Things to Do:
If you have one, Service your woodstove.
Become an indoor gardener.
Collect garden catalogs.
Monitor relative humidity levels.
For the Porch:
Use your gas grill.
Store propane tanks safely.
Identify areas that need more lighting in the dark of winter.
Source: “Country Living: Home Almanac-Maintaining Your House Month by Month” by John Gates
Pantry Storage Solutions
Here are several great ideas from Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer for California Closets Online:
Keep your work area small; and don’t be afraid to improvise. Vertical space and shelves are less expensive than drawers and baskets.
Keep your work area concise, so you won’t have to walk from prep area to pantry (the stove, sink and food-storage areas should be within a tight triangle).
If you have children in the home, consider including a basket or drawer for healthy snacks. They’ll know the foods stored there have your OK.
Got a large space? You’ve likely got space for wine storage, chafing dishes, platters, glasses and small appliances. Stick to the basics in a small space (dry goods and canned foods are among those).
Most shelves should be no deeper than 10 inches. Smaller items get lost or forgotten when stored on deep shelves.
Store cookie sheets and platters vertically. You’ll waste time getting to them if they’re stacked.
Store any heavy items on the lower shelves. Use the top shelves for paper products, linens and things less likely to harm you.
According to Scott, a pantry can be a row of baskets, a freestanding cabinet, built-in custom shelves or even a separate room; the main focus is having a planned way of keeping up with everything (and maintaining order). While there are no current rules regarding the size or shape of modern pantries, it does seem that the usual traditional is not enough: “Very similar to closets in general, we’ve seen pantries are getting bigger”, said Scott. “We’re seeing multiple cabinets or spaces that are almost like a walk-in closet.”
For more info and ideas on pantry storage and other storage solutions, go to
Source: “Control The Chaos” by Karen Sullivan-The Charlotte Observer, Jan. 20, 2013