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Pantry Sorrows – Part One

I really like where I live. The only thing that consistently drives me crazy is – THE PANTRY!

My roommates and I have a small kitchen but the pantry is actually a pretty good size. There's just some things that need to change.

1. The shelving is ridiculous! Things keep falling through the wires and falling over. Oh why contractors do you put wire shelving in a pantry?


This is a picture of bottles falling through the wires!

2. There's a pipe that sticks out in the pantry. The means in the middle of one shelf (my shelf to be exact) the shelving is cut out and you can't use a good portion of the shelf.

3. There's no rhyme or reason for what goes where (okay there is a small bit but not enough).


Random food stacked together


All the shelves – I have to confess the bottom (and the worst shelf) is mine 🙁

We are planning a full gutting out of the pantry and a fresh start. However, I do not know where to go after we rip out the shelves. All I know is we need a place for the dog food and recyclables bag. Any suggestions or words of advice?

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  43. Erin Gentry March 8, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Interesting idea about attaching something to the bottom. That is a great idea for a quick, inexpensive fix.

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  45. Erin Gentry December 21, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Thanks for all these tips! Jackie, I really like your advice about the dog food and bag holder “or your dog food, consider a lidded recycling container so that you have a lid that is easy to open/close. We use one in our pantry under the lowest shelf. And hang a bag holder on the door so it’s not taking up shelf space.”
    Shris great idea about boxes. I will definitely have to get some of those if we stick to wire shelving!

  46. shris December 19, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    Personally I like boxes instead of bags of food. Many years ago I bought a bunch of containers that stack neatly in 2-3 layers on my pantry shelves. They are labeled and they hold all the soft stuff like sugars, flours, beans, noodles.. It’s neater to look at, the stuff doesn’t flop over, and items that I use together, like baking soda, salt, and baking powder, are kept in the same stack so I can just grab that one when baking. It also keeps stuff fresher longer to have it in a sealed container.
    My pantry shelves are wire like yours, which is slightly annoying for bottles. But it works fine for the boxes.
    I also adjusted the height of my shelves to fit the things I need together. Those boxes I mentioned are mostly on one wide shelf, so the height is adjusted so I can have three short layers or two medium layers stacked. The shelf above fits one tall layer. The shelves on the side hold the gadgets (blender, processor, slow cooker, etc.) and those shelves are sized to fit those things so I can get them out.
    My cats actually ate in a small space underneath the bottom shelf (my pantry has no door) and I kept their kibble in a tall rolling container next to the pantry shelves under which they ate. The container was actually marketed as a pet food container and had a rubber seal to keep it airtight.

  47. Jackie December 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    Go with wooden shelving – it’s solid and works better. You can put contact paper over it – looks nice and makes it easy to wipe up any spills. Or if you can find finished wood, you can make nice white shelves. I did this in a previous home – I bought white shelving at Home Depot and cut it to length and used a system for the brackets where you hang the long posts on the wall and insert the ‘L’ brackets into them, laying the shelving on top.
    For your dog food, consider a lidded recycling container so that you have a lid that is easy to open/close. We use one in our pantry under the lowest shelf. And hang a bag holder on the door so it’s not taking up shelf space.
    My pantry is still a work in progress as I can’t afford to put in new wooden shelves to maximize the space, but using what I have, a label maker and some good containers I’ve made huge headway.
    Oh, and those little wire portable 1/2 shelves you can buy to put on a wooden shelf can double your shelf space for things like soup cans, etc.

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