How to Organize & Repurpose a Closet into a Pantry

How To Organize & Repurpose A Closet Into A Useful Pantry

You know I love to organize ~ I thought having an early 60’s, vintage kitchen would be so quaint. When we bought our house a few years ago, I had no idea how hard it would be transitioning from large, sunny kitchen into a small one. We had only 4 small upper cabinets, 1 under the sink, and 1 under the cook-top. There was hardly any counter space especially when I set up the dish drainer because, of course, there was no dishwasher. We eventually got a stand-alone style dishwasher. We had to move the refrigerator across the room since the dishwasher needed to be next to the sink. We used a freestanding island positioned up against the wall (next to the frig) as additional counter space.

While unpacking after our move, I quickly learned there was no way to fit everything in my new kitchen. People in the 2000’s have way-way more stuff than the people in the 1960’s … but that’s a topic for another day 🙂 After unpacking all our dishes, glasses, Tupperware, pots & pans, and baking/casserole dishes … all my cabinets were full (I know you’re wondering – yes I donated a lot of items to the Goodwill store). However, I still had several boxes packed with pantry food items. I rearranged the cabinets a few times trying to figure out where to store our non-refrigerated food. We hung some shelves over the island/counter. That helped with the everyday items; cereal, bread, coffee, etc. Our canned goods and packaged items lived in boxes for quite a while, until I had a great (I think) idea.

The closet in our entry way was not being used for what it’s intended purpose – coats … it was holding boxes of stuff I hadn’t unpacked yet, so those boxes got lugged to the basement. I took measurements of the closet and went shopping 🙂 I was able to find a sturdy, Rubbermaid type of shelving unit that fit perfectly in the space. By “fit perfectly”, I mean we actually had to assemble it in place … it fit that snuggly up against the walls of the closet.

Counting the existing closet shelf, that gave me 5 shelves in my new pantry. I got a few bins and baskets at the dollar store to help organize some of the unusually shaped items. I used an over the door shoe organizer to store the smaller items. The shelving unit is very sturdy and doesn’t dip or buckle under the weight of all the canned goods.

Although this closet isn’t being used for it’s intended purpose, it is being used daily.

By the way, I bought a clothes tree / rack for the entry where it is currently laden with coats and lives happily next to the small mountain of shoes 🙂

Tracy Helps You would love to help you organize and/or repurpose any areas in your home that aren’t being utilized to your liking 🙂