How to Turn a Closet Into a Pantry

Converting a closet into a pantry is a smart and cost-effective way of utilizing unused space in your home. It not only adds functionality to your living space but also helps declutter your kitchen, making it more organized and efficient. A well-designed pantry can also add value to your home if you plan on selling it in the future.

How to Turn a Closet Into a Pantry

The main  advantage of turning a closet into a pantry is the added storage space. Closets are often underutilized and can be transformed into useful and organized pantries to store food, kitchen supplies, and other household items. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to turn a closet into a pantry in this blog article.

Type of Shelving Options Are Available for a Pantry

There are several types of shelving options available for a pantry, each with its own unique features and benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common options:

1. Adjustable Shelving

This type of shelving is perfect for pantries as it allows you to adjust the height of each shelf according to your storage needs. This means you can create more space between shelves for taller items or condense the space for smaller items. Adjustable shelving also makes it easier to organize your pantry and keep things neat and tidy.

2. Fixed Shelving

Fixed shelving is a popular choice for pantries as it provides sturdy support for heavier items. This type of shelving is not adjustable, so you will need to plan out your storage needs before installation. Fixed shelving is great for storing canned goods, kitchen appliances, and other heavy items that may weigh down adjustable shelves.

Storing Canned Goods, Kitchen Appliances

3. Pull-Out Shelving

Pull-out shelving is a convenient option for pantries, as it allows you to easily access items at the back of the shelf without having to move everything in front. This type of shelving is usually installed on runners or tracks, making it easy to slide in and out. Pull-out shelving is perfect for storing small appliances, baking supplies, and other items that you use frequently.

4. Corner Shelving

Corner shelving is designed specifically to make use of the often overlooked corner space in a pantry. This type of shelving can be either fixed or adjustable and is ideal for storing items that are not used as frequently. Corner shelving allows you to maximize your storage space while also keeping everything easily accessible.

6. Door-Mounted Shelving

Door-mounted shelving is a great option for adding extra storage space to your pantry without taking up any valuable floor or wall space. These shelves can be mounted on the inside of the pantry door and are perfect for storing smaller items such as spices, condiments, and snacks. Door-mounted shelving is also a great way to keep your pantry organized and clutter-free.

7. Sliding Baskets

Sliding baskets are another space-saving option for pantries, especially those with deep shelves. These baskets can be installed on runners or tracks and allow you to pull them out for easy access to items at the back of the pantry. Sliding baskets are perfect for storing produce, snacks, and other loose items that tend to get lost in the back of deep shelves.

In addition to these common shelving options, there are also specialized options such as wine racks, can dispensers, and built-in spice racks that can be added to your pantry for added functionality and organization. Ultimately, the type of shelving you choose for your pantry will depend on your storage needs and the layout of your space.

Sliding Baskets Are Perfect for Storing Produce

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Turn a Closet Into a Pantry

Step 1: Inspect  the Closet

The first step in turning a closet into a pantry is to inspect the space. Make sure it is large enough to accommodate your storage needs and has enough depth for shelving. Take note of any potential obstacles such as light fixtures or vents.

Step 2: Empty out the Closet

Before you can start transforming the closet, you will need to empty it completely. This will give you a blank canvas to work with and allow you to see the space more clearly. Once the closet is empty, give it a thorough cleaning and check for any repairs that may be needed. Patch up any holes or cracks in the walls and make sure the shelves are sturdy.

Step 3: Measure and Plan Out Shelving

Next, measure the closet and plan out where you want to install shelving. Consider the types of items you will be storing in your pantry and choose shelving options accordingly. If you have chosen adjustable shelving, this is the time to install it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and make sure everything is secure.

Step 4: Install Fixed Shelving

If you have chosen fixed shelving, now is the time to install it. Measure and mark where you want your shelves to go and use a level to ensure they are straight before securing them in place. To add extra functionality to your pantry, consider installing pull-out shelving or baskets. These can be installed on runners or tracks and will make it easier to access items at the back of your pantry.

Consider Installing Pull-out Shelving

Step 5: Consider Adding Door-Mounted Shelving

If you have room, consider adding door-mounted shelving for even more storage space. These shelves can be installed on the inside of the closet door and are perfect for storing spices, condiments, and other small items.

