This post is sponsored by Bed Bath & Beyond.
On the day we purchased this old house nearly four years ago, Mark fell through the pantry floor. Read: he landed in the crawl space below (gratefully, unharmed). The space was in poor shape, and although a good sized pantry, it lacked the proper storage for the space. There was a 30 year old hot water heater in the corner, too, one that exhausted right back into the pantry, leaving film on everything and polluting the air. In short, our pantry felt like a dark cave I barely wanted to enter more or less store food. But if you’ve followed any bit of our home’s evolution, you know this is only one sliver of the work this home needed. Like many things, we had to be patient with this small space, too.
We cleaned it up a bit, eventually replacing the water heater with a tankless one on the outer wall, a strategic move for the future day we renovate our kitchen the way we intend. Mark used old wood boards from a building tear-down nearby and built some shelves at the back, but mostly, our attention was needed in other places in our home. And this pantry space remained both inefficient and unwelcoming. Take note of the BEFORE image. Yikes! Naturally, when the opportunity arose to partner with Bed Bath and Beyond, I knew their one-stop-shop with all things kitchen organization would be a perfect way to redesign the pantry and make it a more useful space for our home.
But here’s the deal with any sort of home organization in our home, especially the pantry. Since my children make and take food and use and put away dishes away, it’s important that I find ways to organize so that it can be maintained without me. Otherwise, I end up having to rearrange regularly which doesn’t seem very efficient, right? To make the pantry prettier and also easy to organize and maintain with all of our kids regularly in and out, here’s the list of needs I wanted to address:
- Hide the hot water heater
- Stock and label clear jars for less waste and easy visuals
- Organize pots and pans in a way that’s easy to maintain
- Clear out any unneeded or unused appliances and pots
- Store the bread in a place where it wouldn’t get crushed
- Store the coffee beans where they won’t spill
- Add light
- Cover the floors
- Paint, to refresh the stained walls and cover the unfinished wood spice/oil shelves
- Find storage for onions, garlic, scallions, and ginger
- Remove the pantry door
Keep scrolling to see the changes up close, as well as the specific Bed Bath & Beyond products we used along the way.
Paint and Add Light / We began by emptying the pantry, painting, and adding lights to freshen up and brighten the space. Mark had already built oil/spice shelves for me in the space, so we sanded and painted them to blend into the wall. But I really love this spice/bottle organizing option for pantry doors or for a wall space, too.
Hang Baskets + a Pot Rack / To hide the water heater, Mark installed a clean wood board, where I attached this chalkboard and copper basket wall organizer to use for the produce basket. We narrowed down our pots and pans (which always feels SO good!) and strategically hung our favorite ones on this beautiful copper pot rack. We raised the microwave up a shelf and put our three favorite soup/stew pots there, giving them their own space (making it easy to return to a proper place).
Find Stackable Canisters / We found this perfect vintage style bread box to keep the sandwich bread in tact and a white canister for the coffee beans, which both neatly nestle in the space next to our water jug. The flat bamboo tops make them both flexible for stacking and sealed to keep from spilling.
Use Various Sizes of Glass Jars for Dry Goods and Label Them / For the glass storage, I mostly selected various sizes of the Luigi Bormioli Lock-Eat jars for grains, nuts, special flours, seeds, and plantains. I love the wide tops on these jars and the minimal feel. I also used four Kilner 3L jars for the larger needs of dry cereal, oats, and flour. To label, I kept it simple with small, white labels for the top. I like keeping the sides clear, featuring the food only. And for the most part, the label’s purpose is to help us notice when we need to restock, or to separate all the flours from one another.
Rugs and Plants Bring Closure / Our pantry has uneven, non-matching wood floors that can feel harsh on bare feet, and can make it seem weird to store small appliances there. Adding two small jute rugs felt like a simple way to hide the rough floor details, while making the space more inviting for bare feet or heavier kitchen appliances. It was a beautiful, inexpensive way to finish this space. The plant is just for me, a visual from the stove or the doorway, an organic touch to a windowless space.
Can I tell you how easy it has been to maintain so far, with everyone clearly understanding where things belong in the pantry? It’s like a massage for my soul.
This post is sponsored by Bed Bath & Beyond. All images and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the businesses that help keep this space afloat.