Installing Sliding Shelves in the Pantry

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You ever go to an open house or maybe a friend’s house and they have a fancy remodeled kitchen with shelves that pull right out to make everything accessible. I am sure you are like me and assumed that that luxury would be just too expensive and time-consuming. Well, I am here to show you it is not! I will show you how to easily install sliding shelves in your pantry or cabinets that won’t break the bank or require you to be a carpenter.

Here is the scenario:

It’s time to make dinner, you forget one of the ingredients but you know you have and extra in the cabinet but where?? Oh! Here it is. In the very back of the cabinet behind a large bag of (probably stale) chips. Hooray! … check the date to find that it expired in July of 2014?!

At my prior house, I had a large, wonderful pantry. It was so big I felt the need to buy extra groceries so it wouldn’t feel so empty. In my new house, I was not so fortunate. I have the standard large stacked-on-top-of-each-other cabinets commonly found in pantry-less kitchens. If you have a pantry like this. You probably know exactly what I am talking about. I told my boyfriend something had to be done if we purchased this place when we first saw it. Upon moving in we hastily tossed the food in the “pantry” and I feared opening the doors. I am short. So on top of all the things hiding in the back, I also can only reach half of the shelves. It was then I turned to Pinterest (of course, where else would I look for inspiration?) I had seen and heard about the option of having sliding shelves in the pantry that pull out before, Pinterest further confirmed this is exactly what I needed.

To see how to install a pull-out trash can under a cabinet check out this post.

Now I am savvy with DIY but when it comes to woodworking I just don’t have the tools (and quite frankly my great grandfather’s missing finger to which he lost on a table saw tends to keep me away from them). I came across a company called Shelf Genie. They have a free no-obligation in-home estimate. They were so friendly on the phone and got my appointment set up with ease. They sent me the contact information of the person who would be coming out to my house and let me know that she would be in contact to help me prepare. They sent out the lovely Miss Jan. She was fabulous. She was friendly and so informative. She walked through all of the options I had for sliding shelves in the pantry and what kind of solutions there was available for my whole kitchen. We decided what I needed, she then put it all in an order so I could see the total cost. *cough cough* Woah. That’s not in my budget!! So I took off the wants and kept the needs and went for it.

The next morning buyers remorse laid in … the 3 shelves and couple towers I picked out were still over my budget. I am crafty and handy. There had to be another way. So back to the internet I went. Wasn’t there some happy medium?? Yes! There was. After much searching, I ended up on a little site called Slide-a-Shelf. They had very similar offerings as Self Genie and at a third the price. The catch? You gotta be handy! I did some more reading and found that they offered these shelves through Home Depot and even less than the manufacturer site and the reviews were promising. I promptly canceled my Shelf Genie order (sorry Jan) and got to work.

Slide-a-Shelf will make your shelves custom for your cabinets. You have to measure the opening. They have a very detailed pdf on how to do this. It’s really very easy but just measure thrice to be sure! You measure the opening width (go to the door edge if it is in the path of where the sliders will be going). Then measure your depth from the back of the cabinet to the front. If you are going to be getting towers you will be the height you want them. I wanted two towers side by side so I had to subtract an inch on that shelf to make room for both. Check out their pdf here for all the details.

With measurements in hand, I got to ordering my sliding shelves for the panty. As I mentioned I went through Home Depot to get these. I was able to get the soft close for the same price as regular ones if I ordered through the Slide-a-Shelf website. You will find the links to the shelves ordered below. You don’t add them to the cart right away. First, you click the link in the description, it takes you to a place to add what products you want, a nickname for them and the measurements you took. Give them good, clear titles, you will need them when you install them. Once you submit this information you can add to your cart the shelves and check out like normal.

The website states to allow 2 weeks for processing and shipping. These came so fast! I was shocked. They were shipped within 3 days of ordering and came just a couple of days later. Wow!

To see how to install a pull-out wire shelf can under a sink check out this post.

Then came installation day. I was reluctant to get started. Projects like these always have their issues, but it couldn’t be nearly as bad as digging through the pantry so I jumped right in. One box was labeled that it should be opened first. It contained all the details about the order and the instructions for install. These were so clear and so detailed. I was pleasantly surprised. Each shelf is labeled with a number that corresponds with names that you gave the items in your ordering. Each set also comes with a guide, it’s a piece of MDF cut to the length your rails should be apart. Install was so easy. Once the shelf was clear I placed the rails on the shelf and lined them up with the guide. I sank the screws according to the directions provided, keeping them lined up to the guide in the process. The shelves were already assembled so just needed to slide them on to the rails and it was done! 20 or less (I had a couple small, fixable snafus) and I had perfect slidey shelves. The towers came in parts but again, the directions were clear and easy to follow. I grabbed a couple of items from the panty to measure the shelves where I wanted them once assembled the install was the same as the others. Though I chose to put these side by side so for spacing I placed the rails and the guides for both sets so I could set how far I wanted them apart. That was it! Oh and since I saved so much doing it this way I splurged on two more shelves for my island too. Same process.

Installing the shelves:

Clear the shelves off and wipe them down.

Place the tracks on the shelf and use the guide that comes with each shelf to line them up properly.

Secure the front of the tracks first with a screw. I recommend leaving then slightly loose until the back screws are placed. Place the back screws and tighten all screws down.

Place the shelf on to the tracks and ensure it slides with ease.

Repeat with the rest and add your things on the shelves!

Building the sliding towers:

The sliding towers are very similar to install however you need to assemble them first. Here is how to do that.

The towers come very well packed. Open the box carefully so as not to scratch them.

Layout all of the parts

Locate these little pieces, they will be what secures the sides to the tower.

Start with securing the bottom of the panels to the sides of the shelf.

Secure both panels on either side of the shelf.

Secure the second shelf at whatever level makes sense for what you are storing.

Place the tracks using the guides and secure the screws as you did with the shelves. Then attach the towers you assembled to the tracks

Welcome to Your New Organized Pantry

The whole thing took less than 3 hours. If you have built anything from IKEA you can install these sliding shelves. I am so happy with the way they came out and so excited that it was less than half the price.

If DIY is not your thing and you have the extra cushion in the budget I highly recommend Shelf Genie! If you don’t mind a little work these Slide-a-Shelf’s are perfect!

Questions or comments about installing these sliding shelves in the panty? Let’s chat below.