Milk Crates and Wire Baskets for the Pantry

Vintage Milk Crates and Wire Baskets for the Pantry

So, I have some shocking news to reveal. This house does not. have. a. pantry! I know, right? Nothing! Not a closet, not a cabinet, nothing! It doesn’t have a pantry. I still can’t get over it. Now just exactly where am I supposed to keep my 27 jars of Nutella?! We are in the process of doin’ some switching and swapping and changing to put a pantry in. But until that day arrives, I’ve been using this baker’s rack to hold all that Nutella. And you know. The other things we have to eat.

Sorry for the mess!

Vintage Milk Crates and Wire Baskets for the Pantry

I was having some trouble with a few things falling through the wide spaces between the wire shelves. So when I came across these adorable vintagey-looking milk crates and wire baskets from Hobby Lobby, I knew they were exactly what I needed for the pantry — especially since it looks like it will be out in the open for awhile!

Vintage Milk Crates and Wire Baskets for the Pantry

This one has a chalkboard on the side. I die.

Vintage Milk Crates and Wire Baskets for the Pantry

A long skinny one for spice and seasoning packets.

Vintage Milk Crates and Wire Baskets for the Pantry

And another for partially used bags of chocolate chips, toffee bits, etc.

I love these little crates and baskets! If I were totally on top of things, I would scour antique shops and vintage sales and probably find them for a better deal, but I also really like just being able to run down to the store and just buy them. I’m not really a good bargain-hunter! Unfortunately I did not inherit that gene from my mom. :)

So there’s a view of the pantry before. Hopefully the “after” will come very, very soon!

Now the only question is, do I like the wire baskets with or without the fabric liners? What do you think?

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49 Responses
  1. PixieDance

    LOVE YOUR BLOG ! I am soooo not “techy-y” and am learning all about web search for new ideas, etc. I live in brrrrrr cold Alaska and have an Arctic Entry porch which is big enough I have made it my “project room.” These shelves are a TERRIFIC idea!! tHANK YOU.

  2. Boo in MN

    I would go WITHOUT the liners. Wiping down the wire baskets is easy, when needed. Running to the store for new baskets and boxes is also good! I wouldn’t want old stuff from garage sales and antique shops touching my new food products. Ok, so I’m picky that way, sorry. But I am a church cook and I like things new and clean and fresh around food product! :-) Our old home is close to 100 years old and no pantry, so I feel your pain and had to go buy a new “pantry”.

  3. julie

    We don’t have a pantry either and, ironically enough, we have that exact same shelving unit in our laundry room and call it “the pantry.” I use wire basket and small plastic milk crates to organize, but they are not as pretty as yours! :) I did hang a shower curtain around it to cover up all the stuff. Worked really well!

  4. Annette

    Call me crazy, but why can’t this stuff go in your kitchen cabinets? Maybe I’m missing something here, but that’s where all of our stuff goes.

    Anyway, I like the baskets with the liners.

  5. J @ semplicemente ... j

    Although I can see how you would want oto actually have a pantry and see that in your future … I am loving your vintage basket/crate look.

  6. Marilin

    I adore old-looking cute baskets and boxes for storing stuff. Another great idea is to use the wooden boxes they usually use to store/ship/sell 6 bottles of wine in – they are quite big and with a bit of DIY you can attach hinges on the top parts (if you don’t break them while opening the case) and turn them into lids for the boxes :) I have a few at home, they make for good decoration elements too.

  7. Nicole

    I know I’m not a kid any more if I think this is fantastic! I love that everything has it’s own basket! I really badly need more kitchen storage…not to mention storage all over the house. You’ve given me a great idea!

  8. Lynn

    The good thing about having liners is…if anything leaks it doesn’t get all over everything else. But I guess if you opted not to use liners you could put in individual zip lock baggies.

  9. Donna

    No pantry for us either -we converted a broom closet into one though and it works great. Your present open concept should help out on grocery day – no need to dig around to see what you have/don’t have. During a recent remodel we had to take our pantry door off for a few days which gave our dog great pleasure. She had unrestricted access to all the good stuff we stored right at her nose level. I think about your dogs enjoying your Nutella stash stored on the lower shelves. Any mess on those jars will be licked clean in no time, no doubt. I am also a Nutella fan. My husband bought me an 11 POUND tub of Nutella off the internet for my birthday. The elbows get a little dirty getting into the bottom of it but it will make a great purse when it’s empty and clean. :-)

  10. Amanda Brandeburg

    So I’ve lived in a few houses without pantries and we have successfully stopped things from falling through the cracks by covering the shelves with vinyl tiles that were cute from Home Depot!

