If you are a regular reader you probably know by now that I am a Cans Get You Cooking Canbassador, which means I always have a TON of canned foods in my pantry. Since I’m also a busy mom of three, having a large pantry stash of ready-to-use healthy staples makes my life easier. But one thing that it does mean is that my pantry cabinet is always a mess! Cans everywhere! (A good problem to have, since if I was stocking up on their fresh counterparts, I would be throwing most of them away every week!)
I have shared with you how I organized my upper cabinets, using in expensive photo storage boxes.. And that system works great..in my upper cabinets which are very shallow and at eye level.
On the other hand, where I was running into trouble was my pantry in my base cabinets, specifically the bottom shelf where I keep all the tall and oversized cans.
I literally have to crawl on the floor to see all the way to the back of the 24 inch deep cabinet. Plus pulling something out from the way back is a nightmare. It just isn’t a good system.
So I finally decided I had enough, and decided to install a slide out ‘drawer' on that bottom shelf, to give me easy access to my entire “cantry” quickly and easily. The supplies were simple. 1(6 foot) 1x2 board (I chose MDF since the rounded edges were nicer than regular stock white wood), and a piece of 3/4 inch plywood (I had leftover from another project)
I cut the bottom board 2 inches SHORTER than the depth of my cabinet (in my case it was 22 inches) and 2 inches narrower than the opening of my cabinet door. (Since I have partial overlay cabinets with large face frames this ended up being 4 inches smaller than the inside width of the cabinets.) I then cut the 1x2 down to create a ‘frame’ around the plywood.
On the back and 2 sides I just drilled directly though the 1x2 and into the plywood, but in order to keep the front of my pull out from having any screw holes, I used my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig to attach the front with pocket hole screws:
To make sure I got everything perfectly lined up I used a corner clamp when attaching the boards. It worked remarkably well.
Finally, I filled the screw holes with wood putty, sanded and painted it to match my cabinet doors. Specifically, the color is Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore.
Once the paint was dry I added a set of drawer slides. Our local hardware store was going out of business, so I picked up a couple sets of “Euro Style” drawer slides for less than $3, but you can find them online for a pretty decent price as well.
Next I put the cabinet pull out inside the cabinet and measured the distance between the slide and the side of the cabinet. (for me it ended up being a little more than an inch)
I cut some filler blocks out of scrap lumber to secure the track and installed them on both sides. (This actually took a little tweaking because at first the shelf was really hard to roll out since the blocks were slightly too large. So I sanded them down and reinstalled them and now the shelf pulls out easily.
The beauty of these slides is they support up to 75 pounds (which is a lot of cans) and they pull out nearly completely. I can see all the way to last row of cans!)
And even though I sacrificed a little bit of cabinet space for the tracks and the spacers, I still have more ‘usable’ pantry space for my giant can collection. When the shelf is pushed in, and the doors are closed, you would never know it was there!
Having a large “cantry” is a great flexible way of having everything you need on hand for home cooked meals, but without the worry it spoiling. And now that it is more organized, I can’t wait to come up with new ideas and recipes. I am not sure what I would do without my cans! Cans Get You Cooking!
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If you are looking for some Canned Recipe Inspiration you may enjoy: