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Not every house is lucky enough to have a built-in pantry – but all is not lost!

Organizing food is always a bit of a challenge, particularly when you don’t have enough usable space in your kitchen. Those cabinets over the microwave can only hold onto so many canned goods and boxes of cereal, and after a while it can start to be kind of frustrating.

That’s when the inspiration strikes you, like a bolt out of nowhere – “hey wait, what about that small closet I’m never really using?”

Why, that’s a great idea, dear reader! Because what is a pantry, really, if not a small closet that we use for food instead of coats? And just because it may not be in the kitchen, doesn’t mean it can’t be useful for food storage!


Turn a Closet into a Pantry!


Step 1: See if anything is still in the closet

Before you start grabbing those cans of soup out of the kitchen cabinet, you’ll want to inspect your prospective closet to see what’s being kept in there already. Is it currently being used for clothing at all, or is it more of a cleaning supplies/tools kind of closet? Can you easily find new homes for these items somewhere else – or, better yet, would you be able to donate anything?


Step 2: Start measuring

Once the closet has been cleaned out and everything is safely in its new home (even if it isn’t at your house), now is the time to start getting down in the details. Take careful measurements of the width, depth, and height of your new closet-pantry to get a better idea of how much you can fit in there.


Step 3: New shelves

The thing about closets is that, no matter how well-equipped they already are for things like closet rods or closet organizers, these may not always be the best option for organizing food.

Think about installing home wall shelving or wire wall shelving at equal distances throughout your closet to help better stash the sort of foods and ingredients you’ll be keeping in there. Leave enough space between each to make sure that you have enough vertical room for anything you want to organize, and make sure everything is mounted properly to ensure safety and weight support!


Step 4: Get organized

Of course, putting some shelves up won’t be enough. You’ll want to get a plan to make sure that everything fits and can be put away properly. Make a plan for where everything is going to go – canned goods on one shelf, cereal and granola bars on the other, etc – before you start loading up the shelves. Consider adding some pantry organizers to your various shelves to make some things (like soda cans) easier to organize, and keep it from getting too messy!


Step 5: Start movin’!

Finally, all you have to do now is get everything over into the new pantry! Make sure to inform anyone else in your household about where things are getting moved to, and try to remember to arrange things by accessibility – if you’ve got littler kids who want to reach for their favorite fruit snacks or crackers, those should go on the lower shelves, and so on.

Your new closet pantry should be just as handy as one built into the kitchen would be – and isn’t it nice to know you did it without a huge kitchen remodel?

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