  11. Kristyn

    I don’t have a pantry either and it’s quite frustrating, but your solution seems great and so simple. I may revamp a space in my laundry room (which is attached to my kitchen) and put up a wire rack like yours. So much easier than using up all of my cabinet space on food!

    I like the baskets WITH the liners. Yes, you have to clean them, but they keep everything in the basket from making a mess on everything on the lower shelves. Besides, they can be tossed into the washer, right? And, they’re really cute!

    Oh, and I love the chalkboard milk crate. I wish we had a Hobby Lobby near us. Small town living has it’s perks, but the lack of crafting-type stores sure isn’t one of them.

  12. Melissa M

    You are about to get so lucky! It is Clementine Season, my fine, blogging, crafty, pantry deprived friend!!! Crates of Clementines will be abundant – and on sale – at your grocery store, if they aren’t already. My kitchen is from 1945 and recent renovating catastrophes ate up our kitchen budget, so I’ll be living with it for a while. My “pantry” is one cupboard and an ancient plastic Home Depot shelving set… and many, many wooden crates from Clementines – “BullDog” brand has a picture of a dog, “Robin Hood” is my favorite, with a very Errol Flynn – esque graphic on the side of the crate. On and on. Just today, I got a brandy new crate and about 25 little gifts from the Clementine Gods!

  13. ellen

    Sorry about your lack of pantry. Out in the open is so tempting for me to grab a sweet. I can’t even leave my chocolate chips out in the open– I have to hide them from my husband or he will eat them up. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  14. Carla @ Carlas Confections

    Oh goodness. I recently moved into a new apartment and I specifically looked for a place with a pantry. Not sure I could live without one. But you did a great job with improvising! I love the crates and baskets! So clever!! I love the baskets with the fabric liners but Im sure they are super cute without them too. I think I am going to look into getting some of those too because I have a pantry but it is wire shelves too and the small things fall through. I need to fix that ;)

  15. Rochelle

    I just moved into a new house that doesn’t have a pantry either! The previous owners were using their coat closet as one. This has been so hard for me to accept, since I used to have one and now I’m using precious cabinet space in it’s place. The plan is renovate the nearby laundry closet so that one half is used for a stackable washer dryer, the other is converted into a pantry. I love the crates you’re using!

  16. Heather @ Heather's Dish

    i’m a fan of the without fabric liners – seems cleaner to me somehow?

    either way, these are so cute! you find the most adorable things!

  17. Nikki @Pennies on a Platter

    The house we just signed for has a dream kitchen, but no pantry either! So weird! I want to do something like this in our large laundry room maybe. Great idea with the baskets (and I like them lined). :)

  18. Angie @ Big Bears Wife

    The house we are looking at to rent right now doesn’t have a pantry either. I don’t understand where these builders think food is suppose to go haha

  19. AmyS

    I like them with the liners because it keeps all the itty bitty stuffs from getting all over the floor – you know, like the lose powder that just sort of appears like someone shook the spice jars open even though they didn’t.

    A fun thing you could do – change out the liners with the seasons. They look fairly simple to construct… four seams and a couple of ties on either end. If you don’t want people looking at the “impromptu pantry”, you could always add a bit of velcro sticky tape to the top of the rack with it’s mate attached to some pretty material and wallah – drapery for the shelving.

  20. Brenda

    Lined vs unlined:
    I didn’t feel like washing the fabric if it got soiled so I took liners off mine, that said, my shelves are solid shelves so of there’s a spill everything’s contained, yours are wired so unlined might make more mess.

  21. Jane @ See Jane Learn

    I feel your pain! My last house had a walk-in pantry (loved!) and the home we’re currently renting doesn’t have one at all (I pretend I live in Europe and don’t “stock up”-ha!.) I love the bakers rack-I have a small one and I found some wicker crates at Target that add nice texture, hide things and are rectangle-shaped.

  22. Jennifer

    What I find more incredulous than that fact that you don’t have a pantry is that you have so many unfinished bags of chocolate chips and such! They would never survive in my home long enough to need a place to be stored! ;-)

  23. Denise

    Here’s a quick and easy fix for the other items that don’t have a box/basket home on your rack…make a visit to the hardware/fix-it-up places close by and look at their peel-and-stick floor covering (‘specially the marked down ones or the ceramic tile area). Find a pattern that will match the area where the rack is; take those home with you and put them between the rack and all of your items…TADA…no more slipping through the slits of the rack.

