storing glass cookware in pantry

linnea56March 4, 2007

I need a better way to store my pyrex and corning ware glass pans and their lids. I have several shelves of my pantry devoted to these and the deeper metal roasting pans (shallow cookie-sheet type things go in a different place). I had some wire divider things for a long time, like the kind you can use for dishes, but those never worked and got thrown out by DH. Since the glass pans and lids are both big and quite heavy they just tipped over in the divider, since the wire parts were pretty short. IÂve never seen one with high dividers. Right now they are nesting and getting a particular one out causes a lot of clatter; and pulling out the whole stack to put one back is a chore. DH will just shove one back willy-nilly, too, if the "system" is not easy.

There must be a better way, but what? IÂd prefer to store them on their sides if possible. I have a lot of vertical space between the shelves, like 13". Those wire stack-a-shelves donÂt work either; they are too high and waste too much space: plus are too flimsy and I can easily snag a leg and pull the whole stack down. The actual shelves are home-installed cheap particleboard: kind of wavy and warped, but functional.

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it would be more work because I think you'd have to make them yourself, but very-closely-spaced wooden shelves would work really well.

Could you get those slotted standards (the kind w/ horizontal shelves that uses the little clips, and attaches to the sides of bookcases) and some 1/4" or 3/8" plywood to cut into shelves (it needn't be that thick, bcs the dishes aren't that heavy, and thinner will leave more room for storage), install them in the pantry, even if only in a little section? Then you can have one dish per horizontal "slot" (instead of one per vertical slot)

I put the lids on my pyrex and corningware upside down. then the knobs don't stick out and get caught. And, sometimes I store the lids somewhere else.

Here is a link that might be useful: slotted shelf standards like this

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 11:42AM
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I keep visualizing an adaptation of this sort of idea--a puzzle case

Or this one, which shows the general idea better

But of course, it's not necessarily adaptable (or affordable) for your situation. But it might give you the idea of what I'm thinking of.

The other possibility is to go back to "standing on edge" storage, but use something sturdier, like those "screw and snap in place" tray dividers--I bet the secret is to buy enough so you can have a single, carefully sized slot for each pan,and one for each lid. At least, for the big ones. Space them so each pan or lid JUST fits in the gap. (I personally believe people don't have enough of these dividers, and try to fit too much in between them)

Or, could you shift them over to a kitchen cabinet (which may have holes for shelf supports already drilled--maybe buy some extra shelves), and move the displaced stuff into the pantry?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:16PM
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Do you use your larger pans regularly? For those items I seldom use but need for holidays, I sorted items in my pantry into the pans. For instance, I keep canned vegetables in one, soups and tomato products in a larger one, etc. It helps keep my pantry organized and puts the pans to use throughout the year.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 4:01PM
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These pans are used pretty often: enough so that I find it annoying to have to un-nest them for use.

talley_sue, I'm also planning on getting some of those Tray Dividers for 2 kitchen base cabinets where I keep my cookie sheets and similar very flat things. I'm hoping to order fittings from one place once I find something that works.

For the open pantry shelves I'm thinking horizontal more and more. Especially since glass pans are heavy! Similar to your Puzzle box idea, I have been looking at office supply "Literature" organizers, that have a series of narrow shelves. But so far all of those have openings that are too narrow, like 9" wide. But that's the concept that would work.

I could go with wire closet shelving but all I've seen of those use wall-mounted standards.

I'd rather not get into something that would be a lot of work to install or build from scratch, because there are other home reno projects that I should be spending time on rather than this thing. I still have many details of last spring's major project to finish up.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 5:00PM
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How about switching places with something that nests easier and is lighter? I've decluttered all of my glass pans and still use 6 on a regular basis. I have them on my lowest shelving. My shelving does roll out, but for some reason it is now easier for me to lift off the top one or two and get to the one I want now that they are at the bottom. Much easier than trying to lift the weight from a more center part of the shelves.

