Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Before and After Pantry Makeover

I really need to stop looking for things. Or maybe keep looking since my house is getting more and more organized. This time it was honey that I tore my pantry apart and decided something had to be done about it. I'm actually beyond excited to share all the problems and the amazing finished pantry with you though. I'm pretty proud of the end result and the fact that I did it all by myself.

As you can see from the above, it was a hot mess. Things just got thrown in there, nothing had it's own place, you just couldn't find anything. 

I have been dreaming about pull out shelves since we moved into the house. Because the pantry closet is over the stairs to the basement (hence the fact that it doesn't go all the way to the floor) the shelves would only be able to pull out to the door frame, but that was okay with me. 

The closet is very deep and, as I soon found out, uneven. The width between the two walls in the back is shorter than at the front (Problem #1 on the Project). So I knew I would have to somehow even the width for the drawer glides to work. I measured multiple times both the front of the closet and the back and drew up my plan. 

I had the drawer glides already and had some left over wood from a previous project so I was ready to get at it. I came to find out that the wood I had was way too heavy (Problem #2). So off to the hardware store I went, thankfully I had to go anyway to get wood to even up the walls.

I got:

1 White Shelf 8 feet by 23 inches
4- 1"x 2" Boards at 4 feet long
2 lathe pieces of wood
2 Drawer Handles (actually gate handles, they were the only ones I could find that you can screw in from the front.)

I had the hardware store cut the shelf down to 34" for the two shelves and will eventually use the left over for a stationary shelf in the pantry.

The difference between the front and back two walls was only 3/4" so I figured a small piece of the 1" x 2" at the front of the closet would work perfect (Problem #3). 

I marked my lines level where I wanted the shelves to go, then lined up the drawer slides and marked where they would go. From my markings and the location of studs I put in my 1 x 2 piece where the front of the drawer slide would go. I just used 1 1/2" screws we had on hand and my handy dandy drill making sure I wasn't putting the screws in where the drawer glide screws would go. 

Once I got the lower shelf's drawer glides installed, I put the shelf in to see if I would need to cut it down. I just needed to cut it down 1/4" inch. Bring on the circular saw (my favorite, it has a work light and laser level), I can feel the power in my hands as I right this. Oh wait, that's right my circular saw stopped working after one cut (Problem #4). Thankfully my mother is a gem and let me borrow hers. 

Back on track I made my cut and put the shelf in. Fit like magic! Wooo Hooo my hard work paid off. Then I went to slide it. On one side it scrapped against the wall and was a huge pain to pull past an inch, but hey at least it's level. So I decide at this point to add a full length piece of 1 x 2 to the wall opposite the wall I already added it to, to even it up.

No more scrapping and slightly easier to pull out. I screwed the glide onto the shelf at that point. On to the next shelf. I repeated the same process for the second shelf, cutting out the middle man and just adding 1 x 2 on both walls. I felt very confident at this point that I had mastered the closet, so I screwed the glides on the shelf. Then tried to pull the shelf. It was so tight I had to use two hands just to get it out. Now after working on this for about 8 hours over two days I was tempted to throw in the towel and say well it's just going to be a little hard to pull. But as S pointed out when he came to check my progress, it would get even worse once I added food to the shelves. Trust me after lifting those shelves multiple multiple times in and out of that small space the first thing I thought was we'll just leave them empty. I knew I had to forge on. So I broke down and called my uncle to see if he could tell me why it wasn't working.

The 1 x 2 is too big was the answer I got. Phew not a huge thing. My uncle recommended using shims, but I already had the lathe pieces so I cut those down and put 3 in place of the 1 x 2 on one wall for each shelf. Always pre-drill the holes, especially when working with thin pieces of wood. If you don't they split and you may cry like I was on the verge of. Lesson learned there. Once I had them in on both shelves I held my breath and pulled. Smooth like butter.

Isn't she pretty. I think I will call her Patty, Patty the Pantry.

Just look at all of that usable space! Everything thing now has a place and I can find things so much easier now. Plus I cleared out some cabinet space and was able to better organize the kitchen cabinets.

Thanks for stopping by and as always let me know what you think, if you have questions, hate it, love it, let me know.

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Pioneer Momma

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