Step 6: Organize Your Pantry

Now that your shelving is installed, it’s time to start organizing your pantry. Group similar items together and use storage containers or baskets to keep things neat and tidy. To complete the transformation of your closet into a pantry, add any finishing touches such as labels for your shelves or decorative elements to make it more visually appealing.

By  following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily turn a closet into a functional and organized pantry that will make meal prep and cooking much more efficient. Customize the shelving options to fit your specific storage needs and enjoy the convenience of having all your pantry items in one designated space.

Safety Tips for How to Turn a Closet Into a Pantry

  1. Label Everything: Labeling is a small but important step in organizing your pantry. It helps you find things easier and prevents confusion of where items belong. Use stickers or labels to mark different categories such as spices, canned goods, snacks, etc.
  2. Install Proper Lighting: A well-lit pantry makes it easier to see what you have and prevents accidents like spills or broken jars. Install proper lighting such as LED lights or motion sensor lights to make your pantry more functional and safe.
  3. Use Stackable Containers: Instead of leaving items loose on shelves, use stackable containers to save space and prevent them from falling. These can be used for grains, pasta, snacks, etc. Make sure to label the containers for easy identification.
  4. Keep Heavy Items on Lower Shelves: Heavy items such as cans or large bottles should be kept on lower shelves to prevent them from falling and causing injury. This also helps distribute the weight evenly in your pantry.
  5. Organize by Expiration Date: When organizing your pantry, make sure to place items with closest expiration dates towards the front. This prevents food waste and ensures that you use up products before they go bad.
  6. Regularly Check for Pests: Pantries are a common place for pests to hide and infest. Regularly check for signs of pests such as droppings or chewed packaging. If you do have an infestation, make sure to properly clean and disinfect your pantry before restocking.
  7. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby: In case of emergencies, it is important to have a fire extinguisher nearby. This can prevent small fires from turning into major accidents and keep you and your pantry safe.
Sensor Lights to Make Your Pantry More Functional

By following these safety tips, you can turn your closet into a pantry that is not only organized but also safe to use. Remember to regularly clean and maintain your pantry to ensure it remains a functional and hazard-free space in your home.

Benefits of Converting a Closet Into a Pantry

  • More Storage Space: By converting a closet into a pantry, you are utilizing the vertical space of your home. This can significantly increase the amount of storage space available for storing food items, kitchen appliances, and other household necessities.
  • Better Organization: A dedicated pantry allows you to organize your groceries and kitchen essentials in a more efficient manner. You can use shelving units, baskets, and bins to create designated areas for different items, making it easier to find what you need when cooking or preparing meals.
  • Fresher Food: A pantry allows you to store dry goods in a cool and dark environment, which can help preserve their freshness for longer periods of time. This is especially beneficial for perishable items such as grains, legumes, and spices. Plus, you can easily rotate your stock by placing newer items at the back and using the older ones first.
Pantry Allows You to Store Dry Goods
  • Cost Savings: By having a designated pantry space, you can store food in bulk when it goes on sale, allowing you to take advantage of discounts and reduce your overall grocery bill. You can also minimize waste by storing perishable items properly and avoiding purchasing duplicates of items you already have.
  • Convenience: With a pantry, you can see all of your food items at a glance and easily access them without having to dig through crowded cabinets or shelves. This saves time when cooking and makes meal planning and grocery shopping more efficient.
  • Multi-Purpose Use: A converted pantry doesn’t have to be limited to just storing food. You can also use it to store and organize cleaning supplies, small appliances, cookbooks, and other household items. This frees up space in your kitchen for food preparation and cooking.
  • Increases Home Value: A well-designed pantry can add value to your home. It is becoming a popular feature among potential buyers as it adds functionality and organization to the home. Additionally, having a designated pantry space can make your kitchen look more spacious and appealing, which can attract potential buyers.
A Converted Pantry Offers Numerous Benefits

A converted pantry offers numerous benefits that go beyond just providing storage space for food items. It allows for better organization, fresher food, cost savings, convenience, multi-purpose use, and can even increase the value of your home.

