For most of my adult life, I have wished for a pantry. With the exception of our first apartment and the beach house, all the townhouses or houses that we have rented and owned have lacked a true pantry. In the big grand scheme of things, not the worst thing to have to deal with. Yet, still the idea of having a dedicated pantry instead of using kitchen cabinets and shelves in the garage has been a distant, though constant yearning.

But it seemed as if it might never be. Although our current kitchen is very nice and large, one thing it lacked was a pantry. So I resigned myself to making do with what I had.

However, this summer (after living in our house for 12 years) I had a revelation. Right there, under my nose the whole time, under the stairs and right off the kitchen was a closet. Not a very exciting or large closet. In fact it was mostly used to house the boys’ winter jackets, light bulbs and various cleaning supplies.

Then it hit me…this closet could be my pantry! It still amazes me that I never once realized that the answer to my pantry wish was sitting right there in front of me the entire time. I have to attribute this awareness to the fact that earlier this year I started following several organization/home blogs. Seeing what others were doing must have inspired me to look at my house with new eyes.

It took a little time, but I can now say that I am the proud owner of my very own pantry. 

As I am not very handy, we found a local woodworker (Linden Woodwork) to do the work for us. And I love it! All of the food is out of the garage (which is a good thing as it often fell prey to fluctuations of temperature and mice) and I have been able to reclaim one cabinet as well as reorganize a couple of others so that the storage works much better.

Still trying to figure out what exactly to put where, but it is falling into place quite well. The top shelf actually has a slanted roof over it due to being under the stairs, so not sure what I will be storing there quite yet. The next shelf has my mixes and other not often needed baking supplies (things like oils, vinegars, sugar, spices etc still reside in the corner cupboard in the kitchen).

The next shelf down is pastas, rice, soups etc. Below that is snacks and chips. This shelf has freed up the boys’ old snack cabinet which was in an out of the way area in the kitchen and never really worked well (they are much better at finding their snacks in the pantry).

The bottom shelf is for breakfast cereal and other bulky things. The two bins on the floor hold my cloth bags and various cleaning supplies. I love the color of the bins and that they are the perfect size. You can also see some of the great Itzo containers/bins that I picked up from Target…these frosted bins are perfect for corralling the various boxes and what not. I use some of these in my refrigerator too to hold small jars and things that tend to get lost.

So there is my new pantry. I know that it is a small thing, but I really love having a convenient place to store things now. Makes a world of difference and I am surprised by how much I love it. It brings a smile to my face each day.

Nice way to start off the new year, don’t you think?

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