So this month you’re getting your food storage pantry all organized and up to date. How do you keep your foods organized? Well, I’ve been looking for ideas. But I’m kind of hard to please. Here’s what I’m looking for: first, the storage needs to save space. Second, I want easy to use. Third, it has to be easy to clean. Fourth, it has to be affordable. There are some pretty amazing FIFO (First In, First Out, rolling-can-type) storage systems out there but they are soooooo expensive. Lastly, if it’s going to be a DIY project, it has to be some thing I can do.
So here are some things projects that might fit the bill:
This is the old standby. Seriously. This version has been around since I was a young girl (longer than you want to know.) My parents had some made that were very similar to this. But it’s kind of big. Granted, it’s holding about all the cans you could ever want to buy, so for a big family this might be just the ticket. But it looks like a project that’s a little beyond my meager DIY skills. I like that it has coaster wheels, that makes it easy to move and clean around. Or you could put it on legs that are tall enough to allow you to store 5-gallon buckets or water storage underneath. The instructions for this project are very thorough, with lots of measurements and diagrams.
Here are kits to make modular rotating can shelves. These are modular, so you can put several together to create a larger system and tailor it to fit your space. Price is not as low as I’d like (But keep in mind, I’m the one who does Christmas shopping at the thrift store.)
Here’s another modular-type version. The author says each unit costs about $5 to make, which is very affordable. They’ll fit on the shelves you already have in the kitchen or pantry or you can mount several together to create a larger unit. And it looks like it might be in my skill-range. That’s a plus. I would paint it with a good hard glossy paint to make it easier to clean. Really, the only drawback I can see with this one is that you can’t always see what cans are coming down the chute.
OK, now we’re getting to projects that are more my speed. I really like these next two. They are very compact, mounting right to your pantry or storage room wall. The biggest difference is the first one uses just regular 2X4’s at the front to hold the cans. I also like how they created shelves on the end. Lots of good diagrams and pictures in this blog.
This one on the right uses trim instead of 2X4s for the front ledges. That, along with a nice white paint job gives it a nice finished look. They include a how-to video, which is especially nice for handicapped DIY-ers like me.
The thing I like about both of these is that they are compact, easy to load, you can see all the cans (so you know what you’re pulling out), and they both look like projects I could do by myself, with very few power tools required. (At least I think I can.)
Now this site did a great job–they give us three–yes, count them: three!–different designs all in one place. The first is a horizontal feeder. No gravity, just push the cans from right to left. The second is another version of the modular units pictured above. And the third is a variation on the two two wall-mounted units just above. I like the lip sort of thing that catches the cans on the bottom.
I have to say this last one (pictured on the right) is one of my favorites. It’s pure genius, simple yet elegantly functional. The project is so easy I think even I could do it–without needing any chocolate. (And that’s saying a lot.) Basically she just installed ready-made lazy Susans in the corner of each shelf. It’s such a clever use of ready-made products and efficient use of space. What’s not to like?
So there you have it–a complete round up (or as complete as I can make it) of different shelving and can storage options. Hopefully one (or more) of these will be just the thing you need to manage your food storage and keep it organized.