From Christine, in Sterling, Connecticut:
First, I need to thank you all for your pantries, because the first thing my husband and I did when we designed ours was to turn to "other peoples pantries". We drooled our way through the archives. Our pantry is a little complicated in that it reflects our projects and well-entrenched idiosyncracies.
Idiosyncracies aside (way too complicated), projects include: making beer, wine, cheese, canning, drying, preserving, or just packaging up eggs for our customers. Then there is the "where did I leave it last?" and "I need it now!" items like the measuring tape, scissors, and masking tape that I particularly needed to jettison from a cluttered drawer in the kitchen.
So our pantry contains a little bit of everything — arranged so that the most used items are up front, less frequent in the back. What we reach for the most are the spices, so my husband made a rack for the back of the pantry door that when closed keeps the room cool and dark.
Thanks to the clever buyers at the container store we have easy-access large and small bins and click clack containers that hold a wide variety of wonderful stuff at the shelf level we most need it to be. Our own and friends' canned goods we use lovingly and sparingly so they are out of immediate reach (we have to think about it).
We made sure we had to walk an extra few steps to the kegerator for that second beer.
And a fave — the homage to Julia pegboard for all those out-of sight out-of-mind items that plague the over-60 crowd. I mean at our age, untangling a whisk from the beaters causes agita!
Thanks for the inspiration!