Our current kitchen is original to our 1950’s home. The drawers have to be straightened and then shut manually. They don’t glide in all by themselves and shut soundlessly. They are slammed shut. The cabinets are all odd sizes with extremely large doors and no division between cabinets. The entire wall of cabinets above my counter is actually one continuous cabinet and extremely difficult to keep organized. The doors shut but don’t always stay shut. They pop out and make it look like the entire kitchen has been ransacked.
There are a lot of cabinets and drawers compared to my last kitchen. It is a good size and basically has a good layout. One day I have plans to replace the cabinets, get a better stove and cook top and add an island. Until then this works. Except for one thing. The kitchen was missing a pantry.
I had a pantry with roll-out drawers in my previous home. It was the perfect size, not too big and not too small. I liked having a bigger pantry in the basement to keep all those extra snacks out of sight. That system worked so well for our family that when renovating our basement we added in a large pantry behind double closet doors.
I decided to convert the original broom closet into a kitchen pantry. I have no before pictures of the broom closet before I altered it so just think back to any episode of “I Love Lucy” where Lucy got a broom out. I’ve never liked having vacuums and brooms in the kitchen so I’ve always used the front hall closet for those items, as well as backpacks and other miscellaneous items. This frees up some valuable real estate in the kitchen.
It was a pretty simple conversion project. I installed two shelf tracks from Home Depot and then purchased 8 brackets, two per shelf. Instead of using the wire shelving I opted for using melamine shelving. I knew my kids would be in here constantly and wanted to avoid having items fall through. I had four shelves cut to 13.5 inches x 21 inches each.
I keep it pretty sparse since the main pantry is downstairs, complete with a kiddy lock which has already been broken into. I keep all the school snacks and drink boxes down there. All the canned goods, all the extra cereal, everything. Every day when I make school lunches I send a helper downstairs to bring up drink boxes and snacks for everyone. If we run out of cereal they know to go downstairs and get a new box. I keep some items like pasta’s, rice, baking ingredients and mixes upstairs so they are on hand when I need them. There is always a variety of chips or snacks available. My kids know that if an item is in the kitchen pantry it is available. If they snuck it from the downstairs one, well, snuck is the operative word in that sentence.
Baskets are helping keep this pantry organized as well. One for baking items, one for mixed nuts and dried fruit, a glass container for available snacks, and big plastic containers for cereal.
I’d like to pretty up this pantry with some paint eventually. One day I’ll redo my kitchen and add a wall of cabinets for pantry items and dishes. For now my converted broom closet is working out just fine.