Kitchen Remodel and Pantry Organization


As some of you may know, last week we were kicked out of our house for kitchen renovations. We live in a co-op and I was HAPPY to let them take over and do all the work for a week.

So how about some before and after pictures!


The floor was a definite improvement!! It will still hide the dirt well (and it’s still vinyl), but it looks much nicer. (Sorry the pictures are a little bright to see detail.)



We went from darkly stained cabinets (which went well with our wine decor) to a light wood. This brightens the kitchen so much and is growing on me! Here is the before:


And the after:


The Sink Difference


 Pantry Organization


On Tuesday we went out and purchased some baskets and glass containers to help organize all the food in our pantry. You can see me first experimenting in organizing the empty baskets on the pantry shelves:

empty pantry

Many of the baskets were from T J Maxx, as were these $7.99 glass canisters (for a set of three)!



My favorite purchase, though, was the expandable 3 tiered shelves from Target:

tiered shelves


Below is a close-up of my organized pantry. I plan to label the flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc. (I’m inspired by Jen from At Home in the Northwest – she gives a great tutorial for making labels!)

pantry organization 1

Behind all the teas, I have the glass canisters from T J Maxx. I decided to label them with dry erase marker, since I didn’t know how permanent these items that filled them would be.


The basket on the bottom shelf holds chips, crackers, rice, flax seed and other grain:


Finally, the very top shelf holds mainly serving trays. In the basket are paper plates and plastic cups, and plastic-ware.


In the coming weeks, I’ll show you how I’ve organized the rest of my kitchen.

And now on to the…



  • 100 Comments On My Blog (Group 2) – Blogelina | Blogelina
    March 1, 2012 - 1:39 am
  • Amanda

    The kitchen after is beautiful! And I love the way you organized your pantry. I wish we had a pantry that I could organize. We have no cabinet space left and are forced to use the basement stairs as a place to store some things.
    Amanda recently posted…The Hunt For My Best Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

  • Marilyn

    Betsy, your kitchen is AMAZING! I also love how well you organized your pantry! I’m so inspired!

    I got a board going for your green pinterest party and I pinned your post (but I couldn’t pin the “pin it” button…I pinned your button for your party.

    Have a wonderful day!
    Marilyn recently posted…February Revue

  • Karen

    You’ve reminded me that it’s definitely time to reorganize the pantry…well, probably PAST time actually. Love your new cabinets! I’m a pinterest lover too.
    Karen recently posted…Design Notebook

  • katie goldsworthy

    Wow! Great new kitchen! I bet you’re so glad about it!
    Thanks for linking it up @ Creatively Living!


  • Meeha

    Thank you for making time to visit, Betsy, you are so kind :)
    Meeha recently posted…Afternoon siesta

    • BetsyPool

      No problem. I really enjoying taking the time to visit and read each project that is linked up! It’s getting more challenging as the numbers climb, but I’m still committed to doing it.

  • Megan

    What a great kitchen you have! :) Thanks for stopping by our blog earlier. Megan
    Megan recently posted…Mickey Mouse Centerpiece

    • BetsyPool

      No problem. Thanks for visiting and commenting yourself!! I’m loving my new kitchen!

  • Lisa

    I love your new kitchen! Thanks for sharing.

    Stopping by from the 100 Comments event.
    Lisa recently posted…Ten surefire ways to get your blog noticed

    • BetsyPool

      You are welcome. I’m really enjoying the chance to organize it.

  • Angi

    You did a great job. I love how you have everything setup.
    Angi recently posted…Random Ramblings

    • BetsyPool

      Thanks. I plan to keep working on the other areas and show it off as this month progresses.

  • dawn

    Great kitchen redo! I like the lighter cabinets much better. I will have to try and do a green pet related board for your pinterest party.
    dawn recently posted…My Guest Post on BlogPaws- Using Pinterest for Your Blog

  • Deborah Owen

    You *almost* make me want to get up and organize my house. I’ve actually done it before but gremlins keep seeping through the cracks and messing it up again. Thanks for the handy tips. I’ll have to check out the expandable shelves. Deb

    • BetsyPool

      Hahaha – you should organize your house. It’s nice to work on a small area, then admire what you’ve done. I’m a big fan of getting rid of stuff I don’t use. I don’t like housing too much stuff.

