Operation: Organization–Organized Pantry from Melissa at A Prudent Life

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It’s hard to believe that this is the last day of Operation: Organization.  We hope that you’ve been inspired to start a few projects in your own homes–and remember, baby steps!  I am famous for tackling several projects at once, getting overwhelmed, and abandoning all of them.  This year, I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time, and so far, so good.

Melissa’s pantry is one of our favorite projects–so functional and beautiful.  We really like our pantries here at 11 Magnolia Lane (read about them here), and I know you’ll love Melissa’s.  Here she is:


Hi, I’m Melissa from A Prudent Life! I was so honored when the fabulous ladies of 11 Magnolia Lane invited me to join in this round of Operation: Organization. Organization is a huge part of my blog, in big part because I’m unspeakably messy when there isn’t a great system in place. When I’m not busy labeling things, I love mixing frugal finds with little splurges as I work to turn our house into a home that reflects our personalities.

MelissaGeorge_Headshot 3-2014

Over the summer, a blogging friend told me about this fabulous event called the One Room Challenge. Basically, you go temporarily insane and agree to makeover an entire room in 5 weeks, sharing your successes and failures with the whole world in weekly updates. In the middle of the process, I was silently cursing the friend that talked me into it. But by the end, I knew it was one of the best decisions I had ever made.

After considering several rooms in the house that needed attention, I settled on my pantry. Although it’s large for a pantry, it’s small compared to doing something like a bedroom. I knew the smaller square footage meant my money would go farther and I could make the space really special.

Here’s what my pantry looked like when I started:

Pantry BEFORE the One Room Challenge

Before I started any physical work, I made a mood board. It’s the first time I spent a fair amount of time in the planning phase, and now I’ll never tackle a space without this step. My mood board kept me focused and motivated throughout the challenge.

A Prudent Life's One Room Challenge Pantry Mood Board

Through the magic of the internet, I’m going to skip through all the work and get right to the after photos!

Since this is Operation: Organization we’ll start with the functional stuff! On the right wall, I added racks for canned food on the bottom. They were perfect for us because I can quickly see what I have on hand. For the middle shelves, I used plastic bins from the Dollar Tree, but spray painted them to match my color scheme. Labels from my Silhouette machine make it easy to tell what goes where. I put the frequently used items on the lower shelf for easier access. At the top, I used photo boxes to store cookie cutters. Each box is only used once a year so it’s no trouble grabbing the step ladder to get them down.

Canned Food Storage Ideas

Our pantry has a glass door, so I wanted it to look fabulous from the kitchen. I picked out white penny tiles and decided to install them from the countertop all the way up to the ceiling on the back wall. It was a splurge item for sure, but 100% worth it. I minimized the cost by shopping around for the tile and installing all of it myself. I love projects like this that add character to our new build home.

The rest of the items on this side are a mix of old and new. The gold tubs were a clearance IKEA find that I painted gold and labeled. I also purchased Flip-Tite containers at Walmart for our bulk dry goods. They were worth every penny!

A Prudent Life's Organized Pantry Reveal

I’ve had to laugh because A LOT of people have claimed my pantry makeover “wasn’t real” or “doesn’t count” because they couldn’t find everything in the after photos that was shown in the before photos. I’m a HUGE advocate of purging and donating anytime you do an organizing project. It’s way easier to keep 5 things organized than 25 things. I narrowed down my cookbooks to ones I actually use or that I really love and they look so much better now!

A Prudent Life's Organized Pantry Reveal

This last picture still makes me question if this space is really in my house, even though I’ve been living with it for months! I wanted a black wall and thought it would be fun to make it a chalkboard. My husband has super art skills, so I asked him to draw me a big butcher pig. He went WAY beyond what I asked and came up with a whole wall design.

Vintage Modern Chic Pantry Makeover Reveal

Not that it compares to hubby’s art, but my light fixture and cabinet hardware were both places I saved money. Both were affordable in silver, so I painted them gold myself. The cabinet hardware was an 84% savings over my inspiration hardware!

That’s the highlights, but there is plenty more to see if you enjoyed these photos! I’d love you to come by A Prudent Life and say hi! If you want to follow through each week of my pantry makeover, I added links below. Other than the reveal, week #3 is the most entertaining (if I do say so myself 🙂 )

Week #1: Before & the Plan
Week#2: I’m All About That Paint
Week #3: Grout is a Drama Queen
Week #4: Going For Gold
Week #5: Glorious Crown & the Golden Orb
Week #6: Pantry Reveal!!! (This one has tons of pictures)
Pantry Source List & Organization Details

The Spring round of the One Room Challenge is fast approaching! I’m planning to tackle my master closet, so if that is a room you need to organize, I’d love you to sign up for my email list and follow along!

Thanks again to the talented 11 Magnolia Lane crew for asking me to visit today!


Here is the line-up for Operation: Organization 2015:

January 16~ Mallory from Charming in Charlotte
January 19~ Becky from This is Happiness
January 21~ Abby from Just a Girl and her Blog
January 24~ Samantha from Simply Organized

January 26~ Amanda from Dixie Delights
January 27~Aniko from Place of My Taste
January 28~ Paige from The Pink Clutch
January 29~ Melissa from A Prudent Life

You can follow all the Operation: Organization goings-on via Pinterest HERE and Instagram

While you are here–be sure to enter below to win a HomeRight Steam Machine Plus {read about how life-changing it is HERE!}

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for stopping by–

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  1. lissa crane says

    I have four pets and three kiddo’s so there are so many ways to use the HomeRight Steam Machine Plus in my house! I have to say the first thing that comes to mind since it has snowed so much by us lately, is that I would love to use it for all the mud and salt residue that is tracked in my house from kids and pet paws alike!

  2. This pantry is a dream! I am moving to a new house in a few weeks and I cannot wait to organize my new pantry now!!

    Please check out my new blog on recipes, marriage, & life in general! http://www.spoonsofgrace.com 🙂

  3. What a great pantry. Hubby did a fantastic job on your chalkboard wall. Kudo’s to him for taking the ball and running with it. 🙂

  4. What a dream! I don’t want to open my own pantry now….. Awesome job!

  5. Seriously DROOLING!!! It just looks so light and bright and CHEERY! Love pretty much everything about this. Thanks for the inspiration! Now if only my husband could whip me up a piggy!

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