  24. Angela

    I too am shocked that your quite large house does not have a pantry. My house doesn’t either, but umm it’s about half that size. I have actually toyed with the idea of having the washer dryer hookup re-routed to my garage and putting my pantry in the current laundry closet.

    I love the chalkboard milk crates and may be snagging that idea myself. I like the look of the fabric liners, but agree with previous posters about them being hard to keep clean.

    Gorgeous house btw. :-)

  25. Noelle Reese

    PS The liners are pretty crappy at least the ones I use in my scrap room. Enjoy them now and when they tear just pitch them and enjoy the basket naked LOL

  26. Noelle Reese

    Oh How I feel your pain! Our house doesn’t have a pantry! They totally remodeled the kitchen and put in a built in cutting board, A. How do you wash that? Oh just cut bread? So all the crumbs go into the knife drawer? No thanks! LOL and B. A bread drawer with a cover that scrapes my knuckles off when I put in too many dish towels. C And no pantry? *GASP* We keep our coats in out own closet and had shelves put in the coat closet and now I have a huge pantry! SCORE!!! I don’t miss the coat closet at all and I do not mind walking around the corner at least I have a panty. Your bakers rack looks great. Hobby Lobby is so amazing, my favorite store!!

  27. Kara E.

    I would not use the wire baskets with liners because: 1. fabric liners are more annoying to keep free of crumbs and spills than a flat surface container, 2. without the fabric liners, the wire baskets may still let smaller items slip through the holes, and 3. the milk crate (especially the chalkboard one) are taller and thus *hide* the pantry products a little better. There is a lot visual clutter going on in your current set up. Anyway, I can’t wait to see the after whatever you choose. :)

  28. Tara @ Unsophisticook

    Our new house doesn’t have a pantry either, and I HATE it! Counting down the days until I can overhaul the kitchen and add one. Plus it’s just all setup wrong for someone who likes to cook. The cabinets with the pull out shelves for pots and pans are clear across the room around the island from where the stove is.

  29. Shawna

    I noticed you have some Keurig tea pods — I would love your take, ideas, on creatively storing all those Keurig pods! I love my Keurig – but they do take up a lot of room – and are kind of unorganized. Ideas?

    1. pat murphy

      They sell a

      They sell a “drawer” for these that the coffee-maker sits on top of, using up no extra space at all except vertically. There are also metal containers that are rounded and house all the ‘cups’ but this takes up more room on your counters than the drawer. Look online or probably any store for these solutions.

  30. Megan Z.

    Hobby Lobby is just such a great store! There is so much to find in there and you never know what you’re going to come out with :) Been there, done that with baskets like those … definitely keep the liners. If you ever put something in there that’s too small, it will slip through the hole (ick!) and they add another level of cuteness … all around a win! haha, Have a great week and enjoy your beautiful house!

  31. ValJo

    These crates would work in my current pantry as it has wire shelves, and would help with organizing. I use a similar idea for my spice packets, but not nearly as cute at the wire ones. I would def keep the fabric in them. The chicken wire shows up nicely against the “flour sack” fabric. Hobby Lobby – here I come!

  32. lori p

    No pantry?? Something you will get solved quickly. Love the crates & baskets… But I would go WITHOUT the liners….continuity & easy to wipe down the baskets. Just my thoughts… So loving your new home!

  33. Elizabeth

    I love this! We have a tiny house, which also doesn’t have a pantry, and so we have resorted to a similar set up (at least you’ll be able to put one in eventually! :)) I love all of the wire crates you’ve used, so cute!

  34. Southern Gal

    That house doesn’t have a pantry?! Can’t wait to see what the final product will be.
    I love the crate. The baskets with the liners keep everything neat, but I would probably use the baskets without the liners.

  35. Kate

    OooooOo, I’m so stunned! No pantry! Eeeeek!

    Y’know, I’ve been a fan and avid reader of your blog for, like, ever and I’ve just realised I haven’t actually commented before…! I think it’s because I’ve had many conversations with you in my head but I do realise that doesn’t exactly count. So, I’m sorry I’ve been slack on the commenting. My bad.

    So yeah, it’s taken the lack of a pantry to really bring me to my senses and leave you a commiserating little bit of blather :) I must say (aside from the shocking no pantry situation) I am in complete awe of your new home – it’s ridiculously fabulous! I think about 4 of my homes could fit quite comfortably. I hope you, Kevin, Miley and Howie fill it with much love and joy.

    Oh, and to end – definitely WITH the fabric! It gives a nice reprieve of solid neutral colour to all of the pops of bright packaging.

    Sending big bloggy <3 from Australia x

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Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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