  • Mystery Shopping Teacher

    Your remodel looks great. The best part, to me, is the new cabinetry. It definitely brightens up the place!
    Mystery Shopping Teacher recently posted…Mystery Shopping Scammer Caught by FBI

    • BetsyPool

      Yes, the new cabinetry does brighten the place. We also moved our microwave so that we have more counter space – I love that part!!

  • Happydally

    I’ll have to start working on Green Pinterest Board! This is a great and informative linky idea.
    Happydally recently posted…Teacher Barbie: Spring Break Edition

  • janis meredith

    Some good organization tips!

    • BetsyPool

      Thanks! Glad you stopped by and commented!

  • Tanya

    This inspires me to organize my own pantry! Thanks for the ideas.

    • BetsyPool

      You are welcome. Let me know when you are done and I’d love to see how you’ve organized it.

  • Healthy Frugalista

    Hope you’re loving your new kitchen. I bet those expandable shelves really help.
    Healthy Frugalista recently posted…Grass Fed Meat for Free

    • BetsyPool

      Yes, I am loving my new kitchen!! I love the fact that I can see all canned items I have – no guessing needed. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  • Nekky

    Nice Job. My kitchen is the most highlighted place in our home and we take pleasure hosting our guests at the dining section of it.
    Nekky recently posted…Spring Fashionista Giveaway Event – World Wide

    • BetsyPool

      That’s awesome. We try to keep our kitchen and living rooms clean and inviting for our guests as well. Thanks for visiting!

  • Leslie

    I Love the idea of the baskets and the cannisters in the pantry I am going to have to do this!
    Leslie recently posted…Lysol Kitchen System Undercover Challenge Sweepstakes

    • BetsyPool

      Yes, I’m definitely a basket fanatic. I currently am on a search for a great bread basket to hold all my bread that I can put on my fridge.

  • Elizabeth

    How fun that you got a new kitchen. What a great excuse to re-organize and re-do everything. It all looks terrific.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Ache

    • BetsyPool

      Yes, I was an awesome excuse. I just wish I had something to force me to go through all my clothes – that’s what I need to do next.

  • MJ

    I am addicted to Pinterest too! Thanks for sharing the pictures of your makeover. I got some great ideas for how I can organize my kitchen!
    MJ recently posted…Perception versus Reality

    • BetsyPool

      I’m so glad you got some great ideas! I plan to keep organizing and highlighting the other parts of my kitchen I’ve recently organized or changed. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Lisa

    Those adjustable 3 tier shelves look awesome! Tks for sharing your interests.
    Lisa recently posted…Celebrate a blogversary, give to charity

    • BetsyPool

      No problem! I’m glad you stopped by and commented. I’m loving that face that I can see all my canned items and not have to guess at what I have.

  • Shopping Tips and Tricks

    Wow! I am impressed! Great before and after pictures! Thanks for sharing. You made it look easy.
    Shopping Tips and Tricks recently posted…Great Price on Wisk Laundry Detergent at Dollar General!

    • BetsyPool

      Thanks so much!! We didn’t do any of the remodeling, but the organizing was just a lot of fun!! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Women Are Gamechangers

    The beetroot and carrot mini cupcakes sound interesting. Nice job organizing your kitchen pantry. I like the light wood color of the cabinets. I’m still learning pinterest and how to link it to my blog and other sites.
    Women Are Gamechangers recently posted…Gamechanger of the Month~ Dr. Nina “Beautifulbrwnbabydol” Ellis-Hervey

    • BetsyPool

      I know, I’m going to have to try the beetroot and carrot cupcakes myself.

      Thanks. It was a so much fun to organizing. I’m going to be highlighting the other areas in my kitchen I organized this month. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Cindy

    You really brightened up your kitchen! Beautiful work!

