Walk in Pantry Pros and Cons

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Walk-in pantries provide good storage. Appliances and step stools can be stored in them. They can act as scullery when guests are over. They are customizable and a good selling point. Walk-ins and the door’s swing arc take up floorspace, they require upkeep, and aren’t convenient for quick cooking.

The walk-in pantry provides a lot of storage roomThe pantry takes up a chunk of your kitchen
It is easy to organizeYou have to leave the kitchen whenever you need to grab something
It allows for a good overview of the itemsIt is one extra room that you have to maintain
You can use it for storing your appliancesIts door could interfere with the flow in your kitchen
It is customizable to your needs 
A perfect place to store a step ladder 
When you have unexpected visitors, you can use it to hide dirty pots and other mess 
Walk-in pantry is a great selling point for potential buyers 

Pros of Walk in Pantries

Lots of Storage Room

Walk-in pantries provide a significant amount of storage room that can be used to store groceries, small appliances, or cleaning supplies.

The extra storage space will especially suit people with large families, who tend to go through their food supplies quickly, but also people who enjoy cooking or anyone who prefers to keep some spares at all times.

If you often prepare complicated meals, for which you use many ingredients, or like to make everything from scratch, you most likely need a bit more room to store a pasta maker, extra flour, or other items.

Yusong Kitchen Pantry Storage Cabinet Cupboard with Doors and Adjustable Shelves, Floor Wood Organization Space Saving Cabinet for Dining Room, Living Room, White

A walk-in pantry also comes in handy when you don’t want to or can’t go grocery shopping often. Whether that is because you live far from the store, want to save some time in your day, or it is due to a pandemic, as we have experienced recently.

That being said, many of us could use a bit more space when shopping for the holiday season or when making a homemade jam.

More Space Makes Organization Easier

Instead of hunting for free space on your counters and in random cabinets when trying to put away your monthly grocery haul, you can just group everything together and systematically arrange it in a room specifically made for that purpose and on a shelf or in a drawer with like items.

That way, everything will be on hand. It will help you keep the cabinets tidy, as you will always have quick and easy access to all of the ingredients without needing to search through a whole kitchen.

A nicely organized kitchen and pantry can make you feel less stressed when using them. It might even motivate you to start cooking a bit more.

Plus, there is finally a place where you can organize your cleaning supplies without them constantly getting in the way of day-to-day life.

You Can See Everything at Once

A walk-in pantry provides you with one place where all the goods can be stored in a well-arranged way.

Therefore, when you are searching for a specific ingredient or making a grocery list, all you have to do is check your pantry. This will help save time and make it less likely for you to miss anything.

No need to go through all the main and spare cabinets, the cellar, and even some random shelving on the other side of the house just to make sure you looked everywhere.

Having everything on display not only gives you a better overview of what you need to top up on but also prevents things from going to waste. Because let’s face it, most of us have at some point stored an item at the back of the cabinet and completely forgot about ever purchasing it, only to later feel guilty about finding it after the expiration date.

You Can Keep Appliances in the Pantry

All the smaller appliances that we don’t necessarily use every day but still need to keep on hand usually end up sitting on our countertops, taking up valuable space. What could be a better place to keep them than the small storage room right in your kitchen?

You can stuff your mixer, juicer, air fryer, or ice-cream machine into the walk-in pantry, and rest assured that they are safe from the curious eyes of your children, patiently waiting to be used again.

Lynk Professional Pull Out Under Cabinet Organizer Sliding Shelf, 20" W x 21" D, Chrome

But don’t limit yourself only to countertop appliances. For instance, you can store there your vacuum cleaner or spare room heater. The walk-ins are also an excellent place for keeping a second refrigerator or freezer to free up some space in your main refrigerator.

Walk-in Pantries Are Customizable

When it comes to designing your walk-in pantry, you don’t have to stick only with shelving units. The sky is the limit. You can add counters and create an additional prep space, install a bookcase filled with cookbooks or even add a second sink and install different appliances.

Together with shelving, you can use different baskets (amazon link), install hooks (amazon link), mount a wine rack (amazon link), or free up space for a wall-mounted hanger (amazon link) for brooms and mops. Or you can simply store all your pets’ food and bowls there.

You will also have more or less free reign on what type and size of door you want, but you will have to consider certain factors. We wrote this pantry door sizing guide to help you decide.

Can Store Your Step Ladder out of Sight

If you are shorter or you just have high cabinets, you may benefit from using a step ladder in your kitchen. But maybe your kitchen is too small to have it there all the time, or perhaps you just don’t like the aesthetic of it.

