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Pantry closet depth/shelving

Posted by ajsmama (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 18:59

Someone posted this link on pantry lighting thread. I didn't want to hijack, but it says pantry shelves should be no deeper than 16" and preferably 14". I have a 24" deep pantry closet that is 3ft wide, builder installed 16" deep coated wire shelving along the back and I hate it!

So, following the design principles of having shelves above eye level (I'm 5'2" so let's say 5ft) being shallower, what's the best configuration if I do like the inset picture (clink to enlarge) and use the adjustable shelves on the back and side(s) (I'm thinking hinge side shelving and leave the latch side open to store larger items like the electric griddle, KA mixer, etc. I have shoved in there now - but with nothing in front of them)?

14" deep shelves at the back (getting smaller above 5ft) and 10" runs of 8" deep shelves on the hinge side of the door? 18" apart (but adjustable)?

The pantry backs up to a huge coat closet, I could steal 10"-12" from that with minor sheetrock work (I'm assuming 1 stud in the center even though only 3ft wide, I hope the center support for each shelf is in a stud - if not, demo will be easier but I'll add blocking). Should I go deeper to stand in the closet (still only 14" deep shelves in the back, but adds that 10-12" to the length of the side shelves)? FWIW, builder refused to make pantry deeper saying it wasn't wide enough to be walk-in (30" door) but he made a 3ft deep linen closet in master bath with 24" door!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pantry design - see lighted pantry with wire shelves

This post was edited by ajsmama on Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 9:53


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pantry closet depth/shelving

Can you post pics of your current pantry?


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RE: Pantry closet depth/shelving

It's not pretty, I just keep shoving stuff in there. I try to keep pastas and rice on the bottom, baking goods about chest level, snacks eye level (for all but DD), and paper goods, things not used often (except for the pretzels in the front) on the very top. But I'm not the only one rummaging around in there, so it's hard to keep things organized. Tried adding another small shelf but the feet keep falling through the wires.

Sorry, don't know why it's turned. I used to keep potatoes in a bin on the bottom until we got the wafflemaker, now I forget about them so I keep them in the basement (where they sprout, but at least I notice them before they rot). You can see 2ft is barely deep enough for the Presto griddle and the large cooling rack. I'm wondering if extra depth would be worth giving up so space in the coat closet (which might eventually become master closet if we move to the LR and expand half bath across the foyer from the coat closet into a full bath).

I also do a lot of canning, so 10lb bag of sugar and gallon of vinegar are used often. I have been baking bread 3 times a week, I usually have 10 lb of KA flour and 5lbs of whole wheat in there too. Too much for the Tupperware containers on the baking shelf (and probably too much weight for the shelf). Maybe a deeper pantry would allow me to put 2 gal pails on the floor and not have anything in front/behind them? Or should I take out the shelves on the floor with the pumpkin, tomatoes, etc. on them and put the pails there, move wafflemaker to basement? No room in cabinets for wafflemaker. KA isn't used that often - like never - so maybe move that to basement? Though I wonder if I'd use it for bread dough if I didn't have to clear stuff off the top of it, move cooling rack & griddle to angle it out the door?


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RE: Pantry closet depth/shelving

Upper shelves


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Found a few thinking about U shaped shelves in upper part, maybe a counter with outlet (I hate MW tucked under my corner cabinet, but we use it for oatmeal in AM and veggies for dinner)?

Bought 2 Ikea slide-out wire baskets (steel, not white) 22" deep x 13.5" wide with mounting hardware today at Goodwill, thinking they might fit in vanity but too deep. Could use them in pantry if had wooden shelves/dividers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pantry closet


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Like this one too, though no counter. Still uses those slide-out baskets (though Ikea ones not as pretty).

Here is a link that might be useful: Slide out baskets in pantry closet


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Could you use slide out shelves in there instead of the wire ones? Just throwing it out there fwiw....


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I did buy those 2 slide out (shallow) baskets today, need something to mount them to. Had wooden shelves in pantry closet in old house, not sure how deep (3ft?), sometimes things got lost but nothing fell through and could store so much more than on these 16" wire shelves.

Thinking U shaped wooden/MDF shelves would work? If go 22" deep (pretty much full depth of closet) at waist level (33" or so for me, I have dropped center island used for prep that height) then could put MW in there if convenient for use, at least canisters with flour and sugar on it. Put the Ikea sliding baskets in middle under counter, and shallower (14"?) shelves, even the U shaped shelves, above? KA mixer, wafflemaker tucked under? Presto griddle along side?