    • BetsyPool

      Thanks so much! I didn’t do any of the work of changing the cabinets. It really does brighten the kitchen up though!! Thanks for commenting and stopping by.

  • Alison

    What a great transformation! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!
    Alison recently posted…St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt {Printable}

    • BetsyPool

      No problem. Thanks – I love the new kitchen.

  • successfully saving

    That’s a really nice kitchen remodel and I love that you’ve taken the opportunity to get organized as well.

    • BetsyPool

      It’s been wonderful to have this opportunity to organize!! I’ll be highlighting the other parts of my kitchen as this month continues. Thanks for visiting.

  • Nichole @ readitagainmama

    Love the remodel. I am jealous of your pantry. We don’t have one so I have to just work with cabinets and with 5 of us sometimes that is frustrating. Great pictures.
    Nichole @ readitagainmama recently posted…Boogie Monster; by Josie Bissett

    • BetsyPool

      Oh, that’s too bad. Yeah it is nice to have a pantry. Are your cabinets big? Do you have drawers? I find that sometimes drawers are a great way to store things – I’ve put all my spices in a drawer, so I can see them all at a glance.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Jessie

    The kitchen looks great!! You did a fantastic job organizing – that is where I always struggle in the kitchen.
    Jessie recently posted…nay et al Boutique Clothing

    • BetsyPool

      Thanks so much! I’ve been organizing the rest of the kitchen too. I’ll be writing more post, highlighting different areas in my kitchen this month.

  • JulieK

    WOW you are QUITE organized I see. The improvements are amazing!
    JulieK recently posted…Learning with Alphabeasts ~ Giveaway

    • BetsyPool

      Well, it wasn’t nearly as organized before. This has just given me an opportunity to start afresh and organized!!

  • Amanda

    Looks like a great remodel! Congrats!
    Amanda recently posted…DIY Gift Bags

    • BetsyPool

      Thanks! Glad you visited and commented!

  • Vivian Kirkfield

    Beautiful remodeling job! I appreciated the photos on your closet organization…something we all need to do, I think!
    I’m visiting from the 100 cmment event…hope you will stop by my blog:
    Pinterist looks really interesting…but one more thing? I don’t know if I can deal with that. :) Maybe next week…after I organize my pantry. :)

    • BetsyPool

      No problem!! I’ve been inspired by seeing others organize their pantry, so I just wanted to do the same thing. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I will visit your blog. I’m finally making more progress on the list today.

  • Ashley L

    Your kitchen remodel in inspiring me to reorganize *ahem* actually organize my pantry. Right now, I couldn’t tell you what I have in there. That’s probably not good! The kitchen turned out great!

    • BetsyPool

      Haha – my pantry was pretty unorganized before this. I didn’t know what canned items I had. Now I do!! Thanks. Glad you visiting and commented. I LOVED your blog by the way, I just haven’t commented yet. But I’m going to today!

  • Colette

    This is great! I like the remodel. You have a lot of great ideas here and you’ve got another participant in you Pinterest Party!
    Colette recently posted…Help for the Tornado Victims

  • Mona

    Very nice kitchen remodel! I would love to do ours, but it just isn’t in the budget right now.
    Mona recently posted…Why A Pop-Up?

  • Amy

    Your new kitchen is beautiful!
    Amy recently posted…Giveaway from PrintRunner!

  • Tami @

    I like your pantry. Will you build me one?
    Tami @ recently posted…Do You Know How Many Calories Are in That? Take the Calorie Test

    • BetsyPool

      Haha, sorry. Glad you liked it! I love your blog, by the way!

  • Paula Baker

    What a great remodeling project! It turned out lovely and you will really enjoy the organized pantry more every day as you use it.
    Paula Baker recently posted…Top Ten Feel Good Songs

    • BetsyPool

      Yes, I definitely will enjoy it. I’m also energized to organize more of my house this way too!

  • Cambria

    What does living in a co-op mean? I’ve never heard of that before.

    Your pantry looks great, it sure does help to have bins to organize! I just signed up for Pinterest yesterday and I’m still a little overwhelmed, but have fun with your GREEN party!

