I’ve been meaning to perform a pantry makeover for a while now. But, unfortunately, the funds simply weren’t there…until recently that is! When we got our tax return and once we were able to completely pay off our car, the Mister gave me the green light to buy the jars I’ve been wanting to redo the small upstairs pantry.
Above is the before shot of our pantry, which, in reality, isn’t the true before picture. It was actually in a partially organized state as I was in the redo planning process when I finally remembered I should take a before shot! The shelves were pretty deep which, in theory, sounds like it’d be great for utilizing space. But, in reality (for our family anyway) it became a trap. Things way in the very back would get lost and forgotten until I got sick of the mess every couple months and sorted through it. The deep shelves also proved to be a waste of food because stuff I’d forgotten about in the very back would be moldy or stale.
In addition to the deep shelf trouble, the shelves had leftover dried up glue from some hideous shelf paper that I’d ripped off when we first moved into the house. Yes, the dried up glue was better than the shelf paper! But still pretty ugly.
To remedy the deep shelf problem, the Mister cut rectangular notches out of the top two shelves. We decided to leave the bottom shelf deep so I could put storage baskets there. Then, to make it look a world better, we painted the walls a classy blue and gave the shelves a good cleaning plus some fresh white paint.
Once the shelves were improved and reinstalled and paint was dried, it was time for the jars! A majority of them are Anchor Hocking jars (I put a list of everything used and where to buy them in a list below). I researched and hit up sales and used coupon codes as much as possible to spend as little as possible for the jars and baskets.
Above is a picture of the jars on the top shelf. These hold all of our flours and sugars. Each jar is airtight so the contents stay fresh.
On the left “arm” of the top shelf are glass bottles (pictured above) which I found at Hobby Lobby. I didn’t want the ugly bottles and cans and what-not that our oils and vinegars came in, so transferring them to these bottles make it much nicer. For anything that had expiration dates, I stuck a piece of masking tape to the bottom and wrote that expiration date.
Above is the right arm of the top shelf. The only pasta I keep in the upstairs pantry is spaghetti and that’s because I use little bits and pieces of it for the boys (such as for hot dog octopuses). This shelf also holds a bucket that stores our cloth napkins (we don’t use paper ones).
Here’s the middle shelf. The Mister used 2×4’s to make a step on the back of the shelf to hold up some of the jars so all of the labels could be seen at a glance.
On the left and right arms of the middle shelf I put some penny candy jars to hold snack items that we occasionally enjoy (the last bits of processed food we still keep around). I painted the knobs of the jars with chalkboard paint so the contents could be labeled. And I hammered in a nail to hang a scoop.
On the bottom shelf are a couple baskets that I bought for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. I glued some wooden chalkboard labels to them. They fare well for corralling items that are difficult to store otherwise like bread, tortillas, and applesauce squeezies.
Also on the bottom shelf, but kinda hidden behind the baskets, are a couple of glass jugs which store our white and apple cider vinegars.
On the to-do list to maximize the usefulness of the small pantry:
- Install a half shelf above the top shelf to store cookbooks and possibly some appliances.
- Install a step on the top shelf (like the one on the middle shelf) so the Montana jars don’t have to be stacked atop each other.
- Install a step on the bottom shelf to hold up the vinegar jugs and to store anything else I want to put there.
- Install either a small shelf on the very bottom of the pantry (the floor there slants because below it are the stairs to the basement) or a first-in-first-out can dispenser for things like canning jars.
And there you have it! Our beautiful, handy pantry. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to check out the list just below with the links that lead to where I bought each item.
Below is a list of the products I bought and where to buy them. Don’t forget to take advantage of Hobby Lobby’s 50% off sales and/or their 40% off coupon and check out RetailMeNot.com for coupon codes to use on the Oneida website!
- Blue Paint from True Value: AXZ 1; DZ 1Y36; EZ 2Y26
- Chalkboard Paint
- Large Clamp Top Bottles (the ones holding oils and vinegar on the top shelf)
- Small Clamp Top Bottle (the one with the sesame seed oil)
- Spaghetti Clamp Top Jar
- Quatrefoil Bucket (with the cloth napkins inside)
- Large Montana Jars (these are the ones holding the flours and sugars on the top shelf)
- Small Montana Jars
- Heremes Clamp Top Jars (like on the middle shelf; I bought them in sets of three which included the large, medium, and small); also available on Amazon (106 oz., 67.25 oz., and 38 oz.)
- Penny Candy Jars (like the ones with crackers in them)
- Baskets (link leads to a set of three, but I got just the two largest ones in the store; wait until they go on sale for 50% off)
- Chalkboard Labels
- Chalkboard Marker
- Wooden Chalkboad Labels (the ones I glued to the baskets; they actually came with a clothespin attached which I carefully removed)
- Large Jug (which holds the white vinegar)
- Small Jug and Lid (which holds the apple cider vinegar)
- Pot Lid Holder (even though I didn’t mention this above and was placed long before the makeover, I thought I’d share this in case)