Organized Pantry on a Budget, 5 Steps to a Beautifully Organized Small Pantry

Am I the only one who practically drools when they see a beautiful, organized pantry? I was so happy that the house we purchased had a designated place for food storage! It is a small pantry, but now that it’s organized, it really has ample storage!

Shortly after we moved in, I started thinking of how to spruce it up. It looked dark and dank like this. Eeek! Sorry for the awful photo; this is the only picture I could find! It was when I was just starting to paint the top shelves and walls.

The dark cluttered pantry

After some paint, budget friendly baskets and bins, and some creativity…it is the organized pantry of my dreams! This post contains affiliate links.

5 Steps to a Beautifully Organized Pantry:

1. Clean and Paint:

The biggest task was to clean and paint everything. Your pantry probably isn’t starting from quite the same level of extreme disorder, so just move on to the fun part, organizing!

2. Take Advantage of Baskets

Baskets are my Favorite. Thing. Ever.

Even the cleanest, most organized pantry will look a bit cluttered and untidy without baskets or bins of some kind. All of the colorful food labels and different size containers just provide a lot of visual stimulation!

Baskets or bins don’t have to cost a lot. It’s all up to your taste and budget. These white storage bins are from Dollar Tree.

I found this set of 12 cute metal labels on eBay, and hot glued them to the bins. Labeling really helps everyone know where to look for things.

We use these bins to store snacks for Wesley and Jason, seasoning and beverage mixes, coffee and tea, boxed mixes…they can be anything you need them to be!

Creating an Organized Pantry

On the top shelf are two Ikea seagrass baskets that hold disposable tableware for cookouts, and big bulky snack items like tortilla chips and popcorn. Once the snacks are opened, I put them in the smaller snack bins.

I have three baskets on the counter shelf for storing potatoes, onions, and sweet potatoes.  Baking and cake decorating supplies are stored below in two matching thrift store baskets.

It’s not always practical to store everything in a basket, especially with deep shelves.

I keep any unopened overflow, like extra mayo or ketchup, behind my baskets and canisters. If I’m ever unsure what we have, it’s easy to peek back and see. Plus, it makes use of every inch of the space.

Use crates and bins in the pantry

3. Use Designated Containers

Another helpful way to get a beautifully organized pantry is to store most dry goods in designated containers. This helps keep everything looking uniform.

Something as affordable and simple as clear plastic containers look pretty and more cohesive than all different color boxes and canisters.

Using jars for storage to create an organized pantry

I use basic plastic containers for storing cereal and dry goods, as well as recycled glass jars. I spray painted the top of the lids to old salsa and pasta jars in Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze, and they work perfectly for smaller things like baking soda and cocoa powder.

Mason jars make great storage as well. I found out parmesan cheese lids fit mason jars! It works great for taco seasoning.

I saw an idea a few years back to cut the pouring spout out of our cardboard salt canister and put it in a jar rim. It’s perfect for storing the salt in a mason jar!

Store salt in a mason jara

4. Use the Walls, Door, and every Cranny!

The table top in our little pantry is a large premade slab from Lowe’s that fit perfectly for the width of the pantry. I use it a lot for mixing ingredients right in the pantry. I think it makes the pantry more useful, as well as feel more spacious.

The bottom crates on casters hold rice and pastas. I stained them along with the tabletop with Minwax Jacobean stain. I purchased caster wheels for the bins and attached them to the base of the crates. Now they can slide all the way into the deep pantry. It’s so easy to roll them out and scoop what I need.

Using the walls of utility spaces really optimizes on storage. On the pantry wall, I hung three wire baskets from the Dollar Tree with cup hooks and created a little fruit display.

I hung my apron on a nail that was conveniently sticking out of the opposite wall…maybe now I will remember to use it more often!

Apron hook pantry

On the door, I mounted IKEA spice racks. If you are close to an IKEA, definitely get them in store, as they are very affordable. I stained them in the same Minwax stain.

wood spice racks are installed

The shelves hold chalkboard spray paint spice jars upcycled from baby food jars.

Stained ikea bekvam spice racks mounted on door with chalkboard paint baby food jars as spice jars

5. Add pretty touches

Its lovely to add a few pretty additions to utility spaces. It helps us enjoy all the time we spend using them. While I love for things to look pretty, I try to keep it functional, as well as beautiful!

My white farmhouse jar set and salt and pepper shakers were a Christmas gift, and they are perfect for functional decorating!

Vintage Inspired Retro Salt and Pepper ShakersI

I put a couple cookbooks and a thrifted vintage coffee grinder in the top shelf corner just for fun, and I added a little market fresh sign above the fruit baskets.  The market fresh sign was a fun and simple project using a Sharpie Paint Pen! You can see the tutorial here.

Simple decor for the pantry

I love when hard-working areas like the pantry and laundry room can be beautiful and functional. It makes me feel more inspired in the everyday. Since we spend so much time each day using our pantry, laundry rooms, and closets, they should be attractive and make us happy! Does anyone else feel this way?

I am so happy how the pantry turned out. Its totally possible to get the organized pantry of your dreams on a seriously shoestring budget. No fancy organizers or custom shelving necessary! 🙂

Have you tackled any organizing projects lately?

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