My pantry struggle story goes like this. When we were having our glorious neo-eclectic American tract home customized for us, I had to sacrifice what would have been the "real" kitchen pantry in order to accommodate this laundry center and this massive upright freezer.
|Not only was it microscopic, it had a 24-inch door which cut off part of the width and precluded the use of any of the fancier space-maximizing retrofits such as slide-out shelving and baskets.|
|Container Store has a free design service whereby you can specify that needs to go in your pantry, and then they have a human at the other end make a sketch of suggested lay-out and email it to you. |
Screengrabbed from the Container Store website.
|And (2) the shelf organizers were all different shapes and sizes, just a jumble of different pieces of equipment that didn't work together well and didn't properly fit the available space.|
For this reason, I decided that the best course of action was to simply double the available shelving, with a twist. Rather than ripping out the builder-installed shelves and putting in all new stuff, I needed to retrofit a solution. No sense wasting perfectly good shelves that were already there.
I first thought I could simply acquire a better set of shelf organizers to replace the jumble shown above. But guess what?? They don't exist on the market. Therefore, I effectively had to create my own.
|Closet hack - literally. I bought a bunch of Closet Maid components from Home Depot, and chopped it all to size with a hacksaw and some bolt cutters. Closet Maid is just about the most inexpensive stuff on the market, and I wasn't intending to win any fashion awards with the inside of a kitchen pantry, so it was good enough for this purpose.|
|My Aggie husband helped a bit with this project, but not much, because A&M was playing LSU as I was doing it. But by the time that miserable game was over, he was wishing he had instead devoted his time to honey-do's. |
Here he's using a Dremel to smooth out the edges of the wire Closet Maid shelving I had cut with bolt cutters. The Dremel is not strictly needed for this project, but it makes for a cool action shot.
|I knew that this would work from a functional standpoint, but here's the part I did not anticipate: It ended up looking oddly cohesive from a design standpoint. Two different shelf styles, intermingled. Go figure.|
|I ended up with a closet that is 90 inches tall where most of the shelves are spaced less than six inches apart. Which means that almost every dry good lays on its side, long axis front to back.|
Anyway, here's the before and after.
On a final note, you can see that this pantry appears oddly lit in the photos above. That's because we installed a pair of automatically-activated LED strips down the interior left side of it a few years ago (there wasn't sufficient clearance for a ceiling light).
|They are tucked behind the door frame and wired to an automatic on/off switch. Pantry door opens, light comes on, just like in a refrigerator.|