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Expanding Your Home Storage Capabilities - By Mountain Mama

We have recently moved into our home and we are in the process of making some of the spaces work for us. Our new home has a larger pantry than my last and I was so excited to fill it. I quickly realized it wasn’t as grand as I thought it was. It’s 3’X4’ with a 2 piece door (meaning it folds to open and I can’t hang a rack on the back of it for additional storage). I quickly ran out of space. So, I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. I found a canned food FIFO (first in, first out) storage rack that is mounted to the wall. Perfect, because life is busy enough for me and my family right now to sort and rotate canned food. I went to work. I took measurements of the space I had, the amount and size cans I wanted to store and designed my storage rack. My design consist of 2 racks, one on each side of the pantry the depth of the door frame (~6’HX3’WX3.5”D). This design would provide storage for 176 bean size cans and 96 soup size cans.

Next, I went to Lowes. I found all the wood I was going to need for my little project and man was it expensive! I was having a hard time justifying the purchase when I ran into a Lowes employee who showed me their culled wood section. Complete game changer. We went out back and sorted through all of the damaged, warped, discolored wood...all of it for half price. BINGO! Now you are talking my language. I am super cheap and can't stand paying full price for anything. I get to the register and negotiate the whole bundle down to $30 bucks. At this point, I’m happy and feel like I have accomplished something.

I go home and start to build. The build went pretty well, some of the warped wood had me take some creative measures to allow for the cans to slide with ease. The overall design allows for me to take inventory at a glance, I can pop my head into the pantry and identify exactly how many cans of what I need at the grocery store. It also freed up a shelf and a half of space with a very small footprint. The racks look pretty bad, but they are in a pantry where no one (except you guys) is going to see them and the whole project cost less than 50 bucks.

I was so pleased with the first pantry helper, I went back on Pinterest and looked for home canned goods storage ideas. I took measurements of the space I wanted to fill and the jar sizes I wanted to store and came came up with a storage rack for some of my home canned goods. They are so pretty not to show off. This rack is located just outside my pantry. It will hold 15 quarts, 48 pints, and 12 1/2 pints. I had enough wood left over from the previous project (and some pallet wood), I don't think I had to buy wood. That freed up another shelf and a half.

And finally, I got an idea from Pinterest on decorating ideas with dry goods. It isn’t much, but it’s pretty and functional. I filled a few mason jars with dried beans and threw in an oxygen absorber. This didn’t free up much space in the pantry, but I am throwing it out there anyway.

I would love to see or hear about your creative storage ideas.

Just as a side note, in our old 1140 sqft house we stored cases of #10 cans under my son's full size bed. They served as his bed frame for years. I can't remember exactly how many cases it was, but I believe it was about 9 or 12 single stacked. It was a great bed height for my toddler. You can easily double stack for an adult height bed.

Thanks for reading …. Mountain Momma


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