Pretty Flea Market Storage for Pantries

Solve the Most Annoying Kitchen Storage Problems
Put your vintage and flea market finds to work with clever storage ideas for pantries.

Storage, Floor to Ceiling

Casual but organized, this pantry makes inventive use of flea market finds to boost its storage. Find out the tips and tricks to reuse your own flea finds and vintage-inspired pieces in your kitchen.

Keep it On View

See-through containers are good options for kitchen pantries: They help all family members easily find what they need and help you know when you need more supplies. Here, mid-size wire baskets hold similarly packaged food items -- crackers or bags of chips, for example -- while clear pitchers offer self-serve storage for cereals. Always make sure your containers are food-safe, especially when repurposing old items.

Include a Message Station

A family organizing station offers loads of storage-focused function on a pantry wall that would otherwise go unused. Here, cork combines with chalkboard for meal prep, recipe ideas, and other reminders.

Transfer to Trays

Cast-off metal trays are useful items for gathering smaller storage pieces, such as spice jars and oil containers. Look for handles on larger versions to make them easy to move from pantry shelf to countertop.

Try Out Tags

Labels are key to a pantry that stores its stuff well, and many flea market finds have tags or handles with built-in space for marking. Make easy labels with pretty patterned paper cut to match the size of the opening. Handwrite or print out words of your choice on the paper.

Find Storage Everywhere

If there's clearance, the backs of doors can be good spots for storage that's open and often used. Here, wire baskets are filled with take-out menus and pantry organization supplies.

Transfer Small Items into Big Ones

Part of the challenge in creating a storage-smart pantry is figuring out how to corral all those items that, left loose, create messes or become forgotten. Old glass jars and baskets are good tools to use in a flea market-styled pantry. Stick-on labels or tied-on tags are great ways to label containers, too.

Repurpose Fave Finds

Embracing flea market style means giving new life to old things through inventive uses. These well-worn lidded baskets become a good home for kitchen linens. Simply thoroughly clean containers and seal any chipping paint if necessary.

Give It Some Height

Storage in some corners and shelves in pantries may need a height boost in order to help food items be seen and used. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flea-market style: Here, overturned drawers give a few inches to food cans.

Maximize Flexibility

If you’re sure that the use for a storage container won’t change, a permanent label is fine. But inexpensive options maximize adaptability; here, black cardstock, punched with a hole and tied with twine, is easily swapped out should your storage needs change.

Measure and Group

To determine how to best store items in your flea market-styled pantry, remove everything from existing shelves and drawers and lay it out on countertops. What makes sense together -- plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for example -- and what’s the same relative size? Those provide good principles to find the perfect storage container, such as this tall glass vessel that works for skinny, tall items.

Move It Around

Just like labels can be flexible, flea market storage pieces can be adapted for additional use, too. New wheels on an old wood crate create a rolling storage container for bottles in this pantry.

Go for Easy Access

While some storage works better with lids, other items can be open at the top to enable easy access to oft-used items. Shopping and paper bags may be used frequently, and an old copper bucket is tall enough to hold varying height items but slender enough to fit into a modestly sized space in the pantry.

Match Storage to Function

If you're storing fresh food items in your pantry, your storage items may need a few extra features. Potatoes and onions, for example, require air circulation to stay fresh; this punched and patterned metal bucket works perfectly. Always make sure the containers you are storing food in are food-safe.

Add Grab-and-Go Storage

Try to add function to every nook and cranny in your flea market pantry. Even a very small stretch of wall can be space enough for a few hooks, perfect for holding aprons and market bags.

Learn how to tackle some of the most common kitchen storage problems with these smart tips and tricks.

BONUS: More Kitchen Storage Tips

Watch and learn how to tackle the most annoying kitchen storage problems.

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