Today I want to share a part of our home that I’ve never shared here before: our pantry.
We have a skinny little pantry closet next to our refrigerator. I’ve lived in homes before with no pantry, so I am very grateful for what we have. But I can promise you, this is nobody’s dream pantry.
When I shared our big kitchen makeover with you guys, I intentionally left out the pantry. And for good reason. It got majorly bypassed during the entire kitchen redo. This poor little pantry has been completely ignored.
When I laid new hardwood floors in our kitchen? I decided to save time by just keeping the old vinyl in the pantry. When I painted the kitchen walls and cabinets? Again, nada for the pantry. And when I bought new shelf liner and relined all of the kitchen drawers? Yep, the pantry didn’t make the cut.
And that is why the shelves are still sporting this lovely orange and green paper straight from the 1970s.
It’s just so easy to shut the door and hide away the mess that the pantry never seems to make it to the top of the project list.
I’ve made a half-hearted effort at pantry organization in the past, but there wasn’t a lot I could do without making some bigger changes. But finally I think it’s time to truly give our little pantry some attention.
It actually does hold a good amount of food for such a skinny little closet. That isn’t the issue. The problem is those deep shelves. The shelves are each almost two feet deep and food is constantly getting shoved to the back. And because the super deep shelves are also quite close together, not a lot of light gets in and it’s difficult to see what is in there.
It is definitely time for a change.
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Small Pantry Makeover Plans
I’m planning to completely make over this little space so that it looks better and functions better for our family.
Here’s the plan of attack.
Phase One: Pantry makeover
- Clear everything out. Trash or donate things as needed.
- Remove the layers of old flooring and lay wood floors that match the rest of the kitchen. (Luckily, we still have extra flooring.)
- Clean and paint the walls and inside of the door. (Because yes, I also didn’t paint the inside of this door when I painted the rest of the doors.)
- Figure out a better layout for the shelving so that it is easier to see and reach everything.
- Remove that awful shelf paper.
- Add storage to the back of the pantry door. (I’m planning to use this door organizer).
- Find storage solutions to keep everything easy to see and access.
- Put everything back in place.
Phase Two: Pantry organization
When it comes to the organization half of this makeover, I’ve got a couple of important goals.
- Everything needs to be easy to find. I want to do a better job of designating areas for different types of items and using baskets, bins, jars, etc to make it obvious where things belong.
- Everything needs to be fast and easy to put away. I know it’s really trendy these days to empty all of your cereal, chips, oatmeal, etc. into beautiful matching glass cannisters. And I agree it really does look beautiful. But honestly, I do not have time to fool with that every time I buy groceries. That’s just not how I want to spend my time. So I’m going to find solutions to making our pantry look nicer and more inviting without making extra work for me.
- Everything needs to be kid (and husband) friendly. Any organization systems I implement have to be clear and simple enough that the rest of my family can help maintain it. My 4 and 7 year olds get themselves snacks basically all day long, so it needs to be obvious to them where to put things back when they are finished. And my husband is the worst about shoving things wherever they fit. So whatever I come up with needs to make sense, be easy to follow, and be clearly labeled if I want it to last.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this little pantry come together over the next couple of weeks!
Update – Our pantry makeover is complete and I am absolutely thrilled with it! It’s beautiful, but more importantly, our small pantry is working so much better for our family.