Pantry Makeover

My pantry used to be organized. Then I got married, had two children and started a business. Pantry organization got put on the back burner for a long time. After looking at a completely disorganized pantry for months, I would eventually cave in, and reorganize it, but it would only last a couple of days, yes, days, and then it was back to chaos, leaving me frustrated.  My pantry has very deep shelves (which is amazing for space), but if not utilized properly, it is almost like a black hole, especially when items make their way to the back.  It was very difficult for me to find things and I could never tell with a quick glance what I needed before making a trip to the grocery store.  The wire shelves were not working either. Items were constantly tipping over and sometimes things would slip thru the cracks. (Like the one time coffee grounds were spilled on the 3rd shelf and they trickled down thru every shelf and made their way to the floor! Such a huge mess!!  My husband is notorious (he will be the 1st to admit this) for taking something off of the 2nd shelf and putting it back on the 4th shelf, every. single. time. Ahem. He prefers labels so he knows exactly where to put something. (I created labels years ago for our laundry hampers (per my husband’s request), and it does make things easier for him and …. me!)

This is what my pantry looked like before, I will warn you, it. was. not . pretty. As for the brown bananas, ahem, we make a lot of banana bread! :-)

Pantry Before

this is what my pantry looked like before; it was not pretty!

Here is how my project took off: I was at Target with my kiddos a couple of months ago and I spotted wire mesh containers in the $1.00-$3.00 section. Instantly, a light bulb clicked and Project Pantry Organization began. I knew I always wanted to use individual baskets or containers to make certain categories within my pantry, but baskets and containers can be expensive, and I didn’t want to drop too much cash into this project. The wire mesh containers were only $3.00 each. I was sold! I bought every blue, yellow and white container Target had left. Next, it was off to check out the foam board to place on top of my wire shelves to keep items from tipping and spilling through the cracks.  The foam board was too pricey. They didn’t have large enough sizes for my pantry shelves and the small foam boards that they did have were between $4.00 and $6.00 a piece. I decided to nix the foam board idea and use cardboard I already had at home. Next, I was off to find contact paper to cover the cardboard with; I wanted it to look pretty! I found the perfect color combo: blue and lime green! I wanted to find cardstock that matched the contact paper that I could use for my labels, but I ended up stumbling upon some amazing “Thank You” Cards that I couldn’t resist. I could just place the label over the words “Thank You”. I was happy dancing!! Finally, I just needed a few larger bins. I found amazing lime green bins and purchased 3 of them. It was like it was all meant to be. I was at Target for my weekly shopping trip with my kiddos and I found everything I needed for my pantry makeover, on a whim, in a matter of minutes. I think I let out a few squeals on the way home.

My youngest went down for his nap and my oldest was crafting at the table, so it was time to begin. I measured my pantry shelves and cut the cardboard to size. I was using cardboard from my wreath boxes, so I had to reinforce the sections that didn’t meet completely with packing tape.

Cut cardboard (or foam board) to size

cut cardboard (or foam board) to size

Then I covered each one with contact paper.  This was the most difficult part of the project for me. I’m not very good when it comes to tedious projects, I just try to make it through so I can get to the best parts of the projects:  organizing and decorating!! Have you ever seen photos of people tangled in Christmas Tree Lights? Well, that was me with contact paper. Holy Batman that stuff can be difficult to work with. It. was. comical. I even got a little whiny! Once I had all 4 pieces of cardboard cut and covered, there was light at the end of the tunnel, or so I thought! I happily skipped off to place them in my pantry. I discovered my top two shelves were smaller than the bottom two! What?? I could have cried! Who knew?? Clearly not me!  I was off to fix my mistake. The covered cardboard was finally in place. Now the REAL FUN could begin, but not until my kids were sleeping for the night. ( and yes, I was up way too late working on this project)

cover cardboard (or foam board) with contact paper

cover cardboard (or foam board) with contact paper


I pulled everything out of my pantry and began organizing it into the containers that I had purchased for the project. Once everything was in a container, I made a list of each category so I could print up some labels. I cut the back part of the “Thank You” note off, I placed the label over the words “Thank You”  and  I reinforced the top section (that I would be hole punching) with packing tape.  I used raffia ribbon that I already had to attach the labels to each basket. For some of the containers, I taped the labels right on.

Labeled containers

I created labels and attached them to every container


Then I placed all of the containers back in my pantry. Have you ever painted a room or completed a project, only to return to it a billion times to take another look? That was me! I probably opened and closed my pantry door 18 billion times just so I could sit and stare at my new pantry! It was love at first sight!!


Pantry Organization

Let’s take a closer look at some of the details. I can easily pull out each container and there is room to place items that I don’t use too often behind most of the containers,  like my cake decorating supplies, for example. And yes, this container is pink, but I had to settle. It was the only one Target had left. (remember, I bought the rest. :-) )

Cake Decorating Supplies

I used food storage containers to store my pasta, rice, cereal, flour and sugar.

Food Storage Containers

Magazine Storage Files work nicely for storing brown paper lunch bags, slow cooker liners and food storage bags etc.

Organize brown paper lunch bags, slow cooker liners and food storage bags.

I also found these $3.00 mesh trash containers at Target in the $1.00 section. I thought they would be perfect to store my K-Cups and potatoes/onions in.

Pantry Organization

I found the perfect grocery bag organizer when I was browsing a darling shop on Etsy called AbleMabel. It was EXACTLY what I was looking for. I wanted one with a lime green and white chevron design (yes, I am OBSESSED with chevron, have you seen my wreaths lately?) Anyway, I found this grocery bag organizer and my heart skipped a beat. I quickly purchased it and added AbleMabel to one of my favorite Etsy Shops! The entire shop is based on “finding the fun in functional”. Music to my ears!!

Grocery Bag Organizer from AbleMabel on Etsy

grocery bag organizer from AbleMabel on Etsy


I am completely in love with my pantry for so many different reasons. It has been this way for a month and it still looks the same; everything is getting put back in it’s proper place. It is so easy to notice when I am running low on something. Putting groceries away use to be a dreaded project of mine, but now I LOVE it.  It is so simple! Everything has a set spot, so I don’t have to play the guessing game of wondering where I should put something. When I stare into my pantry, it makes me SMILE. I can think clearly every single time I open the door (before, I would get a little frazzled and sometimes start talking to myself….not good!) :-)

Let’s take a look at the before and after…..

Pantry Makeover: Before and After

Well, what do you think? Isn’t it amazing?!! Such a drastic change! I am beyond thrilled with the results and so happy to have a spring project under my belt.

Have you been working on any spring projects? I would love to hear all about them. Maybe it’s time for me to start another. Come on, inspire me! :-)

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Happy Organizing!



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  1. Kristine says:

    It looks awesome, Colette! Good job. Love the plastic bag holder.

  2. Totally Awesome

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