I know I need to get more things in containers instead of plastic bags (Goldfish crackers, etc. bought in bulk packages). Perhaps I should just start by pulling everything out, moving cake mixes and frostings (only used for birthdays and none coming up soon) to basement storage or back of shelves, and things like the salt, brown sugar, etc. to the front. I've probably got expired stuff in there too.


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RE: Pantry closet depth/shelving

That first link is an attractive use of space, especially when you want to have small appliances available. In conjunction with your other changes, have you considered putting shallow shelving on the door, something along the lines of the link below, to hold things like your foil and other wraps, pasta, crackers, and other light weight things which still take up shelf room? They aren't enormously attractive, but are functional and would use some of the space in the center of the pantry while freeing up some of your shelf space.

Here is a link that might be useful: Door shelving


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I'm in the process of finishing the inside of the pantry door, don't really want to screw anything into the solid pine door, but with the split door jamb and trim on the inside of the pantry (marriage wall of the modular home), I have 6" of space before a 22" deep basket would hit the door, so it's something to consider. The salad dressing and mustard bottles are among the things that get lost, or fall over on these wire shelves.

The foil is the longer roll that won't fit in my kitchen drawers - I use it for covering cardboard cake plates, larger pans. Smaller roll is in island drawer.

Tomorrow will be dedicated to cleaning out the pantry and trying to find containers for everything. I used to sell Tupperware (25 years ago) so have a bunch, packed away since we moved, I don't know whether it's as efficient use of space since cracker boxes are small and I can throw them away when empty, but it's worth a try after I sort things out to go pull the Tupperware out of the basement boxes, wash it and arrange it on the shelves.

I also have some oak-veneer MDF (?) shelves I bought when we moved, b/c it too months to get island countertop made, even if I don't find brackets (have a few left from island overhang install) I can set them on these shelves to keep things from tipping.


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My pantry is just a tad larger than yours (42" wide X 36" deep). There are shelves on both sides, and I hang the stool, aprons, etc on the back wall. I did not want really deep shelves (except the very high ones). Most are no more than 11" deep, and DH made some half shelves for the canned goods. Easy to change out to deeper shelves if the need arises. I measured items to be stored here and had him make the shelves appropriate heights. I got bins for the floor and lower shelves. Upper shelves hold wicker trays, and a few larger less used items. Definitely nothing fancy, but it is very convenient. There's only the two of us, so it's usually pretty empty. But great when the entire family comes for 2 weeks.


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That's like what I had in my old house (probably 3x3), cleats on the back and sides with wooden shelves (but mine were deeper, like 2ft). Love the "floating" beaked beans!

While I like the idea of adjustable shelves (MDF, not wire), the cleats are probably better since we don't really know where the studs are. Possibly 1 stud in center -18" from each side - or maybe 16" from right hand side since that would match where the front bracket for the 16" deep shelf in the coat closet (which is turned 90 degrees from pantry) is behind it. I'll have to start hammering nails in near the floor (haven't installed baseboard in the closets) once I get the pantry cleaned out tomorrow.

We're a family of 4, like I said I can and bake a lot, but my main canning/dry goods storage is in the basement (industrial shelves), opened boxes of cereal (transferred to Tupperware) are in cabinet by the fridge but the rest of the cabinets are taken up with dishes, glasses, smaller appliances, cookbooks, mixing bowls, etc. - no food. Pots, pans and dish towels in 36" bank of drawers between sink and stove. Spice pullout in right hand side of cabinet to right of stove. I originally planned on keeping flour, sugar, etc. in the island baking center, but the half that isn't taken up by cookie sheets and stockpots now has a rice steamer, cutting board, food mill, SS mixing bowl etc. in it. Maybe time to rearrange that too, but the rice cooker is up front and we do use that at least once a week, not sure it's worth trying to store in pantry (12-14" diameter) to move flour and sugar into the island.

I think the pantry cleanout/reorganization is going to turn into a whole kitchen re-org! Unfortunately I'm short so I really don't like storing things (unless they're lightweight) above the middle shelf of the upper cabinets. Pantry is easier to reach.


