How often have you thought that there just had to be a better way to utilize your kitchen and pantry cabinets?

Most cabinets in the kitchen do the job that they were built for which is storing items behind doors so the kitchen looks neat but behind most kitchen cabinet doors there lurks a very dysfunctional world of pots, pans, cooking sheets and platters and food items. You've seen glimpses of this world maybe in your own kitchen or perhaps when visiting a friend or relative. You can usually notice these dysfunctional areas by the way they are treated when others are around. Sometimes there is a quick grab and close or at times the slightly opened cabinet door and one hand push, one hand pull scenario. The good news to a home with dysfunctional cabinets is that there is a cure and that cure is called "Slide Out Shelves and Organizers"

I know you thought they were called cabinet pull out shelves, or maybe rolling or sliding shelves. Possibly you don't consider them a shelf at all but rather a pull out drawer. Well whatever you call them the bottom line is that you want something in your cabinets that will slide out and back in with ease and that will help you to store and organize your kitchen or pantry cabinets.

Okay enough with the terminology. There are so many different heights and sizes of slide out shelves or drawers how do you determine what you should install in your cabinets. Here is a simple guide to installing kitchen slide out shelves.

Pots and Pans: These items are typically bottom heavy and easily stack-able. This type of item can be stored in shelves or drawers with low sidewalls as they typically do not move with the motion of sliding the shelf in and out of the cabinet and because of the long handles on pots and pans the drawers with lower sidewalls seem to work best

Silverware and Cooking Utensils: These items are typically stacked yet will slide around when the drawer or shelf is moved. So a shelf with a taller sidewall is called for in this situation. Typical kitchen drawer for utensils is 3 1/2" tall up to 5" tall


Lightweight storage containers: Storage containers such as Tupperware™ are stack-able but because of being light in weight they will tend to slide or tip when the shelf is in motion. A good rule of thumb is the stack your containers usual height, measure to within the 3rd container on top, this is approximately how tall of drawer you should use.

Cans: This is possibly the storage area that is the most troubling as cans are made in such a way that they stack fairly well but that also is where trouble lies. Because cans stack so well most homeowners will have 3-4 tiers of cans and never have a problem with them sliding around when the drawers are moved.The trouble is in the weight. Most drawer slides in pantry cabinets are rated at 100 lbs static, 75lbs dynamic. This means that the drawer slide can hold 100lbs when it is sitting still which is great but you are looking to install slide out shelves and the drawer slides are rated for 75lbs dynamic or when in motion which is a 25% loss in weight capacity. Usually when pantry slide out shelves fail the problem is not the shelf or drawer itself but rather the drawer slides start to break down. So in pantry cabinets stay with drawer sides of 7 1/2 or less and look at drawers that are high in the back and slant to a smaller front for best versatility.

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