A pantry is born

We’ve been in this house for ten years, and the under-the-stairs closet in the kitchen has been an ongoing nightmare dumping ground that has never been right. We had free-standing shelves in there, but the irregular sloping ceiling meant that a lot of the space far into the closet was hard to use, and you ended up on hands and knees trying to find things.

So I fixed it today. It took well under two hours to put in the brackets and shelves and mount a motion-sensitive light, including time to move things in and out. I moved the free-standing shelves as far back into the sloping space as I could to hold the heavy cooking appliances.

Net, we get back an entire cabinet that had been stuffed with canned goods. Now it’s possible to put daily staples at eye level in the main kitchen, while less often used stuff is out of the way but easily found. We can take the Instant Pot off the counter when we’re not using it and the large pans and skillets are easier to store.

As you step into the space, the light comes on and makes everything easy to find, and it’s possible to stand fully inside and see everything you need to see.

If I had to do it over again, I can think of a few things I could have done differently. There are some fit and finish gaps. But it was one of those projects where I suddenly felt galvanized: I took a few measurements, made a few guesses about what would fit and what wouldn’t, and kinda improvised at Home Depot. Some day I may decide to take out the smaller shelves and do a little better, but today I’m just happy to have solved a really annoying situation.

Ben came downstairs, quietly sat on the floor of the new pantry for a few minutes looking around, and finally said, “I feel like this is the right thing. This is what this space has always wanted to be, and now it is.”

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