Maintaining the Pantry After Turning a Closet Into a Pantry

After successfully converting a closet into a pantry, it is important to maintain this space to fully reap its benefits. Here are some tips for keeping your pantry organized and functional:

  1. Regularly Clean and Declutter: Just like any other space in your home, it is important to regularly clean and declutter your pantry. This will not only keep the area visually appealing, but it will also prevent expired or spoiled food items from taking up valuable space.
  2. Rotate Stock: As mentioned earlier, a pantry allows for easy rotation of food items to avoid spoilage. Make sure to regularly check the expiration dates and move older items to the front so they can be used first.
  3. Use Clear Containers: To maximize storage space and keep your pantry looking neat, consider using clear containers for items such as grains, flour, and sugar. This will make it easier to see what you have and prevent duplicate purchases.
  4. Group Similar Items Together: Keep your pantry organized by grouping similar items together. For example, keep all baking supplies in one area and canned goods in another.
  5. Label Everything: Labels are a great way to keep your pantry organized and make it easy to find what you need. Consider using labels on shelves, containers, and bins for even better organization.
  6. Regularly Check for Pests: Pantries are a prime spot for pests such as ants, moths, and rodents. To prevent infestations, regularly check for any signs of pests and take necessary measures to eliminate them.

By following these tips, you can maintain a functional and organized pantry that will continue to provide numerous benefits for your household.  So, converting a closet into a pantry not only offers immediate advantages but also requires some effort to maintain for long-term benefits.

Safety Considerations for Turning a Closet Into a Pantry

Closet Into a Pantry is Fire Hazards

1. Fire Hazards

One of the main concerns when turning a closet into a pantry is fire hazards. Since pantries are often filled with dry goods and non-perishable items, it’s important to make sure there are no potential fire hazards in the space.

This includes ensuring that all electrical outlets and wiring are up to code and not overloaded, as well as being mindful of any potential heat sources such as water heaters or furnaces that may be located near the closet.

2. Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial in a pantry to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth, which can spoil food and create health hazards. When converting a closet into a pantry, it’s important to make sure there is adequate air circulation, whether through natural ventilation or with the use of a vent fan. If the closet does not have any windows, installing a vent fan is highly recommended.

3. Structural Integrity

Before beginning any renovations, it’s important to assess the structural integrity of the closet. Pantries can hold a significant amount of weight with all the food items stored, so it’s important to ensure that the closet walls, shelves, and flooring are sturdy enough to handle the load. If there are any concerns about the structure of the closet, it’s best to consult a professional before proceeding with the pantry conversion.

4. Organization

A well-organized pantry not only makes it easier to find items but also helps prevent accidents and injuries. When converting a closet into a pantry, it’s important to plan out the storage space and utilize organizational tools such as shelves, bins, and baskets. Make sure heavy items are stored on lower shelves to avoid the risk of them falling, and keep frequently used items within easy reach.

5. Pest Control

Pantries can be a haven for pests if not properly maintained. Before turning a closet into a pantry, make sure to seal any cracks or openings in the walls and floors to prevent pests from entering. It’s also important to regularly clean and declutter the pantry to eliminate potential food sources for pests.

6. Lighting

Adequate lighting is essential in a pantry to easily locate items and ensure safety while using sharp tools. If the closet does not have sufficient lighting, it’s important to install additional lighting fixtures or consider using battery-operated LED lights. This will not only make the pantry more functional but also add to the overall aesthetic.

7. Accessibility

Appropriate Height for Easy Access

When converting a closet into a pantry, it’s important to consider accessibility for all users. This includes making sure shelves and storage units are at an appropriate height for easy access, as well as leaving enough space for wheelchair users to maneuver. It’s also important to ensure that the pantry is easily accessible from the kitchen for convenience.


In conclusion,  turning a closet into a pantry is a great solution for those who need extra storage space in their kitchen. It allows you to maximize the existing space in your home and create a functional and organized pantry. This project can be done by anyone, regardless of their DIY experience, with just a few simple steps.

One of the main benefits of converting a closet into a pantry is that it can save you money. Instead of investing in expensive pantry organizers or storage solutions, you can repurpose a closet that is already in your home. This not only saves you money but also reduces waste by utilizing existing resources.

I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to turn a closet into a pantry. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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