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I think this is what I would do with your space:

Find a cart that could be used for your baking supplies. Make sure it is good and sturdy so that the Kitchen Aid mixer can sit on the top of it. Put canisters of flour and sugar on the lower shelf. Outfit the cart with all the basic necessities for a baking session. On the lowest shelf, put a few storage boxes (plastic containers, or cardboard dressed up with contact paper, or something fancier) that could hold the cake mixes and decorating supplies. Put good quality casters on the cart if they weren't there already, and then roll it out when you want to bake, and roll it away when done. Yes, you'd have to remove a few of the lower shelves of the pantry closet, but this setup would be a lot less frustrating for you to use. There would probably be room on the lowest shelf of the baking cart for some of those small appliances in addition to the boxes of cake stuff.

On the higher shelves, I'd at least line them with cardboard or luan or better yet, a washable surface. Amazon sells these shelf liners: http://www.amazon.com/Alera-36-Inch-18-Inch-Plastic-Shelving/dp/B001PMG76S I saw something similar at a Big Lots a few months ago. Not sure if they still are carrying them or not.

Once the shelves were lined, I'd group all the stuff into categories as best as I could: Snacks, pasta, paper products, etc. I'd try to find a big box or basket to hold each grouping and label it so that the rest of the family would understand what went in there. I'm not one to open every box or bag and put it into a new container, so I'd just stick the packages inside their appropriately categorized box or basket. Like you, I'd rather toss out the package when I'm done than have to regroup my food into plastic storage containers every few days.

Alejandra's organizing website might have some ideas that would work well, too: http://www.alejandra.tv/home-organizing-videos/how-to-organize-the-kitchen-pantry/

Here is a link that might be useful: Baking cart examples


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For the organizing, I've become a BIG fan of the Container Stores clear shoe boxes. These things rock for storing way more than shoes.

The baking cart is a nifty idea, too!


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Thanks for the link to the liners. I bought stuff in rolls for my drawers but hope these are thicker so they won't sag in between the wires.

I do have a solid maple cart (currently in garage holding BBQ stuff) that we used as island in other kitchens. But I have a 9ft long center island in this kitchen so no place to roll a cart around.

Definitely will get some shoe box type bins (I have some white ones, not clear) and try grouping things in them, maybe there won't be so much shoving of plastic bags in there. I also really need to get rid of things like the Gatorade that are only there b/c they're left over from Boy Scout camping trips and I'm saving them for the next one. As I said, cake mixes are only used for birthdays, I buy them on sale but they could be stored in basement. I'd rather have the ingredients I use for bread every other day more accessible, and during the summer/fall I also need salt, vinegar, and sugar almost every day. In fact, my canner lives on my stovetop for about 4 months straight.

We only have a box or 2 of pasta open and in the pantry at a time, pasta is stored in basement long with canned goods. But flour and sugar would be better in sealed rigid containers than in ziploc bags (I use the Big Bags).

But first let me clean the pantry out and start from scratch.


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When you are on the hunt for your bins, keep in mind that the straighter the sides are, the nicer they will be for you to use. I've tried placing boxes, bottles, and cans of things in bins with sloped sides (that make storing stacks of bins oh so convenient...at the store!) and they don't load and unload nicely. Squared sides are now a must when I'm looking for storage containers for prepackaged items.

Another storage container style you might find useful are plastic Iris containers. (We bake our own bread, grinding fresh flour from wheat berries (yum!), and so our grains come in 50 lb bags from the local Amish bulk food store. Talk about a storage challenge!) The Iris containers are sold as pet food containers, but they have been awesome for storing wheat, oats, sugar, etc. They come in a few different sizes, and have a nice seal. We bought ours locally at Tractor Supply Company, but Amazon has them, too.

Have fun ripping into your pantry reorganization project. ; ) Wish I could come help. : )

Oh, just as an aside, we've been in kitchen limbo for years now, and I've used a cute dresser for some of my pantry overflow. The drawers are great for the snacky items. I just store the boxes on their sides in them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Iris Containers on Amazon for your flour and sugar, etc.


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Thanks - I was going to join a co-op but didn't think I could deal with 50 lbs of oats at the same time LOL! I buy sugar in 10 lb bags from BJ's (went through 50 lbs last year) b/c it's actually cheaper per lb than the 25 lb bags and the bags are resealable (sort of, which is why I put inside a Ziploc Big bag most of the time) and easier for me to handle.

