How many shelves in pantry and the height

LesyeuxbleuJanuary 30, 2013

We just got a new house, and I am redoing a hall closet (under stairs) into a pantry. The height is 75 inches to where the ceiling slopes...

I have taken the height minus the size of the shelf board and have 70 inches left:

I am thinking of leaving about 18 inches from the floor to the first shelf. Which leaves me with 52 inches.

I could have two 12 inch shelves (which would be the minimum number of shelves I would want at that size) and thenThree 9 inch shelves. for a total of 5 spaces not including the floor space or the tippy top.

Other option would be just to go with the 18 inches at the bottom and roughly four 13.XX shelves.
Since it is a hall closet it will be about 22 inches deep.

Needless to say If I have extra pantry space (which, God willing, I probably will) I would use the space for pots/pans/ and cookbooks.

What would you do? 4 tall shelves, or 5 shelves

Oh, and where would you place your size shelves top to bottom. IE highest shelf 12 inches then 9, 9,9, 12, 18 is the bottom

*2 large progresso stacked cans measure just under 9"
(I would have room to unstack them to get at it)
**3 Cans if the large progresso cans stacked is 13 1/2.
* a bag of flour is just under 9 inches.
*those "tones" super large spice containers measure 8 inches
*Kens salad dressing measure 8 inches

Thank you in advance! You all (and all the other posts) were a huge help to me when we were building our other house.

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Hi, congratulations on your new home! I have more than one pantry. The one with the larger shelves works the best for me. I do a bit of baking and my flours are all in tupperware. My pantry is 2 feet deep with 8 shelves, all 12 inches apart with 2 feet open below the bottom shelf as well as the top shelf. You can always stack cans and even get racks (spice racks) to place on existing shelves for stacking more items, but its harder to create more height once the shelves are in. I do however think the extra space above the top shelf is a waste, but if I had another shelf I wouldn't be able to reach anything. The open space on the bottom is great for my step stool, cases of water, potatoes, etc. I also have some small wire shelves on the inside of the door for my yeast packets, jello, sugar sprinkles and the like. The pantry built in to the cabinets is really a waste of space for me. I have taken out some shelves, put them back in, changed the height, but really haven't worked it out yet. You have me thinking I need to figure this out too! Another project! Good luck to you in your new home.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:42PM
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It's highly dependent on what sorts of things you plan on putting in there. You're on the right track with those measurements you took. My DH built our pantry shelves and made them adjustable. I put the shelves where I wanted them, and mostly have 7" spaces, though I don't like to stack stuff.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Thank you ... I have our handy man coming to put them in tomorrow. it is just going to be simple wood shelves that sit on top of rungs secured into the wall. They will be removable...(have to get to the darn water heater under the stairs). So i may just have him add extra "rungs"


    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:04PM
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oops, duplicate post somehow

This post was edited by angela12345 on Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 22:20

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:18PM
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My vote is for 6 shelves (wasn't that an option?) or even 7 shelves, so definitely add extra rungs !! We also do not stack stuff, so almost all of our shelves are 5" to 8" apart, which is perfect for almost all cans and boxed goods turned on their edge so the boxtop faces out.

I also would vote for the shelves to be less deep than 22". A 22" deep shelf will allow you to have 6 Progresso soup cans deep (we never have 6 cans of the same item!), but also tends to end up with stuff hidden behind other stuff in the pantry. Or, it is pushed to the back of the shelf and hard to see because the light does not reach the back of the shelf as well. If you did 10-12" deep shelves instead, that would be 3 cans deep and pretty much all boxed items will fit in that depth as well when they are turned on their side (which is the box height but turned sideways). Then you could have shallow (4" = 1 item deep) 10" wide shelves of varying heights on the left and right side walls of the pantry for all of the things you only have one of.

It drives me crazy having to move the peanut butter to get to the can of Pam behind it to get to the bottle of olive oil behind it to get to the bottle of balsamic vinegar behind that. The tallest items we have are a bottle of olive oil at 11.5", Crisco vegetable oil at 11.25", and various vinegars at 10.5" or less. Those items would work perfectly on the 1 item deep side wall shelves of the pantry. You could also hang baskets on the side walls to hold items that come in packets.

Do you have somewhere in mind to store your spices ? You could hang a spice rack on the back of the door.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:19PM
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We had 3 pantry closets that were 2' deep by 3' wide. The only thing I didn't like about the depth was when I bought new cans, I had to move the old ones to put the new ones at the back. Never had to move them aside for any other reason. We keep fully stocked pantry so there are more than just 3-4 cans of the same thing. We take advantage of sales that way.

I do not have a pantry closet in my new house. I will have a pantry cabinet which will not hold as much. So I am ordering can racks to hold my cans. I will let you know if they do what I need to do. I hope the racks work because if they do, it will stop my rotation of cans problem. I ordered this one because it is deeper and has a shelf for those cans that I only have a few of....

I would go for taller. You have to have "knuckle" room plus 6-7" shelves that are 2' deep could hide a lot of cans. Taller shelves would be more flexible in case you change your mind where you want things.

As to where each shelf should go it is up to you and your height. I like to put taller shelves on the top and bottom. Step stool and those dirty potatoes go on the bottom. I like tall shelves on the bottom because I do not have to reach so far down. Not much bending since I only keep tall stuff there. Same on the top shelf. I cannot reach the highest point on tallest shelf, but I don't need to. All I need to reach is the bottom part of the item on the tall shelf. If you put a short shelf up really high, you may need a step stool every time you want something.

I hope I explained this well. If not I can clarify.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:59PM
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Here is what I ordered. Most any can will fit except tuna.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:00PM
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This is doesn't look as sturdy, but it will hold tuna cans and larger cans.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:01PM
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Here's a thread on pantry shelf spacing from a couple of weeks ago where I talked about how I figured out my spacing. Your challenge is that your closet is so deep. My old kitchen had a with site-built cabs had a storage/pantry cab that was 24" deep with only a couple of shelves. It was a major PITA to store and retrieve anything in the dark back recesses. I'm much happier with my 12" deep shelves now!

Here is a link that might be useful: Recent pantry thread

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:17AM
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I got the can racks. 2 different ones to see which one if any would work. They seem to take up a lot of space. I could fit more cans in by stacking them. But I had to try them!

Picture is the pop can rack. It is very sturdy and well made. Soup cans work well and rotate. Bean cans are larger and do not rotate well.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:09PM
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This picture is of the Atlantic 6 rack. I separated them into 2 racks instead of 1 tall one. In order to put it together, you have to turn the main piece backwards from how it was shipped to you. Directions show to attach the shelves just like it was shipped to you. It doesn't work that way. So turn it the other way and the shelves fit nicely. The dividers that are supposed to keep the cans lined up do not work well. They tend to fall off. Also there is no way to rotate the cans without taking all the cans out.

I like the pop can rack much better, but it won't take small cans like tuna or tomato paste.

The pop can rack also has a shelf on top to put other things. Close to the same price, but the pop can rack is solid where the other rack is flimsy. Still it held up well once loaded.

Still wastes a lot of space. I could stack more on the shelf without the racks. Peke

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 6:16PM
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