But back to your original thought. Since you have particle board with 13" for height, couldn't you just get pieces of particle board cut to slip in and screw them above the shelf and below the shelf? That wouldn't be a huge amount of work, but would make it sturdy enough you could slip the pans in on their sides. I really like the horizontal storage like the puzzle box, but can see where that might be hard to adapt to your current shelves.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 2:42AM
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talley_sue_nyc has the best prices on Rev-a-Shelf items, like those tray dividers, that I've ever seen. And I remarked on your kitchen-forum thread that I think people space them too far apart.

If DH is at all handy, you could just use L brackets to make your own puzzle-box idea. Or switch them to a place w/ the horizontal holes already drilled, like a narrow-ish upper cabinet.

Also, before you go TOO far, watch yourself to see whether it's really just one or two of those pans that gets used a lot. That might guide your decision.

And...don't think they all have to store in the same space because they're made of the same thing. Some are big, maybe some are smaller. And maybe the smaller ones can go elsewhere, or they can nest, and the big ones can go in slots of some kind.

Here is a link that might be useful: great answers to this question from the Kitchens Forum folks

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 10:49AM
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I posted in 2 places: on the organizing forum because that is where I thought this question really belonged, then in Kitchens, even though it's more reno-oriented, because there is so much traffic there! I figured many there were bound to have dealt with the same issue.

I used to have these pans/pots in various places in the kitchen. Because they were heavy they always ended up in a lower cabinet, and it was getting harder to haul them out. We "finished" (ahem...not really) a kitchen reno last spring and moved all these to the pantry to have them in an easier place to get out. We donated duplicates and odd sizes at that time. My husband decided to get rid of all teflon, so I find we are using the glass things more and more. We also have a wok and some large baking pans that are in contant use, so to be able to grab and go is my goal. It's a 2 cook household, so both of us need to remember where a particular pot is.

Trying to keep it simple, and go back to what I should be doing (major molding installation!), yesterday I came across some horizontal closet shelving units online. I ran out of ideas searching "Kitchens" and went to "Closets". These are normally used to hold shoes, I think: white laminate, around 24 in long, a foot high and deep, with one shelf plus the top. Each should hold then 6 pans; 2 at each level. I think a couple of these will do the trick. Better yet, they are available in store at Target and Lowe's. I'm planning to get a couple of pans from Housewares and test fit them with the store display!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 1:26PM
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On the thread that Talley Sue recommended, the picture that is shown has this statement "They have used small extension rods so you can make the spaces as wide or tall as you need".

I'm assuming that these are not permanent. Is this correct? I hope so because they seem like a perfect solution to a problem like this. Do you know where I can purchase these?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 3:49PM
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Those are from any place that carries drapery supplies. They are also called spring rods or Cafe rods. On the other thread a person got them at Linens and Things, but mentioned Walmart, Target, any place with a drapery dept.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 3:55PM
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Are they placed their temporarily which is what I would need since I rent? Can you tell I know nothing about sewing or draperies?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 4:05PM
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These rods are spring-loaded. Depress, push them into place, then release. Do the same to take them out. Totally removable.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 4:41PM
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they wouldn't be permanent. They'd work just like those tension shower rods, only much smaller.

The only problem might be that, because they stay in place by pushing out against the two shelves (thereby wedging itself into place), you need the top shelf to be permanently anchored in place. If that top shelf is just resting on shelf pegs, the tension curtain rods will simply push the shelf up off the pegs.

Here is a link that might be useful: this shows how the work.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 4:43PM
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I think this is an ingenious way of using them for organizing and wish I'd known about it years ago. Do you think it's even worth thinking about using them for organizing the space above the hanging clothes in the master bedroom closet?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 6:24PM
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    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 7:52PM
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I know you tried wire dividers, but I use wooden dividers to store broiler pans, cookie sheets, and cutting boards.
Not sure how deep your pantry shelf is - just a standard shelf or is it extra deep? I'm assuming that it's deeper if you can store glass pans on it.

