pantry closet. Will it hold just food or does it also need to accommodate cleaning supplies, craft supplies or seasonal items? Measure any large or oddly shaped items. Approximate how much space you need especially if you keep a lot of bulk goods.

  • Go shopping for pantry organizers, any drawers you may want to install and bulk storage containers before you install shelves or other systems in the pantry closet you are designing. Look for wall-mounted or door-mounted narrow shelves for canned goods, small racks and turntables for spices or condiments and wire baskets for potatoes and onions (see Reference 1). You should also consider a rack on which to hang your mops and brooms. Various small items also can fit well in drawers, plastic boxes or bins (see Reference 2). You may also want to consider standard-sized containers for bulk goods.

  • Measure your newly purchased pantry organizers to ensure that your shelves work with what you have bought and need to store. Working with your graph paper schematic, place shelves at appropriate intervals on your pantry walls. Allow some 18- to 24-inch deep shelving higher in the kitchen pantry closet for paper towels, cookware and other items. Narrow 6- to 9-inch shelves are ideal in the pantry for canned goods. Leave space for potatoes and onions in wire baskets or drawers below the shelving. If money is no object, heavy and sturdy drawers like those used by quality kitchen cabinet manufacturers can be installed to store pantry goods (see Reference 3).

  • Once your shelving and organizers are in place, use a label maker or sticker labels to identify any bulk goods and label what belongs on each shelf. This will help you and your family to keep your pantry tidy and help family members know the location of each item.

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