canventory" to keep track) and even if you know what's back there, you may have to pull out several intervening items to get to it.
The best way we could think of to solve this problem without embarking on a major kitchen remodel was to install sliding shelves in the pantry. These would both give us more square footage (since we could easily squeeze in a sixth shelf in the available space) and make all the space more usable. And now, after four years and a number of other projects, we've finally decided it's time to go for it.
Since our pantry apparently isn't a standard depth, Brian originally intended to make custom-built shelves that would use every square inch of the available space. However, when he looked into the cost of the hardware that would be required, he discovered that building the shelves from scratch would cost as much as or more than buying them ready-made. So we decided to sacrifice an inch or so off each shelf in exchange for the convenience of having them arrive ready-built, as well as the knowledge that they'd all be a uniform size. There are many sites on the Web selling these, but a little research revealed that they all offer pretty much identical models, so we decided on the standard sliding shelf from KitchenShelves.com, which offered the best price. They arrived yesterday, neatly packed in two large boxes, and now all we have to do is stain them, finish them, and—the tricky part—install them.
The reason the last part is tricky is that in order to install them, we have to dismantle the original pantry. First we need to remove the doors and the cabinet frame, ideally without damaging it, since we'll want to put it back at the end. Then we need to rip out the old shelves, which probably won't come loose without a struggle and will end up taking some portion of the wall with them. And after that, depending on where the studs turn out to be, we will most likely have to build a plywood box to fill the whole pantry space so that we will have a secure base to attach the shelf hardware to. (This is not unlike a project Karl did in the first season—in fact, possibly the series premiere—of Wasted Spaces.)