Kitchen Pantry: How to Organize

When do you need to clean your kitchen pantry? Most of us clean our pantry when we it's hard to find something because our pantry is full.

Bigger does not necessarily mean better and this could be the time to decide if you want to live with less, to enjoy life more. Americans need to realize what's essential to them and their families - including bigger houses which typically means buying more stuff. Having more stuff means having more time to organize and clean.

So here are some tips on how to clean and organize our pantry:

Kitchen Pantry for Storage

Imagine what your kitchen pantry has:

• Refrigerator that includes a small, hard to reach pantry above it.

• Kitchen cabinets are located in the left corner and right of the stove and microwave.

• In the lower cabinets there are pots and pans.

• Stored in my upper left kitchen cabinet are canned soups, vegetables and lots of spaghetti sauce for those days with too little time to cook.

• Inside the kitchen cabinet to the right are all our cooking and baking supplies which overflow to the counter tops during the holidays.

• Kitchen island bench has the biggest drawers for silverware and every type of utensil, plus napkins, place mats and the inevitable containers for storing leftovers.

• Window seat has a custom kitchen cabinet in it which is good for storing over-size pots and pans.

• The breakfast and snack foods are on top of the corner pantry cabinets and baking dishes and other large items below.

• Kitchen cabinets surround the sink and dishwasher. These cabinets are holding glasses, dishes and serving dishes. The lower cabinets have the pull-out trash and recycling cabinets.

More Kitchen Cabinets Mean More Stuff

Do you feel that you still need more storage even if your home is big enough? The average American home has more than doubled in size since the 1950s, to more than 2,300 square feet. Let's go back and look at how much kitchen pantry space there is in my kitchen.

• 20 linear feet of upper kitchen pantry space, mostly 42 inches tall and 12 inches deep = 70 cubic feet

• 17 linear feet of base kitchen cabinets, 2 feet deep and 30 inches high = 85 cubic feet

• Plus refrigerator, stove, microwave, double sink and dishwasher!

So do you still need bigger space or storage? Well if you thought that you might not need 3 sets of dishes then you are on the right track. However, ask family members who like to have extra dished so you can eliminate the least you need and so you can have more space for the most important things.

Tina Gleisner, founder of the Association of Women Home Owners connects homeowners with concepts, terminology and advice to build homes that support today's lifestyles. Through the library and directory at, you can LEARN more about how to maintain and repair your home and more.


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