No Thanks

Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Setting up a Pantry


More than a source of inspiration, however, an organized pantry streamlines cooking preparations, making it easy to find ingredients and keep track of their need for replenishment.

Keep the following points in mind when setting up your own pantry.



  1. Step 1

    A pantry can be as large as a room or as small as a bookcase -- just make sure the space has good ventilation and circulation, low light, low humidity, and a relatively cool temperature.

  2. Step 2

    The shelves of the cupboards in Martha's pantry are wide but not so deep that ingredients are difficult to find.

  3. Step 3

    Store items that are used together next to one another. For example, group baking staples such as baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cocoa, salt, and molasses on the same shelf.

  4. Step 4

    Most items keep best in airtight containers; glass, metal, and heavy plastic containers are least likely to become infested with pests. Containers for oils and dried herbs should be opaque as well as airtight. Martha likes to store grains, dried beans, dried chiles, rice, and dried fruit in tightly sealed canning jars.

  5. Step 5

    Make sure that jars of food you've canned at home are properly labeled and dated. It's a good idea to mark the purchase dates of other foods such as flour and spices as well, so you can tell at a glance if something is past its prime.

  6. Step 6

    A cool, dark space in the pantry is an ideal place to store hardy vegetables such as potatoes and onions. Don't store potatoes and onions right next to each other, however, as they hasten each other's spoilage.

  7. Step 7

    The pantry is also a convenient place to store non-food items such as lightbulbs, candles, matches, baskets, serving trays, and pet treats.

Martha Stewart Living Television

Reviews (3)

  • 5 Sep, 2008

    Great Idea!!! My mom added a bay leaf to all of her dry goods, flour, rice, cornmeal (not to sugar though). We lived in the South Pacific and every thing would get bugs if we didn't. I think my family in Memphis did too.

  • 4 Sep, 2008

    If you place your flour (any flour) in the freezer for 24 hours, you will not get pests. If I buy a small bag of self rising flour I just leave it in the freezer, and take what I need out long enough to let it come to room temperature before I use it. (Especially with yeast.)

  • 6 Apr, 2008

    Adding a bay leaf to a bag of flour will deter pests, and it will not alter the flavor of the flour.
    Store whole-grain flours and nut meals in the freezer to slow-down their becoming rancid.