The Open Pantry Concept
Organizing your kitchen pantry one jar at a time.
In April of 2010, my husband and I purchased a foreclosed house. We saw it as buying a shell with the opportunity to make it into whatever we wanted.
One (very long) year later, we have transformed a once rundown, worn-out house into a beautiful space we call home. Of course, my favorite area is the kitchen. After all, it is where I spend most of my time. A great deal of time and planning went into making it just right.
I love the open pantry feature in my kitchen. We jokingly say it is a homage to our old townhouse. There, we built shelving units that lined the stairs going down into the basement. We used them to store food because the kitchen was just too tiny and only had a few cabinets for storing dishes and kitchen necessities.
What I came to realize is that this was the best use of that space. These shelves allowed us to see everything in the pantry. There was never any over-buying because I did not see that lost can of beans that was buried in the back. When we were designing our new kitchen, we tried to incorporate this idea somewhere in the space.
In the end, the open pantry is fantastic and really a focal point in our kitchen. I can see all the food items and create meals knowing what I have and what I need to purchase. Everything is also easily accessible. I purchased my jars from Shoppers Food Warehouse and Target. The half-gallon jars I purchased from Hollin Hall Variety Store. For less than $100, my open pantry was assembled and organized.
Even if you're not building a new kitchen, now is as good a time as any to get your food storage in order. I encourage you to look into your pantry or space where dried goods are kept. Check the expiration dates on the cans and remember to mark the purchase date on top of bulk items.
The rule is, “first in, first out.” Always place newly purchased cans behind the older ones. This way you can finish previously purchased foods first before they have a chance to expire. I am sure everyone has that one can of soup, some rarely used spices or whole wheat flour that has been sitting in the pantry for a long time.
Having a well-organized pantry (either open or behind closed doors) will be healthier and make cooking much easier. Happy eating!