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Coll It Productive Pantry: Why Organizing Your Pantry Is Not A Waste Of Thyme

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

It's always been a dream of mine to have a walk-in pantry! I had visions of clear containers, crisp clean labels and color coordinated snacks. This desire only became more apparent through my hours of binge watching The Home Edit on Netflix.

Our 100 year old home, didn't have a panty, but had two adjoining closets that I immediately had a vision for. The first closet was connected to the kitchen, while the second opened up into the dining room and held games and craft supplies for the previous homeowners.

Before Photos -

Dining Room Kitchen

I knew we didn't need that second closet, so we decided to remove the shelves in both, tear down the middle wall and close up the dining room wall, so that a larger closet pantry would be accessible from the kitchen.

Demolition -

Our home has plaster walls, so every project takes much longer than anticipated. A huge thank you to our friend Ben for lending us his construction expertise.

Dining Room Wall -

Our downstairs walls have wood paneling under the paint, so in order to match that esthetic it took a lot of research to find the right sheets that had the varying column widths. We finally found ours at Lowes. To get the finished look in the dining room, we removed the previous closet trim, added support beams, covered with sheet rock, tape, wood paneling, new baseboard and finally paint.

Pantry Foundation -

To complete the space on the kitchen side, we added sheetrock, tape and paint to the interior. Then to maximize the space, we decided "L" shelves would grant us the most real estate for all our items. To make the shelves, we repurposed the old shelves from the two original closets.

The previous homeowners were nice enough to leave us their kitchen extra tiles, so we were able to continue that on the floor of the panty.

Pantry Organization -

Once the structure of the pantry was complete, the fun part began -- organizing! I'm going to be honest, all those storage containers and baskets can really add up! To save money, I found storage bins wherever I already typically shop (a.k.a stores in my price-range). This included Amazon, Home Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, BJ's, Christmas Tree Shop and other online stores.

Our pantry set-up has gone through many iterations over the past few months, but that was to be expected as we learned what we used most and got a better understanding of how to best set-up our small space. Every time we go on a big shopping trip, I find that I have to re-organize or spruce up the pantry to make sure that all the new items have a home. Pantry's are always a work-in progress, but they are much easier to keep organized when they already have labeled zones and categories.

Some of my favorite organizational items:

Shopping Tips -
  • Take shelf measurements (length, width & height) and bring those on your shopping trip. I keep mine in a note on my phone, so I always have them easily accessible.

  • Most items have dimensions listed on them, but it doesn't hurt to bring a measuring tape with you to insure the items will work in your space.

  • Don't be discouraged by what the item is labeled as. Just because it says its for the fridge or an office doesn't mean you can't use it in the pantry. As long as it fits your esthetic and is the right size, I say go for it!

  • Always buy more than you think you'll need. You can always return items, but its frustrating to be lacking a bin or two when you're just excited to complete the project.

While this may not be a true "walk-in" pantry, I am able to "step-into" it and it makes me extremely happy!


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