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How To Organize And Keep Pantry Clean Plus Keeping Bugs Out Of Food.

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My Country Pantry

My Country Pantry

Always nice to have a window in the Pantry if you can.

Window In Country Pantry

Window In Country Pantry

Old Country Pantry. How to Organize.

This hub is about my old country pantry and how to keep bugs out of food.

We lived in an old house when we were first married and it had a pantry. I loved pantries from the moment I saw this pantry. They hold so much and keep lots of clutter from the kitchen. The old pantry had a window, shelves on four walls and a trap door to get into the cellar or buttery. Pantries also called larders used to store food and keep it cold. The house built in 1900. The pantry was on the north side of the house I'm sure for keeping food cooler. I wondered why they put the trap door in the middle of the pantry. I think it may have been to open up and let cool air into the pantry keeping the food cooler. There was no refrigeration in those days and pantries were often built this way. I knew someday I would have my own pantry. When we built our new house we made sure to have a pantry in it. Our friend did the plans for us told us no one had pantries and they're just a waste of space. I disagree and a pantry went into the plans.

Men, I'm the woman of the house I should be the one to decide on a pantry and that's just what I did. I'm short so pantries are easy for me. I have trouble reaching tall cabinets in a kitchen. Now we live in an old farmhouse and we made sure when we remodeled to put in a pantry. I designed the pantry my husband carried out my design. Thank goodness he's handy. The pictures on this hub are pictures of our pantry.



Country Pantry

Country Pantry

Antique measureing cups I use and a bread box and jars for flour.

Add A Small Pantry Under the Stairs.

Pantry Under Stairs

Pantry Under Stairs

The first items to buy for a pantry

My first item to buy for a pantry were jars. I try to always get vintage looking jars. Wal-Mart carries some nice looking ones. Buy any kind which can hold pasta, rice, sugar, flour and other items. I believe in removing an item from the box and putting into jars. This keeps any kind of bugs out and keeps items fresher longer. Be sure to label and date items in the jars. I have forgotten to do this at times. It's not easy to always figure out what the item is in the jar if you don't use it often and don't have it tagged. There are different ways to label. Buy chalkboard sticky rolls place them on the jar name with chalk and then erased and a new name put on if need be. You can also paint chalkboard paint on the jars. A cheaper way to add a tag cut from the box or bags the name of the item and place inside the jar. You can put the names in a small plastic sandwich bag and write the expiration date inside. A pantry needs to be well lit, it's nice to have a window so during the day you don't have to turn on lights. This will also let in fresh air. Make sure you have a nice light. My light is an old school house type of light.

Buy liners to cover the shelves. You can get grip-it shelving in a roll and or you can buy cork board in a roll. Either one will work well and keep items from hitting each other.

I try to keep my pantry well organized, but, believe me, it gets away from me at times. Every so often you have to go through everything. Now dust, reorganize and check dates on everything.

You can also use floor space can also. We keep dog food in a container on the floor. Use a large basket for chips, popcorn, and lunch chips. Large jars and cans go on the floor, but I do try to keep them out of my way so I can get to the shelves. Use of baskets for potatoes and onions are also good.

Don't put so much in the pantry you can't move around. It won't work if you do. You need to be able to move around.

If you don't have a big or small closet to use for a pantry try an armoire if you can find one on the cheap and have a place for it. You can find them now because so many people are buying the new televisions and getting rid of the armoire. Rework them and add shelves they make cute pantries. How about under the stairs like the photo on the right.

Items for the pantry.

Here’s a list of items that should be in the pantry. If there's a blizzard or any kind of disaster you will be set.

Canned Soup and big cans of soup broth, vegetables, canned sauces, tomato sauces

Jelly, jams, gravies

All things for baking spices, flours, baking powder and soda, salt, pepper, all sugar, raisins, chocolate chips, nuts I put in the freezer.

Jell-O and puddings

Scroll to Continue

I also keep kosher salt

Canola oil, olive oil

Vinegar, red wine and plain.

I keep many spice, Italian spice, parsley, chives, garlic, and red peppers.

Pasta, rice, anything you think you can add to soup. Dry beans, peas,

Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard etc. whatever you like to use and with a pantry you can keep extra

Syrup and pancake mix which I put in jars

Bread, cereals, cake mixes, frosting

Paper towels, napkin, wax paper, plastic wraps and trash bags. We're trying to get away from paper products ( going green)

I have a place in the pantry for soda and water

Cookbooks, hot pads, cutting board and dish towels

Always a Rachel Ray garbage bowl. I bought mine on eBay before she had one to sell. I was using a garbage bowl way before Rachel! When I think of all the Melamine I got rid of and wish I had back.

Shelving for a pantry

You need shelves for food and smaller shelves for spices. We put the knives on the side because there's no room on our counters for them. We also put a counter-top in this pantry. Good for putting groceries on and unloading. We also keep our small appliances in the pantry such as bread machine and mixer. You can't see it but we also have our microwave in the pantry. Our pantry is pretty big to keep everything in, but even a smaller pantry will work great. Nowadays so many people are putting open shelves and cabinets in the kitchens. Pantries aren't needed like they once were.

Pantry Jars

Pantry Jars

Floor Space

Floor Space

Grandmother's door

When my family had to sell at my grandmother's house after she passed away I had them take off one of her old dining room glass doors. I put the glass door on my pantry. My grandmother also had a pantry in her small house. It was a small closet beside her big red stove.

We have been trying to find that red stove. I can't believe my family let it get away from them. Why didn't someone keep it? I wasn't there at the time or I would have taken it.

Vintage Collections Look Nice

I also keep some of my vintage collections of kitchen antiques in my pantry. I like having my antiques close by because I do use some of them. They also look nice when taking pictures for HubPages. My husband builds shelves around the top of the pantry to put items on. We hang things on the wall and on the shelf in front of the window. I also hang baskets in the pantry. Make sure the floors in your pantry are easy to clean. Carpet is not a good idea for the floors.

Larder Beetle

Larder Beetle

Jars And Bugs

Keep your pantry and kitchen clean that is the best way to keep out bugs but often it doesn't work. I have seen people use their potholders over and over never wash them. They wonder why they get larder beetles in with their potholders. The bugs are after the grease. You should be sure to wash potholders, dish towels and dish clothes often. Keep the drawers they're in clean. It's easy to drop food in the drawers while cooking around the kitchen and that will bring in bugs.

I use jars for most of my flour, sugar etc. because of the pesky little monsters you see in the picture. It doesn't matter how clean your house is these things can come in from the store or anywhere for that matter. I put anything that fits in a jar.

Buy chalkboard paint or chalkboard paper and put the names of the items you have in the jars on the front. If you put oatmeal in a jar cut the instruction off the back of the box. Stick that inside the jar, this should be with just about everything you put in a jar.

I also love canning jars and now Ball has them in colors, blue and green, pint or quart. I use small jars for my candies for decorating cakes and cookies. Ball now has a jar lid you can add to your canning jar that has a shaker top on it or you can also buy the jar to go with the lids. All the items are so good for storage.


Whip off any jars you put in your pantry. The containers that hold oil or even spray will get greasy, be sure to wipe them clean with hot soapy water.

Always keep your toaster clean. Bugs love bread crumbs.

Keep cereal in something they can't get into.

I'm careful with bird seed, sunflower seed, dog and cat food always put them in a plastic container. Bird seed is the worst for bugs.

Add a bay leaf to your flour to keep out the boll weevils.

Clean under the refrigerator and stove.

Keep the oven in your stove clean and all grease off your stove.

Keep all food covered and put away. You don't want anything crawling on your food like mice and bugs. We put food in the microwave or if need be in the refrigerator.

Do you ever worry about cockroaches getting in your house? I do when we stay in a motel I always worry about cockroaches crawling in my suitcase. I have never had them and never want them.

Keep drawers in the kitchen clean and the pull out drawer on your stove. Crumbs fall in and bring in bugs.

Bugs will also get in spices so keep them in a tight container.

I always keep my glasses upside down so nothing crawls into them. That is one of the reasons you see glasses like this in restaurants.

I also put sandwich plastic bags over the top of my vegetable and olive oils. It seems no matter how much you wipe they seem to have oil by the top.

The link can explain all the bugs.

