We left the closet rod in there just because it was easier than ripping it out. The bottom of the closet had been covered in shag carpet. It's slanted because the stairs to the basement cut into the space. We ripped the carpet up, pulled out the staples and painted it white. Now it's a great shelf.
The shelves are just 12" deep. The other pantry has really deep shelves and things get lost on them. I had picked up these baskets on The Dollar Tree to use in this space. The baskets are just shy of 12" wide so three of them fit perfectly on the 36" wide shelves. I labelled each of them with some tags I picked up a garage sale over the summer. For now they read "pasta, beans, snacks, paper goods, drink mixes, crackers, chips, baking and other". These categories work for now so we'll see how it goes.
The cereal sits on the shelf that was already installed above the closet rod. I convinced my husband to add a shelf up high for additional storage. These baskets are from IKEA. We used them at our wedding and keep them stocked with "napkins, knives, forks, spoons". We only use these for parties so it's nice to have them handy but out of the way.
It's so nice to have this space organized. You can probably tell that there's no closet door for now We took them all down when we were fixing up the house before we moved in and haven't put them all back up yet. I think it would be fun to paint it with chalkboard paint so we can write on it. Will probably have to wait till Spring to paint it and rehang it.