How to Install an Off-the-Shelf Pantry System

Improved pantry cupboard designs can make meal prep a little easier. We'll show you how to build a kitchen pantry off-the-shelf storage system in a few hours.

Doesn't everyone dream of perfectly organized pantry shelving ideas? And now it's as easy to turn those dreams into reality. Gone are the days when you needed a custom-built organizational system. With a few tricks, an off-the-rack system works just as well as custom kitchen pantry designs. 

We'll show you how to customize your system to fit your family's needs, whether you have a small kitchen pantry or large. After that, installing the system is simple. Attach horizontal tracks and vertical supports to wall studs, cut shelves to size, and snap into place.

Amazing Pantry Makeover Ideas

  • Working Time 4 Hours
  • Start to Finish 4 Hours
  • Difficulty         Projects Kind of Easy
  • Involves Carpentry Skills

What you need


  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Cordless drill
  • Power screwdriver
  • Bolt cutter


  • Pantry system with hardware, we used Rubbermaid FastTrack
  • Replacement end caps

How to do it

Step 1 Measure and Plan

You must come up with an organizational plan before you begin building a pantry. Measure the space—including total length, total width, current distance between shelves, etc. Then determine what kind of storage your family needs. Once you have a plan in mind, remove all food, kitchen items, shelves, and kitchen pantry drawers. Also remove doors so you have more space to work.

How to Organize Your Pantry by Zones

Step 2 Install Horizontal Tracks

Use a stud finder to locate wall studs. Install the horizontal tracks in your studs with a drill and the mounting hardware that came with your storage system. Use a level to make sure you're installing the system straight. If no studs are available, drill holes and install wall anchors, instead. A power screwdriver speeds the installation process. 

Step 3 Install Vertical Supports

Once the horizontal tracks are in place, hang vertical supports, no more than 32 inches apart. Install the supports as you did the horizontal tracks, either drilling directly into the stud or installing with wall anchors. 

Step 4 Cut and Install Shelves

Use a bolt cutter to cut shelves to desired length, based on your kitchen pantry plans. Be careful as you work, the edges will be sharp. Install shelf brackets into vertical supports. The desired height of each shelf will coincide with the plan you made in the first step. Place shelves onto brackets and snap into place.

Step 5 Add Finishing Touches

Finish shelves with end cap pieces to cover any sharp edges. If desired, add custom add-ons like drawers, pull-out shelves, and baskets.

How to Install an Organization System in Your Closet

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