Did look at the videos above - think maybe the lazy susans might work well (though can't fit as much on them) but as I started pulling things off the bottom shelf at midnight last night I realized that one of the reasons things fall over is not only that the edge of the box/bottle falls between wires, but also these shelves are sagging in the middle. Too much weight for 16" depth, and no supports like we have in clothes closets (I guess builder thought we wouldn't need them for 3ft width). It will take up a lot of room under each shelf to pu a center support in, but I have one extra, should I try it before replacing shelves? DS's plastic side bracket broke this summer, he had board games and such on shelf above his clothes, I bought a pair of supports so I could put 1 near that end.

I was trying to find the adjustable kind on big box store websites, seems Rubbermaid makes one but comments were that you couldn't cut the top rail (I guess everything hangs from that, the vertical pieces don't have to go in studs like old style), it comes 40 inches long and my pantry is 36". Closetmaid has standards, brackets, and shelves, but I can't seem to find a "system" and individual pieces are pricey.

Does anybody know how long brown rice is good past expiration (2010)? What about cake mixes (2012)? Baking chocolate (2009 and 2013)?


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Game changer - I cannot find a stud anywhere along the back wall of the pantry. Not where the supports are screwed in (no wonder they're sagging in the middle), and not 16" over from the right hand side (which should line up with the front bracket for the shelf in the coat closet behind it). So before I spend money on bins to organize, and esp. before I buy/make new shelving, should I tear out that back wall and put blocking in? Maybe even expand into the coat closet like I was originally thinking?

I only checked the left hand side front bracket on the bottom - that does appear to have a stud behind it, the shelf above seems a hair shallower and might have missed it, but the top 2 shelves look lined up with the bottom one. Who knows what's on the right hand side (basement stairwell)? I didn't want to start putting nails in there b/c there's a stairwell light on that wall and I didn't want to possibly hit wiring.


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Found them! Not where I would have expected - the sheetrock is nailed into some sort of sill plate that comes up a couple of inches from the floor. I took a drywall saw and just started cutting (below level where baseboard will cover) until I hit something. NONE of the supports along the back wall were in studs - even the one that was pulling out when we moved in and I asked the builder to move (he just put in a wall anchor).

Close, but no cigar! Literally a fraction of an inch to the left, and the center supports would have been in a stud.

Unfortunately, the only stud I can find on the left hand side of the back wall is an inch from the corner. Is it possible to support wire shelves at that point?

I'm in a hurry to get the kitchen counter cleaned off to make dinner, so I'm just going to put the shelves back up where they were (moving the right hand and center clips to studs), leave the tape up. I may add another shelf since there are only 3 below my head and you can see from my original pix that I had stuff stacked and falling over.

But before I add that shelf (I could steal a 16" deep shelf from the bottom of that extra deep linen closet), should I consider an adjustable system (2 vertical standards won't be centered, I'd put them on studs, may add a 3rd on the left with wall anchors), maybe one with a rail (that would be screwed into 2 or 3 studs), or fixed cleats with MDF/plywood/veneer/melamine shelves I can move around?


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Flip your wire shelves upside down, and cut your shelves to fit inside. The wood piece doesn't need to be very thick (or heavy), since it's not supporting the weight, but will make a nice level surface.

You're right about spacing them closer together, so you don't have to stack things.

I used shoebox-sized plastic containers in a lower cabinet for pop cans. I buy a 12- or 24-pack, but it doesn't all go in the fridge. Once the box is opened, I put he cans into the bin, so it's easy to pull it out and grab one or two cans - much easier than pulling out the 12-pack carton and digging for cans.

Reorganizing will also help a lot. Now you have a bit of a jumble, and I expect it's hard to find things (no judgement here, just stating a fact). Because your shelves are pretty deep, maybe a complete reorganization between kitchen and pantry is in order. Put larger and less-used things in the pantry, whether they are food-related or not, and put canned goods and baking stuff that you use often in the kitchen cabinets.


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I don't have room in kitchen cabinets for food - I have all my pots, pans, small appliances (which would pull those shelves right out of the wall), spices there. Maybe I could fit some of the oils in a cabinet near the stove but I don't think that's ideal.

