Improving pantry shelving

I moved into a home with a decent size pantry, but it only had three 12” deep wire shelves. While I find them tolerable in clothes closets, I don’t like the way everything falls over on wire shelves in a pantry. It was really a pitiful use of space that wasn’t going to work for me and I wanted to improve the pantry shelving BEFORE I started unloading boxes.

Improving pantry shelves -

My sad looking 3 wire shelves in the pantry


I went to Home Depot and purchased four tracks and shelf clips which are technically called pilaster standards and supports. I also bought a 4’ x 8’ sheet ¾” MDF. I had the nice guys in the lumber department cut the board into 16” strips and then 5 shelves cut to 35 1/2” to maximize the use of the space. Be sure to have your boards cut at least 1/8″ shorter than the space between the tracks to allow for angling the boards into place.


Support for shelf



The only tricky part about installing the standards is the need to get all four of them level so your shelves will be level. I secured each track with 5 hollow wall anchors.

Once the tracks are installed you insert the clips that hold the shelves and drop your shelves in place and load the shelves.

Improving pantry shelves -

I needed space at the bottom for the dog food and dog biscuit containers so I could only fit in 5 shelves.  You can see on the floor I also had room for a container for recyclables. Between the added depth of the pantry shelving (going from 12″ to 16″) and the additional shelves (going from 3 shelves to 5 shelves) the pantry now holds an enormous amount. And if I buy some now appliance or something else that is tall, I can easily adjust a shelf up or down to accommodate it.

At some point when I have more time I want to touch up the wall paint from removing the wire shelves, paint the MDF shelves white, and do a better job with the shelf liner, but that is farther down the priority list.

Improving pantry shelves -

I went from 1296 square inches of shelf space to 2880 square inches. The sheet of MDF was around $38 and I have boards left over to use on other projects. The standards and supports ran about $20. HUGE improvement over 3 wire pantry shelving and all for less than $60.

I re-purposed the 3 wire shelves in the pantry and they are now in the master closet so nothing went to waste.



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