How to Convert a Closet Into a Kitchen Pantry


A spacious kitchen pantry is one of the items on many homeowners' wish-list because a pantry can provide additional storage to free up space in your kitchen cabinets. You may believe that the only way to get a pantry is to build one from scratch. However, if you have a closet located close to your kitchen, you can convert it into a functional kitchen pantry.

Things You'll Need

  • Drywall compound 180-grit sandpaper Stud finder Pencil Electric screwdriver Measuring tape Adjustable shelving system Level Food items
  • Remove all contents that have been stored in the closet. Only leave shelving that can be used to store food in your kitchen pantry.

  • Apply drywall compound with a putty knife to any holes that might have been created when removing hardware and items from the closet. Let the drywall compound dry completely and then lightly sand with 180-grit sandpaper.

  • Measure the closet with a measuring tape from one wall to the other. Measure the shelving you purchased from one end to the other to ensure the shelving will fit in the closet.

  • Find the studs in your closet wall using a stud finder and mark the side of each one. Slide the stud finder along the wall until it indicates a stud and mark that spot. Slide the stud finder from the opposite direction to find the other side of the stud.

  • Place a standard, which looks somewhat like a rail and will hold the shelving brackets, on the wall over the center of a stud and position the height you want it to be. Make a mark with a pencil where the top screw will be placed.

  • Fasten a screw into the top hole of the standard in with a screwdriver, using the screw provided with your shelving. Tighten down the screw until it is securely in place but not too tight.

  • Adjust the standard vertically, using a level, to make sure that the standard is straight. If the standard's placement is vertically straight, the bubble inside the level will line up between the indicator marks. Once the standard is straight, place a screw in the bottom hole of the standard and screw it tight. Place additional screws in the remaining holes in the standard and secure them.

  • Use a measuring tape to measure 16 inches from the first standard and mark with a pencil. Make sure there is a stud in this location using a stud finder.

  • Place the second standard on the wall and use a level to horizontally adjust the standard until it is level with the first standard. Mark the top hole for the second standard's placement with a pencil.

  • Use the pencil mark as a guide to where the second standard will be secured. Screw in the top screw, ensure the standard is straight and then drill in the additional screws.

  • Continue marking and checking the level of standards until you have three standards, each spaced 16 inches apart, if your shelves are longer than 16 inches. Shelves that will be holding heavy items, like canned food, should be braced every 16 inches.

  • Space the shelving brackets so they will accommodate the tallest item you plan to store on that shelf in your pantry. Remember, you can adjust the shelves at any time if the needs of your kitchen pantry change.

  • Place shelving on the brackets, and secure the shelf to the bracket using any screws or hardware that came with your shelving. Fill your new kitchen pantry with your food items and organize them so all your items can be seen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a step stool in the converted closet to help you reach items in your pantry.
  • Always use caution when using power tools. Store heavy items on the bottom shelves to avoid injury if an item falls.

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  • Photo Credit herbs boxes on kitchen shelf image by araraadt from
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