A little more organized, will have to do better tomorrow after I find/wash containers. I did have some square Tupperware that had older flour (white and wheat) in there, I washed them out and will see tomorrow how many lbs of flour I can fit. Now that I've got the center and right hand supports screwed into studs, maybe I can put the flour on the right hand side of a shelf. Otherwise I might have to shuffle some small appliances (not the crockpots, too heavy, and I use them all the time on the island) into the pantry and put the flour (and sugar) in the island.

Part of the problem is that my mom gives me stuff - I've got multiple bags/boxes of confectioners sugar b/c I bought and opened one, then she gave me a box and an old Tupperware canister with more. 2 boxes of open cornstarch - same thing. My sister comes to visit a couple of times a year and buys groceries my mom doesn't use, so then she gives them to me. Both of them also buy stuff like the 1/2 lb of smoked salmon my mom got that I don't know what to do with, and some Japanese food that I don't know what it is, could be the dehydrated fish flakes DS likes, or could be something my sister bought and didn't use and my mom doesn't know what it is. I'm going to have to Facetime with my sister and show her the packages, ask what it is.

Oh, I can't flip the wire shelves upside down b/c of the way the front brackets are - the rolled front edge of the shelf fits down into the bracket. I hope I can put them closer together - when trying to get the lower 3 back in after moving the back supports, it was tight to get the last 2 in, putting them in the door at an angle and above the supports, then having to straighten them out and fit them down in. You really have to work from bottom to top, and I didn't take the top shelf down yet, may have to move it up a little to get another shelf in there.

We don't drink pop/soda, I like to keep my home-canned goods in the basement (there are so many and I have them in boxes to protect from light), I buy beans, etc. in bulk and only eat them seasonally, so it's not a big deal to run down the bottom of the basement stairs to grab something.

Though now that I've got a lot of things cleared out (I did have a lot of expired Jello and some quick bread and brownie mixes, 1 carrot cake mix that I never made for DS's birthday) maybe I can fit a few boxes of pasta and jars of tomatoes/sauce in there so we don't have to run to the basement every Tuesday (spaghetti night).


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Doh, I forgot about the side brackets!

I'm the type that hates to start from scratch when I have something already - like your shelves. But I think you would be so much happier in the end if you had wood or MDF shelves that could hold things like your crockpot and larger quantities of flour. Now that you've found studs, it wouldn't be hard to put in shelves like joyce - even if you don't have studs on the side walls, two drywall anchors on each side would support a lot of weight on those shelves (and if you have one stud, you're golden).

Since the shelves would be fixed height, take some time to decide what heights would be best - you want stuff to fit, but not have a lot of empty space between, and not have to stack too much. Your shelves are pretty deep, so you risk losing things in the back.

Good luck!


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I hate to start from scratch when the Closetmaid adjustable wire shelving is basically what we have (they don't seem to have any less than 16" deep) and for 6 shelves instead of my current 4 it would be over $300! They have a "designer" application but there was only the 1 design for my size closet.

DH wants to put a 12" up high, above the level of the door, says we can squeeze stuff down past the highest 16" shelf but I don't think so - maybe he could reach on a stepstool, I don't think I can, and if there was anything on the front of the shelf below that, he couldn't get it down - I'm thinking if we keep that tallest shelf 16" and almost where it currently is, maybe an 8" deep shelf, he and DS would need a stool to reach it but at least could get something down past and under the door casing. But I have to find wire shelves less than 16". It turns out the super-deep coat closet in the foyer has a 12" shelf, not 16", don't know why they did that, hate to cut it up but if I buy deep shelf with "rod" (or fewer wires on the front lip) I could.

I wish I could use that coat closet for a pantry - it's 3ft deep and 54" wide. But I don't think I can use the closet in the kitchen for coats LOL. And the closet in the mudroom has coats for current season plus vacuum cleaners, steam mop. *Maybe* I could turn the one in the kitchen into my "broom" closet but just moving the vacuums from there won't really give much more hanging space, b/c anything with long handle is already tucked against a back wall or side wall in front of the coats. And half the closet is used for hanging clothes to be ironed, I'd have no place to put those if we filled it with coats (and no place for visitors' coats)...


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Are your visitors casual enough to be ok with putting their coats on hooks? Or on a bed? Either of these options frees up almost 5' of storage space that you could use. Every. Single. Day. Hubba! Is there a spot near the closet where you could hang a few hooks? Could they go on the backs of the inside of the closet doors?

