Our Pantry | A Renovation + Organization Project


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.

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  1. This is beautiful! And gives me that extra encouragement to finish my own kitchen organization. One question, what is the largest measuring cup side that easily fits into the opening of your large canisters?

    1. Author

      Hi Jess, are you wondering what measuring cup will fit through the top of the glass storage jars? If so, I full cup measuring scoop will fit through all of the large ones. The larger ones are all wide-mouth, which I love. Feel free to clarify if I’ve answered the wrong question.

      1. Yes, I realized later that my typo made it confusing but wasn’t sure how to edit it :) Thank you Bethany!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Danielle! I found them at our office supply store with the other labels. They’re a “wash with water” variety that can easily peel away if we ever want to change them. And I liked their size, too.

  2. I love what you did to this space and all you do to your home! I actually have a few questions about your tankless water heater. How do you like it? Is it efficient for all your homes needs? I have a large family and would like to convert to a tankless water heater to make more room in my pantry for a second fridge. I would love some “real life” opinions about it if you have a second to respond. Thanks for sharing your space.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much, Carmen. We have had the tankless water heater for about a year and took the leap for similar reasons––we needed the space. We love it. There are six of us, bathing/showering/washing dishes daily, and we haven’t had any trouble with it keeping up. I hope that helps!

  3. I have a wire basket for my onions and garlic, but it is MUCH too big and therefore a waste of space. I need to go take a look at the ones you have here. Seem like they’d be a much better use of my space.

    1. Author

      I absolutely love these baskets. They’re about 3-4″ or so deep, so they don’t feel like a hazard for bumping heads either. I’m so happy with that little spot, minimal, practical, copper baskets (insert heart eyes). xx

  4. It doesn’t even look like the same place! I’m amazed that it went from looking like a standard closet to a beautiful room!

    1. Author

      It really doesn’t. I seriously do find myself standing in there smiling after filling my glass of water. With all the work still in progress on the rest of the house, it feels so wonderful to have a finished corner.

  5. organizing and hopefully *prettying up* my pantry is on my ‘nesting list’ of things to do this month … thanks for the inspiration to get on it, friend!


    1. Author

      It’s the best feeling! I’m glad you picked up some helpful tips for your own process. xx

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