or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Any ideas what I can use for a pantry?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any ideas what I can use for a pantry?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
We live in a home built in the late 1960's, one level, 3 BR + an office (with a closet). It's a little over 1600 sq. ft. The closets and bedrooms are small (no walk-in's) and our kitchen, ohhh, our kitchen is just so poorly laid out that it makes me want to cry some days.

Right now we are using the space under the wall oven for a pantry and it is so small that it barely fits a few boxes of mac & cheese and canned goods, sugar, rice, pasta, etc. All of our cereal/oatmeal/snack boxes are kept on top of the fridge and I can't stand how that looks. We also have a microwave on our counter that takes up way too much space. I could probably dig up some pics of the kitchen if that would help with suggestions.

Is there any good alternative for storing non-perishable food? I was thinking something like this might work (I like the minimalist look about it and I could easily fit it in a corner), but I need shelves. I really don't want to spend a lot of $ either (less than $50 if possible).

Ideas?
post #2 of 41
IKEA also sells cabinets with shelves and closable doors that you can use to store food in. I had one of those for years- we gave it away when we moved because the new house has built in cabinets (and no room for another piece of furniture!) I think we spent about $100 for it 10 years ago- I'm not sure what something simlar would cost now.
post #3 of 41
Utility shelving unit plus some fabric?

You can probably get something cheap if not pretty from the hardware store and then use fabric (sheets from the thrift store) to make curtains.
post #4 of 41
I would look around craigslist for Ikea cabinets people might be getting rid of. My dad uses one of their wardrobe cabinet as a pantry and it works well.
post #5 of 41
If you like that wardrobe from Ikea - I'd head to Ikea and find a similar free standing unit that has doors. I am pretty sure that the Billy bookcase is available with doors. It isn't as deep, but has shelves and would work as a pantry. Ikea makes a wide variety of cabinety type things. It may be a bit more than $50, but probably less than $150.

Your house sounds very similar to mine. Our kitchen cabinets do not run all the way to the ceiling and I have been using the space above them for pantry storage. I am the sort who likes everything put away and out of sight, so I find this a barely tolerable situation. I get up on the stool and reorganize it a couple times a week.

Can you get a microwave to mount above your cooktop? That wouldn't create cabinet space, but would free up some of your work surface.
post #6 of 41
Do you have a basement? We have a pantry of sorts set up down there. We keep canned goods, cereal, etc. there until it's needed.
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyday View Post
Do you have a basement? We have a pantry of sorts set up down there. We keep canned goods, cereal, etc. there until it's needed.
Funny you should ask this. I'm in Northern CA by way of Baltimore, MD where basements are in almost every home. Here in CA, I don't think I have ever seen one!

DP has suggested we make room in the hall closet, but that just feels weird to me not having a large portion of food in the kitchen. It would feel funny when the kids ask me to make them some mac & cheese and I run to the hallway to get it!

Hm...that is true about the Billy bookcases at Ikea. We have those in our office so they would at least match. I'll have to look at the different door selection next time I'm in there. Thanks for the tip!
post #8 of 41
If you like the look of the above, you can do the same thing yourself with one of IKEA's utility bookshelves and a staple gun: prewash the fabric, cut it to the right size, hem the bottom and staple it around the top and at the back and sides at the bottom. Glue some pretty trimmings on to hide the staples, and add some ties to the side. Job done

What are your local thrift stores like? Anything there?
post #9 of 41
What about something like this? Would you have room? Or a larger sized microwave cart maybe?

This one is only $24! And you could put your microwave on top!
post #10 of 41
Don't forget that IKEA has an "as-is" room. And you can ask for a bigger discount on the stuff in there if you're nice!
I have found just what I needed in there a few times, and at half the price!!
post #11 of 41
I like these
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90401+531179

This one's black, but they come in chrome
post #12 of 41
I say no to that wardrobe. It would get so icky in the kitchen. How about getting a storage bench or two for your kitchen table? http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20141853 You could add some cute cushions on top.