    • BetsyPool

      Living in a co-op basically means that own a very small fraction of each town-home here. We elect a board that sees to our interest, etc. We pay monthly dues, not rent. The monthly cost is pretty low, but we had to pay around $5,000 to get into the co-op (which we will see again when we leave). Does that make sense? Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  • Staci

    I love the new kitchen and the wall color. Really nice. Hope your party goes well on Pinterest. I believe I am the worlds worst Pinterest user!
    Staci recently posted…Pictures Anyone?

    • BetsyPool

      Thanks so much. We are loving it.

  • Single Gal

    Oh, your new kitchen is gorgeous. I definitely think the lighter wood is much more fitting than the darker stained wood. I’ll bet it feels much more open with the lighter colors, too!
    Single Gal recently posted…Ten Upcoming Recipes

  • Stacy King

    Ahh I remember the fun of being a newlywed! Your blog is really cute and I love your new kitchen pantry.

    • BetsyPool

      Thank you so much!! Our first year of marriage (last year) I substitute taught all year and he was a student still, we had plenty of time together and our schedules were flexible. So much fun. It was a great 1st year to have.

  • Christy Kramer

    Wow, I love what you did with you kitchen! We have a very similar theme, even the wine decor. I hate it! I want a more neutral, bright theme but a renovation is not in the budget right now. Very inspiring though!


    • BetsyPool

      Thanks! We actually put our wine decor stuff back up and it still looks good with the light wood. :)

  • Sparta Savings

    Nice bigger pantry – you can use sharpies on non porous items (like glass) and get it off with alcohol (baby wipes work). You can also use chalk labels and erase if you need to.
    Sparta Savings recently posted…My 100 Comments Post!

    • BetsyPool

      Really? That’s cool. The dry erase was just a quick temporary solution. Thanks for your ideas!!


    I love your kitchen remodel! I also love pinterest as well. I will have to do the link up if I can figure it out! ha. Thanks for all your great ideas on organizing my pantry which needs it very much! recently posted…Boys and Snakes!

  • Rory at The Tourist Baby

    I like the glass canisters! I hope they have some at our TJ Maxx!
    Rory at The Tourist Baby recently posted…The Tourist Baby Travel Tips Review

    • BetsyPool

      I hope so too! They were a great find!

  • isis

    Your kitchen looks great!
    isis recently posted… Review & Giveaway

  • Julie@teachinggoodeaters

    I love seeing before/ afters. Thanks so much for sharing yours. Having an organized pantry like yours would make me very happy :)
    Julie@teachinggoodeaters recently posted…The Only Problem With A Child Who Will Eat Anything…

    • BetsyPool

      Yep, it does make me very happy! Now I’m energized to organize other areas of my home!!

  • Donna McDine

    Home renovations can be overwhelming, but oh so worth it in the end. thanks for sharing the before and after photos!

  • Kelley @ Never a Dull Day in Poland

    The kitchen looks great! Moving every 3 years or so because of the military the positive is that I get a new kitchen and by the time I get it really a mess we move.
    Kelley @ Never a Dull Day in Poland recently posted…Yesterday and Today

    • BetsyPool

      That is great!! Moving gives you a great excuse to organize and get rid of stuff. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  • Jenni & Jody

    I’ve heard of Twitter parties (although I still don’t understand them), but I had never heard of a pintrest party. Wow–I feel like a tourist in a foreign land. I have so much to learn. Thanks for a cool post!
    Jenni & Jody recently posted…Baby Wearing Ninja

    • BetsyPool

      Well, this Pinterest Party is just like a blog hop, or linky party. Have you heard of those?

  • Jenny

    Love your post! But, I thought it looked better darker before with the granite, then again I am partial to dark wood.

    Looks good though!
    Jenny recently posted…Free SnoreRX Therapeutic Pillow Liner

    • BetsyPool

      We really did like the dark wood (though I wasn’t a fan of the counters). Now that we have light wood, I like it even better. Since it’s a small kitchen, the light doesn’t make it seem so small.

  • Quida

    Very good post with a lot of wonderful pictures. :)


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