I emptied my pantry…threw out everything that was expired, added baskets and glass jars and made it all pretty and organized…just because I saw all of these amazing pantries on Pinterest and I just HAD to have one.
OK WHATEVER!!! I HAD A BUG!!! A creepy, crawly stupid bug that likes to get into rice and pasta that apparently had taken up residence in my pantry and no…just NO…DO NOT ASK ME HOW MANY OF THOSE UGLY THINGS I MAY HAVE EATEN UNTIL THEY WERE FINALLY DISCOVERED.
Instead…in the interest of burying my head in the sand and pretending life is all hunky dory over here…I have a beautiful new pantry worthy of any Pinterest Board…where all of the food is nicely displayed in glass containers with tight lids and it’s absolutely lovely!
So lovely, that I can’t stop opening the doors just so I can admire how fabulous it is…right down to the wallpaper…and YES, I wallpapered a closet (though if I’d my time back, I’d have NEVER done such a thing.)
Basically, here’s the run down of how I overhauled my pantry and turned it into this well-organized, fabulous (if I do say so myself) space.
For starters, I took a look around Pinterest for some ideas then drew up a story board with a few items I liked…gathered what I had around the house…then headed out shopping for the rest.
HOW TO OVERHAUL YOUR PANTRY
1. Empty it Out
Once I knew how I wanted it to look, I emptied the pantry onto my kitchen table then had nowhere to eat for a solid three weeks. (Clearly I planned on this being a weekend project…but then got a puppy…and things went a little whacky from there!)
2. Check Expiry Dates
I took a peek at expiry dates and got rid of anything that was past its prime, dropped a few items off to the food bank that I knew I wouldn’t use but someone else would, then organized the rest into categories. (OK, technically that’s what I WOULD HAVE DONE if I didn’t have that pesky bug…but instead, I just tossed most of it out and started from scratch!)
After a good vacuuming (and an attack of RAID)…I scrubbed the pantry down with pure vinegar on every single surface…then scrubbed it down with bleach…then scrubbed it down with soap and water! Basically, I MAY have gone a little overkill on the scrubbing, but it was long past due for a major cleaning and with everything dumped out, it was the perfect time. While I was at it, I washed off all of the cans and jars I planned on keeping, just to make them shiny too! (AND YES, just in case bugs lay eggs which I have no idea if they do and I wasn’t googling it just in case!)
4. Freshen Up the Space
While you’d THINK all of the scrubbing would have made the shelves look fabulous once again…not so much! With years of scraping tins and food items on the shelves, mine were stained and marked and required a bit of a paint job…which was no big deal. Then…since I was painting, I thought I should really paint the entire inside of the pantry HOWEVER, since the shelves in my pantry couldn’t be removed and I don’t really love cutting in paint, I had the brilliant idea to WALLPAPER the inside of the closet and do you want to know what’s more frustrating than cutting in paint around shelves? CUTTING IN WALLPAPER AROUND SHELVES! Plus, wallpapering with a puppy is DOWNRIGHT STUPID and…wallpapering a closet where you have to GET ON YOUR BELLY on the floor to wallpaper the VERY BOTTOM of the closet under the lowest shelf while a puppy is crawling all over you thinking you’re playing an awesome new game is RIDICULOUS! However, all said and done…I REALLY like the way the wallpaper looks in the small space and would highly recommend it. (Just don’t ask me to help!)
Side note: I really need to start videotaping my DIY projects!
5. Add Baskets and Jars
Basically, anything that’s typically in a “bag” or “box” of some sort, I chose to empty into glass jars with lids. Anything in a tin or bottle…I placed in a basket. Plus, I have an “everyday” basket that includes things like bread, crackers and other items we tend to use on a regular basis.
6. Label the Pantry
Prior to the basket system, I actually did try to organize my pantry and have things in “zones” but other people in the house would poke a can of beans in the baking section or a loaf of bread where the cereal should be…with no regard whatsoever for any sense of order. With that in mind, I figured there needed to be a LITTLE direction so, using chalk labels and a chalk pen, I noted what should be in the baskets breaking my categories down into “Everyday Items,” “Canned Goods,” “Preserves” (and yes, I have that many jars of preserves thanks to a few lovely people who keep me in pickles and jams), “Potatoes and Onions,” and “Bags and Supplies” for, well, bags and supplies.
7. Add in the Extras
Besides food, I added in the extras like the various oils (that are already in pretty bottles), my elephant tea pot, a wooden rolling pin, my cookbooks (now places in baskets) and placemats…and there you have it…my Pinterest worthy pantry!
Here’s where I found everything:
- Baskets…I had a few around the house already but I found the big rectangle ones at Wicker Emporium and the wire ones at Michaels…you can also find some great Larger Baskets on Amazon (affiliate link.) To be totally honest, I bought the big wicker ones a few years ago for the front closet to hold mitts and ski gear etc…then couldn’t find baskets I liked for the pantry…so I used the ones from the front hall and now the front hall closet is a WRECK! But…the pantry looks fabulous!
- Supplies for Labels…Michaels or again, check out these fabulous Chalkboard Labels on Amazon (affiliate link.)
- Jars…I had a few including the set of square ones with wooden lids from Canadian Tire that were a wedding gift from my friends Fran and Max a BAJILLION years ago! The three sizes with the silver lids came from the Atlantic Superstore and they were priced really awesome (I believe $5.97, $3.97 and $2.97). Also, here’s the Cereal Jar from Amazon that I absolutely love (affiliate link.)
- Wallpaper…this was hard to find! Not many places seem to be selling wallpaper these days and I didn’t want to wait and order online as I didn’t want my pantry on my kitchen table for weeks (oh, the irony). I found this wallpaper at Bouclair and my tip if you’re going to wallpaper a closet…find a wallpaper like this one that requires NO matching of seams. It’s painful enough to have to work in a small space and work around shelves…seams that need to be matched up may have sent me over the edge!!!
- Oh…and the Elephant Teapot…yup, click on the affiliate link (means I get a commission from the sale)…you can totally buy that on Amazon too!
Anyway…that’s my new Pinterest Worthy DIY Pantry that I pulled off with a puppy in tow. I also may have pulled a muscle from pretzelling myself up under the bottom shelf when I wallpapered AND I believe I burned off most of the hairs in my nose from the bleach…but…the pantry is free from pests.
Unless you count the little furry one, who has his very own jar…just for “treats.”