We’ve all seen them on Pinterest (or in a Kardashian feature story); the cavernous, organized walk-in pantries.
Something of this scale wasn’t exactly an option in my standard kitchen. My initial pantry setup consisted of a specific cabinet designated as a pantry space amongst my other cabinets. It was okay, but not ideal. There was only one option for a new location: the messy, catch-all kitchen closet right by my garage door.
While turning this into a pantry would mean losing precious closet space, it would also give me the chance to have the organized, albeit small, pantry I’d been hoping for. So I decided to go for it.
I cleaned the closet out and got to work.
A clean slate
I don’t have a true before photo (consider yourself lucky, it was a mess!), but the first thing I did was give it a fresh coat of paint. The walls had gotten pretty marked up over the past ten years. I painted it the same color I’ve painted most of the downstairs, Alabaster by Sherwin Williams.
Building the shelves
Next, I got to work on creating brackets that the shelves could be attached to and screwed them into the studs. I used a pre-primed 1×2 for most of the brackets. For the bottom couple of shelves that I knew the brackets wouldn’t be visible when looking into the closet, I used regular 1×2 pine.
I used the same process when I created the shelves for my coat closet. The bottom two shelves are 14.5 inches deep and cut out of 3/4 inch plywood, while the rest of the shelves are 1x12s. I nailed each shelf into the brackets and nailed a 1×2 to the front for a trim piece and stained the shelves Valspar Early American with a polyurethane finish.
I felt like my pantry was starting to take shape!
As far as the spacing between shelves, the first shelf is 7.5 inches above the floor, the there are 16.5 inches of space between the bottom three shelves and then 14 inches between the next two.
Organizing the pantry
Now it was time for the fun part! I gathered and requested various food containers and organizers over time and as gifts, and I couldn’t wait to put it all together.
I also had a little something up my sleeve for my spices, and I’m so happy with how that turned out.
When it was time to label each of my containers and spices, I decided to go with an old-school label maker, and I’m so glad I did. It holds up when I wash the containers and if I ever decide to change what is in the container they are easily removable.
Most of my pantry staples are in the OXO Pop set from Bed, Bath & Beyond. There is even space for a half-cup scoop at the top for items like flour, which adds convenience. I added a couple of turn tables for items like oils and spreads.
Seeing my spices at a glance when I’m cooking is so helpful. I cook with many spices, and it’s so easy to see through the clear containers when I need to purchase more.
And just like my closet, I had to add the LED motion detected under shelf lighting to the pantry. I have it set to automatically detect movement and stay on for 30 seconds each time I open the door.
Here’s what it looks like without the lights on:
And here it is once the LED sensors detect movement:
All in all, I’m thrilled with the way the pantry turned out! I smile a little bit each time I open the door. Plus, anything I can do to motivate myself to cook more is a success!
Closet pantry organization
Shop the items I used to organize my pantry:
Closet pantry tools
Shop the tools and materials I used to create the pantry: