How to Cover Wire Pantry Shelves

If you have wiring shelving anywhere in your home, finding ways how to cover wire pantry shelves is the key to making that area work for you rather than against you. Another organizing tip to try out, not only in your pantry organization but anywhere in your home where you have shelves like this. 

Wire shelving. Meant to help but so many times it ends up becoming a chaotic mess. I am sure it was invented by someone that has not had to rely on it for holding food items because if they did they would know it is just not going to work. 

wire shelve cover options

I am speaking from first-hand experience as my entire walk-in pantry is made of wire shelving and there is nothing more frustrating than food falling between the slats. I have lost countless seasoning packets in my own pantry having to resort to complex bends and maneuvers with my arms to retrieve them. 

Over the years I have tried a few organizing options to help me combat the shelving in my pantry and today I am going to share with you my top picks. All of these options are linked to Amazon so you can look into them a bit more before deciding if you want to invest in purchasing them. 

How to Cover Wire Pantry Shelves

Before we look at containers I would like to talk a bit about what you can use to cover the wire shelving itself. This will help to give you a much more stable surface keeping items from toppling over if you should happen to bump them. 

Plexiglass Sheets

I love using plexiglass sheets. I have them in both my pantry and in my closet. It was the first solution I tried and since day one it has worked perfectly. Not only is it durable but it is easy to remove and clean. You can pick up sheets at your local hardware store or buy them online. Just be sure to know the size you need so you are not forced to cut them. I had a stash of 8×10 inch 11×14 inch sheets that I put on my wire shelving as needed.

This is a good solution where you do not have a container set up to hold items.

before after of cans in a pantry

Plastic Roll

I just started using plastic roll a short while ago and it does work but not quite as well as the plexiglass. You can purchase a roll of clear, colored, or frosted plastic roll and cut it to fit the shelving you are looking to cover. The issue I had with this was getting it to lie flat. It eventually did but in the beginning, it took a bit to get there. I suggest using something heavy to hold it into place before you cut it to size to be sure you have the correct length.

Once you have it flattened out you can then use the tabs in the plastic to attach it to the shelving. 

Wire Shelf Liners

If you are looking for a heavier liner, these wire shelf liners are an option to look into. I do not have this myself but it looks to be a good fit for the shelving I have. To be honest, I am not sure you need the heavy-duty but the choice is up to you and what you plan to keep on the shelves themself. 

Containers that Work Best on Wire Shelving

When all else fails, use a container. Why? Well, the simple answer is because they work. But not only that, you can use any type of container giving you the same stability as the liners will without the extra cost. This is even better if you happen to have a stash of miscellaneous bins and baskets in your home now. 

woman using a pantry with blue organizers overhead look

Remember, our goal with decluttering is to only keep what we need and use what we have rather than bring in anything new. So, before you head out to the store to fill your car with new organizers, use what you have now so you know for sure it will work. You can always invest in new containers later on creating a more please space once you know a system you have set up is going to work for the long term. 

Wire Shelf Containers:

Plastic Woven Baskets

The biggest issue with wire shelving is the inability to slide containers in and out so you can access what is inside. For that reason, plastic baskets are at the top of my container list. Plastic does well on metal giving you a smooth non-stick surface.

Plastic is also very durable meaning you can fill it full of heavy cans and still be able to slide it out to access the contents. Finally, plastic is the easiest to keep clean. A quick wash and rinse are all you need to remove the dust, dirt, or sticky residue. I have the jute plastic baskets and they work really well. 

blue plastic baskets in a wire shelved pantry

Wash Tubs

This is another one of my favorite picks because of how well they hold up on a wire shelf. Sure, washtubs are not the prettiest choice but for durability, they stand up quite well. They can be rather pricey when purchased online so I suggest you look at your local department store where you should be able to find them for just a couple of dollars. They also have them at the dollar store but know they are not quite as durable as the more expensive options. 

Wash tubs are super easy to keep clean and slide smoothly on wire shelving making them a top pick for my list. 

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Plastic Bins

Next up are plastic bins. These are another super durable option that slides in and out well on wire shelving so you can skip the covers saving you a bit in the cost department. I like these plastic bins and have them in my refrigerator and kitchen cabinet pantry. Again, they are super easy to clean, stand up well to heavyweight, and come in all sizes so you can create a setup that fits the pantry you have. 

The thing to remember with these bins is there is a small “lip” on the bottom so they may catch when sliding them in and out of a wire shelved pantry. Just something to keep in mind if this is the option you chose to use. 

white plastic bins in a fridge for wire shelving pantry

Wicker Baskets

Last on my list is wicker baskets because they really are not the best option but you can use them if you have nothing else to try out. Wicker is the most affordable and even looks nicer on a shelf but as far as durability it all depends on the construction. Wicker baskets are also a bit tricky to keep clean so you may want to put a mat at the bottom to catch any spills.

Finally, sliding in and out may not be an option as most wicker baskets are not smooth underneath causing them to catch when you slide them. 

wicker basket filled with cans on a wire shelf in a pantry

When you are faced with a system that is less than optimal looking for ways to make it work is our first step. Finding a way to cover wire pantry shelves will help you turn this headache into a streamlined and organized food storage area that you and your entire family can use and enjoy. 

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