A pantry is an essential ingredient to any kitchen that I live and work in. I have had a number of old-fashioned walk-in pantries with lots of built-in cupboards and shelves, and I have had pantries fashioned out of free standing shelves tucked into a nook. Our current pantry is somewhere in between. I suspect that it had always been the broom closet in this house, but I immediately recruited my handy husband to outfit it with shelves. I like to use my collections in the pantry to help organize and add some visual interest. Blue ball jars filled with pantry staples are a constant in my kitchen, and you can usually find a metal picnic tin or two hiding in there. Mid-century metal cannisters and jars with decals hold baking supplies and snack bars.
Every new year, after the mad rush of holiday entertaining and baking, I make sure to thoroughly restock my pantry. As you can see, it's looking rather bare right now. I do a careful inventory of the pantry, checking for out of date items, then make a master shopping list. I also make sure to check my spice stash for freshness and need. I stow my spices on the counter in this great wood tool box-that way they are always handy.
Once you have restocked, You may want to keep a grocery list on a clipboard in the pantry, or hang one on your fridge, so you can immediately write down items upon using the last of them. This is a basic list that came from my laptop task launcher, but you could easily create your own custom lists.
If you'd like to read about the history of the pantry, and see more of them in action, check out this book.