  • Pantry Pests
    Managing common pantry and food pests. Includes Indian Meal Moth, Flour Beetles, Dermestid Beetles, Grain Beetles and much more. UNL Extension in Lancaster County.

I listed cookbooks because I keep all my cookbooks and recipes in the pantry. I wanted them to be handy and easy for me to reach.

Burger King house.

If you're ever in Rhinelander, WI on Lincoln St. on the corner is Burger King. Our old house was where Burger King kitchen is now. The house is long gone, but it was the house we lived in with our first pantry.

Copyright © 2015

Old Country Pantry. How To Organize.


Lisa Bean from Virginia on January 08, 2019:

Good info here! I'm so glad we now live in a dryer climate where we don't get as many bugs in the house. When I lived in Florida, especially with the humidity and bugs all my dry goods were in the fridge! I just couldn't seem to keep bugs and moisture out of them any other way!

moonlake (author) from America on May 13, 2014:

Au fait, Oh boy, you should see my house now. We have not been home for almost five months just off and on. Everything is out of place so the last couple weeks I have been trying to get things in order. Paper work gets out of hand for me and it's worse when there is so much more from doctors and hospitals. One thing I do is try to keep all paper in one place if there isn't time to go through it, a big basket works great. You can always get to it later which is what I have been doing. I have a big box for Goodwill handy for other things I need to get out of the house. Just watch Hoarders one time and you will clean like crazy.

My husband has been doing better and is back to work as of last week. He wanted to go back and the doctors told him to try it. We will find out on the 19th what is going on with the cancer. We sure need prayers that the chemo and radiation did it's job.

He still has problems with his strength. He is getting his hair back. Thank you so much for stopping by my hub. I appreciate it.

C E Clark from North Texas on May 13, 2014:

Excellent adice here! Here in the South cockroaches are far more of a problem than beetles, but following your directions will keep them out of the pantry for the most part. Yes, and packaging things so that bugs have no access is essential.

Oddly, I've never had a problem keeping my cupboards (or pantry when I had one, and I love them and miss not having one now) clean and organized, but the rest of the house . . . UGH!

If you have any pointers are getting the rest of the house in shape before the vastness of the mess becomes overwhelming (and that happens within seconds), please share them. I'll be laid off for a few weeks this summer starting soon and I desperately want and need to get this place cleaned up. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Sharing this article as there may be other people like myself who need any help they can find to get household cleaning/organizing/and chores under control.

Do hope things have improved at your house and that everything is as good as it can possibly be, all things considered.

moonlake (author) from America on December 18, 2013:

CraftytotheCore, This was originally the entrance to our house but there was just not enough room in our kitchen so we changed this to pantry. Some people would have kept the entrance but I have regretted change it. Thanks so much for coming by I appreciate it.

CraftytotheCore on December 16, 2013:

Wow, I'm amazingly jealous! We have a pantry in a closet. Originally, it was meant for a washer/dryer. But when we moved in, my grandfather advised us to put the washer/dryer in the basement just in case there was ever a flood or washer leak. So we put some wire shelving (which I dislike) in the closet and turned it into a pantry. You have a whole room! That is so cool!

moonlake (author) from America on December 01, 2013:

Indian Chef , Thank you and thanks so much for stopping by.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on November 30, 2013:

Very well organized pantry and I can see that all things are so easy to find and access. Very nicely written hub.

moonlake (author) from America on May 21, 2013:

misslong123, Thank you. Glad you like it.

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma on May 21, 2013:

I really like those jars you used. It looks so organized with the similar containers. Great job!

moonlake (author) from America on March 03, 2013:

rajan jolly, I love my pantry it's so nice to have everything I need in one place. Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate the vote and share.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 03, 2013:

Great hub. Your pantry is a delight to see and so well organized. I like the list of items which you have put in here. It'll benefit many readers.

Voted up, useful and shared.

moonlake (author) from America on September 03, 2012:

CrisSp, Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on September 03, 2012:

I love the character of an old farm house except for some bugs. (: This hub reminds me of our old house where we used to have a nice big organized pantry. I love the idea of having a pantry. I wish we have it here in the big city as well. But nah, I haven't seen any modern house now a days that comes with a built in pantry.

