Project Pantry Over-Organization

recycled kombucha bottle label organization

Oh yes!  Over-organization.  

I’m hoping if I treat my pantry like a decor/art project maybe, just maybe, it will be too pretty for me to trash a la Hurricane Jenn.  Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

pantry construction

Ummm… so I guess it had a bit of a rough start there.

Moving on!

pantry before photo

Leave it to me to build a house and then do something like this to it. Bad Jenn! Bad!

Project Pantry Over-Organization time!

Hookay, so here’s how it went down:

I was desperate for some pretty glass storage containers to fill with pastas, grains, nuts, seeds, etc… but needed a more affordable option.  Lucky for me, I have an uber expensive indulgence that comes in a pretty glass bottle.  Suddenly the $4 a pop I spend on my “happy tea” doesn’t seem quite so indulgent.

I just blatantly lied to you, they’re still ridiculously expensive and indulgent in my eyes.  I haven’t had a kombucha in two weeks and this weekend i’m going to close my eyes, swipe my credit card, and hope for the best.  Wait.. what were we talking about again?

Ridiculously expensive FREE glass containers!

synergy kombucha

So typically, I either recycle these bottles or upcycle them in a paint project.

This time I had bigger plans for them.

You can pick up these chic adhesive alphabet stickers from your local craft store, or even make your own!  These Recollections Alpha Stacks cost roughly $5 for a 450pk but often go on sale for 40% off.  Some craft stores will put out weekly coupons so when in doubt, google before you buy! <3  Of course I snagged mine with a 40%-off coupon from Michael’s Craft Store — My mom taught me never to pay full price for anything… So naturally I’m still using my discounted laptop from college and driving my first [less than gently used] car from high school.  I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth by now 😉
I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow stickers! =)
I used a single letter to label each item.  Q for Quinoa, P for Panko, and so on.
recycled glass bottles pantry project lables
bulk pantry goods in upcycled kombucha bottles

The opening of the bottle is wide enough to be filled with nearly anything!

[Quinoa] [Chia Seeds] [Pasta] [Oats] [Millet] [Salt] [Sugar] [Panko] [Corn Meal] [etc…]

You can also use a little funnel for easy filling!

Tips on removing the label:

To remove the wrap-around label, run your bottle under super hot water for a few seconds.  Reduce the temp so it doesn’t burn your hands, [keep it as hot as you can handle! hehe] and continue to run bottle under the hot water as you gently peel the label off.  If you’re patient the entire thing will come off in one piece, but if not, continue to run under water and “roll” the remaining label off with your thumb.  Goo-Gone or polish remover will pick up any leftover bits!  A Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover will remove the date stamp from the lid, if needed.

Some of these came from bulk bins, and others were liberated from their bulky cardboard boxes.  It looks 100x better with them all in the same container, and the labels help tired chefs avoid mishaps.  Plus they’re super cute and unified with their snazzy new labels.

I decided to take everything that would eventually end up all over the pantry [spices, snacks, baking supplies, nuts, tea, etc…] and toss it into plastic boxes and drawers.  I’ve been holding onto these little storage carts since college and they just keep coming in handy!  You can pick them up virtually anywhere and they’re uber affordable.  I can’t recommend these enough!  Clutter-busters extraordinaire.

Naturally I had to label them too!

project pantry organization storage solutions

My in-laws gifted me a package of plastic storage boxes during the move and, at the time, I had no idea what to do wit them!  How perfect are these for the pantry?  Now my spices and canned goods are neat and organized on those pesky wire shelves! I’d love to replace the wire with wood but funds are tight, so these little bins are a great solution and keep us within budget!

plastic shoebox pantry organization

No pantry?  Maximize those cabinets!  Glass bottled pastas, cereals, and nuts are way more space saving than bulky bags and boxes.  Streamline your storage by slimming it down into thrifted or upcycled bottles and jars.  Labels tie them all together and make it super easy to find everything!  Regardless of your food storage situation, a little organization goes a loooong way.

