Small Pantry Closet and Kitchen Organization (Pt1)


Hi Friends!  A couple of months ago, I shared my kitchen shelf and some super functional shelf styling with some beautiful items By Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart.  Well today I’m sharing how I’ve finally organized my cabinets and some pantry organization with help from Better Homes & Gardens.  I love using their products because I can always count on them to be of great quality, style and of course, they’re friendly on the wallet.

An extremely embarrassing before

Last weekend my mom came over to hang out with us for our anniversary.  We decided to do some light cooking together, and I was so embarrassed by the state of my kitchen organization.  My mom kept saying over and over how she wanted to come back and help me get organized.  I am typically an organized person—-I just haven’t had the time to actually do it in since our kitchen renovation started to come together.

This post is sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart, I have received product and/or compensation in exchange for this post, and it may contain affiliate links for your convenience (See my disclosure page for more information.) As always, I only share brands and products that I love, so all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting Made by Carli.

Small Appliance/Pantry Closet

So having my mom over definitely gave me the push I needed to whip my kitchen into shape.  The first area I tackled was the small coat closet right off of the kitchen.  Before our cabinets came in, we used this small coat closet as our pantry.  I added some metal wall mount pull-out baskets thinking it would help us stay organized, but it was a major fail.  I decided I needed to rework this space to truly maximize its potential.

I removed all of the shelving hardware and realized I had my work cut out for me, this closet needed some serious TLC.

Freshen it Up

I painted the walls and trimmed out the shiplap accent wall (leftover shiplap from the powder room) with some lattice.  I added cove molding near the baseboards because we never got around to doing it when we had our floors installed.  I also gave the inside and outside of the door a fresh coat of paint and added some thin trim to make it look a little fancier than a slab door.  Did you know that Better Homes & Gardens now sells paint at Walmart?


I then added this Ayana Persian wallpaper leftover from my powder room project to the the back of the closet (unfortunately it is currently out of stock, but I may order another roll to finish off the full top of the closet later because I really love this wallpaper—-I also love how the “Powder room” is directly across from this closet so it kind of makes sense that they match.)  Next I added wood shelves at varying heights and depths to truly maximize this small 28″ closet.

Plan it Out

I ended up with 5 Shelves total and this is how I organized my stuff.

The first (top) shelf:  Vases/Drink Dispensers/Ice Buckets and other items that aren’t used very often

The Second Shelf:  Instant Pots

The Third Shelf:  Toaster/Blenders

The Fourth Shelf:  Microwave

The 5th Shelf:  Sauce Pans

Floor:  Paper goods/TP and Paper Towels

Maximize the Space

When thinking about how this closet would best serve us, I immediately thought about putting the microwave in the closet. Having a microwave on the counter is one of my biggest pet peeves, and I just so happened to luck out because there was already electricity in the cabinet via a light switch, so I had my electrician swap the switch out for one of the combo outlet/switches.

Unfortunately, I later came to find out that my microwave cord was too short to reach, so I picked up a small extension cord to make it work.  Anyway, putting the microwave in the closet, led to putting all of the small appliances in there as well.  I will admit that I don’t have a ton of small appliances, but this worked out perfectly for our home, with a little room to spare.

Next I decided to make use of the floor space as well.  I used these great metal laundry baskets to store pans on the 5th shelf, and paper towels/paper goods on the floor.

These baskets are fairly large and come with a removable liner for only about $16 each.  I also picked up this tank basket (usually used for above a toilet)I liked how it had sections and would further help me stay organized, so I placed some extra liquid soap and some cleaning cloths inside.

Maximize Wall (or Door) Space

When I decided to really utilize the closet to its fullest potential by going all the way to the ceiling with shelves, I knew I’d need a way to access the stuff up there without a hassle, so I installed 2 wall mounted metal hook racks.  One holds my awkward shaped and heavy pans, and the bottom holds a step ladder.

It also works great to hang my my Better Homes & Gardens room sprays.  I just started using these essential oil infused room sprays and they have the most amazing scents.  In my little collection so far I have:

They’re all amazing but I think the Lavender & Chamomile is my fave.

Cabinet and Drawer Storage 

So when “designing” this kitchen, I knew I wanted mostly drawers and two large pantry cabinets, but . . . this kitchen seriously lacks wall space, so my drawers are pretty narrow, which means I needed to get pretty creative with my organization here.

Our largest set of drawers are the pots and pans drawers, unfortunately, the idea was good in theory, but in reality the drawers didn’t function well with the weight of my pots and pans so I had to rethink my original plan.

I used the top drawer to store our teas and organized them nicely with these bamboo drawer organizers.  There’s just something about getting rid of all the extra packaging that makes a kitchen feel so much neater.

In the second drawer, I placed paper goods and plastic utensils in this caddy  . . . It’s great for entertaining because it’s just ready to go!

and in the third drawer, I put our mixing bowls and tupperware.

Pantry Cabinets

In the pantry cabinets, I utilized several of the Better Home & Gardens Flip-Tite food storage containers for cereal, and other items that would typically either spill easily or go stale.  These containers are amazing and many of them stack with canisters of the same size.

I also utilized an expandable spice rack, to hold and elevate smaller jars at the back of the cabinet.

Similar to the pantry closet, I placed items that are less frequently used on the top shelf.  On the left side, I have trays and platters.  On the right side I stored all of my daughter’s sushi making tools,  in this basket . . . and another Flip-Tite Storage container to hold her sticky rice.

On the next shelf, I placed these medium Chalkboard wire baskets, one holds rice and dry beans, and the other holds breads.

I kept one section of the cabinet for cans, and another for produce.  The Better Homes & Gardens stacking baskets work perfectly in this space.  They come in two different sizes, the large ones are shown here.

On the bottom shelf, I used this large and sturdy storage bin to hold the kids’ snacks.  On the right side, I stacked my casserole dishes.  I like to keep these low to the ground because they’re heavy and fragile.


Opposite the pantry cabinets, I have a few of the smaller drawers that I talked about earlier in this post.  In the drawers near the stove, I use the top drawer to store my foil and sandwich baggies.  In the second drawer I keep all of the seasonings–just a whole big old drawer full of seasonings (this drawer will need to be revisited for organization purposes), but I do love having my seasonings right near the stove (and in a drawer).

Under the seasoning drawer, I stored all of our baking goods.  I was so happy that my Flip-tite containers fit perfectly in this drawer, keeping everything corralled in one place.

On the other side of the stove, I have a small 12″ wide drawer,  which is perfect for storing my dish/hand towels. I’m a little obsessed with Better Homes & Garden’s dish towels–I even picked up a few new ones!  The gray and white multi pack is really nice, I love the quality of the material.

And to add a little color to the mix, I picked up a few rust colored hand towels to add to my collection.  These towels are so plush and are really meant to be used in the bathroom, but I’ve never been someone to follow all of the rules! lol

And there you have it, friends! My kitchen organization for now.  I ‘ve been plotting to turn our “utility room” into a walk in pantry for even more storage, but this will take a bit of work since I want to open up a new doorway, and close up the room to separate it from the mudroom, but, we’ll see—- (fingers crossed that I can get my husband on board!)


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  1. Liz
    July 17, 2021 / 4:22 pm


    • madebycarli
      July 23, 2021 / 1:48 pm

      Thank you!

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