The pantry. Where 5% of its residents are used and rotated on a regular basis and the other 95% sit there only to expire or get pulled out a few times a year for use. At least that’s how I view my pantry. Correction: used to view it.
Two years ago we were in the final stretch on completing the building of our house. We (okay, Landon) general contracted it ourselves. For the most part, we had two handymen doing all the framing and finishing touches on the inside. Those finishing touches included closets with shelves and/or rods. Our floor plan had a corner pantry and since it was obvious it was a pantry, we said go put shelves in. And that is what they did.
Now, when two middle aged men are putting shelves in a pantry for a twenty-something first time homeowner, the idea of shelves can differ. I was up to my eyeballs in work and wedding stuff so it never occurred to me to explain more. We got shelves though. And they were deep, like 2 feet deep! In most cases, the deeper the shelf, the more surface area, therefore it can hold more. In a tight little pantry with corner shelves, that is a myth. You see, most things couldn’t be reached behind other things. The easy to grab space was like lakeshore property, minimal and with high demand.
Because of this, most food things went into a different cabinet. The pantry was left to small kitchen appliances, serving ware, and the tall or bulky food (like cereal and tortilla chips). It wasn’t that bad until we somehow made it a medicine cabinet. And then I decided I want to use those smaller appliances more regularly. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to take out some vitamins, pain meds, 3 boxes of cereal, a big bag of coffee, and a canister of oatmeal just to get to our griddle so I can make a bunch of pancakes in one shot. And forget about my Kitchen Aid mixer accessories. If I can’t reach the juicer, we don’t need freshly squeezed juice, no matter how easy it really is to make! ??
I’m not sure when I reached my breaking point, but I did. And so the pantry makeover ideas were pinned and researched like crazy. I didn’t want to spend a lot so we opted to cut the shelves we had to make them shallower. I also only wanted them all on one wall with more of them spaced out better than previously. This way, I could actually step inside and have everything easily within reach. We also have a step stool to reach the higher shelves, but they won’t house daily things.
I was really good at drawing straight lines on the old shelves because Landon cut them perfectly with a circular saw. (We thought about getting a table saw but decided the cost wasn’t worth it for the few projects we have in mind.) We bought a couple extra shelves and left the bottom two 16 inches deep while the rest are only 12. Using the wood we had kept the supply cost down a lot. We then went to Menards and bought the two tracks for the wall and all the shelf brackets that attach to it. Sadly, our Menards didn’t have the right length tracks in white but the gray didn’t end up looking that odd – it is a pantry after all.
The most time consuming part of this project was patching the holes from taking the old shelf supports down. And then realizing we were out of paint to cover them.? We were about to drive an hour to Sherwin Williams to get the same paint that was used but luckily the extra ceiling paint at Landon’s parents’ matched well enough. They were only a golf cart ride away!
I actually have one more shelf to put up and got another set of the glass canisters to help organize things too. I currently have all my baking supplies and spices in our upper cabinets but want to rearrange those and keep them in the pantry instead. Since I’m just getting used to reaching things (I still am pleasantly surprised when I open the door), I find every few days I’m changing where things are kept. I would like to get more baskets to corral various food items but haven’t found any I love. I also have plans to line the shelves with something sassy to give the space some pizzaz. ?
Overall, this was a really easy makeover. While the permanent shelf placement is still underway, it has made life so much easier! I can’t wait to redo other closets and shelves in our house now! (Sorry for making you cringe Landon! ?)