Organizing Open Shelves

The following is a guest post about organizing open shelves from regular contributor, Shannon.

Hi Organizing Junkies! Last time we talked about our much-loved open kitchen shelving, I talked about 8 Tips for Beautifully Styled Kitchen Shelves and we left it looking like this:

Not bad, but a little, um, disorganized on the bottom, no?

This time I want to share the really simple version of our organized lower “pantry” shelves.

First of all when my hubby, Dean, and I originally built these shelves we used pallet wood for the shelves, which worked just fine for books but not so much for dishes that wobbled and clattered every time we walked past on the uneven surface. As you can see in the photo above, we had replaced the upper shelves with new pine boards, but hadn’t quite gotten to the lower shelves yet. So that was the first step to organizing the pantry shelves – replacing the uneven pallet wood with new pine on the lower sections as well.

This of course meant the space had to get messier before it got better:

lower shelves messy

What fun! Ahem.

As for the organizing I sorted like with like and assigned a home for each grouping of pantry-type item. I had some brown Kraft paper that I ran through the printer and some natural string to create make-do labels, which leaves us with nice organized baskets!

organized open shelves up close

organized open shelving

organized open shelves

I may or may not leave the labels as is. In the future, I may want to create something a little more stylin’. But for now, these make-do tags and sorted baskets have kept our family’s food pantry well organized for several weeks.

How about you – have you reorganized any spaces to better suit your needs lately? Any pantry shufflers out there?

shannon acheson Shannon Acheson is a passionate interior decorator, frugal DIYer, sometime graphic designer, wannabe writer, homeschooling momma and adoring wife. She is the co-owner (with hubster) of AKA Design and the main writer/designer for the blog of the same name. Shannon recently moved from a war-era bungalow to a cozy backsplit in Oshawa, Ontario. She lives with her husband and their three children. During spare moments can be found scouring local shops for decor bargains, rearranging the furniture again, or scrubbing paint off her hands.


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Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Kitchen


8 Responses to Organizing Open Shelves

  1. 1
    Britney Mills says

    I love this look! Such a great idea!

  2. 2
    Becah says

    Just an idea-but if you don’t like looking at the food stuffs in your baskets you could sew some simple liners out of fabric-a plain unbleached muslin would be fabulous.

  3. 3
    Steven Smith says

    Love the way the kitchen shelves have been organized in a very specific way and with great patience and in a orderly manner, looks real inspiring.
    professional organizer NYC

  4. 4
    Brittany Larabee says

    Could you tell me how you made those shelves??

  5. 5
    Deborah says

    Hello there,
    Lovely shelves! About to start on my project and wondering from which store you purchased your wire baskets? Would you please share?


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