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Do you have a standard closet pantry?


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I’m talking 3’ wide, 2’ deep, with a regular door. That’s what we’re getting in the new house, and I didn’t want to pay more for more. I’ve been living without a pantry for 16 years, and I’ll have plenty of other space for more extensive food storage.

My pantry comes with wire shelves, but I’m considering skipping them and doing our own thing. None of IKEA’s systems seem to work well for a 36” width.

Am I stuck building something completely from scratch? Anyone have an awesome set up to share?
 

(If I have to truly DIY, I’ll probably get the wire shelves, cover them with wood, and save the big project for much later.)

 

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15 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m talking 3’ wide, 2’ deep, with a regular door. That’s what we’re getting in the new house, and I didn’t want to pay more for more. I’ve been living without a pantry for 16 years, and I’ll have plenty of other space for more extensive food storage.

My pantry comes with wire shelves, but I’m considering skipping them and doing our own thing. None of IKEA’s systems seem to work well for a 36” width.

Am I stuck building something completely from scratch? Anyone have an awesome set up to share?
 

(If I have to truly DIY, I’ll probably get the wire shelves, cover them with wood, and save the big project for much later.)

 

We have a standard pantry that size with just shelves but we also have built in cabinetry on either side of the fridge that we use for food too. Not sure if that helps. You might check out the container store. Their wire shelving systems are MUCH stronger than the standard builder grade stuff, there are wood shelves available to fit, and there are lots of pantry options/solutions designed for it. The Elfa system. We used it in our walk in bedroom closet.

Edited by Sneezyone
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My dh installed some shelving in my pantry (bigger, but still a pantry) that is just the bomb. It's metal, like metro shelving, came from amazon. 

https://www.amazon.com/mDesign-Portable-Farmhouse-Organizer-Entryway/dp/B07KB5KYPT/ref=sr_1_24?dchild=1&keywords=mdesign+metal+basket&qid=1626363538&sr=8-24 I keep little things like snack bars in these.

https://www.amazon.com/Lynk-Professional-Slide-Double-Shelf/dp/B000SP1Y0W/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=lynk+roll&qid=1626363579&sr=8-3  I have wood shelves as well for my canned goods, but these roll outs he installed under the bottom wood shelf. I put things like bottles of juice, extra supplements (I buy 1-3 months at a time), etc. So handy. 

He had another one, can't find the name. Where you have the screwed in supports vertically and then can pick things to hang on them. Same kind of stainless/metro look but these are HUGE BINS with the scooped fronts. Finally all the mess of my life is contained! I have bins for chocolate (oh yeah), beans, rice, pasta, chips, etc. Some he installed two across (for big things like snacks) and some are smaller and 3 across (small things like bags of beans). The chocolate gets a big bin, hehe.

 

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Ours is exactly like you describe. I took the wire shelves out immediately (there were only 3 of them) and put a plastic 5 shelf unit from Walmart in there for the first little while we lived here. Then I built in wooden shelves a few years ago. It was time consuming but not hard to put in the custom shelves.

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I don’t in this house, but I did in the previous one. It had wooden shelves, but there was a lot of space between them so I could put appliances up top and stack my canned goods a few high. The door had wire racks screwed in that I filled with glass IKEA Korken jars.

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I grew up with this.  My mom’s has wooden shelves that are spaced fairly far apart.  In the very bottom, she had vertical wooden slats and she stored some large pieces of paper there, like for art stuff.  
 

She never really had good usage for the depth — she would keep stuff like a table setting for Christmas in the deep part and then food would be towards the front.  She had a lot of storage and didn’t “need” that space to be more accessible.  

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Elfa from the container store is far more configurable.  Shelving should be on sale now - but their big sale is in Dec/Jan.

I have a narrow closet (36" wide would be an improvement).  I have a rail down the middle of the door with wire baskets too - Elfa was the ONLY company, anywhere, that made anything that would fit.

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Idk the exact dimensions but yes, we have a standard pantry. It had been used by the previous owners as a mop closet, so we installed shelving right away. My DH insisted we use wire shelving despite my protests; predictively I’ve cursed them every.single day for the past 10 or so years. I much prefer solid shelving as I find boxes never want to stand up correctly on wire. No matter what I’ve tried, it remains a muddled, disorganized mess. 

