What to do with these base cabinet shelves??


I have never seen this before. In all my kitchen and bath base cabinets I have these funky half-shelves. They measure 11” deep. In the kitchen sink base and in the bathroom bases, you can see the weird shelf support. I want to keep the cabs, looking for ideas to make the space more efficient. Easy and low cost ideas are best. The longest kitchen base is 5-6’ long, all one cabinet, so no obvious braces between doors. Has anyone dealt with this before? Ideas? Thanks in advance!

q what to do with these base cabinet shelves

Kit sink base, corner next to stove and is 27” deep into the walled corner.

q what to do with these base cabinet shelves

Long kit single cabinet

q what to do with these base cabinet shelves

Closer pic of the long kit cab

q what to do with these base cabinet shelves

Bath base with weird support

q what to do with these base cabinet shelves

Narrow kit base

  14 answers
  • Betsy Betsy on Oct 17, 2020

    Hi Kathy: Looks like the previous owners made these shelves. If you don't like them, you can remove them without any problems. What worked for them probably doesn't work for you, so I'd just remove the ones you don't care for. A hammer, or screw driver, depending on how they were attached, should do the trick. Good luck

  • I agree, they look like they were added later. The top shelves are nice for smaller items that may get lost in the bigger cabinet. I would remove the ones that don't work for you.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Oct 17, 2020

    you can also buy a tension rod to hang items like the spray bottles on to free up storage space ~ you could start by making sure the items in the cabinets are not outdated and maybe buying a storage shelf to put in your garage to store items you don't use on a regular basis (paint, cleaners,etc) then take down the shelves in the cabinets if you don't like them- it gives you a lot of storage - if you declutter and group things together and even buy plastic containers at the dollar store to put items in that may solve the problem and you could even use a marker and label what is in each clear container

  • If you don't need them, I'd just remove them, then organize in a way that works for you.

  • William William on Oct 17, 2020

    Yeah they were added later on. The narrow shelf allows for shorter items to be stored on them and taller items in front. The can be removed and draw out a plan based on your needs. You may want to eliminate some pull out drawers behind the doors. Or eliminate some doors and install drawers.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 17, 2020

    We added some to our kitchen and under our bathroom sink and they do seem to help with storage but they can sure get in the way and be more of a pain then a help. If they are bothering you take them out. What works for one person might not work for someone else.

    This might sound silly but I found it easier to see under my cabinets after painting the inside white. Also a coat of paint makes cleaning easier.

  • Em Em on Oct 17, 2020

    Not sure what the problem is. The shelves appear to have been added to make two tiers for finding things easier. The narrow base one would be good for storing things like cookie sheets, pizza stone, trays so they slide out easily by standing on end.

    If the shelves aren't to your liking add new ones in their place. I for one would find them handy. I would paint and paper the cupboard and call it done.

  • Janice Janice on Oct 17, 2020

    The solution I found the best for me was to find strong cardboard boxes that would fit into the cabinet and cover them with contact paper. I then simply pull the "box/drawer" out of the cabinet a ways and can access all the items within the box. This works well for the bottom of the cabinet. If you wanted to you could build a second shelf where your narrow one is and then create a "box/drawer" that fits on it from a cardboard box. If I ever get to design a kitchen, ALL the base cabinets will house drawers and there will be no doors! :)

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Oct 17, 2020

    Since they are under a sink, I would use them for cleaning supplies, exclusively. You could add labeled boxes to separate items according to use. The tension rods are a good suggestion for hanging handles of spray bottles on. that clears more storage area.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Oct 17, 2020

    Hello I often add wire organizer to-my cabinetry much like these to double up storage.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 18, 2020

    For under the sink, get an inexpensive kit that is designed for the area and add a shelf. I have a few of these and I have used part of it for things like air fryer and other tall appliances. One area I added a Rubbermaid set of plastic shelves.

  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 19, 2020

    My old 40s house has those, I actually like them now. I use dollar tree baskets on the top shelf to hold various items. And I have some long narrow plastic baskets that hold my cleaning supplies on the floor. I have one cupboard that I store the gallon jugs in. I put contact paper on the floor and the shelves to make it spill proof and easy wipe up.

  • Dee Dee on Oct 19, 2020

    These shelves were definitely added for more shelf space. You can remove the ones you want to and have higher shelf area like for cookie sheets and pans etc. I used peel and stick tiles under my sink to make it easy to keep clean. Just don't make the mistake I did and get a peel and stick with a pattern. Made my life miserable.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Oct 31, 2020

    If you don't need them, I'd just remove them, then organize in a way that works for you.