From pantry pack rat to pantry paradise (part three)

Part THREE of a SIX part series revealing this pantry one shelf at a time.  Click on photos to enlarge!

photo of young mother in her kitchen

Sharyn in her Kitchen, what lies behind closed doors is about to be revealed

Sharyn loves her home, loves cooking but hates her pantry more than anything else in her kitchen. She has a husband, two small children and a busy life. Unable to do it alone, she called in the big guns and prepared for an overhaul.

Her biggest frustrations were not knowing what was in her pantry and when she did know it was in there ‘somewhere’ she had difficulty finding, removing, using and replacing items on a day to day basis. She was ready to totally update her kitchen because she believed the fault was in the SIZE of her kitchen.

Here is a BEFORE photos of Sharyn’s Pantry for you to review.

Photo of cluttered pantry before any work was done on it.

This is a typical household pantry

Let’s examine the SECOND shelf!

Photo of second shelf of pantry with a jumble of items

Lovely jumble of spices, jams and spreads, jars and cans

BEFORE Sharyn attempted to organise this deep shelf with a couple of great containers which are a perfect size for her pantry. But the good news ends there. Items on this shelf were impossible to see, awkward to remove and replacing items was a nightmare. It was a complete jumble and extremely frustrating!  

DURING We removed everything from this shelf and as it was one of the best shelves in her pantry in terms of access (it was at eye level, which is prime level), we decided to install a few extra layers so everything would be visable and accessible.

We added one back step shelf and two step shelves, one on either side of the pantry creating a U shape. This gave us two levels to store jars and cans. The bottom layer was to store spares or less frequently used items and the top layer was for items that would be accessed all the time. One long container housed all the daily spreads like jam and vegemite and a few other long containers hold everyday items.

Photo of pantry shelf showing shelf at back and two on the sides.

The back step shelf was designed to hold three layers of cans/jars

Photo of Left shelf of pantry

The left side shelf sits on top of the back step shelf so there are no dead corners. clever eh?


Photo of right hand shelf

The right step mirrors the left step, completing the U shape

AFTER Top shelves often pose a storage problem simply because items spread out and get lost. The easiest and least expensive solution is to install tubs to contain unopened and lighter weight items like napkins, paper towels, packets of biscuits, cereal and cake mixes. Choose tube to suit the width and depth of your cupboard. Take measurements of your cupboard and then shop for containers that will fit your specific circumstances. Every cupboard will have different needs. This cupboard has recesses on both sides of the door so only the middle container comes out in one movement. To remove the left or right hand containers the middle one has to move first. So it’s best to place items most frequently used in the middle container. Regardless accessing, removing and replacing items on this top shelf will be a breeze from now on and Sharyn is delighted with the very cost effective solution.  
photo of pantry shelf

Add some long containers in the middle of the U shape and now everything is accessible

Now that the second shelf is organised we will move down to the third shelf.  The series of 6 blog posts will show you how we reorganised and maximised each shelf so you can replicate it at home.  Be sure to see all 6 posts:

From Pantry Pack Rat to Pantry Paradise Part One – overview of the pantry

From Pantry Pack Rat to Pantry Paradise Part Two – three tubs hold it all

From Pantry Pack Rat to Pantry Paradise Part Three – second shelf, cans, jars

From Pantry Pack Rat to Pantry Paradise Part Four – third shelf, oils, baking

From Pantry Pack Rat to Pantry Paradise Part Five – dry goods, cereals

From Pantry Pack Rat to Pantry Paradise Part Six- pasta and legumes, potatoes and onions

For more information about how to organise your home read From Stuffed to Sorted or call us for a consultation 0418 597 297.

Psst:  If your paperwork is out of control book into our Melbourne Paper Flow workshop on 8 Sept 2014. You’ll be glad you did!

MaryAnne Bennie is an expert professional organiser, trainer, speaker and author. Her best selling books From Stuffed to Sorted and Paper Flow may be purchased on her website.