$20 Pantry Organization Makeover

9 Materials
$20
2 Hours
Easy

Living in a small house, I'm forced to use every nook and cranny of space, not only for living but also for storage. When we bought our house over 4 years ago, there was somewhat of a storage closet in the kitchen but the space wasn't being utilized to it's potential, so Rob took out the big waist-high cabinet that was built in and essentially redesigned the whole closet. He added floor-to-ceiling shelves and built up the floor a bit. I've been using the closet primarily as a pantry but also storage for odds and ends such as baking dishes, dog items and my re-usable shopping bags.

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BEFORE: Though I've tried to keep somewhat of an organized pantry, I still wasn't 100% satisfied with how spaced out everything was. I wanted to incorporate more baskets/bins to keep similar/related items together in order to tidy things up a bit as well as have things look a little more uniformed. Sometimes you have everything you need, it's just a matter of re-figuring your space and re-organizing which can make a big difference!
SUPPLIES:

Not pictured:
Chip container

*Note: I already had a few baskets on hand so I pretty much just used what I had rather than going out and buying a bunch of matching things.
STEP 1: Consolidate food items. First, I consolidated any food items I had on hand into containers, threw out packaging and anything that was expired, and finally put my tortilla chips into a chip container (not pictured but oh so excited about this as I buy an enormous bag of organic tortilla chips from Costco about once a month and have been wanting a chip container but never think about it when I'm out...it's the little things--haha!). STEP 2: Spray paint bins (optional) As I mentioned before, my mother-in-law was getting rid of some Christmas-style bins so I snagged them from her with intention of using them for this project. I knew I wanted to paint them but didn't realize until I started to spray them with Rustoleum flat nickel paint spray, that I was going to need to spray them with a base coat of a solid color first. I would have preferred to spray them with white but didn't want to go to the store again, so I used what I had on hand--flat black. I didn't bother spraying the insides because I knew it'd probably just get chipped and scratched with the items I was putting in them, as well as the fact that no one would be able to see the inside anyway because of those items.
STEP 2: Spray paint bins (optional). As I mentioned before, my mother-in-law was getting rid of some Christmas-style bins so I snagged them from her with intention of using them for this project. I knew I wanted to paint them but didn't realize until I started to spray them with Rustoleum flat nickel paint spray, that I was going to need to spray them with a base coat of a solid color first. I would have preferred to spray them with white but didn't want to go to the store again, so I used what I had on hand--flat black. I didn't bother spraying the insides because I knew it'd probably just get chipped and scratched with the items I was putting in them, as well as the fact that no one would be able to see the inside anyway because of those items.
After I let my black base coat dry completely, I sprayed the bins with the Rustoleum flat nickel paint spray.
STEP 3: Measure, cut & apply shelf liner. Next, I laid out the self-adhesive shelf liner I purchased from the Dollar Tree and cut it the width of my shelves (I only did this on the 2 shelves most people can see at eye-level). Then, I flipped over the liner and marked where the grooves of the back corners of my pantry were in order for the liner to fit nicely. After that, I cut my marks--and starting at one end--I took the backing off of the liner, applied it to my shelves and adhered the liner a little bit at a time, rubbing out any air bubbles and ensuring that the liner was flat and straight.
SUPPLIES FOR LABELS:
STEP 4: Prepare label materials. To make my labels, I first cut off the stick from the picks I had on hand.
Then, I applied a piece of transfer tape to my homemade label/words.
Step 5: Apply vinyl. After that, I applied the the label/words to the little wooden sign, pressing down firmly and ensuring all air bubbles were gone.
Next, I took the transfer off and was left with the words on the wooden signs as my labels.
Step 6: Hot glue them. Finally, I applied a line of hot glue to the back of the wooden signs/labels...
...then, adhered them to my painted plastic bins.
I love how the labels turned out! I can always just scratch the letters off if I ever find myself needing the bin for a different group of items.
I would love to someday have a pantry that has all matching, clear containers and all matching baskets--you know, the kind you see on these amazing blogs out there--but for now, I'm happy with what I have, and the fact that I only spent about $20 with this project.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • Marlayne Worthington
    on Sep 11, 2017

    that is a fantastic job, but why do you have the microwave in there??
    • Deidre
      on Mar 11, 2020

      Totally agree about stashing the micro in a cabinet. I had to drill a hole in the cabinet side wall to thread the plug through to access the wall outlet. So worth it to keep the counter uncluttered. I do keep the cabinet open when using the micro.

  • Mary Bundy
    on Mar 13, 2020

    Why didn’t you leave cleat?

  • Kay K Cardenas
    on Mar 14, 2020

    The microwave shouldn't be in a closet lime this. It needs airflow?

Join the conversation

2 of 92 comments
  • Ellen
    on Mar 19, 2020

    Thank you! Simple enough and very inspiring.

  • Elizabeth
    on Mar 19, 2020

    Thank you so much for the idea. We just bought a new house and I hate the pantry. I am so going to use this idea. I have everything already and I am going to try this out. I asked my husband months ago to replace the shelves because they are nasty, but I think this will look so nice without the replacement as I don't have another year to wait. Thanks again!

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