Anyway, I bought the wooden dividers and I set one behind the other so that things like cookie sheets are held up better. But they could also be screwed into your shelves which would make them completely tip proof.

I bought mine at bed bath and beyond, but here's a link to some at crate and barrel so you know what I mean by wooden dividers. The pegs on mine don't come out, but it looks like they might on this set, which would allow you to make wider slots for wider pans.

Here is a link that might be useful: wooden dividers / plate rack.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 1:46PM
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and even if the pegs wouldn't PULL out, you could cut them off w/ a small handsaw.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 4:28PM
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I think the wooden dividers are very attractive. Wood would cut down on the clatter factor too. I saw some in my search online, but assumed the pegs would not be high enough to hold large items and keep them from tipping (which was the problem with my old ones). Those would be easy to screw down too.

jenathegreat, how tall are the pegs on yours? I saw the Crate & Barrel ones come in 2 sizes, but it looks like 10 inch and 15 inch are the running length at the bottom, not the height of the pegs.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Sorry, I forgot to measure them this weekend! They're really not that tall - but they do hold up some rather tall things such as my cookie sheet. Although the longest length of the cookie sheet is laying down and going through the pegs, even the width of the sheet is pretty tall, and it stays up.

Hopefully you can find them at Linens n Things or Bed Bath Beyond and grab some pans to try them out.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 11:33AM
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Thanks to all who wrote in! I spent Sunday reorganizing the pantry and am happy with the results. I put together 3 of those white formica horizontal closet shelving units (normally used for shoes, I think: 24" long by 11" deep by 8" high. Though there were no suggestions one way or another on the box to suggest what they were intended for). These were from Target although all the big box stores seem to carry them in their closet dept. These I set on top of my existing, spaced-too-far-apart shelving; like Tally_sue's "puzzle-box" idea from my other thread. Once the bakeware, pyrex, and other pans were loaded onto these, 2 per shelf, I found I had no need for any vertical storage! Everything fit horizontally. Even my husband, the most incurious person, strolled out several times to see what I was doing. (Though not to ask questions: that would have been too much.)

I had measured all the odd spaces in the pantry before going shopping. I also found a skinny 12" wide plastic 3 drawer unit while shopping. I stacked 2 of these in the former junk-collecting space between the laundry tub and one of my existing shelf units. The miscellaneous small things that used to slide around and fall off the shelves are now stowed in these. Like the nalgene bottles and coolers I use all summer, and my commuter cups. Another drawer for paper: dinner napkins and vacuum cleaner bags. Top drawer is now gloves, second hats. This removed 2 "awkward to reach into" bins from an upper shelf.

I'm planning to use this new free spot for a shallow drawer unit to hold tools, batteries, and the like. We keep some tools upstairs to not have to run to the basement every time we need a screwdriver. We have one tool drawer unit that is hanging below one shelf, but it is always overloaded and you have to take the whole thing down to rummage.

This feels GREAT! Thanks again for the help and moral support. Next weekend I'll move on to some of my kitchen base cabinets: where I'll put to use the vertical divider ideas! I have found places where both the metal ones and the wood ones will work. I'm going to post a new thread about my next pressing storage issue.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 1:27PM
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oh, wowee, that sounds great! you must be so proud of yourself--all that stick-to-it-iveness, and problem solving, and measuring!!

Have you heard me on other threads about "spaced-too-far-apart shelving"? I think almost every shelf is too far apart. I love that you used those shelves for shoes to tackle this--I'm going to remember your adaptation of those units, and mention it to people right and left.

I love love those 3-drawer units (esp. since most of them have shallow drawers) to hold the littl emiscelaneous small things. It's just so much easier to get to that staff. (and every home needs "junk drawers" for doo-dad-type stuff).


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 10:36PM
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