The Useless Pantry Cabinet

Look at this lovely reach-in pantry cabinet. Isn’t it lovely?


Now look inside. {{Disclaimer: These contents belong to the previous homeowners.}}


See, how incredibly useless this lovely cabinet is? I used this picture because it gives a very accurate visual of how narrow the shelves are. This lovely, custom-build cabinet was just useless and taking up space.

From the moment I opened up this cabinet for the first time, I knew this cabinet would need a makeover.

It took us forever to finally get around to it. Even though this cabinet gets used every single day, the makeover for it just wasn’t very high on the priority list. We had a rainy afternoon right before Christmas and decided to knock it out in one afternoon.

Side note: this is the infamous cabinet that the mouse found an escape route underneath/behind when we had cornered it in the kitchen a couple weeks ago.

First step was obviously to empty the contents. We were storing small packages of dried foods and mason jars in here.


Step two: remove the rotating shelves and center partition inside. The center partition was the most difficult thing to remove. It was held in place by staples from behind and underneath the unit. Since we did not move the unit out from the wall, we (by “we” I mean the Mr.) had to yank it out and then try to pull out the staples. Easier said than done. The Mr. ended up cutting the staples because they were stapled in from behind and underneath.


Now that these shelves are out, I can finally address that sticky stain that was left eons ago by the previous owners. Because of the existing movable shelves, accessing the stickiness was complicated.

Step 3: Tackle the stain. I used about a tablespoon of borax powder and 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil. I let these sit on the stain for a few minutes before adding the elbow grease. I wiped up as much excess as I could, then vacuumed up the rest, and then followed up with a good wipe down of the entire interior of the cabinet.


Step four: Minimize the points from the staples. This is where things just got classy.


Duct tape fixes everything. The hubs cut the staples, pounded them down as much as he could, but just to be on the safe side, added a few strips of tape over them to prevent scratches or damage.

Bonus for us, I did not have to buy clips for the shelves. I was able to use the clips that held the original shelves in place along the edges and the center partition.

Step five: Measure, cut, and reinforce shelves to fit.


These were pretty basic to measure and cut. Since the shelves would need to hold some weight, we (again, by “we” I mean…) added some 1×2 strips to the undersides of each shelf to help keep the shelves from bowing under the weight of whatever we put on them.


As you can see, we added three shelves and the bottom of the cabinet would provide the fourth shelf.

Step six: Eliminate inopportune and painful splinter puncture wounds, or simply, make it purty and prevent splinters in our knuckles when we reach in.


I used a little over 1 roll of self-adhesive shelf liner. I briefly thought about lining the back wall of the cabinet, but had another use for the leftover liner that was more pressing. I did not want to send my awesome husband back to the Walmarts for a 3rd time in one day to acquire another roll of liner. {Don’t ask. Sorry I brought it up. It’s best if we just drop it now.}

And here we have the finished product. Quite the improvement if I do say so myself. Also, don’t judge me by the contents of this cabinet.


I decided to use plastic bins to keep things organized and to prevent things from getting lost in the back. The bottom row, the sturdiest of course, houses FOUR cumbersome, over-sized appliances. The stand mixer, Instant Pot, and bread machine grace the front, behind the stand mixer is the grain mill. Prior to the completion of this project, those four appliances had to reside on the kitchen counter. Can we all just sigh a sigh of relief that they now have a home. I love them, but not enough to want to see their glory cluttering my kitchen counters every single day.

So that was a quick DIY that brought incredible usefulness to this otherwise useless cabinet in the kitchen. Even though it took us 10 months to begin this project, once we started, we were completed within 3 hours. Not counting the trips to Walmart…

Oh, I almost forgot…I made pickled eggs last week. Not my thing at all. But my husband loved them, even drank the vinegar mixture after eating his. My youngest son who was most excited about them was indifferent on them. Here’s a pic collage showing the ingredients and finished product. If you’d like the recipe, just leave a comment and I’ll be happy to reply to you with the recipe or a link to one.


I made two varieties, a reddish one using red onions and red peppers, and a spicy yellow one, using jalapeños, turmeric, and garlic.

Thanks for stopping by!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Very nice. Inspires me to get onto one of my own projects.

    Liked by 1 person

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