For more tips on organizing + decorating your kitchen, [click here]

Phew! Now I need a nap!
What’s in need of organization in your home?  
Or, if you’re ahead of the game, what’s your most organized room? =)


  1. says

    oooohhhhh i am so jealous of your pantry :) it is so pretty!!! i love your use of the glass containers. i cleaned my pantry a few weeks ago and it is a disaster again. i actually can’t fit anything in there and have things piled on the counter :( this is giving me some inspiration to tackle the beast today. I want a pretty pantry!!

  2. says

    Omg I’m having a design and organization orgasm/envy right now!!!! I love your house and that you’re just as OCD as I am!!! I want to do this ASAP.

  3. says

    This is a great solution for your kombucha bottles … and it looks incredibly lovely and super organized. I too have a HUGE collection of those same bottles … Chris keeps threatening to recycle them, but I’m KNOW I’ll find a use for them yet :)

  4. says

    Nice job! Looks super awesomely organized (and pretty taboot).
    I usually use mason jars, but the kombucha bottles are a great idea and would fit perfectly in a ridiculously shallow cupboard I have…

  5. says

    Eureka! I have been trying to eliminate some plastic containers I use in my house (due to the questionable Bisphenol A in them) but glass containers are so hard to come by. How have I NOT thought to use Kombucha bottles?! Genius you are!
    And bonus – I friggin’ love that tea. :)

  6. says

    OMG- I am sooooo jealous! What a great idea with the stickers. I really want to come over and hang out in your pantry. I’m scred to go check mine out right now. ha!

  7. Jessie says

    I need some of your motivation to take on my entire kitchen. The farther I get in life, I am starting to realize enjoying cooking some how partners with having a disaster of a kitchen!

  8. Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN. says

    So creative, functional AND adorable! I have 2 roomates which means SO much pantry clutter but am going to tackle it hopefully this weekend – you have gave me some great ideas…thanks! :)

  9. says

    THIS looks UH-MAAAAZING!!!!!!!~~~~I just moved andwe have a sort of a walk in pantry, but my mom and I just have soo much stuff that it’s impossible to do anything with it, haha 😛 This is quite inspiring to be super neat and creative, especially for when I’m married next yr.! teeheee

  10. says

    I love this idea you creative cat! I am so jealous of your pantry space also, I only have two cupboards for my pantry and it is not nearly big enough! One day when I have a proper grown-up pantry I am totally doing this!

  11. Shari says

    Looks great. Way to go! Do you want to come over and organize mine. It’s not quite as spacious, but with your skills..I can see you doing wonders. :)

  12. Emily says

    Jealous doesn’t even BEGIN to cover how I feel after reading this post. Your pantry is gorgeous! I’m an organization freak and I label everything- I literally have OCD.
    Using your old Kombucha bottles for storage is brilliant! Now I have an excuse to keep indulging. (:
    Everything in my apartment is pretty organized, but I’m planning to RE-organize my pantry after seeing yours!

  13. says

    I love everything about this post…recycling the kombucha bottles, stickers even the little “Pin it” button discreetly inserted into the post. You are too clever, girl!

    I would love to try this in my pantry, but with 3 little ones would need to store the bottles in something so they wouldn’t hit the tile floor and explode. Ideas? I’m also stoked to give the label maker we bought for our school room another job. I love and would def use the stickers, but the OCD part of me would have to put a complete label at least on the bottom of the bottle. 😉

    • Anonymous says

      I have the same dilemna with glass containers / tiled pantry floor & klutzy DH. :-O
      Have a ton of diff. sized coffee creamer bottles in a craft bin in the garage, two diff. sizes. Some are clear (Bailey’s), most are white (Coffeemate, etc.). But willing to give this a whirl with labels, they’d look awesome. Now if the creamers just came in SQUARE bottles, it would make it much easier to stack! ~Sunny

  14. says

    Your pantry looks awesome! I love stickers too, I use them all the time and not just for my kids. 😉

  15. says

    haha i always forget the comment box is at the top and scroll all the way down…anyway…genius friend!! I have yet to try this tea you speak of…kinda intimidated by it, is there a beginner flavor I should start with? :)

  16. Lauren says

    I use glass containers but you took this to a whole new level (of course). I’m jealous but then I also though of getting the rice and cornmeal into the somewhat narrow bottles and my head hurt. Did you use a funnel? And yes, I will always ask the questions that make me sound like a moron. I use canning jars but don’t have enough so I also have yucky boxes and it makes me crazy. I’m inspired. Project pantry this weekend and project kids desks and project closet….

