Pantry closet in bathroom?

lamojoMay 6, 2008

So our renovation plans include a pantry/closet in the hall bathroom on our first floor. The architect said we'd get more space this way. The alternative is to do a much smaller pantry pantry with its own door, but they think we'll have more space/access with a wall of cabinets along one side in the bathroom.

I think that since it's going to be inside a bathroom, I shouldn't plan on storing any food there, right? I'm thinking paper goods, linens, etc.

Does anybody store food (canned items, etc) in a pantry that is inside a bathroom?

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Personally, I wouldn't. I tend to want to keep things where they'll be used, and I see the bathroom as a separate space from the kitchen, even if they're quite close to one another.

If you used the bathroom only for bathroom things, would you want all that storage space in the bathroom? If you put kitchen things in the kitchen-accessible storage and nowhere else, would it be enough without using the space in the bathroom? I'm thinking about what your architect's plan might mean for resale. If I were buying a house, it wouldn't occur to me that cabinets in a bathroom were meant to be a pantry, even if the owner had food in there. I would just think that the owner was a little unusual and would think that the house didn't have a pantry. If the kitchen had plenty of storage space, though, I would just figure that the place didn't need a pantry and happened to have an unusually large space for linens. (And that the owner, strangely, was keeping canned goods where most people would put towels.)

If you don't care about resale, I guess you should do whatever you like. Unless you have particularly nosy people around, who's going to know?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 12:56AM
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IMHO, food storage does not belong in the bathroom!

I think that it is a bad idea... but if it works for you, fine.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 9:27AM
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I'm a big fan of the idea of not being locked in to the expected. Just because it's a bathroom doesn't mean only bathroom stuff should go there.

I store mittens and shoes in the dining-room china cabinet.

I stored canned goods in the buffet.

I put toys in a dresser drawer.

I stuck up for someone who was being told not to keep medications in the kitchen, by the sink (where she takes her pills) because "medicine 'belongs' in the bathroom."

But I don't think I'd love walking into the bathroom to get the tomato sauce or the cereal.

Packaged foodstuffs are perfectly safe, of course; no pee-pee germs are going to get inside (and I always wash the tops of my cans before I open them anyway), and they'll also be behind the doors, so splatter shouldn't really be a problem.

However, I think it might still gross me out, and it would almost certainly gross out other people.

So I think I'd look at the pantry stuff and figure out where in the kitchen I could put it--what would I have to displace to make room for it, and could *that* stuff go in the bathroom cabinets?

(for example: you would find me putting the seldom-used popsicle molds on a top shelf in that bathroom; I keep them in a zip-lock plastic bag anyway. And I'd cheerfully store the Costco-sizes stash of paper goods in there. If there wasn't a shower, I'd put Christmas decorations in there, or spare vases, or rubber boots.)

(is this a "take a shower" bathroom? Or just a powder room? Bcs that'll affect how much moisture is running around in there, which will affect what you should store in there)

(another thought: will you find yoruself wanting to get a can of chicken broth when someone's using the bathroom? I think I'd be annoyed if I had to wait for someone to finish before I could go get stuff I needed for cooking --but then, I'm not very organized when I cook, I'm more "just in time" about getting my supplies ready.

(another option? can you put the toilet behind its own door, sort of a "bathroom within the bathroom" effect, and then things are being stored not in the toilet area, but in the handwashing/sink area?)

Or I'd opt for a smaller pantry, as long as it was reasonable enough. There's no real need for a humongous pantry; Even if you had a long and narrow closet w/ shelves only on one wall, it would probably still feel less weird than walking in where the toilet is to get the potato chips or the extra bag of flour.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 11:11AM
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The thought of food in the bathroom really grosses me out. I'd rather store all my cleaning supplies in there. But food? Ugh. I hope you can shuffle things so your pantry is elsewhere.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 11:21PM
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Sounds like a male architect to me!

Actually, canned goods would be more suitable for a moist bathroom environment than to have a lot of linens or open paper goods. You wouldn't like to have opened food items in there (although really--the kitchen is pretty germy, so it's more of a matter of perception than a health threat, I think.) But certainly bulk TP, paper towels and so forth can go there.

But you might want to try to discuss with the architect how to have the most usable space(s) rather than the most space. Would you be able to use a small kitchen pantry plus some at-hand storage in your cabinets ( I store cereal and snacks and the cereal bowls in the cabinet above one counter, and oils and vinegars in the cabinet by the stove, etc).

So, for example, do you currently store bulky less-used non-food items in the kitchen cabinets (a cake container; fondue pot; etc) and could put those in a BR closet and use the cabinets for at-hand food storage?

And are the choices mutually exclusive--i.e., does the floorplan allow for EITHER the kitchen pantry OR the BR pantry, or could you have the kitchen pantry plus a good but smaller closet in the BR (again, to store items that seem more suitable to be in the BR closet, but might otherwise be kept in a large kitchen pantry if you had one.

The main thing is that I don't think I would be happy with having nearly all my food storage in the bathroom even if it were a really nicely built "pantry". But I'd be okay with storing any number of things there that some people have in their kitchens when they have the space.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Thanks all for comments.

We were able to make a change that eliminates the pantry cabinet in the bathroom, and we instead enlarged another closet space that's adjacent & in other room.

Our project is slated to begin in July!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 3:11PM
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It would never even cross my mind to see any objection to storing non-perishable food in the bathroom! To each his or her own, I guess, but storage is storage. Who cares what it's "supposed" to be? Of course, I'd put things needed short-term in the kitchen.

That said, the consensus is against me, so I'd think that for re-sale, if nothing else, you should make sure to have adequate storage in the kitchen, whatever you decide to do in the bathroom.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 4:46PM
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Before we did over our kitchen-laundry-powder room 2 years ago, our powder room had deep shelves the width of the room, floor to ceiling. They held everything from toilet paper, appliances such as a waffle iron (not used much), ice bucket, lg vases, laundry basket - just anything that wasn't used often. I also stored canned goods on those shelves, and never ever worried that it was unsanitary or offensive. Frankly I worried more about the size of the room. It was only as wide as the toilet plus 6 inches on each side. Glad to finally get rid of that room and have decent storage space after the renovation. IMO you put things wherever you have to, as long as it's convenient.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 6:59PM
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