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A Simple and Inexpensive Pantry Makeover

I actually did this “pantry makeover”, with the help of my handsome and talented son Kell, several weeks ago…but for some reason I have been “dragging my heels” over posting it! Kell keeps asking me, “Have you posted the pantry pics yet Mom?”, and I keep coming up with an excuse as to why I haven’t done it yet.

But the truth is…I think I’ve been a bit reticent to post them because they really aren’t anything SPECTACULAR. Well, to ME it was/is spectacular! My pantry is SOOOOOOO much nicer to look at and the functionality has improved immensely!

BUT, I have seem some pretty impressive pantry makeovers online that have involved painting, wallpaper, stenciling, new shelving, new flooring and even LIGHTING. It was pictures like these that actually INSPIRED me to finally tackle mine.


Honey and Fitz

House of Smiths

Faith Trust and Pixie Dust

So at the risk of under-inspiring some of you….here are my “BEFORE and AFTERS” for your information, inspiration…or just entertainment. ๐Ÿ™‚


OK…first of all…no comments on WHAT FOOD IS IN MY PANTRY!  This is not a social commentary on what I feed my family….this is about how I ORGANIZE what I feed my family.  If you don’t agree with some of the “food stuffs” found here….feel free to keep it to yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Obvious problems….no organization and TOO many boxes and bags!!!!  You can see from the middle shelf I have made weak attempts in the past to START organizing with a few clear containers…but that’s about all it amounted to.

Again….TOO TOO much packaging in the form of boxes and bags. Goal: to eliminate as many as possible and replace with baskets and clear containers.

One of my “trouble spots”…insulin pump supplies. They are always in the dreaded BOXES that take up way more space than necessary….and they are just NOT HANDY to get at when needed. (We usually have quite a bit more than this on hand…we must have been running low.)

Another annoying spot….the pasta/popcorn/marshmallows/packets of stuff area. Completely disorganized and almost impossible to find anything! Definitely in need of attention.

Boxes, boxes and more boxes (and bags).  Enough said.

I don’t think this needs explanation. It’s just a mess. ๐Ÿ™‚


I utilized our local thrift store and Walmart a great deal for this makeover.  Almost all the canisters (glass and otherwise) are from Walmart.  Their prices on such stuff are VERY reasonable. Especially when you pick up a few each time you go shopping there (which is what I did). It’s a little less painful on your wallet that way. I think all the baskets are from the thrift store. Thrift stores are terrific sources for baskets! Look for square or rectangle shaped baskets…less wasted space.  Also, don’t discount the ones with big “handles” on them.  Several of the baskets I used I simply snipped the handles off with wire cutters. Much more functional that way.

The little wire shelves also came from Walmart and were super inexpensive…but make a world of difference! They basically doubled my space for cans.

Another thing you might notice….the lack of BOXES! I did everything I could think of to get rid of the space-wasting boxes! About the only boxes that “survived” were cereal boxes….and now that I think about it…I’m going to get rid of those too. I really LOATHE boxes in the pantry!

These plastic and glass containers (most from Walmart, some from the thrift store) have been such a huge improvement!  I love being able to see exactly what I have and in what quantity. How many times have I grabbed a box of something thinking there was plenty in there for what I needed and realized….WRONG…it’s practically empty!  grrrrr…..pet peeve #39!  This way if something is getting “low” it’s obvious every time I open the pantry door.

Also…the little labels? At first I put them on merely for decorative purposes…just to give the whole makeover thing a little more credibility. ๐Ÿ™‚  But I had no idea how much I would LIKE them!  It’s so nice to be able to immediately identify what’s in the container without playing the “guess the ingredient” game!  I mean something like POPCORN is a no-brainer…but have you ever tried to figure out which container was cornstarch and which one was powdered sugar??? Yep…not so easy!!  Oh…by the way…the labels are free printables from bhg.com.

Notice the rectangular baskets on the right and bottom left. All from the thrift store. All had big handles on them that I snipped off.  The one on the far right works perfectly for corraling insulin pump supplies now that I’ve taken them out of the darn boxes! What a space waster all those cardboard culprits were!

And I LOVE these bins from Walmart. Super cheap and great for holding stuff that doesn’t really “fit” anywhere else. Things like trash bags, crackers, etc. (that have been taken out of their boxes. Sorry, I’m starting to sound like a broken record! lol)
The wire bin on the bottom left was another thrift store find and helps contain the myriad of chip bags. The middle bin is one like the 3 white ones above…just covered with a plastic garbage bag and is used as a can collector. When this little bin gets full…one of my boys will take it out into the garage crush them with the wall-mounted can crusher and transfer them to a much bigger box.  Yeah…we drink too much soda…but hey…at least we’re recycling! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, there you have it….my “less than spectacular” (but not too shabby) pantry makeover. As usual, it’s my hope someone will find something that will be of value.

And once again I would like to thank my “assistant” Kell for all his hard work on this project!  He actually did all the “dirty work” (taking everything off the shelves, putting in the new shelf liners, etc.), and I got to do the more fun “organizing” part. I think there might be a new cell phone, that he’s been wanting forEVER, in his future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    Hi, Iโ€™m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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