If you are looking for inexpensive shelves, you might be able to use flat panel bi-fold doors. This is what we did in our entryway. We hung them on cleats made of re-purposed ranch casing (molding). We found the doors used without too much trouble. The ones at a nearby Re-Store were $5 each. Take the hinges off and that works out to $2.50 per shelf. Not bad. You might find ones on Craigslist. New ones aren't that expensive, either, I don't think. They'd be fine for boxed goods. I might not try to put lots canned goods on them, since they are hollow-core.

You hereby have "official" permission to move the family food graveyard out of your home. Grin. If your family won't use it, you don't have to keep it. : ) You don't even have to find someone else who will use it. You could pretend the giver ate it and throw it away.

Here's a picture of the shelves DH made.


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Not worth the gas to drive to nearest ReStore (unless we were doing a major remodel). But I'll try Craigslist. I did pull a silver 12" lazy susan out of the attic (has ceramic pieces that fit inside, 1 chipped). Put an old Tupperware container of my mom's (maybe she has 1 missed a lid) inside, fit oils and vinegars (except my quart & gallon bottles of canning vinegar) inside, but even positioned right in front of clip in stud, it wobbles. Might work on wood shelf.

Large square Tupperware canister fits 5 lb flour. Too bad I only have 2, and where the shelves are positioned now there is space above for half size (maybe 3 lbs?) canister of sugar, but I use that in 1 batch of jam. Have 2 shorter square containers, but all I could find in the basement were the oval containers I used to use for pasta (before DS started eating 1/3 lb by himself, now I find it easier to just grab a box even if I have a tiny bit left, rather than filling a container and using most of it for 1 meal. I currently have 1 opened bag of elbow noodles and 3 almost-empty boxes of 3 different-shaped pasta in the pantry, unopened boxes are in basement but right at bottom of stairs.

The oval containers don't fit together on the shelf as nicely as the boxes, so am I right not to go back to using those?

Now, the quinoa bag has a zipper (that's in the cereal cabinet), the barley and bulgur don't so I had to put them in ziploc bags - might it be worthwhile to put those in the oval containers? They're on the same shelf as the wooden boxes, all the way over on the right, just above the flour canisters (and the partial bag of Bisquick - a 40 oz box didn't fit in the small red-topped canister - grr). Steel-cut oats and cornmeal (which has expired - don't know if it's any good for dusting a baking stone?) leave in original round containers? I swear I had more Tupperware...

I did pull a couple of small wooden crates I use on my table at farmer's market (mostly to stack things on top of when they're turned upside down, they're not good size for jelly jars - I do have 1 that has a divider that is perfect for a little "bookcase" when turned on end so I don't want to use that in pantry, and another that I use for paper lunch bags that I put produce in). Not sure if they work here, but I did corral the Japanese food in the smaller one and dried fruit in the larger one.

One thing about having things visible - DS eats them. You can see I have only half a bag of white chocolate chips I bought at the holidays - I didn't open them but when I found them open I put a twist tie on the bag. A few years ago I found a good price on Scharffen Berger chocolate squares, used them to make peppermint bark and put them on the top shelf (in front, I was too lazy to get the step stool out) and later found half of them gone - he had been eating them like candy bars!

We've never restricted the kids' candy consumption, they go trick or treating, get candy for Easter and Xmas, but last year (mind you, he was 13 1/2) I found wrappers from his Easter candy in the supply vents in the family room. At least he didn't put them in the returns! But there was no need to hide them - I don't care if they eat the entire contents of their Easter baskets in 1 day (other than they might get sick, but then they'd never do it again) or 3 months. I just ask that eating be restricted to the kitchen, dining room, or rarely, the family room. Not the living room with wool carpet and leather furniture, and not upstairs.

But I do like to keep baking supplies for baking, not snacking (esp. expensive things like that chocolate, candied ginger, etc.) and don't like going to use something to find out that I don't have enough b/c someone has been eating it without telling me.

I *am* going to throw out the old (who knows how old) confectioner's sugar in the green Tupperware canister, and the cocoa (very light) that my mom gave me - we weren't even sure if it was hot chocolate mix or baking cocoa, b/c it doesn't even smell like anything, she put it in a Rubbermaid container!


