What is a Pantry Rack?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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A pantry rack is a shelf used for organizing items inside the house. It is commonly used in places such as the kitchen where bottles, cans, and other small items are stored. The use of pantry racks is not limited to the kitchen, however; they can be useful anywhere in the house. This type of shelving is made of wood, plastic, or metal and comes in many different shapes and sizes.

An over-the-door pantry rack can work well in an area where there is no room to fit a shelf onto the wall. This type of pantry rack hangs on a door and is out of sight once the door is closed. Typically, an over-the-door pantry rack covers the entire door and has around half a dozen shelves. Often, it is made from sturdy wire painted white or gray.

A stand-alone rack may also be used, but some items in a kitchen are heavy, breakable, and may pose a hazard when stored on an unsupported stand-alone pantry rack. Placing a stand-alone rack against the wall can improve its stability, however. A general organizing safety rule is to put heavy items on the bottom rack and rarely used items at the top, saving the middle for light-weight frequently used items.


The strength of a pantry rack depends on what it is crafted from and how it is supported. A rough sketch and measuring the allotted space may prove beneficial when choosing and installing a rack. It is best to avoid very deep shelving, as this can make items harder to reach. In fact, 6-inch (15-cm) deep shelving can accommodate many items found in the kitchen. To assist the homeowner in deciding which type of pantry rack to install, the general size and shape of the items to be stored should also be kept in mind.

Organized homeowners usually give condiment bottles, envelopes, or bottles of spices their own storage spaces. Such small items might be able to fall through the cracks of a regular rack. To hold these items, a pantry basket and a spice rack can be placed on the shelving. For deep shelving, compartments that slide in and out can make searching and reaching for items easier.

A lot of shelving found in home improvement stores have all the needed materials to complete installation, usually with the exception of tools like screwdrivers or hammers. Following the installation manual to the letter is important to ensure safety. For complex pantry shelving units, professional help may be needed.


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