transformation month

Before and After: A Cluttered Pantry is Remade to Help This Busy Mom Thrive

published Sep 27, 2022
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Overhauling a pantry isn’t just about making a private space in your home beautiful. And it isn’t even about making it the most useful that it can be, either. Making the pantry not only functional but pleasant to be in has the potential to affect the entire atmosphere in the kitchen and the whole tone of meal prep.

For Tandi Lenamond (@lonestarstateofliving), the driving force behind her pantry overhaul was to ensure that her family’s daily life could run more smoothly after a bout of sickness. “Our pantry had gotten out of hand from our household being sick and after that, I just knew I needed to get everything back in order to make it functional for our family again so we could operate smoothly,” she says. “I cook three times a day as a stay-at-home mother and having my home organized is essential.” 

Tandi describes the disorder in her pantry before she redid it: “Our small walk-in pantry was cluttered, with pantry products shoved and misplaced on every shelf. We couldn’t find anything, or would buy duplicate pantry items because of the disorganization.” The state of the pantry impacted Tandi’s sense of well-being. “Every time I walked in there I felt overwhelmed and frustrated,” she confides. 

The goal of Tandi’s project was to make her pantry not only pretty and organized but also “usable and functional for everyday use.” The undertaking took about three days and she spent less than $1,000 on all her organization products.

\At times, the project was difficult. “During the process, it took longer than expected and got a little overwhelming,” she says. She elaborates that “finding the right size containers for everything I needed, what would be functional and make sense and also be pleasant to look at” was difficult. “I had to make many returns because of products not being the right fit. It was time-consuming for sure!”

She also spent time “writing out a list of pantry items I needed front and center and figuring out the size containers and how they make sense in that space. It almost felt like putting together a puzzle.” 

One thing that Tandi says makes a big difference in how well this new pantry space functions is the back-stock cabinets that she included. She explains that stashing items that her family doesn’t use all the time but that need to be accessible for refilling go a long way in keeping the pantry free of clutter. 

In the end, Tandi’s pantry has had a positive impact on her — and her family’s — quality of life. “I am thriving off the function of that pantry. Also, let’s be honest it’s pretty to look at!”

For anyone wanting to redo their pantry, Tandi offers some words of wisdom: “Think of what life in the kitchen looks like for your family and what would be functional for it. Are you a cook? A busy mom? What do you keep in your pantry? Make a list of those things that are important for your household to have easily accessible and work with the space. Any space large or small can be beautiful and organized, and have fun with it!” 

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This piece is part of Transformation Month, where we’re showing off amazing home makeovers, brilliant tiny tweaks, inspiring before & afters, and so much more. Head on over here to see it all!