$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.

We want to help you DIY, so some of the materials in this post are linked to sellers. Just so you know, Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.
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.

Resources for this project:

See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions

Comments

Join the conversation

2 of 104 comments
  • Biwako Biwako on May 13, 2021

    Good hint about the clear candy containers. I hadn't thought of using the kind that come with the all-clear plastic lids and are a bit flexible and easy for bugs to get inside, but they would do nicely for certain non-food items. But I do save the square shaped large nut containers/plastic jars to use for flours and grains. Maybe those are the same as what Gail refers to.

    I have some on top of the fridge and others stacked in two rows inside the closet, with labels on their round covers, which face out. Behind the two rows of plastic jars, which leave quite a lot of space, I keep similar products in taller containers or in large bags with self-zippers. If a repurposed plastic container such as I mention above is going to be out on a counter or on top of the refrigerator, I often cover its label, or even most of its main body, with some colorful paper, and seal that against moisture with laminating film or the like. (If you try this, keep in mind that on top of the fridge, it is going to be warmer than elsewhere, so don't put things there that could be harmed by the heat. Whole-grain flours, and nuts, for instance. I do keep baking soda, white and brown sugar up there, as well as white all-purpose flour, which has a fast turnover in our house.)

  • Gainorhillegass Gainorhillegass on Aug 11, 2021

    It is a good way to get storage, expecially when you don't have enough kitchen drawers for towels and utensils and junk! I do this with empty white kitty litter jugs. I cut the tops off, decorate/label them and store things in them on shelves in pantry. I use glass jars of all sizes to store remainders of pasta, fried fruit, nuts, flour, sugar - partial bags or boxes of any foods. Keeps them fresh and bugless. Plastic containers give off a taste that glass doesn't do. I use them in fridge to save broths and half of a can of soup or vegetable I didn't use up in recipes. I like to recycle, as you do! I pickle things and prefer glass to plastic. I use small bins in fridge to hold small jars of condiments, olives, pickles, and just pull the bin out to get one. There is a lot one can do with recycled containers.


Next