The Promised Pantry Post

Yes, yes, it took much longer than expected to get you these pictures, but other than my general forgetfulness, there was a good reason. You’ll have to read along to find out….

Here is the pantry before we started.

As you can see, it was difficult both to close and open the door, because of the shoes sitting on the floor and the items inside.

So, we took everything (and I mean everything) out. Here's what was left after we threw away or recycled the junk.

And then we had one very empty closet.

We took a trip to Ikea and bought supplies (details are on the Flickr pages for exactly what we used), and I spent the better part of Saturday morning painting the inside of the closet ( patched, and we learned some important lessons about what patch is good and what is not, which we will take with us into our next project). There was also cleaning of the floor, wiping away cobwebs, and killing the random errant spider.

Then there was the debate about where exactly to hang the shelves, how many, how far apart, etc. In the end, this is what we came up with.

Roughly, from top to bottom, the distance between shelves is 10″, 12″, 14″ and 16″ (with 10-ish inches from the top shelf to the ceiling, and 2-ish feet from the bottom shelf to the floor). The shelves are 11″ deep which leaves approximately enough room between them to squeeze if you are very narrow-hipped, or else you have to turn slightly, but it is still entirely accessible (unless your booty is very large, in which case we can’t help you).

Here's Prince Charming installing the shelves:

Here's what it looked like when we were nearly done and realized that due to a measuring mis-estimate and a wrong recording of another measurement, we were short two shelves (so I took this pic while Prince Charming ran back to Ikea):

We finally got the last of the shelves installed, and as I went to stand up, I killed the bottom right one. Oops. Totally leaned on it and put my weight on it to get up, without thinking. Well, we patched the holes and debated re-installing it or not. “Not” won out, since we could always put it in later if we wanted to, and this way there was room for extra tall things (like 20-pound bags of cat food) and provided more access to the back storage area).

So here's the "done" picture after all that.

And the "done" with the food in the pantry.

Then, the unthinkable happened on Tuesday night (or was it Thursday? I’ve lost track of time) – while simply trying to take something off the bottom shelf, it fell down. With horror, we realized that the mega cool anchors we’d bought (which supported 50 pounds each, and there are 4 supporting each shelf), weren’t the right kind for the shelves actually ( tells me they were designed to hang things like pictures, which pull directly down on them, instead of shelves like these, which pull out on them, if that makes sense).

So, we sucked it up and pulled everything off the shelves.

And then pulled all the shelves out. And then patched all the holes ( did most of the work here). Another few trips to Home Depot and the right anchors were purchased (100-pounds of support each, $20 for 40, and we needed 2 boxes!), along with some screws that would hopefully be long enough to reach the stud near the door on the right.

We spent another Saturday installing shelves, with the end result looking nearly exactly like it did before, only this time, they're much sturdier.

As an added bonus, almost everything on top of the cabinets and everything on top of the refrigerator now has a home inside a cabinet or in the pantry. Yay! Not only can I reach the flour without a stepstool, it is one step closer to market-ready that our house is.

I even moved most of the refrigerator magnets to the sides so that it would be prettier for pictures (we'll have to do some more tweaking still before putting it on the market, but I think we've made some major progress).

and were quite impressed, and we’ve said at least once a day since finishing, “I love the pantry!” It’s a good thing, too, since we put a lot of work into it. At least we should get the investment (about $300 for all the materials, I think) back in the selling price of the house.