  17. says

    Wow! Want to come organize my cabinets for me? 😀 I could definitely use some over-organization. Genius to use “free” glass bottles, I’ve got to find a drink/food I really like that also comes in a good reusable container!

  18. says

    What a great idea!!! Now to drink all those beverages for to get that amount of containers lol!! I am not lucky enough to have a pantry, I just have an extra cupboard but I will make it work.

  19. says

    I think I’m going to do this idea, with slightly different materials. I’ve been trying to figure out the details since I was at your house, haha! Looks great, Jenn.

  20. says

    Jenn, you know what?

    I love you!!

    And right now I particularly love your domestic goddessness. The pantry is GORGE. And using kombucha bottles to store staples is a fantastic idea…Those labels are so darn chic! Even though I don’t have a pantry, you’ve inspired me to clean out my kitchen cupboards this weekend. And sip a kombucha while doing it. Because it’s been way too long since I’ve had a fix. xoxoxo

  21. says

    I love your blog–especially the graphic of peas and crayons–so creative! Thanks for the great ideas for my pantry! I love using glass jars to organize and store but never thought of recycling tea and other jars! The labels make it super cute and I’m totally inspired to revamp my cabinets now! Thanks!

  22. says

    That is fantastic. What a great idea to reuse the bottles! $4 AND you get the tea? They’re practically free aren’t they?

    Ugh, my whole house needs a makeover. We’re moving next month though, so I think I’ll hold off. :)

    Stopped by from Amanda’s.

    I’m doing a week of giveaways on my blog. Stop over and enter.

  23. says

    Great, great, great idea!! My husband becomes obsessed every once in a while with storage boxes, like they’re going out of production and we need to buy up as many as possible. We have roll out trays in our cabinets and pantry that we (he) easily installed on our (his) own :) They’re awesome.

    p.s. when i looked at that first picture i thought the alphabet pasta was rice, so i was very confused about it being labeled with an ‘a’.

  24. Kristina @ Life as kristina says

    Hey love muffin i’m uber impressed by this organization. Could you please come over and organize my new kitchen? and closet? and bdrm? and office? and etc etc etc? LOVE the use of GT bottles, I’ve been using them to store popcorn…just a little bit ghetto since I’m to lazy to peel off the labels, haha. Love ya, xoxo!

  25. Julie at Burnt Carrots says

    You might be the smartest person on the planet! My husband drinks the kombucha teas almost daily and we’ve always just recycled the glass container. I’ll be keeping them now! Thanks!

  26. Errign says

    Great idea. I’ve been recycling pb, pasta sauce and salsa jars for bulk item storage but I’ll definitely keep the next Kombucha bottles that pass through too!

  27. Ryan Louise says

    I just started reading your blog. Now a fan! :) Found you off the GT’s fb page. This is a really cute idea for the bottles. I just wanted to tell you that I felt the exact same way about Gt’s booch. Justifiable splurge, right? I then looked into brewing my own. I was intimidated at first and didn’t know if it would be something I could do. However, I love to cook & try new recipes ( and so I figured I’d give it a shot. All it takes is a bottle of Gt’s original (to start the scooby) a gallon glass jar (You can buy a pickle jar and eat them/give the pickles away) some organic black tea and sugar. That’s it. There are TONS of websites that give you step by step directions on how to brew. If you don’t have a scooby/mother to start off with and you are “growing one from scratch” hence the Gt’s original (has to be original-no flavors) it will take a little longer than normal but once you have a scooby to work with-brewing time can take 5-7 days and you will have a GALLON of delicious, fizzy, healthy kombucha of your own. I’ve been doing this for about 2 months now and consider myself a pro. I was soooo freaked at first but it’s SO EASY. I just wanted to let you know. If you have any questions; send me a shout on my (tiny and not updated often) blog! You seem very crafty and I think it’s something you could handle. I love spreading the home brewed booch love now, heheh…Well, G/l & awesome blog.

