Monday, June 25, 2012

Pantry Transformation (Lots of Pictures!)

When we moved in our home 5 years ago, the previous owners had turned the laundry area (which was basically in the kitchen) into a walk-in pantry with white wire shelving covering all of the walls.  We used this pantry for the first few years and loved all of the storage and food/kitchen stuff/misc. junk it held.  It almost held too much.  Being the visual person that I am, looking at all of the stuff would sometimes get my heart rate going...I do not like seeing a bunch of stuff.  I like containers and baskets to make things look organized and uncluttered.  We had considered (ok, I had considered) turning this pantry back into the original laundry space that it was, because the hook-ups for a washer and dryer were still there.  I would love to have a first floor laundry like we did in our old house.  However, this pantry space would not accommodate how we do laundry and I don't think I want dirty socks so close to my food.  With that idea out, I was complaining to the hubby that I had no place to put paperwork, bills, and all of the other household stuff that accumulates.  We used the small pantry in our kitchen for the binders that I used to use to keep all of our bill stubs, receipts, and paperwork.  The kids' coloring books, crayons, and art supplies were also stored in this small pantry.  While I kept it organized and it worked fine, I still wanted something more that felt like an office space.  Did I mention we don't have an office in our house?  We don't.  We could carve out a space in our small-ish finished basement for one, but I am not a basement fan and bills and paperwork are depressing enough without telling me I need to do them in our basement.  Soooo...I convinced hubby to make our large pantry into more of a place where I could store the paperwork, school and office supplies, and art stuff for the kids.  Are ya following me still?   Good.

This is what our large pantry functioned as before.  Tons of shelves, lots of storage, but too visible for me.  You can see that not only food was stored in here, but also dog food, cookbooks,  batteries, and baggies and foils.  Everything.

Considering finding a home for all of this stuff seemed overwhelming.   In fact when hubby started tearing out the shelves we realized that the previous owners that installed them did it incorrectly and when the shelves finally came out, we were left with TONS of BIG holes in the drywall.  We wanted to cry and turn back and change our minds about this idea, but it was too late.  After much patching and  trying to fix the drywall, we decided to buy a couple of sets of cabinets that matched what we already had in our kitchen.   I wasn't sure how I was still going to fill them up, or where all of the stuff that was now misplaced was going to go.  I remember thinking when everything was out of the pantry and all over our tables and counters, "What have we done?"  Slowly, each cupboard and drawer got re-worked.  First, the basic junk drawer got tranformed to store just the everyday basics:

Junk Drawer

In the small pantry that once housed our bill binders, art supplies, and telephone books, we put the foods that the kids need easy access to like snacks, bread, and buns.  (cereal is in another accessible cupboard now)  At the top I put our largest plastic containers, pots and pans, and the toaster.    An extra knife set also fit up there nicely.

Small pantry--after

Top drawer of wire cart--drink mixes, pudding, etc.

Bottom drawer of wire cart that is deep for breads and buns

(All of our other food got a new home in some of our existing upper cupboards.  These are foods the kids don't need to get to and it worked out fine to put them there.)
Top 2 shelves of small pantry

Now, what did we do with the big pantry???  Remember the 'before' from the first picture?  All of the wire shelves?   Here is our big pantry now with cabinets that match our kitchen.  I really love how things are concealed.  On the right we did keep one vertical section of wire shelving for things like baggies, wraps, light bulbs, and batteries.  Ironically and fortunately, the lower cabinet unit was a few inches more narrow than the wall.  Therefore, we were left with a couple inches of space on each side under the extended countertop.  This has been the perfect place for grocery sacks that fold flat, large paper pads, etc.

Big Pantry--after  :)
Can you believe this is the same pantry?  Here are wire shelves we kept on the right:

Here is how I organized the contents of the new cupboards.  It is a mix of art supplies, extra school/office supplies, bill organizers, and even dog food.  But it all works!  Here are what the drawers are used for:

Below, in the bottom cupboards are bills and dog food/supplies.  :)

Bill Storage--better than a filing cabinet because I can take the whole thing out when needed!
The upper cupboards hold awkward-sized appliances, lunch bags, party/paper products, cookbooks, candles (in basket), and some technology-related stuff.

Ta Da!  There's my pantry transformation. I still have some bugs to work out, but overall I like the clean look and a place for everything.  Have you transformed a pantry in your house or reorganized your cabinets?

This project linked up to:
Savvy Southern Style--Wow Us Wednesdays 

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  1. I love how the new big pantry is full of office supplies and school work, which always ends up in the kitchen anyway! You might as well keep it close by.


  2. Wow!! Good job! I would have never guessed it used to be a pantry, it looks so good. So much storage space, I love how you organized everything and I can tell you have some empty spaces to fill up still. Love that!!

  3. It looks wonderful! I'm sure you get so much more use out of the space now too. I think that is a big stumbling block for people when they buy a home -- they think they have to use their spaces as the previous owner did. It's all about making your home work for you ... fabby job!

  4. I love this transformation. My pantry is no where near being this big; however, it is larger than I am use to. I find myself buying extra food just to fill it. I have the white wire shelves also, which I hate!! I am brainstorming some pantry ideas now. It is such a smart idea to have a small office close to your kitchen, if your anything like our house, our kitchen is the first place paper is dumped. Great job!!

  5. What a great transformation! I am sure your are loving it :)

  6. That is a fantastic change to the pantry! Very inspiring....I need to get organized!

  7. What a difference!! I'm impressed that you were able to organize all of that stuff into new homes. Organizing that much stuff seems so overwhelming at first, but it turned out great! :)

  8. Ahhh! Wow. Look at all of that space. But good for you and I think even big spaces can be wasted if not organized well. Well done. Thanks for linking up!


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