I keep all my tins and jars on canning shelves that run the length of the stairwell to the basement, adjacent to the kitchen. That space alone holds a ton of cans and so on. 

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20 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Idk the exact dimensions but yes, we have a standard pantry. It had been used by the previous owners as a mop closet, so we installed shelving right away. My DH insisted we use wire shelving despite my protests; predictively I’ve cursed them every.single day for the past 10 or so years. I much prefer solid shelving as I find boxes never want to stand up correctly on wire. No matter what I’ve tried, it remains a muddled, disorganized mess. 

I keep all my tins and jars on canning shelves that run the length of the stairwell to the basement, adjacent to the kitchen. That space alone holds a ton of cans and so on. 

One hack I've seen is to get foam board - the kind used for kids' school display boards, and cut it to size to fit the wire shelves. you can cover with pretty contact paper or even the wood look kind. 

BUT!!!!! When looking for a link to that I just found this!!! How cool! https://www.amazon.com/Shelf-Liner-Wire-Shelving-Locking/dp/B00NV8SVS6/ref=asc_df_B00NV8SVS6/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198077890298&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15428923729860542599&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011740&hvtargid=pla-350719023063&psc=1

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Yes, mine is about that size and has  wire shelving. Which I hate. I plan to replace it with wooden shelves this fall. Even though the shelves are pretty heavy duty, they don’t give me confidence that they’ll hold the weight of the things I want to store in there, such as multiple bags of flour, 12 packs of soda, and canned goods stacked. I like to stock up when things are on sale to keep from buying things at full price and I need pantry shelves that are up to the task.

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Ours is 30" wide and 25" deep. It has two half-doors - like a real cabinet. There are three regular shelves in the top (I can only reach one, have to use a chair for the other two are too high (cabinet is 10' tall - ceilings are 12'). All the bottom shelves are pull out drawers. So handy. 

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Mine has metro shelving, so probably similar to your wire shelves. I like it because I can see everything which makes doing inventory easy and if something is far back on a high shelf I can poke a spoon or something through the shelves to push it to an attainable position. Can’t do that with solid shelves! 😉 

ETA and i just realized my pantry is not even remotely the same size as yours. Mine is not spacious, but it is walk in, with three shelving units, one on each wall. For something 2x3 I would probably go with something that pulls out because I find deep shelves in a space that isn’t walk-in frustrating. 

Edited by bibiche
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2 hours ago, Annie G said:

Yes, mine is about that size and has  wire shelving. Which I hate. I plan to replace it with wooden shelves this fall. Even though the shelves are pretty heavy duty, they don’t give me confidence that they’ll hold the weight of the things I want to store in there, such as multiple bags of flour, 12 packs of soda, and canned goods stacked. I like to stock up when things are on sale to keep from buying things at full price and I need pantry shelves that are up to the task.

Decent wire shelving should hold that weight with no problem. Mine can hold something like 600 pounds on each shelf with a total weight capacity of a ton. You could check with the manufacturer of your shelves so you don’t have to be nervous about overloading them until you switch to different shelving.

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We have a pantry room like you described. The previous owners put up shelves like the ones you put in a closet plywood pieces with scalloped edges (yes they put it in back in '69). I wish the shelving was deep enough to hold a microwave (that would be my only compliant because why do I need space to walk into the thing I just want to store things in it).

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3 hours ago, ktgrok said:

One hack I've seen is to get foam board - the kind used for kids' school display boards, and cut it to size to fit the wire shelves. you can cover with pretty contact paper or even the wood look kind. 

BUT!!!!! When looking for a link to that I just found this!!! How cool! https://www.amazon.com/Shelf-Liner-Wire-Shelving-Locking/dp/B00NV8SVS6/ref=asc_df_B00NV8SVS6/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198077890298&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15428923729860542599&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011740&hvtargid=pla-350719023063&psc=1

I actually bought that plastic shelving liner a couple years ago but I don’t find it very helpful at all. Boo. It did seem promising.

I *love* the foam board idea—I’m totally going to try this. Thank you! 

