Turning a Closet Into a Pantry: Complete Guide

by Jonathan Tremblay
How to Turn a Closet into a Pantry

Many of us have faced the challenge of limited storage in our homes. But worry not. We’ll show you how to change that used closet into a useful pantry. Do you also have a closet that’s full of clothes or just collecting dust? Turning a closet into a pantry is an easy and cost-effective way to create additional storage space for your kitchen items.

We’ll find step-by-step how to turn a simple closet into a handy pantry. Whether you live in a small apartment or a large house, this is adaptable to your needs. We’ll learn everything from clearing out the closet and planning your pantry layout to installing shelves and organizing your new pantry space. By the end, you’ll have a useful pantry that will make your kitchen more organized and efficient.

So, let’s get started turning your closet into a pantry.

Steps to Turn a Closet Into a Pantry

Step 1: Clear and Empty the Closet

Clear and Empty the Closet

To start turning your closet into a pantry, the first thing to do is empty it. Take everything out and see what you have. Turning a closet into a pantry is the time to clean up and get rid of things you don’t need anymore. If something’s old or useless, try giving it away or throwing it out. After your empty closet, think about how you want your pantry to spot and work. Choose shelves, hooks, or bins that will help keep things organized. Measure the space to make sure your storage items will fit. Now, give the closet a good clean. Wipe down shelves, walls, and floors to make it nice and clean for your new pantry. Once it’s clean and dry, you can start making it into a useful pantry. With a little planning and work, you can change that unused closet into a pantry that’s clear to use for all your food storage needs.

Step 2: Assess the Closet Space

Assess the Closet Space

After you’ve emptied the closet, it’s time to check it out. Use a tape measure to see how tall, wide, and deep it is. Also, view any shelves or rods inside. You might need to move or take them out to make room for your pantry material. Take your time with this step. Planning and measuring now will save you trouble later. It’s fun to try turning a closet into a pantry. So, grab that tape measure, select your shelves, and be ready to turn that closet into an organized pantry.

Step 3: Plan the Pantry Layout

Plan the Pantry Layout

Before you start arranging your pantry, think about what you’ll keep there items like canned foods, pasta, spices, and kitchen tools. Knowing what you’ll store will help you pick the right shelves or containers. Cans can go on sturdy shelves, and dry foods can be in clear boxes or bins. Spices can sit on a spice rack or in a drawer. For kitchen gadgets, find them in a good spot, maybe on hooks or special racks. Try using baskets or bins to keep things orderly. Hooks are great for hanging aprons or cups. If space is tight, wall racks, then by planning and organizing based on what you have, your pantry can be useful and plan to use. So, select your ideal pantry and set it up to turn a closet into a pantry.

Step 4: Install Shelving

Install Shelving

Shelves in your pantry are important. You can go for fixed ones or ones you can adjust, depending on what works best for your space and what you want to store. Adjustable shelves are cool because they can handle things of all sizes. But make sure you attach them well so they don’t fall. They keep your food organized and clear to find. So, choose carefully and set them upright. When your shelves are strong and just the right size, your pantry becomes a clean, plain place to turn a closet into a pantry.

Step 5: Add Lighting

Add Lighting

Good lighting is important in your pantry. It helps you find items easily and ensures nothing hides in the dark. There are two simple ways to make your pantry brighter

First, you can use battery-powered LED lights. These lights are a breeze to install. Just stick them wherever you need more light. There is no need for fancy wiring because they run on batteries. When you open your pantry door, these lights turn on automatically so you can see everything. They don’t use up too much energy, so you won’t have to change the batteries all the time. Another option is overhead lighting. If your pantry has an electrical plug, try installing lights on the ceiling. This turning a closet into a pantry gives you good, even light across the whole pantry. You can pick from different types of lights to match how your pantry looks. With the right lighting in your pantry, finding things becomes easy, and you’ll never have to deal with dark corners again.

Step 6: Organize and Label

Organize and Label.jpg

Once you’ve got your shelves and lights all set up. Let’s get your pantry organized and looking great. First, use baskets, bins, and containers to group similar items together. This turns a closet into a pantry so you can find things quickly, and it saves space, too. You can use a label maker for a fancy touch or use chalkboard labels for a cute appearance. With labels, your pantry will be in order, and you won’t have to hunt for things. So, grab those baskets and labels, and make your pantry a clean, organized, and easy-to-use space.

Step 7: Stock the Pantry

Stock the Pantry

Now that your pantry is all organized and labeled. It’s time to fill it with your favorite kitchen items. Put the things you use a lot where it’s clear to see and reach like at your eye level. Items like pasta, canned food, and snacks should go there. For the things you don’t use as much, put them up high or down low on the shelves. This turns a closet into a pantry. You use all the space in your pantry. By setting up your pantry like this, you’ll save time and make cooking less stressful. You won’t have to search for your spices or snacks anymore. Everything will be in the right place, ready when you need it. Enjoy your cooking.

Step 8: Maintain and Update

Maintain and Update

To keep your pantry working smoothly, get used to checking for old things and buying what you need. Keeping your pantry orderly might take some time, but it’s worth it because it saves you time and stops food from going bad. First, look at the dates on your pantry items. Throw away anything too old. Eating expired food isn’t good for you, and it doesn’t taste great. After throwing out old things, see what you’re running out of and make a shopping list. It’s helpful always to have basics like pasta, canned goods, and spices in your pantry so you don’t have to rush to the store when you’re cooking. Arrange your pantry so things you use a lot are plain to reach, and group similar things together. You can also put labels on shelves or containers to help you find things quickly. Following these effortless steps will make your pantry work better and make cooking and planning meals easier for you.

