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Notes From The Doctor

Customizing Your Pantry Closet: Bigger Isn’t Always Better!

Recently, I went on a couple of appointments to come up with storage solutions for small and medium sized pantry closets. In discussing organizing options with these homeowners, they expressed their desire for “really deep shelves” inside of their pantries.  While it’s understandable that a person would want to utilize as much storage space as they can get, they often mistakenly think that having bigger shelves will give them more storage space. Although it may be true that you can get more items on a deeper shelf, it doesn’t always give you more space or help you stay organized and here’s why…

Most of the items found in a pantry are not very large; such as cans of soup, mac & cheese, boxes of cereal, and cake mixes. When deep shelves are used, 16″ or larger, items need to be stored 2 to 3 items deep. In doing so, not only is it difficult to see the items that are placed behind other items, you must also leave extra space between the top of the items and the shelf above them in order to access these items. This access space is valuable space, and while we may get more items onto the shelf, we have reduced access to them and the lack of organization often leads to a cluttered look.

A better solution is to utilize shallower depth shelving, 10 to 14″ deep, and to use more shelves. In all the pantry organizer systems that The Closet Doctor installs, we use shallow, easily adjustable shelves. This allows for the homeowner to adjust their shelving to fit their items perfectly, with minimal amounts of wasted space between the top of the item and the shelf above it.  While typical contractor supplied built in pantries might have 4 to 5 fixed shelves spaced 16 to 20″ apart, a Closet Doctor pantry will have between 8 and 12 adjustable shelves within the same pantry space. This results in the ability to store more items in the same space, provides better accessibility to items, and gives you a much neater and organized pantry space.

For more ideas on how to customize your pantry closet:

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