How To Deal With Pantry Pull Out Shelves

January 17, 2013

Pull-out pantry shelves, or really any wide, shallow, pull-out shelves are such a successful idea in theory. Indeed, they are a huge step beyond the deep shelf, which doesn’t provide sufficient access to items residing at the back. The pull-out shelf is the deep shelf but movable, see.

If we’re being honest (which, most times around here we are, to the point of vast over sharing  and by “we” of course I mean “I”), the shallow pull-out shelf has not yet reached its ideal storage developmental stage.

If you possess a good dose of organizational tendencies, pull-out shelves won’t present such a challenge. But if, like two of my clients in the past week and a half, you struggle in the organizational department, shallow pull-out shelves can be the greatest storage nightmare realized.

Why? These shelves are essentially just flat surfaces you’re supposed to put stuff on. Fill them up, no less, because hey, you can still get to the stuff at the back! The edges aren’t high enough to lean anything on, there are no divisions of space denoting where certain things should go; handing these to my clients is like saying, “Here, store the whole contents of your pantry on a painting board.” And also, the most sadistic, “Good luck (sucker).”

Here’s how to make sure those pull-out shelves don’t get the better of you:

1. Ruthlessly Monitor and Maintain

Starting with the most obvious– you must continually go through the contents of these shelves and dispose of items that are expired, no longer desirable, or almost depleted (keeping an entire cereal box for a measly three Cheerios is stupid). If you neglect to do so but continue to add in newly purchased items, you are certain to end up with really cluttered shelves.

2. Add Storage Containers

Adding bins or containers to your pull-out shelves will provide you with divisions of space, taking the guesswork out of where things belong. Allocate a bin for each category (pastas, cereals, snacks, chips, granola bars, whatever) and nest the boxes and bags within. You can opt for cabinet organizers or plastic storage boxesto hold food items in their packaging, or, if you want to decant things like tea bags, oatmeal packets, granola bars, etc, you can try a clear bin with dividers. You can also ditch the varied packaging and establish a uniform look with a container set.

3. Give Preference to the Big, Hard Stuff

When possible, avoid using your pull out shelves for regular eats and treats (non-sturdy things such as potato chip bags, etc) which are topple-prone and easily turn into a mess. Instead, stick to using them for storing canned goods, large sacks and bags of sugar and flour, and lesser used kitchen appliances.

Those are my tips; how do you deal with pantry pull-out shelves?

Image credits: BHG, Dearborn Cabinetry, Southern Living, I Heart Organizing, BHGOrganized Mom, House and Home

5 Comments

  1. Dave Middleton on January 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Hey Ms Annie…. Great article on pantry pull out shelves. We are on a very limited budget being we are doing a few home improvements, and wondering what and where would be the best place for me to find these pull outs to install myself. I would think they would not be too tough to install?
    Thank you for your time,
    Dave

  2. Anne on March 22, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hey Annie,
    Thank you for being so generous with your creative solutions to the clutter monster. We use pull out shelving for those under the counter shelves. Putting small appliances and all of the little parts (I am thinking food processor) on those shelves has really contained the clutter and now we do not have to get down on the floor to reach the mixing blade that has drifted to the very back of the shelf….

  3. Paty B on December 9, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Great article. Thanks for the help!

  4. Carra on April 18, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Hi! Where can I get the vertical cutting board, cookie sheet, etc storage organizer? I’ve been looking everywhere for an adjustable one like the one in your pic.

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5 Comments

  1. Dave Middleton on January 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Hey Ms Annie…. Great article on pantry pull out shelves. We are on a very limited budget being we are doing a few home improvements, and wondering what and where would be the best place for me to find these pull outs to install myself. I would think they would not be too tough to install?
    Thank you for your time,
    Dave

  2. Anne on March 22, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Hey Annie,
    Thank you for being so generous with your creative solutions to the clutter monster. We use pull out shelving for those under the counter shelves. Putting small appliances and all of the little parts (I am thinking food processor) on those shelves has really contained the clutter and now we do not have to get down on the floor to reach the mixing blade that has drifted to the very back of the shelf….

  3. Paty B on December 9, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Great article. Thanks for the help!

  4. Carra on April 18, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Hi! Where can I get the vertical cutting board, cookie sheet, etc storage organizer? I’ve been looking everywhere for an adjustable one like the one in your pic.

Leave a Comment





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