On a hot and humid August Saturday last summer, I decided to clean our shed. As Barish and I were spilling its contents onto the lawn, Handan came running up with a camera and started to document the event. She later insisted I write a post about it. I fought her on that idea. Who the hell wants to read about other people cleaning out their shed?
Apparently you do.
I’ve never grasped the popularity of that post. The only sensible explanation is that you all just wanted to see my underwear. What other possible explanation could there be?
Fast forward to this spring, and my dear Handan decided to give my pantry a mini makeover for Father’s Day. There’s not a space on Earth that Handan can’t pack more efficiently than it already is, and my pantry was woefully inefficient.
She again demanded photos. She again informed me that I would write a post about it.
Folks, I’m hoping I can make lightning strike twice here. I can’t imagine reading about someone else’s pantry, but hey, what do I know? I’m just the monkey with the typewriter. Handan is the brains behind this organization (pun intended).
And ladies – because I know it’s why you read these posts, my Calvin Kleins just might make an appearance 😉
My pantry is pretty simple: it’s a small closet space with wire shelves. Part of the space extends beyond the door and is a little harder to reach. As far as pantries go, it’s not the smallest, but it sure ain’t the biggest either. My problem has always been how to organize it properly (and keep it organized).
The full before pic was blurry, but I managed to get top half and bottom half pics. You can see that anything behind the front row is unseen and quickly forgotten on those top two shelves. That top shelf in particular held many secrets behind the bread and Nutella. Sometimes I’d find year-old cookies (bonus!), but often they’d be picked clean, save for one cookie (The Boy found the stash and slowly drained it – boo!). Sometimes I’d find green bread (science!), and sometimes I’d find hippie crap like quinoa (when the hell did I buy that…and WHY?)
The Tupperware shelf was the one shelf that I insisted remain organized. I’ve spent my entire life fighting Tupperware, and I finally had enough last year. It is quite literally the only thing in my life I’ve ever been successful at organizing and keeping organized for more than a week. I was rather proud of that shelf, though the configuration shown above is the modified version that Handan imposed on me after declaring my entire shelf of Tupperware “inefficient.” Maybe it was. But it was organized, and I liked it!
My kitchen is mine, and I like to keep it that way. I always get nervous when Handan starts snooping around my space, because it will surely lead to change, and my pantry was no exception. She took a look at it before Father’s Day and a makeover bomb went off inside her head. My pantry’s days were numbered.
Her first thought was to gut the place and have me build new shelves from scratch – wooden ones. She must have seen the look of horror on my face, so she took pity and changed her plan somewhat. We would leave the existing shelves, and she would find some slide-out shelves and caddies to add onto the existing wire. We’d also add some storage to the inside of the door – a total waste of good space in her eyes.
Her goal was not only to tidy up the pantry. That would be too easy – beneath her skills, really. No, my babes also wanted to clear my baking supplies off of the counter…
And she wanted to clear all of my hot sauce bottles and rice from the microwave (and get rid of the baker’s rack, to boot)…
And she wanted to empty another cupboard that was filled with even more baking supplies. She wanted all of that stuff to go into the pantry. I knew she could do it. If she set her mind to it, I’ve no doubt she could engineer a way to fit our entire house inside that pantry.
Before that work started, she did exhaustive research on Amazon and bought a bunch of slide-out shelves that would install over the existing wire. She also bought a slide-out for the floor of the pantry. And while she was at it, she bought slide outs for another big double cabinet and slide-outs for under the sink. I will get back to those near the end of the post. Now, you may be thinking, Hey didn’t you build slide-out shelves for your kitchen last summer? Why didn’t you build these, too??
To which I answer: Madam – I enjoy flopping around in my cabinets like a dying fish about as much as you would. I’ve built my last slide-out shelf! (I hope!)
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, slide-outs. Beautiful, easy, store-bought slide outs. While we waited for the slide-outs to be delivered, we bought the wire shelving for the inside of the door. I installed it, and Handan started to fill it up.
Once she had it filled (with version 1.0 – she would go through many versions before settling on its current configuration), and once we received everything she was waiting for, we began the tear-down of the current shelves.
Somehow in all the chaos and disorder, I found time to make bacon. Priorities.
Removing the old shelves left a lot of holes. Handan decided that we would fill those holes, and then she would paint the pantry.
She used the same pure white that we used for our guest bathroom renovation.
Installing the shelves was pretty easy. We first drew a line with a level where we wanted the shelf. I cross-marked where each support would go, careful to make sure the support would line up with a space on the wire shelf.
Then I drilled a hole for each bracket and hammered them into place.
Next, I clicked the back of the shelf into the support brackets.
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