Okay, Steph, I need to pick your Mommy Brain. My kitchen pantry is a total mess, and one of the big reasons is that the built in shelves aren't solid. They are those wire things with the plastic covering. They look just like those stackable kinds (wires go from front to back), but mine is the entire pantry. What would you do so that things don't fall through?
-Alicia, on Facebook.
Funny you should ask, Alicia!
I have installed plastic-coated wire closet systems in my kitchen pantry, linen/hall closet, and 2 out of 3 bedroom closets. I LOVE wire closet systems!
Closets and pantries with fixed shelves often end up with unused vertical space. Mine are adjustable but Alicia's shelves are all 18 inches apart. That can result in a lot of empty space so the key is to find ways to fill that space but still be easily accessible.
Vertical organizers can help fill the space.
Neu Home Can Organizer looks like a great way to organize canned goods vertically. I found this one on the Walmart website. It's under 13 inches in height and $30 in price. I'm sure there are similar products from other retailers.
I see that the side supports run the same direction as the wires on the shelves but a hard piece of plastic, or cheap cookie sheet places underneath would solve that problem.
This corner storage rack would also make great use of vertical space. It's under 18 inches tall so it would fit between the shelves.
I'm not sure how sturdy it would be for canned goods but it looks good for boxes of pasta laid on their side. And at $13 it's not a bad price.
Hanging baskets also fill vertical space.
I couldn't find an example online but I own 2 of them so I know they exist. These baskets are made of the same wire as the shelves. They have 2 firm "arms" that slide over the top of a shelf and the basket hangs below it. You would need something firm (like a flat baking pan) on the shelf to keep the arms from sliding through. These would be good above stacked canned goods.
Baskets contain small items.
Canvas bins or baskets are very popular right now. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors. The key to maximizing space is to keep the sides as vertical as possible. Slanted sides will create empty space.
Even though these bins are slanted I like that they have a space for labels. This can be helpful when organizing pantry items by use. For example, a bin for baking items (baking soda, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, muffin papers, etc.) or a bin for spaghetti night (pasta, sauce, mushrooms, etc.) or a bin for various seasonings and spices.
If you prefer the look of baskets, these Hyacinth baskets come in several shapes and sizes.
I think they would be perfect for storing bags of chips, boxes of raisins, or individually wrapped snack foods taken out of their large boxes.
One basket contains all the small baking ingredients my husband needs for our weekly Sunday night pancakes. He just grabs the basket instead of asking me what happened to the baking powder.
Items like taco seasoning packets or Kool-Aid packages slip between the wires so a basket of some kind keeps me from losing any.
I also keep my frequently used spices in the basket; such as garlic powder, Italian seasoning, chili powder.
Do you use wire shelves in your closets or pantry? How do/would you organize for fixed shelves and small items?
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