Do you have kitchen pictures? Maybe we could help you optimize that way.
post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
What would I do without you guys!! These are excellent ideas!! I never thought about a wire rack shelf! There is a perfect spot at the end of our counter where our little Ikea kid's table used to sit. I could just velcro some nice material around the bottom. I really like that one from Walmart (of all places!). I'll have to see what Ikea has. I have seen some really great kitchen carts/mini islands that I have always wanted to have. The only problem is that I can't put the microwave on it because there is no power outlet anywhere to be found except on the counter. Grrrr....

This is the horrid space we're working with:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3335/...dc92f9d81e.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3306/...50020f53_b.jpg

and standing in the kitchen looking at the opposite wall (such a waste of empty space!):

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3369/...ffbf87c2_b.jpg

ETA: Here is a better angle so you can see more of the entry way. Those two doors under the oven is what we call a "pantry" (sorry about the big ugly plastic bucket sitting on the counter in this one! I also could have tucked all the junk into the drawer under the oven. )

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3330/...ca052c0d_b.jpg
post #14 of 41
You should also have room for a small island. Might be worth considering to give yourself more counter space.
post #15 of 41
The wall behind the head of your dining table would be perfect for a small pantry! It would probably be a bit expensive but would probably take your stress level down a few notches! I would see about getting tall, but not deep cabinets installed from doorway to wall. The standard depth for cabinets is 24 inches and it looks like you could spare 24ish inches along that wall.
post #16 of 41
What is in all the cabinets now? Could you shift some of your lesser-used cookware somewhere else?
post #17 of 41
I have something like this http://www.target.com/Double-Cabinet...cabinet&page=4

But it was cheaper, maybe $40-$50 and I had to assemble, made out of pressboard, but have had it for years now. It does the job just fine.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCFD View Post
Funny you should ask this. I'm in Northern CA by way of Baltimore, MD where basements are in almost every home. Here in CA, I don't think I have ever seen one!

DP has suggested we make room in the hall closet, but that just feels weird to me not having a large portion of food in the kitchen. It would feel funny when the kids ask me to make them some mac & cheese and I run to the hallway to get it!

Hm...that is true about the Billy bookcases at Ikea. We have those in our office so they would at least match. I'll have to look at the different door selection next time I'm in there. Thanks for the tip!
Without a basement, I'd move the pantry to the hall closet. When I lived in apartments, I never had a pantry. So I improvised and made the hall linen closet into a pantry. Now that I have a home, I still have no pantry because it's an old house with no closets on the first floor . So I made a pantry area in the basement with steel shelving units. Good luck.
post #19 of 41
Looking at your pics, I'd think you have adequate cabinet space for storing a decent supply of mac-n-cheese. I think you might want to look at getting a hutch or sideboard for your dining area and then you could keep some of your nicer plates/platters/bowls/table-linens, etc, in there and free up some cabinet space for your canned goods & dry staples. I'm thinking something like this one from IKEA, but just something low that you could set extra dishes of food on (thanksgiving tofurkey or whatever) with storage underneath.

btw, you could look on Craigslist for a bargain on that.
post #20 of 41
We just did this for a friend here. We bought 2 plain "DIY" tall bookcase kits from Home Depot and assembled them and left them unstained - they can be stained or painted any color. I took adhesive velcro and added it to the top and added a lined cloth cover to just keep it out of sight, and screwed a cloth tie back on the side so she could load it or keep it open, etc. You could go with the cheaper prefab shelves but these were real wood, heavier, and deeper so she could store cereal boxes, etc. The prefab ones you can get anywhere - Walmart, Target - for about $20 each. The wood ones were $45 but like I said bigger and better to keep for a long, long time for her.

As for your fridge top, that'd make me nuts too so I would store my bulk items in pretty jars/canisters there. Flour, oats, rice, beans, etc. Or, you could get a basket and store things in there so you can't see.

HTH. I actually like your cabinets a lot. I think with a new counter top it'd be lovely. It's also be nice to one day have a carpenter mimic your cabinets if you like it, to make a built in by your table. An Island would be lovely, too, but not much help for storage.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Organize & Declutter
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Organize & Declutter › Any ideas what I can use for a pantry?