If you have a small walk-in kitchen pantry that you are struggling to make sense of, this before and after DIY organized pantry makeover will inspire you. My parents upgraded their new home’s pantry organization on a budget and I think the results are incredible!
When my parents moved into their new build, they finished their kitchen pantry off quickly without a lot of thought or planning. They didn’t have the time or budget to add any customization, so they just threw up some shelves and installed a counter on one side of the room. This gave my mom somewhere to work and some temporary storage, even if it wasn’t perfect.
Here’s how the pantry looked before
There were some simple shelves on the right for food and small appliances storage, and a few hooks on the left for cleaning tools. It functioned, but my mom knew the space could be organized better to maximize the wall area and offer even more storage whenever she had time and money to attack it.
When that day came, we got to do it together! I LOVE projects where I get to work with my parents. So much of my DIY spirit and know-how come from these two, and it is a real honour to work alongside them.
How much does it cost to redo a pantry?
We wanted this pantry to be beautiful and functional, AND we wanted to create it on a budget. To do this, careful planning was necessary. My mom pinned pantries she loved to a board on Pinterest and we made a very detailed plan of execution for this project. Our standards are high, but we had a very low budget of $400! So we knew that most of it would need to be DIY’d for sure. Stick around to the end to see if we managed to do it or not!
How do you transform a small pantry?
Basically, you get to work! We made a plan for the layout and what type of storage we needed. After purchasing a few inexpensive supplies like shelving, shelf brackets and plywood, we went to work on some DIYs and my mom and dad completely customized their walk-in pantry:
The most important DIY we did was building our own drawers. A pantry cabinet with pre-made drawers would have put us way over our budget! So, my dad purchased some drawer sliders at Lee Valley Tools and plywood at Home Depot and constructed the drawers himself.
My mom stained the drawer fronts the same colour as the brackets on the wall, and added trim to give them a shaker style that would match the rest of her kitchen. She also used the same cup-style pulls for the same reason.
They also built a large pull-out drawer that is not attached by sliders using the same kind of construction. This giant bin holds my mom’s bulky baking supplies like flour and sugar! It’s perfect for what she needs.
My mom felt that the counter was too wide the way it was before, so that got trimmed down. The shelving was all built using the same plywood, and my mom painted the raw edges the same white as the rest of it so it would all match. Some of the shelving is open so she can display some special items, like her grandmother’s heirloom roasting pan.
This organized kitchen pantry now has custom drawers on the bottom, shelves all the way around, and room for food storage, pots, pans, appliances and more.
How do I make my pantry look neat?
We found that the secret to a neat pantry was hidden storage and a place for everything. Not only does the pantry look amazing this way, but it functions so well too. The drawers are easy to pull out, and simple dollar store baskets on the upper shelves conceal other items Mom does not want on display. Any type of bin would work for this! Just make sure the storage containers you want fit the width of your shelf before you purchase them.
My mom made handmade labels for the bins, but of course you could use your trusty Cricut and Design Space and create them that way too. I also have free printable labels that you can use! These free lables are teal with a white font, and I have a black and white set here.
There’s even enough room for a coffee station! Mom was so happy about this, as it frees up space in her kitchen by housing the coffee machine and supplies inside the pantry instead. The counter is also a perfect width to make this setup comfortable without dominating the rest of the space. And, when my parents host big dinners, there’s still lots of room to use this counter as a dumping ground for whatever she needs to set out of the way.
No space is unused, including the corners of the pantry. The shelves there house less-used appliances and servingware. And we created an open closet where mom’s cleaning supplies can live! We even incorporated the outlet in the right place so she can use it to plug in her small vacuum when it isn’t being used. We were quite proud of that bit of planning for this small pantry closet makeover component!
Watch my YouTube video to see how this organized pantry was created:
So, did we manage to stay under our budget of $400? Not quite, but we were close enough that we all felt good about it. This DIY organized pantry makeover cost less than $450! This was only possible because my parents made all of the drawers by hand and used inexpensive home improvement store and IKEA materials. A custom-built pantry that would look almost identical would have cost hundreds, if not thousands, more.
I hope this project gives you some small pantry organization ideas for your own space! I am so proud of how this turned out, and so happy my mom is thrilled with her own space. Now that her pantry has been specially designed for her specific needs, I think she finally feels like this new house is really home.
Have you reorganized and beautified your pantry space? I would love to see it! Tag me @thediymommy of your own pantry makeover. Or, leave a comment and let me know your favourite thing about my mom’s new space!