I enjoyed reading this.

moonlake (author) from America on August 29, 2012:

Thelma Alberts. Thank you for stopping by. Oh it can get in a mess I just have to check it every week and make sure to put it back in order. Most problems are with the floor area and to much stuff ending up in the pantry. I appreciate your comment.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on August 29, 2012:

What a beautiful pantry! It looks so orderly and neat. Thanks for sharing.

moonlake (author) from America on August 19, 2012:

mvillecat, Thanks for stopping by. I love a pantry too. Just added more groceries to mine today.

Catherine Dean from Milledgeville, Georgia on August 19, 2012:

I love a great pantry! We lived in an old apartment building when we were first married and I miss having a pantry.

moonlake (author) from America on May 09, 2012:

kittythedreamer, Thank you so much. It is so handy and I love it. Thank you for stopping by and for the vote. I appreciate it.

Kitty Fields from Summerland on May 09, 2012:

I am SO jealous of your kitchen pantries! Too adorable. Jealous jealous jealous. Voted up and beautiful. You have WONDERFUL taste!

moonlake (author) from America on March 07, 2012:

Eddy, Thanks for stopping by I'm glad you liked my hub. You also have a great day.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 07, 2012:

What a great hub and here's to so many more for us both to share on here.

I wish you a great day.


moonlake (author) from America on February 15, 2012:

connie, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

connie on February 15, 2012:

I love a well-stocked, easy access pantry!! Unfortunately, we move a lot (it's a good thing, part of our job, but it's hard adjusting) and my current kitchen has no pantry. Maybe next time. One day I want to retire to a place with a pantry... or build one :)

moonlake (author) from America on September 30, 2011:

thelyricwriter, Thank you, for stopping by and for an up vote. My nieces were just here for a visit and they just loved this little old farm house and the pantry. They live in nice houses and one has a big new house yet they loved this little place walked all around taking pictrue. So I guess they also feel the way you do about older homes.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on September 30, 2011:

Good hub Moonlake. I miss my pantry that was in the old house I grew up in. I haven't seen them in many of the new houses I have seen. I like the older houses better then the newer ones. Are old house felt comfortable. I don't feel that way in the new house. Anyway, good hub. Voted up.

moonlake (author) from America on September 26, 2011:

Well, men are usually the ones that figure out how to build something. Women get the ideas and men do the know how on how to build it. At least that's what goes on in our house.

Cutters from South Carolina on September 25, 2011:

I have not seen any. I kinda feel weird being a guy though writing about it lol

moonlake (author) from America on September 25, 2011:

Cutters, your right are there any hubs out there about what to do with small spaces?

moonlake (author) from America on September 25, 2011:

Peggy W, anything that works is worth having for a pantry. Even if it is a closet. My grandmother had one in her house that was more of a closet but she loved it.

Cutters from South Carolina on September 25, 2011:

I guess I am forced to write a hub about it lol

moonlake (author) from America on September 25, 2011:

Cutters I would like to see it but not sure how to do it either.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 25, 2011:

What a terrific looking pantry...especially with the window and pretty glass jars reflecting light. Ours is more like a closet with shelves but I would hate to do without it. Good hub!

Cutters from South Carolina on September 25, 2011:

You got that right! I have a pic but I am not sure how I would show you it.

moonlake (author) from America on September 25, 2011:

Cutters, thanks for stopping by that sounds interesting we do what we can in small apace, right?

Cutters from South Carolina on September 25, 2011:

I made one out of a window once! I lived in a very small home and decided to make use of every space!

moonlake (author) from America on December 23, 2010:

Thanks onegoodwoman for stopping by this hub. I would go crazy without a pantry. I'm short so I don't have upper cabinets except for one small one in my kitchen everything goes in my pantry.

onegoodwoman from A small southern town on December 22, 2010:

I am so liking this hub!

It reflects me and all much that shaped me.

moonlake (author) from America on February 09, 2009:

Dry Store that's very interesting....never heard it before. Thanks for stopping in and posting.

