How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Shelves

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver (optional)

  • Measuring tape or ruler

  • Bubble level

Shelf position changes can maximize kitchen storage space.

You can quickly change the position of most kitchen cabinet shelves. Many kitchen cabinets feature multi-tiered adjustable shelving. Shelf panels are often designed to be moved or taken out completely for the necessary room. Breakable items like dinnerware, glassware and cookware need sufficient space to avoid accidental damage on the shelf. Customized shelf positions provide the best possible access for the individual user. Adjust the height of kitchen cabinet shelves to meet your changing storage needs.


Step 1

Open the kitchen cabinet doors to their widest position. Remove all the stored material from above and below the shelf you intend to move.

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Step 2

Search the underside of the shelf for screws that may be holding the plank to the side supports. Remove the screws and keep them together for later installation.

Step 3

Place both of your hands, with palms facing up, under the shelf as if you were carrying it. Push up gently until the empty shelf comes off the pilasters, or small support posts.

Step 4

Pull the pilasters out of the holes in the sides of the cabinet. Unscrew and remove any support brackets.


Step 5

Measure the height of the largest item you intend to store on the adjusted shelf. Measure stacked dishes in formation as one large item. Add 2 inches to the height so the item can be titled when placed on the shelf or removed.

Step 6

Move the horizontal shelf panel up and down inside the cabinet until you find the position with sufficient space for your largest item. Ask an assistant to measure if you are not able to support the cabinet with one hand. Push a single pilaster into the hole position directly below the shelf.


Step 7

Remove the shelf panel. Push the remaining pilasters into the holes in the cabinet sides at an even height to the first. Balance the level between two pilasters to verify they are even.

Step 8

Align the notches or holes in the sides of the shelf so they seat evenly down on the support pegs. Screw on any support brackets that were removed. Set the level on top of the newly adjusted shelf to make sure it is even.


Test out the new cabinet position by loading and unloading it with a few of the larger items. Move the shelf if you find that the items are crowded or difficult to remove.


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