Small Closet to Extra Pantry Space

Storage Ideas

Small Closet to Extra Pantry Space

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Shannon Acheson Expert Blogger 1 Projects

The kitchen just isn’t big enough for the extra food, even with our expanded rolling pantry shelves.The recently made-over bathroom can’t hold all the extra toiletries either.

I’m not even going to mention our linen closet. (Postage stamp.)

So what to do? Fortunately we actually have a funny little closet up a few stairs just off the kitchen. It has sat half full of random items for the two years we’ve lived here.

Wanna see?

Are you ready for this? It’s pretty bad.

closet before

Two years it’s been like this.

But with just a weekend of work, it now looks like this.

closet after bottom

So much better, yes?

before and after

It just goes to show that it’s possible to make better use of the space available.


  • 1″ x 2″ primed mdf *
  • melamine shelving *
  • #10 2″ flat head wood screws *
  • BLACK+DECKER Matrix Combo Kit
  • glue or construction adhesive (optional)
  • paint and paint brush (optional)

*Actual amounts will depend on your closet measurements.

BlackDecker Matrix Combo Kit

How-to Build Your Shelves

  1. Remove any existing (unusable) shelves or rods. Sand the wall smooth using the Matrix sander attachment.

    sand wall smooth

  2. Measure and mark where you’d like the shelves to be and how far apart you’d like them on the back and two side walls of closet. This will vary based on what you’d like to have room to store. We left extra room on the bottom for large pantry pails. You may want to do the same, but for a vacuum or large cases of food. Our other shelves are equally spaced at 10″ apart. Spacing will depend on what you’d like to store in your pantry.

    measure height

  3. Mark each shelf with a level and piece of wood (or just a large level if it will fit into your closet). 

    mark each shelf with level

  4. Find and mark the studs along your shelf lines.

    find and mark studs

  5. Mark the lengths for each of your shelf supports (back and sides). Then using a square mark a straight line for cutting. Repeat for all supports.

    mark shelf support for cutting

    mark straight line for shelf supports

  6. Cut along marked lines on shelf supports using Matrix jigsaw attachment. Repeat for all supports.

    jigsaw cut supports 1

  7. Mark stud location on shelf supports.

    mark studs on shelf supports

  8. Pre-drill all holes for screws on shelf supports using Matrix drill attachment.

    predrill shelf supports

  9. Attach shelf supports to walls (back wall and side walls) using screws and Matrix driver attachment.

    driver attachment

  10. At this point if your closet needs painting, paint the whole thing, including shelf supports. 

  11. Measure and cut melamine to size for each shelf using Matrix jigsaw attachment.

    cutting shelves

  12. Put shelves on supports. Glue in place if desired.

    closet after bottom

    Now there is enough room for everything!

    closet after top