Does A Pantry Have To Be In The Kitchen? [4 Alternative Locations Revealed]

Does a pantry have to be in the kitchen? We think of pantries as kitchen-specific, but it's not always true. Based on our research, we've found a few other spots to locate a pantry.

Where can a pantry be located in the house?

  • The kitchen
  • The mudroom
  • The basement
  • The garage
  • A coat closet

Let's take a look at each of these locations and see their pros and cons, along with a few other thoughts about pantries. So please keep reading for more.

Pantry with jars with pickled vegetables, Does a Pantry Have to be in the Kitchen? [4 Alternative Locations Revealed]

Where A Pantry Can Be Located In The House

Of course, the kitchen is the most common location of a pantry. Whether it be a walk-in pantry or part of the cabinetry, we most often keep extra food where we prepare the food. But what if you don't have space? Where else can you locate the pantry?

The Mudroom

A mudroom home interior space displaying a remodeled entrance and storage room

If you're fortunate enough to have an entryway to the house between your garage and kitchen, this is an ideal location for a pantry. It's close to where you unload groceries, and if you have a wall for cabinets, like this one pictured, it's perfect for extra food storage.

The Basement

Basement larder with all the home canned goods

Years ago, the basement was the pantry. Home-canned fruits and vegetables, along with crops like potatoes and apples and onions, kept for months in cool cellars. Nowadays, we often have finished basements, but if you have no space for a large storage pantry in your kitchen, consider carving out a spot in the basement. You simply transfer goods to your smaller kitchen pantry when needed.

The Garage

Depending on your weather conditions, your garage might not be ideal for food storage. But a garage can be a great place to put an extra freezer or store all of your excess canned drinks and paper products, freeing up room in the kitchen.

A Coat Closet

If your priorities run more toward your kitchen larder than your wardrobe, one option is to transform a coat closet into a pantry storage area. You can always hang some coat hooks near the door for your winter gear.

What Are The Uses Of A Kitchen Pantry?

If you've never had a kitchen pantry, you may wonder what in the world a person uses all of that space for. Pantries have a variety of storage purposes, including dry goods, dishes, serving pieces, small appliances, extra paper goods, even table linens. How you use yours is really dependant upon your needs and your pantry's size.

Close up of a woman's hand taking a jar of peanut butter out of an open pantry

A typical cabinet pantry, like this one, provides needed dry goods storage. This includes items like pasta, rice, canned vegetables, snack foods, and baking supplies.

Interior of wooden pantry with products for cooking

A large walk-in pantry can make up for where your kitchen cabinets lack. Large walk-in pantries supply perfect storage for less-used small appliances, serving dishes, and extras of things like toilet paper and paper towels.

What's The Difference Between A Pantry And A Butler's Pantry?

A pantry connects to the kitchen for the storage of dry foods and extra items. It is either a built-in cabinet or a small closet. A butler's pantry is much more.

Large walk-in butlers pantry storage area in a new home

The history of the butler's pantry harkens back to manor houses. The food and drink preparation happened behind the scenes. Nowadays, with so many open concept kitchens, the butler's pantry is making a comeback. A modern butler's pantry has not only storage space, but also preparation space. It may contain an extra drink station with a sink or microwave and often has a countertop workspace for refilling appetizer trays or placing dirtied dishes away from the open kitchen.

Where Should The Pantry Placement Be In The Kitchen?

The basic rule of thumb for any type of storage is to have it near where it will be used. In the kitchen, this means you want it close to the counter area where you'll be doing most of your prep and cooking.

Metal mesh basket in wooden drawer in food storage room

With cabinet type built-in pantries, you may choose to have more than one pantry area. For instance, if you do a lot of baking, you may want baking items in one area, while your dry goods and canned goods go in another. The shelves above would make great snack drawers.

As for walk-in pantries, an ideal location is near the entrance to the kitchen, which is closest to where you load and unload groceries from your car.

What Can I Use If I Don't Have A Kitchen Pantry?

If your kitchen lacks storage, don't worry, there are plenty of intelligent storage solutions out there to work in place of a pantry. From pieces of furniture that act as pantries to storage containers to rolling baskets, there's something out there for your kitchen.

Freestanding Pantry

This freestanding piece of furniture stores dry goods like a regular pantry. The bonus of flexibility of placement makes it workable for many spaces.

This one, from Home Styles, has a Nantucket coastal or country look that will work in those types of decors. It features two large storage areas behind drawers and a pull out drawer for spices or utensils. It's 30" wide, 16" deep, and 71.5" tall, making it an excellent piece for a tight space.

Click here for this option on Amazon.

This slender 24" wide pantry cabinet is great for small spaces. It's available in black as shown, grey, or white, and is between 15 and 16" deep and stands 75" tall. Inside of the double doors are five shelves. The center three are adjustable for flexible arrangements.

Click here for this on Amazon.

Roll Out Baskets

Roll out carts and baskets are great for tight spaces. For instance, if you have a bit of room between your fridge and a wall, you can slide one of these rolling pantries in.

At 5" wide, you can slide this pantry alternative into the narrowest of spaces. It has three shelves and is on rollers for ease of use. Assembly is simple, and it's easy to clean.

Click here for this on Amazon.

The same concept as the one above, but we love the slide-out drawers on this one. They make it easy to take things out and restock the drawers when supplies are low. It's about 7" wide, 18" deep, and 44" tall.

Click here for this on Amazon.

Storage Containers

If all else fails and there is simply no space in your kitchen, go for some organization. (Click here for this post: 15 Awesome Under-Kitchen-Sink Storage Ideas) A plethora of storage options abounds at your favorite retailer. Decide what you need and fill the need. Here are some of our favorite ideas for tight spaces.

Use a stackable can rack for canned goods. It will fit in your kitchen cabinet and is easy to use and see items.

Click here for this on Amazon.

Airtight food storage bins with labels for your dry goods look neat and appealing.

Click here for these on Amazon.

A wall-mount spice rack clears up drawer or cabinet space for other things.

Click here for this on Amazon.

Pantries are beautiful things to have in a home, and luckily, with a bit of creativity and space planning, it's easy to carve out some storage in any size home. If you enjoyed this post here at, please check out a few others below:

6 Reasons Why You Should Line The Pantry Shelves

Does a Pantry Need Ventilation? [3 Times When the Answer is yes]

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