For 15 years, our pantry has been a disgrace. DISGRACE. And honestly, for at least the first half of that, I didn’t really care. But as a sure sign of getting older, over time I found myself dreaming of a designer pantry. I am here today to share that my pantry organization dreams have come true, and I officially have an organized pantry I am proud to show off. If you like organization, this will make your little organized heart very happy. Without further ado, my kitchen pantry makeover reveal.
So pretty, right?
Let’s start at the beginning with a look back to what it was.
Not pretty. Although reasonably functional, we knew where things were. But to be fair, some items liked to fall on us. Really, it wasn’t good. It’s not just the food, there are tons of party supplies crammed in there too.
Kitchen Pantry Makeover
If you’ve ever priced custom closets, you know they are pricey. And frankly, I was always worried we would lose storage space with fancy inserts, so I could never justify the cost. But then, one day, we got lucky.
A lady in our neighborhood who had a pantry with identical measurements planned to demo her kitchen and offered her custom pantry shelving for $100. For $100, I was game for a pantry makeover.
So my husband went to her house, disassembled them, brought them home and stored them in the garage. Finally, three months later we were ready to tackle the project.
Kitchen Pantry Clean Out
After sending the kids to grandma’s house, we dove in. We removed everything from the pantry, which was an overwhelming task in and of itself.
Someone asked me how old the food in the pantry was, it really wasn’t old. We regularly cleared out our pantry. But there were about 20 plastic containers with partially eaten food. Out kids love to take a bite of a granola bar and then put the rest in the pantry for later, but, of course, “later” never comes. Or they leave 3 Goldfish in a container. Although I admit, I did find the tiny honey jar from my best friend’s baby shower — her baby turned 7 last month — that got thrown out.
After cleaning out the pantry, we removed the old wire shelves and patched the holes in the walls. (Through Facebook I was able to find a woman who just purchased her first home and needed shelving to give my old wire shelves and plastic shelves to. So nothing went to waste.)
Although we’ve painted our kitchen twice since moving in, the pantry was still the original China Doll White. So we set to work painting the pantry to finally match the kitchen. (Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore like the rest of our main rooms.)
DIY Custom Closet
Installing the hanging shelves proved to be more difficult than originally expected. So I have to brag on my husband who nearly drove himself crazy hanging the shelves. The system wasn’t hard to understand, but hanging everything level with zero experience was a challenge. But in the end, it was so totally worth it.
We installed the Elfa over the door rack several years ago, and it continues to work well in our redesigned pantry. We bought ours from The Container Store, but you can find a similar one on Amazon.
Once the new shelves were installed, it was time to go shopping. We had a wide array of mismatched jars and containers, and I decided that if I was going to do this I was going to do it right. So we set out to Target and Home Goods to find all new pantry organization.
I already use a teal version of the plastic baskets from Target in my home office, so I knew the grey version would be perfect for the pantry. Not only are they plastic so I can wipe out any spills and crumbs easily, but they are also reasonably priced. (Normally, $6 a bin, they were on sale for $4.50 each.)
We made several trips to get enough bins for our entire pantry, but it was worth it. These really are the best storage baskets.
At Home Goods, I bought an assortment of jars and containers to try at home, and I ended up returning every last one of them. I found a brand that I really liked and I could get matching pieces for, but the one I bought at Home Goods was cracked. So ultimately Amazon came to the rescue.
To achieve my goal of a pretty pantry, I also made pantry labels with my Cricut Maker.
So, how about the storage? Despite my worry that I would have less storage with the new design, somehow I have more. The taller shelves mean every inch of the pantry is now in use, no more wasted space. Plus with all of my party supplies stored at the top of the pantry in those grey baskets, nothing falls on me when I try to retrieve things.
It’s love for our new pantry, and so far (under minor threat of punishment) even the kids are helping to keep it organized.