My pantry has been unusable from the day we moved in, readers. You may recall from our earlier posts (or earlier general complaining) that this is what we were working with:
The cupboard is tall and skinny, with one sort-of shelf at the top. We buy flour in the big 20Kg bags and keep it in a container (making pizza from scratch every week eats up flour like you wouldn’t believe), and the container has been trapped underneath what we will affectionately call the Pantry Pile. Observe:
It’s terrible. We have jars for some of our pantry staples, and they’ve all be hurled into the cupboard and stacked on top of each other since July. It was also painful every time you went looking for something in the pantry, and especially when the smaller flour container needed to be refilled from the main supply, which is trapped under The Pile at all times.
Enter Victoria, and her super productive day off on Monday! We had the idea for sliding pull-out pantry shelves, like what they sell at Ikea. The last time we went to Ikea, we found out these shelves are only really available for their Ikea kitchens, and only come in the right width to suit their cupboards. Our pantry cupboard is 17″ wide and 23″ deep, and that didn’t line up with Ikea standards.
My next hope was this, from Home Depot:
It’s a rolling shelf, 22″ deep and the width is adjustable, and it can mount to the side of your cupboards. Perfect. I sent Dan off to Home Depot one day to pick up three of them. When he got there and asked someone where they were, he got confused faces from the staff and they said they didn’t have them. I left it at that for a while and kind of forgot about the whole thing until I wanted to bake on my day off, and the idea of refilling the flour consumed me with motivation to fix the shelves. I soon discovered that the rolling shelves I want from Home Depot only exist in the States, so that put a stop to me printing out the page and waving it in the confused faces of my local Home Depot staff.
After that disappointment, I went looking for other sources of the same kind of shelf. My best bet came up at the organization store, Solutions, where I saw a bunch of good options that they had in-store. I rushed out with my cupboard measurements in hand, and soon discovered that their sliding drawers are really only sliding baskets, and they all mount to the bottom of the shelf only. If you scroll up to the first picture, you will see that I could only use one bottom-mounted basket, and the rest of the cupboard would still remain as empty space. With one more defeat under my belt, I made a beeline for Rona to try something radical.
It’s darn-near impossible to see in the first picture, but there are convenient little peg holes running up each side of the cupboard. There used to be shelves in there, and some genius took them out and left me with a big open cupboard. So all I really needed to make shelves was shelving and the little pegs to hold them up. Easy!
Rona helped me out by offering a bazillion types of little pegs for holding up shelves (fun fact, only one type actually fits in my peg holes, and it took me four tries to find the right ones), and cheap chipboard shelving with a smooth white coating. Perfection. To get the correct depth for the shelves, I had to buy a 97″ long piece of shelving. The kind folks at Rona cut it for me, into three 16 3/4″ wide pieces, with a 4-ish foot piece leftover. It was a wee bit of a challenge to get the 4′ piece home in my car (Smart car, represent), but with only a few awkward stares from fellow patrons in the Rona parking lot, I made it home in one piece.
The boards were all 24″ deep, which was about 1/2″ too much for my cupboards, so Dan skimmed off the little bit of extra for me while I got busy mangling my thumbs trying to get the pegs into the holes.
These little beauties are plastic, weirdly shaped, and were SO hard to get in the holes. Whenever a set of previous owners removed the shelves of yesteryear, they also gloopily painted over the peg holes, leaving gobs of dried paint inside the holes. I initially tried to force my way into each of the peg holes, and then threw in the white flag and got a paring knife to scrape out each hole. It took a lot longer than it should have, but here was the result:
Shelf one complete! My flour bin fits neatly underneath it, and pulls out whenever I need it. Please excuse the onion skin flakes, leftover from when The Pile was on top of it less than 15 minutes before this picture was taken.
The shelves fit inside the cupboard perfectly, and once I had all the pegs in place, it was a piece of cake.
Except for that pesky top shelf. My original plan was to leave it in place for a two-level shelf on the top shelf. This didn’t end up working because I couldn’t get the top shelf in place with it there, so Dan removed the screws holding it to the wall and I smacked it out of there. It was firmly held in place by many many finishing nails (far more than were needed for any shelf) and many layers of paint. I made short work of it.
It’s bare and beautiful in there!
The ugly shelf bits were going straight to the curb.
And now to put everything back in place