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1 hour ago, bibiche said:

Mine has metro shelving, so probably similar to your wire shelves. I like it because I can see everything which makes doing inventory easy and if something is far back on a high shelf I can poke a spoon or something through the shelves to push it to an attainable position. Can’t do that with solid shelves! 😉 

I do the poking trick, too!  Short person hack, here.  Solid shelving would be prettier, but I’m just under 5’ and would never know what’s on the upper shelves.  🤣

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1 hour ago, bibiche said:

Decent wire shelving should hold that weight with no problem. Mine can hold something like 600 pounds on each shelf with a total weight capacity of a ton. You could check with the manufacturer of your shelves so you don’t have to be nervous about overloading them until you switch to different shelving.

The shelving came with the house so I have no idea who makes it. It bends under load, so while it might hold the weight it doesn’t give me any confidence that it will. I’m not willing to bet jars of sauce and olive oil that it’ll hold.  I really think it’s not so much the wire shelves as much as the way they are mounted. There’s gotta be a better way!

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11 minutes ago, Annie G said:

The shelving came with the house so I have no idea who makes it. It bends under load, so while it might hold the weight it doesn’t give me any confidence that it will. I’m not willing to bet jars of sauce and olive oil that it’ll hold.  I really think it’s not so much the wire shelves as much as the way they are mounted. There’s gotta be a better way!

Ah, I see, yours are mounted to the wall. Yes, that would make me nervous too with a heavy load. Mine are actual sturdy industrial shelving units.

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11 hours ago, MEmama said:

I actually bought that plastic shelving liner a couple years ago but I don’t find it very helpful at all. Boo. It did seem promising.

I *love* the foam board idea—I’m totally going to try this. Thank you! 

This video shows how 

 

 

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I have a linen closet with the dimensions you listed.   The kitchen pantry is double folding doors.  No wire shelving in either. I'm too short to have important stuff on upper shelves.  grin

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So we just put up shelving and we used both ikea and The Container Store’s Elfa and I would say the Elfa was much easier to install.  They both are very sturdy, but I would go with Elfa if I was going to do more.   I’m not sure exactly why my husband got the IKEA for the garage.   

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The thing I’m struggling with is that Elfa only comes in 2’ (Well, or 4, but that’s obviously a no), so I’d still need another solution to prevent a ton of wasted space.

I have a feeling I’m just going to need to go with the standard stationary wire shelves until I can tackle a full custom solution.  (I will cover them though. I don’t like wobbly items, lol.) At least that will leave me time to play with my very first real laundry room!

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On 7/16/2021 at 8:25 AM, ktgrok said:

This video shows how 

 

 

@ktgrok I covered my much detested wire shelves using this video and they turned out awesome! Thanks so much for posting this—my pantry is now much improved! 

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On 7/16/2021 at 1:06 PM, Carrie12345 said:

The thing I’m struggling with is that Elfa only comes in 2’ (Well, or 4, but that’s obviously a no), so I’d still need another solution to prevent a ton of wasted space.

I have a feeling I’m just going to need to go with the standard stationary wire shelves until I can tackle a full custom solution.  (I will cover them though. I don’t like wobbly items, lol.) At least that will leave me time to play with my very first real laundry room!

They can cut the shelves to fit your space or, at least, they could at me time. We had ours cut in store. Basically, you buy the longer one and then have it cut down. Unless…DOH! You mean the wooden ones? 🥺

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It would be soooo cheap and easy to just put up wooden shelves that are 3 feet wide in that amount of space.  I’d be eyeballing what I usually buy/store and making some custom sketches. You could decide what you want in the morning and have shelves in by dinner!

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On 7/15/2021 at 10:34 AM, Farrar said:

Ours had a walk in pantry. That seemed silly and old fashioned so it is now a bathroom. Which probably does not help you.

*Suddenly realizing that the tiny room off the kitchen that held only a toilet in my last house was probably a pantry in a former life.*

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On 7/21/2021 at 9:25 AM, KungFuPanda said:

It would be soooo cheap and easy to just put up wooden shelves that are 3 feet wide in that amount of space.  I’d be eyeballing what I usually buy/store and making some custom sketches. You could decide what you want in the morning and have shelves in by dinner!

Just seeing this now, lol.

 I’m sure I will make custom wood shelves eventually, just not on moving day or for however long it takes us to unpack, build back steps, put up window coverings, and any other crucial tasks I haven’t even thought of yet. 😉 

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