The one house feature no parent should be without. Seriously.

When searching for a new house, most people have a list of ‘must-haves’. Maybe you want a large garden, perhaps an open plan living space, or a certain number of bedrooms. Top of our list when we were looking for our current house was a downstairs toilet. We would be potty training at some point after all, and knew that a downstairs toilet would be a definite bonus (although admittedly it would never have prevented the George Foreman Grill incident).

We never got our downstairs toilet in the end, but it didn’t matter. Because our (slightly well-worn) 1940s house has something much more wonderful. Something I’d never even considered before. Something that now, I would not be able to live without. If you’re a parent and currently house-hunting, I recommend you scratch whatever is at the top of your ‘must-have’ list and replace it with this:

A pantry.

So a… err… big food cupboard?

Well, yes. Ostensibly, it’s just a big food cupboard, but hear me out. You see, pantries are highly underrated.  A pantry is not simply a large storage cupboard.  It is an essential feature that every parent should have in their kitchen.

Let me explain.

1. It’s a walk-in food wardrobe

Ok, there’s no getting away from the fact that a pantry performs its intended function pretty well. It is that ‘cool dark place’ where we’re told to store our non-perishables. It is the tinned food equivalent of a walk-in wardrobe and is often big enough that with decent shelving, you could easily Brexit-proof your kitchen by using it to store a good six months-worth of baked beans, tinned potatoes and Fray Bentos pies.

Winner winner chicken dinner (in a tin, obvs).

2. It’s a great place to store your valuables

Well, not your valuables in the conventional sense, but don’t be fooled into thinking a pantry has no other purpose than the storage of tinned tomatoes and bags of pasta.

If your kitchen is anything like ours, you’ll have a dedicated snack cupboard for biscuits, sweets and crisps. On the face of it, this seems like a good idea, but do you really want your children and partner having easy access to all the good stuff? What if you had a secret place far back on the highest shelf in the pantry to keep that massive bar of Dairy Milk and ALL the tubes of Pringles?  Get yourself a house with a pantry, and you can use the Pom-Bears and bourbons in the kitchen cupboard as a decoy, while you keep the chunky KitKats, Twixes and your fancy hand-cut salt and vintage red wine vinegar crisps out of sight and out of reach. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

3. It’s a secret eater’s paradise

It’s all well and good hiding your treats, but as all parents of young children know, eating a snack in peace during daylight hours is nigh on impossible. Unless of course, you have – you’ve guessed it – a pantry. Because as well as being a place to hide your snacks, the walk-in nature of a pantry means that it is the perfect place to gorge yourself on Double Deckers and Kettle Chips, away from prying eyes. Needing that chocolate fix? A simple utterance of ‘I’ll just get a tin of beans’ will give you the perfect excuse to pop into the pantry, pull the door to and grab yourself a few M&Ms.  Make a couple of quiet exclamations of ‘Now, where did I put them…?’ and you can indulge yourself with all the chocolate you like, completely alone, and no one need be any the wiser.

4. Let’s cut to the chase: A pantry is essentially a parent’s panic room

All the above points are great benefits of having a pantry, but as every parent with a pantry has already realised (and if you haven’t, have a word with yourself) , the best thing about this highly underrated cupboard is that essentially, you have a ready made, built-in panic room.

It may have been sold to you as a store cupboard, but for those moments when your patience is about to expire, screaming into a towel is no longer cutting it and you need to make a speedy exit before your sanity beats you to it, the pantry will always be there, inviting you in with it’s stockpiled tins, secret snacks, and ALL the gin and wine. Step inside, turn on the light and close the door. Eat and drink yourself into oblivion and no one need know you’re there.

Until the rest of your family realise that they’ll have to fend for themselves and decide that tonight’s dinner will be beans on toast, that is.


Do you have a pantry? Ever used it as a personal panic room? What house feature could you not do without as a parent? Let me know in the comments.


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37 thoughts on “The one house feature no parent should be without. Seriously.”

  1. I had a pantry in my last home and I loved it. But in all fairness, my kitchen was way too small and now I love having a big kitchen with lots of storage. But you are right, who needs a walk in wardrobe when you can have a walk in food cupboard 🙂

    1. Our kitchen isn’t huge either, but I don’t think I could be without my pantry now that I’ve got so used to it.

  2. Oh my, I laughed so hard! I love having a pantry, but the house we bought doesn’t have one. It is the absolute shittiest thing ever as I cannot store enough canned food to skip the store one month. So annoying. And I really miss my panic room. #DreamTeam

    1. See, it’s nice to be able to keep a good stock of tinned food in the pantry, but the panic room element is definitely the biggest benefit.

  3. Oh wow I couldn’t agree more. I have always said how much I would love a pantry but the house we are in right now simply does not have the space. The only good thing is my husband and I have both agreed that we will move one day to a bigger house. It might be a good five years away but that is our plan and one of my biggest requirements is a pantry (and a fourth bedroom). I totally envy you! I also don’t have a downstairs toilet but we have learned to live without that one. Still it would be nice though! #bloggerclubuk

    1. Our house was built in the late 1940s and I think pantries in kitchens may have been fairly standard around that time. Our kitchen isn’t massive and my husband keeps suggesting we knock through into the pantry to give us more space. I am having none of it though. I will not be giving up my panic room for anyone!

  4. I would love a downstairs toilet as 5 of us sharing one is not fun! A pantry would be pretty good too as my kitchen has high cupboards which I can’t reach so a room of lower shelves would be great. Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

    1. I’d still love a downstairs toilet too, although it’s been a while since we had one and I don’t miss it as much as when we first moved.

  5. We’re planning a new kitchen and my must-have list includes a floor to ceiling larder cupboard with rotating shelves inside – that and a bottle fridge! #ThatFridayLinky

  6. Oh man, I really want a pantry! I wonder what excuse I could use to get my partner to agree to put the house on the market and buy a new one (shhh… with a pantry!)
    Seriously, after reading this I have serious pantry envy! I want a panic room where I can hide my Chocolate Digestives that keep mysteriously disappearing.
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    1. It’s really the best thing in the world. I hide all kinds of things in there now, not just food. It’s also a bit of a holding area for toys that I think I can get rid of but don’t have the courage. If no one asks for them after about 6 weeks, I know I’m probably safe to move them on to the charity shop!

  7. For me, it would be playroom, utility room and pantry and must have extras! Totally unaffordable for us right now though lol – but we did get a playroom extension on our current house to tide us over! #kcacols

    1. We use our dining room as a playroom, which means we have a fairly toy-free living room, but it’s a nightmare trying to sit around the table to eat together as there is just so much stuff everywhere!

    1. Luckily ours came with the house. I think it was quite a common feature in the late 40s/50s when our house was built.

  8. I would love a pantry, it used to me a wonderous place that my friends mum always emerged from with chocolate or crisps when I was little. Sadly I don’t have one but to be honest I have no self control when it comes to food so may be best I don’t. However I do have the parent panic room just mine is the utility room! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  9. I’d love a pantry, and you certainly make a great case for it! Then again, I’d quite like a music room as well, and a sauna, and a room for wood-work, painting etc, and… lol, I’d need a house with at least ten rooms. But then who would manage the cleaning of it all?! Maybe I’m best off in this rather tiny house of ours after all, even without a pantry..? x #KCACOLS

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