How to Organize a Large Pantry on a Dollar Store Budget

Have you ever focused so much on other things in your house, that other rooms or spaces get neglected and ignored?  Me too!  That is exactly what happened to my pantry.

Hi!  Its Sara from Twelve On Main where I aim to inspire others to create and DIY.  I am excited to be here at Remodelaholic today to show you how to organize a large pantry on a dollar store budget.

How to Organize a Large Pantry on a Dollar Store Budget

Now I am super lucky in my house.  I have so much storage space, and I sometimes forget that.  I have a large walk in pantry, well actually, its like a whole room.  I think sometimes when you have a lot of space you take advantage of that fact, and forget about organizing and let it kind of become a problem bigger than you can handle.   My pantry is there.  It needs some love and attention.  So I want to show you hoe to organize a large pantry on a budget.

Now these are some embarrassing photos:

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It was time for some love.

Over the past few months I have been trying to de-clutter and organize rooms in my home, and my pantry is the one space that has been really neglected.  I wanted to organize my pantry on a budget, since, I decided to tackle this shortly after Christmas, money is tight don’t you know!

Here are a few tips of how to purchase and get organizing pieces on the cheap:

  • the dollar store

This is where I purchase a large amount of my containers.  Yes, they were’t the exact colors I wanted, but I will easily fix that.

  • Walmart

This place is a hidden gem with many really nice organization pieces.  A few things I bought here are a plastic lazy susan and some wire shelves to stack cans on.

  • TJ Maxx and Home Depot

These two places were a gold mine of great items.  I can always find great pieces at TJ Maxx and I found some nice baskets and clear bins.  I came across a huge aisle of wooden crates at The Home Depot right after Christmas and they were 9.97 each!  I didn’t even find them that cheap at Walmart.

So, here is a list of all the items I purchased to organize my pantry:

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Now, lets talk about those dollar store bins.  They were not the colors I wanted to incorporate into my pantry.  So, I purchased some white and black spray paint that was good to paint on plastics.  I used Rustoleum 2x coverage spray paint.

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I laid out all my bins and gave them all a single coat of paint.  I chose not to paint the insides since I didn’t want to mess with what was going inside the bins.

Once they were dry I added another coat.  I found some purple and blue baskets that had holes in them.  I decided to paint them black so that they would look like black wire baskets.

Once they were all cured and the paint was hardened, I added simple chalkboard sticker labels to each one. This will make it easy for everyone in the house to know what is in the bins at a glance.

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Next I made some small chalkboard signs to attach to the wooden crates.  I cut small pieces of 1/4 inch plywood down to about 4 inch squares.  I then gave them all a coat or two of chalkboard paint.

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Then I hot glued them onto the front of the crates.  You could drill a hole and hang them as well, or screw them to the crate but I found that hot glue works just as well.

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Now it was time to get down to business and organize my large pantry.

I took everything off the shelves and separated them into like groups.  Bottled items together, canned, boxed dinners, cereals, etc.

Then once I knew how much space I would need for each group I was able to assign crates or bins to them.  I found I had quote a few salad dressings and other condiments so I used my plastic lazy susan for those.

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There are some things you want to consider when space planning where you want to put things on the shelves.  You want to put the heavier things lower, especially if you have kids.  So I put my larger wooden crates on the last 3 shelves since they were to hold heavier items such as fruits and potatoes.

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I grouped all my kids school lunch items together so that they would be easily accessible for the kids when they are packing their lunches in the morning.

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Now, one of the biggest problems I with my pantry, as a mom is people not letting me know when we are out of something.  I love finding an empty box of Bisquick, or a empty box of drinks!  That’s super helpful at 7am when they need a drink for school.

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So I took the blank wall just inside the pantry and painted it with chalkboard paint.  I chose the vintage green chalkboard paint since I already had it in my breezeway.  This is the perfect place for kids and adults(husbands) to write down exactly what we are out of the minute we run out!  The kids are super excited about it, so here’s to hoping that they really use it.

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Tips to make your pantry look stylish and cohesive:

  • paint or use bins the same color

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  • allow a little space between containers
  • take toilet paper and paper towels out of the packaging.  They will look much more stylish and you will know when you are running low.
  • group like items together and keep all labels facing forward

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I hope you have learned something about how to organize a large pantry on a budget.  My son couldn’t believe the transformation!  He said it should have always looked like this.  I agree.

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Thanks so much for letting me spend some time with you today!  If you want to see more organizing tips, check out how I transformed my closet into a farmhouse style walk in closet.

Have a great day!

More budget-friendly pantry organization tips:

pretty easy, pretty organized, pretty pantry makeoverFeat Organized Pantry @Remodelaholic

affordable pantry organizing containers with slide-out shelvesORganized Snack Pantry For Family By @remodelaholic 18

budget pantry organizing and makeover

organized pantry with sliding barn door

home sweet home on a budget: organized pantry ideas

7 tips for smart pantry organization


Website | + posts

Sara is a mother of 4 kids and a German Shepherd dog, and a wife to her DIY partner in crime. She lives in a small town and loves the farm life they are creating together. It may be a lot of work, but there is nothing they do better than work hard. She is inspired everyday from the life around her. You can see more of her life at My Blog

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.
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  1. Hello Cassity – I follow along with you and really enjoy your ideas, and the ones that others send in – I am a VERY active remodelaholic, and I also teach my family and friends, and co-workers – you have given me some new outlook on my older ideas, so that means I get to try a different avenue. Please keep up your wonderful job, I have shared your site with everyone. BUT this pantry of yours, I would totally love having all that space – I so envy you there!! Good deliverance on appeal, just love it.
    I have a two car garage that is my outdoor shop, and a small bedroom that is my indoor craftroom shop. I love wood! Anything and everything wood, so all my family has always boughten me tools, large, small, battery, electric, compressor things, anything I can use to build, remodel, design and make.
    I married a city boy (51 years ago and still going) and I’m the country girl that kept up with Dad and his teaching me everything about being raised on a small farm. Have a son and daughter, grown and away from home now, so it is just my husband, and I and just 4 dogs, so we just live on one very busy acre now and loving it.
    Thank you again for always being there when I get on my computer at night, I really enjoy and appreciate all you share with the world. God Bless. – Suzanna