Blog, DIY & Crafts, Projects

Dirty Little Secret Friday … Pantry Organization

March 28, 2014
Kitchen Pantry Before and After | View From The Fridge

So … I feel like I strayed a bit from this series in the past couple weeks. Yes, I counted my DIY chalkboards, DIY magnets, our ‘organized travel’ plans, and the IKEA Magazine File Makeover as ‘organizing’ projects, but it was a bit of a stretch.

This week, organizing was back in full effect! I took on our pantry. And, jeez did it need it!! Here are the before and afters:

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge

Okay … I sort of lied just there. I was going for dramatics. That is what it really looked like {one year ago} on the left, and that is what it looks like today on the right. It’s just that we did most of the ‘heavy lifting’ in this pantry a year ago.

Here’s what we did a year ago …

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge

Basically, we painted the walls our favorite color (they were a very ‘woodsy’ shade of paneling) similar to our craft closet before. We also made our ‘temporary’ shelving unit more user-friendly by adding foam board covered in shelf paper to each shelf. That simple update has been KEY!! Now, things sit flat on the shelves. Spills don’t drip all the way down getting every thing below it sticky, and the shelf paper allows for easy clean up.

You’ll notice I said ‘temporary’ shelving unit. When we moved in, we threw this wire shelving unit in here because we already owned it, and the pantry had ZERO shelving. We always planned to add ‘real’ shelves in this closet. Yep … guess what?!?! That unit is STILL in there … 2.5 years later! Ugh. We ran into some issues when trying to install shelving. And when I say ‘some issues’, I really mean ONE BIG ISSUE. That lovely paneling you see, well … that’s it for the walls. They’re false! Nothing more than the thin paneling along all the walls. Our house is OLD (think 150+ years old), and there have been many additions. This just happens to be a closet that sits sort of in the middle of three different additions. I can only guess what’s going on behind the paneling. All I know is that you don’t hit studs (or anything for that matter) unless you go at least 6″ back. Needless to say, these thin ‘fake’ walls put a damper on our plans to hang real shelves. Thus, the old wire shelving unit remains …

Like I said, we did all that a year ago, and the closet looked pretty nice then. We kicked out the vacuums and cleaning supplies, we sorted through the mess we had on the shelves, etc, but somehow it has returned to a bit of a disaster recently. Here is how it actually looked in the beginning of this week:

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



Because you need THREE mostly empty bags of the exact same tortilla chips!!! Seroiusly?!?! This pantry is still nice and bright white, but it is A MESS!!!

On Tuesday, both boys happened to BOTH fall asleep for a nap. This is a rarity these days!! Hooray … I rushed downstairs to start in on this organizing project …

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



And, that’s how far I got before I heard crying from upstairs. I cringed. Only thirty minutes?!?! What?? Then I heard two cries coming from upstairs, and I knew nap time was shot for the day. Now I had two grumpy little guys, a disaster area of a kitchen, and a very curious dog … easy access to food!!

This project wasn’t off to a good start.

When the boys finally snapped out of their ‘moods’ we all tried to put the pantry back together. We vacuumed the floor and wiped down all the shelves and floor.

I sorted through the contents of the pantry. Six empty boxes of various things. Again … really?? How lazy are we?

Once I threw away all the empty boxes and expired products, we started putting things back in. I keep all our cupcake liners in a glass container with a tight lid (for all that baking I do).

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



When I picked up the container to put it back into the clean closet, however, it had three liners left in it. THREE. I knew it was full before. Well, here’s where I eventually found the rest …

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



Shoved in the bread maker, of course. I put the liners I could salvage back into the container, and then back into the pantry. I walked away to help Owen with something, and came back to catch the cupcake liner thief redhanded!!


Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



So that’s what he’s always doing in the pantry when it gets suspiciously quiet!


Anyway … back to organizing. To help maximize our chances of keeping the closet organized, I knew we needed labels (something lacking from our makeover a year ago). The wire shelves, however, didn’t exactly lend themselves to easy labeling. I tried super glueing book plate labels to the front. Big fail … they all fell off. Next thought … chalkboard painted baby food jar lids (obviously).

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



I drilled two holes into the lids on either side, spray painted them with chalkboard spray paint (from our Built-In Spice Rack), tied some twine to them, then tied in place on the front of the shelves. Perfect!

