Monday, January 14, 2013

Organized Food Pantry...From a Coat Closet

I had promised at the start of the New Year that we were going to get organized spot in the house at a time.'s the food pantry or food closet as we call it.

Our house was built in 1975, so big walk in food pantries weren't even a thought. We needed a spot for extra food storage or bigger items, but upstairs for easy access.

This little coat closet is by our front door,  just around the corner from the kitchen...perfect for a "pantry"

Just a side note...I did this "coat closet to pantry transformation" way before I started blogging, so this is not a "real" before picture.

I was cleaning out the pantry this weekend and decided to share the idea, so I put these coats in to show what it looked like before. Lol

The closet was always way too small for all our coats, so we use a larger closet in the back hallway or coat hooks we have on the wall.

Here's the quick transformation for you to change a closet to a food pantry or any storage actually.

Remove the closet pole...

I really should have filled in the holes, painted and made it look pretty, but it's covered with food any way and I'm good with that!!

Add shelving brackets...I always use this system, because it adjustable for the height you need on each shelf. It's very cheap too!!

I put in 2 brackets, one in each corner where the studs were, because this closet was small.

If you have a larger closet, you will need more brackets in the middle of the shelf for support. Make sure you use anchors or find the studs in the wall.

I had shelves cut to size at the hardware store.

All assembled and waiting for food.

Tah Dah!!!

I also added a door rack.

This is a screw in rack, not an over the door rack. There is just too much weight. I think I bought this at Home Depot or Lowe's.

Make sure you'll have room in the closet to close the door with the rack on.

It's narrow in width to fit in the closet when the door is closed and it's easy to see the items on the rack.

For the tall top shelf, I added plastic bins for all the paper goods we don't use very often.

Paper plates, plastic cups etc...

A slide on rack holds plastic utensils.

Now for the organized shelves...

These shelves are deep, so I didn't want to lose things in the back.

I keep cereal boxes or larger food boxes stored laying down to use the space better and you can see all the things right up front.

Baking shelf...

Cake mixes laying down too, stacked up.

You can see the names of the cakes and more importantly...the expiration date. Keep them in order of dates.

Pasta boxes also laying down.

and soups in a soda can dispenser...soup cans rolls out easily. These are just over stock soup cans. We keep some in the kitchen too.

Big boxes of garbage and food storage bags...great here and not taking up space in your kitchen.

Heavy water bottles on the floor.

Changing this closet to a food pantry was the best thing we ever did. It really frees up space in the kitchen for food and things we use on a daily basis. Also saves me from going in the basement for overstocked items!!

Hope you can find a little space somewhere for a food pantry.

You can also use this idea for...

  • kids toys
  • crafting closet
  • linen closet
  • Christmas closet

Happy Organizing,

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  1. Nicely done! Wish I had a huge walk-in pantry. Oh for a bigger kitchen!!

  2. Wow so much food and very neatly organized. I am impressed and I hope some of your organizational skills will help me to declutter my home in 2013. One spot st a time. I look forward to reading more!!

  3. I had done the same thing but will use some of your tips ,the door rack and laying boxes flat is something I want to incorporate ,such great idea's thank you .

  4. Such good use of otherwise (nearly) wasted space! Looks great!

  5. great transformation.....I see a lot of PB & J's in your future!

  6. Wow! That looks really nice and organized! I have a question. Always when I get to look into American pantries, you seem to have so VERY MUCH food! Several identical peanutbutters, jam, soups, mixes and so on... Why bother to store so much? Don't you go groceryshopping everyweek, anyhow? Sorry if I am to bold, but I am so curious! Åsa in Sweden

    1. We Americans do have a lot of food! I coupon and buy extras when I find them at a good price. I try not to shop every week but sometimes must for fruits and vegetables.

    2. you should always be preparred for an emergency. food storage is important.

  7. Great job! Funny, I just did the same thing over the weekend. Go check out what I did. Not quite ideal, but a good bit better than it was.
    xo Kris

  8. Excellant pantry!! I love the door rack - it holds so much! Right now my pantry in a sad little cupboard that I think may have been a broom closet in a previous life. There's not too much that I can do with it (we rent military housing) so I've added a few wire racks to increase storage. I never thought of laying the boxes flat & stacking them, it's a great idea that I'm going to try! TFS:)

  9. I love that idea and I really need pantry space. I do have a hallway closet that I could convert and also get the dog and cat supplies out of the way.


  10. Some great ideas there! You certainly won't starve if you get snowed in!

  11. That's fantastic!!!: Great job.


  12. We did exactly the same thing after years of never thinking of the convenience. I think it's the single best thing we ever did, I keep my large mixer, crock pots, large pots that I don't use much, but am rethinking, and may change mine to keep foods and then I can keep the mixer closer to kitchen...great idea!! I'm proud of both of us for thinking of it!!

  13. Our house was built in the 60's. *sigh. The previous owners did exactly this to the coat closet at the top of the steps....which is right across from the kitchen entry.
    It is indeed very deep. I have to be careful and make sure items don't get lost in the back!

  14. great idea, im gonna get some tips to orginize mine, thanks for sharing!

  15. We just this last weekend did the same. Converted a walk in closet in a guest room to a food pantry! Its super! Though I did not think of a door rack. That is a great idea, will add that I do believe!

  16. Very nicely done, Karen! I added one of those door organizers to my pantry -- adds so much more storage in what would be wasted space.

  17. Love the way you stacked things! I have a door organizer it!

  18. I have deep shelves and lose things all the time. I never thought of putting boxes laying down! Genius!

  19. OMW!! laying the boxes down??! I never thought of that!! I am going to my pantry right now and fixing mine!! Thanks so much for all your great ideas!!

  20. I think your plastic bins are happy...they seem to be smiling! :)

  21. Laying the boxes down is brilliant!! Never even occurred to me....I will for sure be copying you! :)

  22. I love the track system of shelving. You can adjust as things change. I think I need to be adding bins to my closet.

  23. Looks great. Our house was built sometime after 2000 and it too does not have a proper pantry. What is with that? But we had 2 coat closets just as you walk in the front door. Why? We live in the south. We barely need one most winters. But I did the same as you, I transformed the one closest to the kitchen and it's perfect.

  24. OK... old dogs can learn a new trick or two.
    I am so going to turn my boxes on their side!
    Love this trick!

  25. I, too, experinced an ah-ha moment when you explain why the boxes are laying down. Thank you!

  26. great job - I love the idea of laying the boxes down and using a soda rack for soup! I'll definitely be doing both this weekend. Thanks for offering such great ideas!

  27. let us know how the door rack holds up. ive done that for food storage and shoes, and it pulled the door off the hinges eventually because of the weight. i went to putting noddles, boxed crystal light adn light weight things there instead.

  28. I have been thinking about doing something like this in our living room closet for quite a while. Thanks for showing the exact steps you took. I think I can handle that!

  29. Wonderful! I don't have a closet like that, but I sure wish I did. Thanks for sharing.

  30. I have a closet almost exactly the same size, in the front halfway, right of the kitchen. It's being used for storage, but not very efficiently. I am going to pin this post and run out and buy those brackets this week!I already have a bunch of wood I can cut to fit in the basement.

  31. I love the pantry door rack! Where did you find it? I have looked and looked for it. Would love to have one!


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