  28. says

    OMFG, this is freaking fantastic! I love combining artsy, DIY stuff with a good organization-fest (which, believe me, I partake in often – but usually sans artsy fun things). Your pantry looks awesome! :)

  29. says

    Hi there, what a wonderful job you did with your pantry. If I had one I would want to organize it, that’s how inspiring it was. Good job. I found and am now following you through Show And Tell Friday, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  30. says

    So glad you found me on foodbuzz! I LOVE this pantry. I’m a bit of an organization nut myself, and I’m currently tackling ideas using my smaller cabinet space without spending a ton of money! Thanks!

  31. Kaitlyn says

    I LOVE THIS IDEA. the stickers are such a fun and easy way to organize it all. great thinking–i think i may know what ill be getting into this weekend :)

  32. Anonymous says

    This is a super idea, I can’t wait to try it out in my cupboards (which are at present) very untidy -Jasann

  33. Nancito says

    That pantry is gorgeous, seeing the beautiful (am loving the labels ) organizing that you have done is so inspiring.

  34. says

    Everything looks great! Thanks for the tip for removing labels. I always have such a hard time with that. It must feel so good to have it all organized. I am a new follower from Ginger Snap Crafts. Vicky from Mess For Less

  35. Karen @MSEnthusiast says

    Very cool! That is the perfect size for storage containers. I save the trail mix ones from Target. I love the “spice it up” label.

  36. Jessica Bailey says

    This is such a genius idea.  I love organizing, but i can never think of ideas to make organizing easier without spending a ton of money…Anyway, I LOVE kombucha and probably recycled at least 10 bottles this past week….Not anymore.  I will definitely be saving them to organize with!  Thanks for the great idea!


  37. Kimberly Pelgar says

    You have completely inspired me!  I use those plastic storage bins in every room in the house but, for some reason, never thought about my pantry floor!  Thanks for sharing.  I’ll be doing this project myself very soon.  :)

  38. says

    Yayyyy! So happy to help! This morning I was just noticing how my pantry has stayed clean this ENTIRE TIME when I never keep anything clean and tidy for more than a week! The containers do their job oh-so-well! <3 Thanks Kimberly!

  39. Leanneja says

    I love your awesomely organized pantry. Thanks for linking to the Home Decor and Organizing Link party. I featured your pantry today.

  40. Musebootsi says

    Love the bin of donut shop coffee! It’s my favorite too!

    And awesome pantry! Mine looks like a tornado organized it….

  41. Christie Sturre says

    Wow, it looks fantastic, so organised.  My hubby would be over the moon if I could achieve this…it’s a lot to aspire to!

  42. Sharon A says

    Where do you put the boxes of leftover stuff once you’ve filled the jars? Presumably one whole package doesnt go into each bottle?!

  43. says

    Hey Sharon! I have enough bottles to pour all the contents in to them until the boxes are empty.. and then I simply recycle the boxes [though a few I have managed to reuse for other things – love doing that!]

  44. Kristin Stones says

    These are so cute!  I do this too, but with my empty coconut oil jars…they have a wider-mouth so I can keep the spoons right inside…the stickers are a great idea though, I’ll have to find some of those!

  45. says

    My entire house is in need of organizing! I have 2 boys and a husband who think it’s a challenge to un-organize everything after I’ve organized it and I don’t have the energy to keep re-organizing it. Our bedroom, bathroom & kitchen need organization in the worst way….

    I LOVE how you organized your pantry. So beautiful!!

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