I labeled more of the bins with some chalkboard tags I had on hand (this way I can erase and change ’em up when our pantry needs change).

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



I also labeled a couple of our ‘bulk’ bins with some of our staples. I simply cut out the title and cooking instructions from the original packaging, and taped it onto the container with easily removable washi tape,


Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



Now, I’ve got a clean, organized, AND labeled pantry! Wish us luck that it stays this way!!

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge



And the before (from earlier this week) and after:

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge


Better, right???

And, one more time for dramatics … the before (from last year) and after (today):

Kitchen Pantry Before and After |  View From The Fridge


Thanks for stopping by today! Have you organized anything recently? Organizing anything this weekend? Speaking of weekends … I hope yours is wonderful!

As always … stop by tomorrow at 5pm for DIY Sunday Showcase to see the features and link up your fabulous projects!




You Might Also Like


  • Reply Shannon March 28, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I’m so storing my cupcake liners like that. I’ve yet to figure a way out so they don’t get crumpled. Thanks for the idea.

    Shannon ~
    Shannon recently posted…Wine Barrel TableMy Profile

  • Reply Bette @ Somerset Lane March 28, 2014 at 9:44 am

    aaaawwww… Soooo much better. I LOL at your cupcake liner theif.
    Bette @ Somerset Lane recently posted…FEATURE FRIDAY – Interview with Addicted 2 DIYMy Profile

  • Reply Meg @ Lip Gloss and Lumber March 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Katie! The pantry looks great! I too still have “temporary” shelves in my pantry (which looks a lot like your before shot from a year ago at the moment). It’s been just about 2yrs since we moved in, the walls do have studs, I just haven’t gotten to mine yet, lol.
    I love the chalkboard labels and using the jar for your cupcake liners (the bread machine wasn’t a bad idea either though). I might just have to tackle mine sooner rather than later after seeing how nice yours looks, it’s just the kick in the pants I need to get to it! Thanks for sharing :)
    Meg @ Lip Gloss and Lumber recently posted…St. Patrick’s Day Themed Birthday PartyMy Profile

  • Reply Sonnet @ SohoSonnet Creative Living March 28, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Wow! You are always inspiring me to get organized! this looks so great! I love all of the little chalkboard labels. I was cracking up at the cupcake liner stash. I find random stuff like that EVERYWHERE! Great job Katie. Have a good weekend.
    Sonnet @ SohoSonnet Creative Living recently posted…12 Fun and Easy DIY Projects {From Link it Or Lump It}My Profile

  • Reply Wendy @ March 29, 2014 at 7:45 am

    If I didn’t know better I would say that before pic is MY pantry lol Looks great. Motivates me to get my organized :) I would love for you to share this on my Friday T.G.I.F. linky party :)
    Wendy @ recently posted…How To Store Lettuce LongerMy Profile

  • Reply Nicole March 29, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Lovely afters! I love the labels and the brightness and cuteness of your pantry. Oh, and your cupcake liner thief. 😉 Doesn’t having it so organized feel good? I love that rush after a big organizing project!!!

    Thanks for linking up to the Weekend Wind-Down party!! :)
    Nicole recently posted…Weekend Wind-Down Party #12My Profile

    • Reply Katie March 31, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Hi Nicole! Oh … the after is soooo much better! Thanks for stopping by and for the fun party this weekend!

  • Reply afra March 31, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Very impressive! glad it’s not just me with the multiple bags of half-eaten stuff. popping over from #magicmoments
    afra recently posted…#silentsunday 30/3/14My Profile

  • Reply Coombemill March 31, 2014 at 10:51 am

    So many of my cupboards need your magic touch!
    Coombemill recently posted…Heartbreak & Happiness in LambingMy Profile

  • Reply Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney March 31, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Every time I see your house I just want to move in. I know your still working on it but you have seriously done an amazing job so far! What a transformation you did to this pantry. It looks so clean and organized. Mine would be destroyed in a week.
    Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney recently posted…Plastic Easter Egg Chicks in a Shredded Paper Nest Craft for KidsMy Profile

  • Reply Melissa @ A Prudent Life March 31, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    You are NOT the only one with three ALMOST empty bags of tortilla chips in the pantry. :) I really love all the chalkboard labels you made – those ones attached the shelves are great. The whole pantry is great!
    Melissa @ A Prudent Life recently posted…March Goals Report CardMy Profile

