Before and After: Can A Pantry be Called Dreamy? This One Can.

published Mar 6, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: Organized pantry with wire shelving

When it comes to organizing, there are plenty of solutions out there that will work in a pinch (or look pretty in photographs) but aren’t actually practical in day-to-day life. According to pro organizing experts, trends like organizing your books by color, hanging clothes on thick wooden hangers, and cursive labels are on their way out.

Two more to add to the list? Cursive labels and wire shelving. Although cursive, script-y fonts are pretty to look at, they can also be hard to read. And although wire shelving is often modular and cheap to add, it can also be cheap-looking. Plus, small items can fall through the cracks.

Professional organizer Katrina Green (of Badass Home Life) had both in her pantry and decided to make a change. “The before was pretty inconvenient,” she says, “I had somewhat of a bin system, but things looked still pretty cluttered.”

Everything clicked when she started practicing zero waste and buying bulk. “I reduced my buying of items that had plastic packaging and focused more on the items I can buy in bulk OR items that come in cans,” she explains.

Her goal was to have a more manageable pantry with a clearer view of what she has and what she needs to replenish. She also says she was going for a more minimalist aesthetic. Here’s how she did it:

First, she removed the wire shelving from the walls and patched the holes. She then measured and cut sturdier wooden shelves, painted them, and mounted them. Her total cost was somewhere between $300 and $500, including containers and label supplies.

Of course, it wasn’t as simple as it sounds. The hardest part was finding the studs again to re-hang the shelves. Plus, getting the spacing just right was a challenge, because she had to measure the items she wanted on each shelf to make sure they would fit. If she could change one thing about the project, it would be to reduce the negative space between each shelf, she says.

But she’s proud of how much more minimalist and streamlined the space is, including the new labels. Katrina (in true organizing badass fashion) makes and customizes her own labels, and you can order similar ones for your pantry (or laundry room or linen closet) via Instagram.

Although they seem like a small detail, labels with a large, clear font make a world of difference. “Meal planning becomes easier when you know what’s inside the pantry,” Katrina says.

Inspired by Katrina’s pantry organization? Check out the rest of her house for more smart living tips.

We want to see your organizing wins. Submit your smartest solutions here.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: Wire Pantry Shelves Get a Sophisticated DIY Upgrade for Under $500