How to Maintain a Pantry

How to Maintain a Pantry

1. Declutter Regularly

To keep your pantry well-ordered, the first thing to do is clean it up. Look at what’s on your pantry shelves. If something is too old and unhealthy to eat, throw it away. If you have food that won’t go bad and you won’t use it, give it to someone who needs it. Throw away anything that’s broken or open to keep things fresh and safe. Cleaning up your pantry has two benefits. First, it makes more space and makes your pantry better. Second, it helps you see what you need to buy again. When you get rid of old or unwanted food, you can list what you’re missing. This turns a closet into a pantry. When you go shopping, you’ll know exactly what to get. Think of cleaning your pantry like giving it a fresh start. It’s like making your kitchen cleaner and more organized. Your pantry and your future self will be happy you did it.

2. Organize with Zones

Keeping your pantry organized is as simple as ABC. Just group your items by what they are, like grains, canned goods, baking things, snacks, and condiments. You can use clear boxes, baskets, or shelves in each group. And the easy part is to put labels on everything. Labels are like name tags that tell you what’s inside. No more searching high and low for your favorite snacks or spices. So, make your pantry orderly by sorting your food, using clear containers, and adding labels. You’ll be a pantry pro in no time, and cooking or snacking will be a breeze when turning a closet into a pantry.

3. Invest in Storage Solutions

Getting your pantry in order is a big deal for keeping your kitchen well-ordered. To simplify, Consider adjustable shelves that move up or down to fit different-sized items. This way, you can use all the space and easily access your things. Try pull-out drawers, which are great for keeping your snacks, spices, and canned goods organized—no more searching for things at the back of the pantry. Use spinning trays, like Lazy Susans, for those tricky corner cabinets. They make it a breeze to reach items hiding in the corners. For items like flour, sugar, pasta, and cereals, go for clear containers, either plastic boxes or glass jars. Turning a closet into a pantry not only keeps your pantry looking organized but also lets you see when you’re running low on supplies. These simple pantry storage ideas can change your kitchen into an organized, efficient space, saving you time and reducing food waste.

4. First In, First Out

To stop food from going to waste, Use the first in, first out (FIFO) method. Just put the newer food behind the older things in your pantry or fridge. This turns a closet into a pantry. You’ll grab the older items first when you’re cooking or snacking. Why is this a good idea? Well, it means you won’t forget about food hidden at the back, which might go bad before you use it. By using the older items first, you make sure nothing gets wasted. Think of your pantry as a lineup of groceries waiting for their turn. When you always pick from the front, you’ll see less food going to waste. It’s a clear trick that saves money and helps the planet by reducing food waste. So, give first in, first out a go, and you’ll see less food ending up in the trash.

5. Regularly Check Expiration Dates

Make it a regular thing to look at the dates on the items in your pantry when you do your pantry organizing. Doing this simple job not only keeps you from eating old food but also helps you plan your meals with items that need to be used soon. By checking those dates often, you’ll easily find items that are about to go bad. Turning a closet into a pantry lets you use them before they spoil, which means less wasted food and money saved. You’ll be eating fresher, safer food. This habit also makes your grocery shopping easier. When you know what’s getting close to its end date, you can focus on using those items and get replacements for your pantry basics on your next shopping trip. It’s a small thing to do that can give you big benefits like healthier eating and better money management. So, start checking your pantry today.

6. Rotate Stock

When you fill-up your pantry with groceries, keep things fresh and stop food from going bad. It’s called stock rotation, and it’s effortless how it works. When you buy new groceries, put them in the back of your pantry. That’s the spot for the new things. Then, take the older items you already have and move them to the front. Now, the older items are right in front, ready to be used first. Why do this? Well, it makes sure you use the food that’s been in your pantry the longest before it goes bad. By turning a closet into a pantry, nothing gets left behind and wasted in the hidden corners of your shelves. It helps you save money by cutting down on food that gets thrown away. So, when you fill your pantry, give your groceries a little shuffle, new at the back, old at the front. It’s an easy way to keep your pantry organized and your food from spoiling.

7. Regular Cleaning

Apart from your usual cleaning, it’s really important to keep your pantry nice and clean. Just wipe the shelves, watch out for spills or crumbs, and be sure to sweep or vacuum the floor often. A clean pantry not only looks better but also stops bugs from getting into your food. Think of turning a closet into a pantry as a safe place for your food. When it’s clean, bugs and mice won’t find anything to eat, so they’ll stay away. A clean pantry helps you find what you need, so you waste less food and save money. So, make cleaning your pantry part of your routine. It’s a clear way to keep your food safe and your wallet happy.

8. Inventory Management

Make a list of what’s in your pantry, whether you use paper or your computer in your kitchen. Turning a closet into a pantry helps you stay organized and makes cooking and shopping easier. Consider writing down everything you have in your pantry, like pasta, canned tomatoes, and spices. It helps you know what you have so you don’t buy the same things again or forget something important for your recipes. But that’s not all. With your pantry list, planning meals is simple. You can look at your list and decide what to cook without going to the store. And when you do go shopping, you know exactly what to buy, so you save time and shop smarter. It makes sure you’re ready to cook, whether you’re making a big meal or just a quick snack


Changing a closet into a pantry is simpler than you might think. With a few basic steps and some handy tools, you can create a useful and organized space to store your kitchen needs. Start by clearing out the closet and measuring the space to plan your shelves and storage bins accordingly. Next, install strong shelves or wire racks to maximize storage capacity.

Don’t forget to add hooks or racks inside the closet door to hang small items like aprons or kitchen utensils. To keep things nice, use clear containers or baskets to store items like pasta, canned goods, and snacks. It’s important to keep your pantry orderly by regularly checking for expired items and restocking as needed, whether you have a small closet or a larger one.

Turning a closet into a pantry is an achievable project that can make a big difference in your kitchen.

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