Redoing the pantry has been on my to do list since we moved in. It was in dire need of a new paint job, and the old shelves were thick with many coats of (most likely) lead paint.
The most offensive part of the pantry was probably the brown molding.
But the bare bulb fixture and dirty pull string were a close second.
So I painted the walls (stripes!) and the molding (white!), and had my in-home “electician” (husband!) install a proper light.
For shelves, we opted to stick with wood. I decided to stain them instead of painting them to avoid chipping/peeling paint. We bought 8 cheap-o pine boards for 4 shelves, and Steve attached 2 pieces per shelf to get the depth we needed for a functional pantry. After sanding them down, I applied 3 coats of Varathane’s Stain and Poly in Kona.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Next up was organization. A couple of years ago, I purchased these spice jar holders from Ikea (all credit for this idea goes here).
They’ve worked out very, very well and keep all the little spice jars from getting lost on the shelves. However, I have a ton of leftover spices from where I couldn’t fit all of the spice into the Ikea jar. I had been storing them in a plastic bag, but I decided old plastic bags don’t have a place in my new pantry. Not when I could use this opportunity to purchase a cute basket to corral them!
Along those lines, I decided to see what else I could consolidate into a basket. Since baking items always seemed to get lost in the old pantry, I decided to also purchase a basket to hold things like yeast packets, cupcake liners, extracts, food coloring, etc. I also bought a third to hold granola bars, sport nutrition (like clif bars or shot blocks), and sport drink powders.
I labeled them with these cute Martha Stewart tags.
To hold the rest of my baking items, I purchased several Slom jars from Ikea and added chalkboard labels (also from Martha Stewart).
As you can tell, the labels don’t lay completely flat since the jar curves. It’s not ideal, but it’s worked out okay so far. If it bugs me down the line or they start peeling off, I’ll figure out a better solution.
For my flours, I purchased 2 larger jars from Target.
I was sure to add the expiration date to the bottom left corner because these things are known to live in my pantry well past their prime. I didn’t want to give up my ability to check their sell by date by throwing out the packaging.
Last Winter when we had a bunch of electrical work done, we had an outlet added in the pantry so we could eventually move the microwave in here (and open up our limited kitchen counter space).
I also added a couple of hooks to hold our shopping bags.
With all the organizational pieces in place, I loaded her up.
Thankfully, there was enough room leftover to also store our lesser used appliances, cake carrier, grilling tools, and other miscellaneous items. Things like olive oil, salt and pepper shakers, vinegars, and other regularly used cooking items live in a cabinet by the stove which has really helped cut down on the clutter too.
It’s gotten about 3 weeks of use now, and I’m happy to say it functions much better for us now. I had a bad habit of just buying things at the grocery store instead of looking through the pantry to see if we already had it. I think that’s how I ended up with a ridiculous number of yeast packets.
For anyone who’s interested, here’s a list of sources:
Pull Chain: Antique Brass Pull Chain
Spice Jars: From Ikea’s Rationell Variera line – they appear to be discontinued
Plastic Bag Holder: Also from Ikea’s Rationell Variera line
Baskets: From the Container Store, though they don’t appear to be on the website
Glass Jars: Ikea Slom
Labels: Martha Stewart for Staples