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Still have to tackle that top shelf but I want to get the ones I can actually reach organized first ;-)

Did free up space on bottom by throwing out expired food (that I forgot to use b/c the waffle iron was in front) and moving some other stuff (soon to expire) to bottom shelf. Moved the store-bought jelly to basement - no one's eating much jelly now, the pepper jelly was for market research, the raspberry, cherry, and plum were for baking but pretty recent, we'll get to them before they expire. Pumpkin expired end of last year to I stuck it in front of KA, have to open it ASAP to make bread (though DH said he'd like pie, didn't get any this Tgiving since I wasn't here).

But with all the space opened up on the floor, wondering if I should move the GF grill from the cabinet (we don't use often, but if I move it to basement we'd never use it)? Box takes up so much more space than the grill does though.

I have more stuff that could be moved from island cabinets to pantry or basement, and stuff in basement that could be moved up to pantry (in boxes on floor), but let's get the shelves figured out first. You all are going to end up helping me totally reorganize my kitchen before long!


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Deleted accidental double post.

This post was edited by laughable on Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 12:11


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RE: Pantry closet depth/shelving

I'm still torn - you can see that the shelf with the liquids and the flour is sagging (maybe I should try to spread the weight out and get rid of the lazy susan?). I want wood shelves so much, but don't want expense (I will look into solid pine doors, or even white melamine-coated MDF/particleboard). Cleats are no problem, the shelves are the expense but still less than $300 the adjustable wire shelves would be.

BUT...we have plenty of these shelves in the house, besides some in the super-deep master bath closet (that's another forum, want to finish that room this year) that are 16", every clothes/coat closet in the house has 12" wire shelves with the open edge. DD's is fine, our WIC is OK for now, but DS's has already broken 1 end bracket and putting another support in nearest stud didn't help, I think it wasn't installed level, the shelf was shoved up against the right hand wall so there was only 1/4" inserted into the left hand support, AND he's got a lot of weight on it so the left bracket cracked. His closet is a hair under 60" x 28" deep so there is plenty of room for 16" deep shelf there, they make them with the "rod" set back (4"?) so the coathangers/clothes don't hit the closet door. He doesn't need that, but the mudroom closet does since it's only 2ft deep.

But if I stole the 12" shelf from just DS's, I'd have 59", enough for a top shelf along the back with 23" left over, which I could use in any closet with the spare metal angled support I bought on the end if it was too short to go all the way to the wall. The mudroom gives me 38" more (so I'd have to cut 2" off) if I wanted the top 2 shelves in the pantry to be 12" deep instead of 16.

I could do DS's closet and the mudroom closet with an 8ft length of 16" "wardrobe" shelf (I don't know if they sell it in 8's, I might have to buy 12ft and have 4ft left over, but again I could probably use that in our WIC). I really want to put deeper shelves in those 2 closets anyway, for his board games and for pool towels (my uncle 1/2 mile away has a pool, so we keep towels in the mudroom coat closet but they fall off the front edge, probably b/c we don't shove them all the way to the back of the 12" shelf since it's so high and there's more than 12" in front of it with coats, etc. so I can't get closer than the doorway).

So just b/c I have "spare parts" in the house, should I keep the wire shelves in the pantry? Literally it would cost me nothing, besides the $28 for the new shelves I want for the other closets anyway.


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RE: Pantry closet depth/shelving

I can leave the highest shelf where it is (maybe replace with 12" deep one), and move the one below it up to give 8" between, the one below that up to give 12", then possibly squeeze another 16" deep shelf in (the one that's up high now, if replace that one with one from mudroom) if I move the lowest shelf down. I can't go more than 7.5 down (to give 12" clearance) if I want to store the KA mixer in the box on the floor. But that puts the bottom shelf at 17.5 - 18" off the floor. How low is too low, and what would you store there (need to figure spacing, maybe I don't need 12")? I was thinking pasta, cake mixes, snacks, light things so I don't have to bend over to lift heavy things?

18" is knee- level - problem with 16" deep shelves is that you can't see what's in back without getting down on your knees, or having a lot of space (how much?) between it and the shelf above. Maybe a 16" deep lower shelf with 12" above that? But then if the 3rd shelf up is 16", you can't see much on the 12" shelf in the middle, can you?

Mockup with my cooling rack set on top of KA, 8" below current shelf and about 2" lower than I would set new shelf (but I'd try to leave a foot between instead of 8"):

You can see that with stuff right to the edge of the upper shelf (about 2ft off the floor) you really can't see what's on the lower shelf (16" off the floor) - I purposely put things toward the back of the cooling rack:


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