The Pudding Club from ENGLAND on February 09, 2009:

LOL. I knocked my down to make the kitchen bigger. I wish I hadn't now. Men like pantrys too, only we call them a dry store.

moonlake (author) from America on January 20, 2009:

We had a friend that was an architect when we buildt our first house and he just thought a pantry was a waste of space. I don't think women think that way. We didn't listen to him put one in anyway.

Thanks for comments, megankouz.

megankouz on January 19, 2009:

Who ever said a pantry was a waste of space, must eat out every day. My pantry is just a small closet with shelves, and I wish it were bigger!!!

moonlake (author) from America on November 25, 2008:

Thanks for comments I love pantries. So much easier then finding things in a cabinet.

Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on November 25, 2008:

This is a dream of mine that I hope to achieve. We want to add onto the house soon and put in a nice country kitchen. One request I have it to have a large walk-in pantry.

moonlake (author) from America on November 10, 2008:

Good idea with the freezing. Have to try the bay leave. Thanks for stopping by my hub and for your nice comments.

beabop407 on November 10, 2008:

very nice! hub and the pantry , I've heard bay leaves sitting on pantry shelves help keep bugs at bay, hehe also freeze flours for a week or two first before putting in jars. I enjoyed your hub, thanks for sharing.

moonlake (author) from America on October 08, 2008:

Thanks for comments and for stopping by.

desert blondie from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen on October 07, 2008:

OOOH EEEE! Loved everything, especially top photo and all the old fashioned, very practical jars...right up until that last photo. Boy oh boy, that critter sure spoils the atmosphere, but critters like that are one reason we try to keep things neat, clean and in jars! Enjoyed!

moonlake (author) from America on September 29, 2008:

Thanks Blackberry.

Blackberry on September 28, 2008:

nice pantry.

trish1048 on September 02, 2008:

You're very welcome.

moonlake (author) from America on September 02, 2008:

trish1048 Thanks, for stopping and for your nice comments.

trish1048 on September 02, 2008:

hi Moonlake,

I love your window view.  I too have a pantry, however, it doubles as the laundry room.  There is only room for a floor to ceiling shelving unit.  Cabinets are built over the washer and dryer.  It is much too small, but there is no room for expansion whatsoever.  It does, however, free my kitchen cabinets for dishes/glasses and cups.

I love your idea of dating things.  That is something I often neglect to do.  I also love the idea of a counter area for unloading groceries.

Very nice hub, thanks for sharing,


moonlake (author) from America on August 24, 2008:

Thanks for comments.

glassvisage from Northern California on August 23, 2008:

Pantries are such an integral part of country kitchens. People in my hometown spend a lot of time and energy on their pantries, whether by installing pull-out shelves or linings or whatnot, and organizing and improving :)

moonlake (author) from America on August 20, 2008:

Thanks for your comments. Isn't any fun to find critters in anything your right.

marleymauve from near Toronto on August 19, 2008:

Very interesting hub. Emergency preparedness is a great idea! I also am very careful about keeping things sealed as well. It's not pleasant when you try to use something for a recipe and find a critter living in it!

moonlake (author) from America on August 15, 2008:

Thanks much for signing my hub.

shawna.wilson from Arizona on August 15, 2008:

Wow, your pantry is almost like another kitchen! Mine is just a tiny closet with shelves that you can't even walk into. I use our hall closet to store overflow food. If I ever build a house from ground up, I'd love to have a pantry like yours! Thanks for an interesting hub!

moonlake (author) from America on July 09, 2008:

Thanks for stopping by and visiting my hub. I love pantries and mainly because everything can be seen and not reaching up into a high cabinet for everyday things.

Dottie1 from MA, USA on July 09, 2008:

I love your pantry. I have one too. I bought and still live in my grandparents house. The whole house has been remodeled except for my pantry. Like your pantry mine has a window, a door leading to the basement and blue antiques over the sink that belonged to my grandmother. What is truly special to me about my pantry is that it is the only room left in my home since remodel (besides the basement) that my grandfather built. Pantries are great! Thanks for the writing.

moonlake (author) from America on July 09, 2008:

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my pantry.

herblady from Indiana on July 09, 2008:

Very nice,I have a collection of cobalt blue in my kitchen also, my sister keeps so many things in glass jars,I think it is a good idea,and it looks good to, enjoy your pantry.

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