Creating a Pantry in Our Office/Homeschool Space for Our Preserved Garden Produce: Making the Most of a Small Space!


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When we first purchased this house I thought the primary pantry was cute and satisfactory. But, I was disappointed there wasn’t another larger, walk in pantry or root cellar to keep all my canning and preserving goods in.

I’m also a bulk buyer. Since we live two hours from Costco and 45 minutes from other major shopping centers, when we shop, we shop. So, we needed more space than what our small pantry could hold.

For the first year I’d wander around our farmhouse a lot and just look. Pondering how I could use each room, corner, nook and hall more fully and what would look and feel best in each space.

We’d love one day to make a storm shelter/root cellar. But until that time, I finally found the perfect space to convert to a cute and cozy, useful, storage area.

We’re creating a pantry in our office/homeschool room!

It’s an exciting project that Travis and I have been looking forward to for some time now. Especially now that harvesting and canning season in weeks away.

Things to consider when making a pantry space

The ideal corner for a pantry would be one that is cool and dark. It also helps if the floor beneath can support the weight of hundreds of pounds of food.

The homeschool room we’re using use to be the garage. It was framed in and added as part of the home’s living space many years ago. The floor there is concrete, and that corner of the house sees little sun, making it an ideal spot. The mini-split in that room helps keep it cool in summer, and in winter it’s the coldest room in the house unless we blast the heater.

How we’re making our pantry

Travis is currently, as I type, taking apart our 100 year old barn (the barn was already condemned when we moved in, read more about it here) and using the salvaged wood to build our shelving system in the pantry corner. We’ve calculated the projected weight of canned jars, preserves, and dried goods, and are making sure that what we’re building is sturdy enough to support it.

Hanging wrack suspended from the ceiling for drying

In addition, we will also be creating a hanging rack suspended from the ceiling for drying. We’ve gone out to our forest and cut thick sticks to make the hanging rack, which will save us money and also give the space a natural, rustic look.

Day one of pantry prep

The flooring in this room is horrible, the LVP had severe water damage along the edges of the room from two upright freezers that had been leaking prior to us moving in.

The flooring was also so brittle that if you jumped on it, it would crack. We decided to remove the flooring completely and paint the concrete floors. This saves us money currently, and gives us time to think since we’re not sure yet what we want the flooring to be.

Oops . . . A Rotten Wall

We were originally going to place wood boards over the existing sheetrock for not only a nice look, but to further insulate the walls behind the pantry corner. But . . . when we removed the trim pieces along the floors we discovered the still plate along the back wall (a sill plate in construction is the bottom horizontal member of a wall or building to which vertical members are attached) was completely rotted. As in, you poke a hole in it and it just crumbles. What was a 2×4 is now dust from rot and previous termite damage.

Thankfully, after cutting out pieces of sheetrock along the other sides of the room and seeing the wood perfectly fine, we’re sure the damage is confined to the one wall. Once we repaired it (sadly I forgot to photograph the new sill plate) we replaced the sheetrock and can now carry on with our original plan.

We’re looking forward to the finished product, and will be sure to share photos of it when it’s done!

We’ll continue gathering supplies, building, and organizing so that we can enjoy the benefits of having our own pantry space for all of our garden goods. Our projected finish date is in about two weeks. Because after that, I’ll be too busy canning to do many projects!

(Update) see the continuation of the pantry project in this post.

Other posts about preserving/gardening

Magic of a Budget-Friendly, Enchanting Country Cottage Garden

Canning & Preserving

Organic Gardening Basics

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  1. There is something so fulfilling about opening a pantry and see the food from your garden all lined up in beautiful mason jars and ready to feed your family all winter long. I’m getting down to my last few cans of tomatoes and I can’t wait to fill up the pantry again. Happy Canning!

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