1 Choose a closet near your kitchen. Any closet will work, but you'll quickly grow tired of trekking food across the house every time you want something, especially if you have to go to another floor. For this reason, bedroom closets and storage trunks tucked in the basement rarely make good pantry storage.
2 Pull all stored items out of the closet and find them new homes. Remove any shelving, hooks or hanger bars you won't be using.
3 Repair any damage (such as holes in the drywall) if necessary. Once all drywall patches are dry and sanded smooth, use a mixture of hot water and vinegar to scrub the entire closet. Don't forget the ceiling and floor. It's important to remove any insects and their waste. Paint the closet if desired. This task is much easier before shelving installation.
4 Use a stud finder to install heavy duty adjustable metal shelving bars in your pantry cabinet. Adjustable bars work best because you can reposition the shelves as needed over time. Keep the bars close together and always in studs; they must withstand a lot of weight. Bars installed in drywall alone are not safe to handle the weight of pantry storage.
5 Measure the size of your new pantry cabinet. Purchase pre-fab shelving and brackets to fit. (Bear in mind the wider the shelf, the less sturdy it becomes.) You can also cut your own shelves for a custom fit if preferred. Use treated lumber at least 1/2-inch thick; sand, polyurethane and lightly sand again once dry. Wipe shelves clean.
6 Bring out your largest food storage containers. Use them to help with shelf placement. Place the bottom shelf first and work your way up. Adjust shelving as desired and fill your new pantry.
Tips & Warnings
Be certain shelf width is appropriate for the brackets. If the shelving is too narrow, you'll end up with a gap at the back that small items can fall through.