  • Reply Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life March 31, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Love all the labels. It does make it easier to organize! And you are definitely not the only one with 3 bags of almost empty chips…it happens here too. Why the kids can’t finish the first one before moving on to the second and third, I will never understand!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Sunday Night Sandwiches: 12 Dinners Your Family Will LoveMy Profile

  • Reply Susan April 1, 2014 at 6:21 am

    You did a great job! I also use a shelf unit in my pantry. It is a heavy duty plastic one that the shelves are solid. I also already had it and it fit perfectly. I only recently added another shelf on top. I realized I had the exact same shelf unit in my garage and I took the top shelf. Now my i have 5 shelves and it uses all the vertical space in my pantry!

  • Reply Antionette Blake April 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Great pantry reorganization, I did mine a few months ago, now have to do the garage – once the weather gets warmer. Thanks for sharing and linking up again with us at the #WWDParty.
    Antionette Blake recently posted…Welcome April | Hello SpringMy Profile

  • Reply Heather {Woods of Bell Trees} April 2, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Wow that is an amazing transformation! It looks great! That little cupcake liner thief! Too cute!
    Heather {Woods of Bell Trees} recently posted…How I Kicked the Habit the First TimeMy Profile

    • Reply Katie April 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Ha! Thanks, Heather! I may have to rearrange my pantry and put the cupcake liners up high if the thief strikes again! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Carrie This Home April 2, 2014 at 9:10 am

    It’s amazing how much brighter the pantry is now! I love it! My pantry looks a lot like your before–I need to get to work on mine! Pinning this in hopes it inspires me to get started on my spring cleaning!
    Carrie This Home recently posted…DIY MonogramMy Profile

    • Reply Katie April 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks, Carrie! It is a lot brighter … totally worth the time spent painting. It could use a light, though. At night it’s hard to see in all the corners :). Good luck with your Spring Cleaning. I also have a million projects on the ‘to do”. We’ll see when and if I get to them :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Stephanie April 2, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I’m envious of your pantry. I don’t have a pantry. I have one of the cabinets from Wal-Mart that is called a pantry, but it’s nowhere near big enough to act as one. And it’s a big mess because baskets don’t really fit in there. Ugh.
    Stephanie recently posted…April Blog Challenge, Day 1My Profile

    • Reply Katie April 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks so much, Stephanie! I guess I shouldn’t complain about the fake wall shelf issue, huh? In our old condo, we had NOTHING, not even a Walmart cabinet. Not really sure how we managed, but we did! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Coleen April 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I’m SO thankful I’m not the only person with multiple bags of the same brand tortilla chips open at the same time! And you gotta say, your cupcake liner thief is only trying to make use of open space! It looks amazing!!

    • Reply Katie April 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Coleen,
      Ha, Ha! Is that what he was doing … optimizing shelf space?!? I’ll have to thank him, in that case. Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear it’s not just us with a tortilla chip problem :)

  • Reply Michelle April 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I love the idea with the cupcake liners. I have moved mine several times and couldn’t quite find a fit. Great ideas and creativity on your part!

  • Reply Link'n Blogs #20 April 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    […]  Pantry Makeover by View from the Fridge […]

  • Reply Daniela @ Put A Bird On It April 9, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    You’ve been featured on Link’n Blogs! Come see your feature and link up again. :)

    Put A Bird On It

    • Reply Katie April 11, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Thanks, Daniela!! Love your party, and so excited to be a ‘fan fave’! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply Welcome to Fridays Unfolded #105 - Nancherrow April 10, 2014 at 11:02 am

    […] View From The Fridge […]

  • Reply Laura April 30, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I love your makeover! Will you please tell me where you got the pink wire baskets?


    • Reply Katie April 30, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Laura,
      Those pink baskets came from Target. They were in the dollar spot last fall. They often have baskets there, though, so keep your eyes open. I think they were actually $3. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great rest of your week!

  • Reply Summer Spotlight: Katie at View From the Fridge January 24, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    […] been sharing her tips and tricks whether she’s tackling big organization projects like her kitchen pantry or small ones like organizing her jewelry. Here’s a great example. Katie bought wire bins for […]

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge