This post has been sponsored by Rubbermaid. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A kitchen pantry is like the fingerprint of your household. Think about it. No two pantries are alike. No two families have the same storage needs or kitchen pantry layout. When you decide to take on your pantry and reorganize it, you have to find your own "perfect".
This post is our Perfect Kitchen Pantry Makeover. What makes it perfect?
We found practical solutions to 4 very specific pantry problems on a tight budget. You've gotta check out the before and after. Welcome into my real kitchen.
My Perfect Kitchen Pantry Makeover
Over the last few years we have taken on DIY projects one at a time.
About two years ago when we were snowed in for a week, I repainted my entire kitchen. (Cabin fever brings out the best in me.) We went from brick red to a lovely farmhouse white. A few months later, my husband installed our subway tile backsplash + I did the grout.
I've painted my kitchen chairs and refinished my plain kitchen island. Made an industrial style wall shelf. We have replaced most of the appliances and lighting.
But I keep putting off one thing. Organizing my kitchen pantry. That's right. This food blogger does NOT have a perfect pantry. Nor do I have a glamorous kitchen.
I have a confession. I am a little embarrassed to show you just how cluttered and junky my pantry is.
This is real deal, ya'll. Our little kitchen and our unorganized pantry.
Kitchen Pantry Problem #1 - A Dark + Spooky Pantry
My kitchen pantry is not very big, but it has large, deep shelves. The original wood finish of our cabinet pantry was a clear finish. However, it has aged to a dark yellow over time.
My family has a bad habit of shoving everything in the far back and it is hard to see anything. When it is time to find a specific item, you have to shift everything around, and move things out. It is very frustrating.
My Solution - Paint.
Give me a can of paint and I'm pretty sure I can solve all of the world's problems. I had some leftover white paint from a previous home improvement project.
Using white paint allows light to reflect and really brightened up the space. The difference is like night and day. Obviously this doesn't change the depth of my shelves. They are still very deep. But the fresh new paint job made a world of difference.
I'll add inexpensive lighting down the road, but this was a very affordable solution for right now. Check out our Pantry Painting Quick Start Guide below to get you started.
Kitchen Pantry Problem #2 - Clutter, clutter everywhere.
Do you have kids? If so, you feel my pain. Between my baking supplies, ingredients and their snacks and canned goods, my pantry was literally upside down. And I can't blame it all on my kids. I am guilty of tossing things in when I'm cooking. I've also been known to turn the pantry upside down looking for a specific ingredient for a new recipe.
Does anyone in your home ever put anything back where it belongs? Not that my pantry really had defined areas for each type of item inside. You know, a place for cans, a place for snacks, etc. Sure, I've pieced together a collection of jars and canisters over the years, but they just weren't keeping our pantry organized.
My Solution - Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ Pantry Storage containers.
I transferred my essential kitchen pantry items to Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ storage containers. They are leak-proof, air-tight and dishwasher safe. Plus they are clear so you can see the contents clearly. (Especially now that my kitchen pantry is a nice, fresh white.)
This eliminated a ton of clutter and created more space by reducing excess packaging. I'm going to invest in another set for trail mix, pancake mix, cupcake liners, sprinkles, candy and more. I LOVE the way they work and how tidy they make my pantry.
Plus they seal tight to keep my food safe.
Kitchen Pantry Problem #3 - Wasted Vertical Space
Do you have a large shelf like I do? One where you are using all of the shelf space but have a ton of vertical "air space" that is going to waste?
This encourages unorganized stacking and leads to clutter (see Problem #2).
My Solution - Inexpensive Pantry Add-Ons (and Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™)
You can get creative with this one to create custom pantry storage solutions. Grab a couple at your local store or repurpose items you already have in your home. Anything you can do to maximize your vertical space that is within your budget.
My Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers helped me tremendously with this. Check out the tall and narrow storage containers. These are perfect for vertical storage of cereal, spaghetti, crackers, or just about anything you can think of. Plus they are sturdy and stackable so you aren't limited by what you can store vertically.
Plus the Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ pantry storage containers are stain resistant and keep all of my food fresh + accessible.
Don't forget about using your door space, or inside the walls of your pantry. This kitchen pantry makeover has inspired me to add more functional add-ons in the future.
Kitchen Pantry Problem #4 - Functional Failure
I have so many food "extras". Appliances like my food vaccuum sealer, dehydrators, breadmaker, roaster, crockpot, waffle iron, and more.
Plus when you add in odd-shaped items like large bowls, pizza stones, wire cooking racks, and metal pans...it becomes an appliance puzzle and you just shove everything in and hope it will fit.
Getting to what you really need to use when you need to use it is a pain.
My solution - Store according to usage.
I sat down at the kitchen table and thought about how often I use each of my appliances. Then I reviewed the storage space available in my kitchen pantry.
Anything that was rarely used was put in the very back of the pantry. More common items were moved to the front.
This seems like such a practical step, but I think it is one we sometimes overlook.
Thanks to Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ storage containers, I now have more room for new kitchen gadgets. (Yay!)
You can find the Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ containers at your local Meijer, Walmart, or Bed Bath & Beyond, or order them on Amazon!
Check out the BEFORE and AFTER shots from My Perfect Kitchen Pantry Makeover.
How are you going to create YOUR Perfect Kitchen Pantry? Find more pantry organization tips here!