It can also be dangerous to store the ladder in a kitchen because it can easily get into someone’s way and make them stumble and fall. If you have animals or kids, they could start playing with it and move it in the process. Or they could try climbing on it and potentially injure themselves.

Hasegawa Ladders Slim Step Ladder, 3, White

Storing the ladder in a walk-in pantry is a convenient solution because the ladder will be nearby anytime you need it, but at the same time safely stored behind closed doors whenever you are not using it. 

Great for Hiding Messes

Maybe you are hosting a big dinner, and your guests start arriving before you have time to clean the pot piles in the sink, or your in-laws decide to pay you an unexpected visit. In similar scenarios, you can stuff all the mess into your walk-in pantry, shut the door and deal with the cleaning later.

Temporarily getting rid of a mess is not only helpful when trying to save face in front of your guests. It can also be useful if you are in the middle of cooking up a big meal and need to free up some counter space but can’t afford to start cleaning at that moment.

On top of hiding messes in the pantry, you can also leave refills of food and drink that were prepared for a party but wouldn’t look good on display. Or keep a birthday cake out of the sight of your child before you are ready to serve it.

They Are a Great Selling Point

On top of all the already mentioned benefits, having a walk-in pantry in a house simply sounds appealing to potential buyers. Even people that don’t need it or never really thought about getting one tend to get excited when they hear about the additional storage space it provides.

A well-thought-out walk-in pantry can add value to your home. Even more now, after the pandemic, changed some peoples’ lifestyles and mindsets, and many started cooking at home more often.

Having a walk-in pantry is desirable in general, but it is a significant selling point for particular types of buyers. As we mentioned before, people who have large families, buy in bulk, or who love to cook will typically be willing to pay extra for the presence of a walk-in pantry.

Agents who participated in HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey ranked a walk-in pantry as the second most popular kitchen upgrade (the first was kitchen island), and a vast majority of buyers agree.

Cons of Walk in Pantries

Take up a Lot of Space

The truth is that in order to have a functional walk-in pantry, you will need to sacrifice a chunk of your square footage that could otherwise be used in many different ways.

We wrote a whole article about whether walk-in pantries are a waste of space or not. If you rarely cook at home and prefer to eat out instead, or if your kitchen is small enough already, the walk-in may not be the best option for you.

woman holding a laptop inside a walk-in pantry

Rather than taking up more space with a pantry, you can instead enlarge your kitchen or dining area, or you can finally have enough space to build the breakfast nook that you have always wanted.

Often Less Convenient While Cooking

Even though a well-organized walk-in pantry can provide you with easy access to all the ingredients, it can get impractical during cooking. It is essentially another room, and you would have to keep going back and forth to bring everything out of there.

Sometimes you may forget where an item is, and the food could burn while you are in the pantry looking for it. Other times, you just have to keep stirring the meal and can’t afford to leave the kitchen at all.

When you are in a hurry and decide to bring everything out at once, you could drop the items on your way, which may end your meal prep before it even has a chance to start.

But these things are minor inconveniences, and you should quickly find your way around them once you get accustomed to cooking in a kitchen with a walk-in pantry.

Another Room to Keep Clean and Maintained

When building a house, the walk-in is one more room that you will need to paint and ensure there is good ventilation and lighting.

Its maintenance is also not to be neglected. You will have to regularly clean, dust, and mop it to make sure your food is not stored in a dirty place. Moreover, you will probably spend a lot of time organizing and re-organizing it in order to use the space efficiently.

Walk-in pantries are often susceptible to mold growth, so that is one more thing you will have to look out for.

Door Can Get in the Way if Opens Into Kitchen

You may wonder whether a walk-in pantry door should swing in or out. Both options have their own upsides and downfalls.

National Door Company Z009314R Primed MDF 1 Lite Frosted Glass with Pantry Design, Right Hand Prehung Interior Door, 30" x 80"

One major con of the outward swinging pantry is that the door interferes with the kitchen when open. This might not be a problem if you live alone or if the kitchen is very spacious and the pantry is in an empty corner.

However, it can be an issue if your kitchen is very narrow or if sight-impaired people are living in the house. When multiple people are using a small kitchen simultaneously, it is usually hard enough to maneuver around each other even without the additional obstacle that the door would present.

Someone could close the door on you, and you could accidentally hit them or a pet with the door when kicking it open with full hands.  So if you don’t have much space but still want a pantry in your kitchen, it is better to consider installing a corner pantry.



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