It’s all good and well to keep telling you all the wonderful ways you save money by buying food in bulk and then canning it. But you might need some canned food storage ideas to go along with it.
Unless you have a massive storage shed out behind your home with unlimited shelving, you probably keep your food in a pantry, much like my own.
While walk-in pantries and those the size of an add-on room exist in some homes, other kitchens have very limited space and need to make do with the shelving that’s on offer. That’s why I thought I’d put together this article, to lend a helping hand for organizing your pantry into a grand storage solution.
If you’ve been busy working your way through the site and actively following some of the ideas for canning, then your benches may already be overflowing.
Believe me, I know from experience how quickly the canned goods begin to pile up. Before you know it, the cupboards fill, there’s more in the back of the linen closet and your husband’s complaining about the boxes stored in his shed.
What’s worse, the canning process starts to turn into such an obsession that, before you know it’s even happening, the cans have piled up that much that the only solution is to give them away.
Birthdays, wedding anniversaries and any other celebrations quickly become another ‘canned-goods hamper’ opportunity and soon your friends complain that they have no more room.
Rather than lose friends, there may be another solution worth pursuing, one that is even simpler than creating even more hampers. The answer is stacking. There seem to be more and more solutions for this problem, with online retailers offering snappy products to fix your problem.
The Solutions for Canned Food Storage Ideas
Idea #1: Shelf Stackers
The number of shelf stackers on the market is unbelievable. With everything from wire stackers, plastic bins, soda can dispensers and more, it’s no wonder that some people start to feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of canned food storage ideas.
There’s even these strange flat-pack type of storage ideas, designed to reduce wasted space even more.
Shelf stackers are a great idea because they use a simple idea; to use the space not normally used in your pantry. That’s the area I like to call ‘dead space’. It’s when you place something on your shelf and all the space above the item remains empty.
If you have spaced your shelves significantly apart, the dead space in your pantry could be quite overwhelming.
That’s where these shelf stackers seem to come in extremely handy. Not only do they offer you the ability to fill the shelf stackers, but some varieties also stack on top of each other, further eliminating dead space in your pantry and cupboards.
They are the first option on this list, because for me, they are one of the most practical. But there is a cost with them. While some might be quite expensive, others only cost a few dollars, making them great alternatives.
Idea #2: Home-Made Shelf Dividers
If there’s a handyman inside you, or living with you, maybe offer them a few tasty cans in exchange for an hour of their time. Whipping up a handy can storage organizer doesn’t take much effort.
A few boards, a couple of tools and some paint and you’ll have everything you need to fill the dead space in your own pantry.
Even if you have no spare boards lying around your home, cutting some paneling to size will also work nicely. Most hardware stores sell paneling for a few dollars and with a bit of ingenuity, you should have a decent stacking system arranged in no time.
Idea #3: Re-purposed Soda Can Boxes
Most soda can boxes already fit cans inside them. That makes them the perfect size. If you don’t mind the outside of the boxes, then use them as is. Otherwise, cutting some gift-wrapping paper to size and gluing it on will quickly turn them into sparkling wonders to store your hard work.
The good thing with soda can boxes is that they stack on top of each other, are tough enough to keep cans safe and cost nothing, because you are essentially recycling something normally destined for the trash.
Idea #4: Storing in Drawers
Before you discount using drawers altogether, consider this. They make perfect can holders. Not only do they keep quite a number inside them, but they also keep them safe. You may even have a spare chest of drawers to use.
For even more convenience, label the tops of the cans with their contents so you won’t need to lift them out to see what’s inside. It’s a great alternative and makes storing them a lot simpler.
Idea #5: Plain Plastic Storage Boxes
Nearly every Dollar Store sells plain old plastic storage boxes. They cost very little, you cut and shape them into any size suitable for your needs and they last for years. Plus, they come in clear so you’ll still see the contents easily.
Idea #6: Closet Racks
These wire racks work really well when angled up slightly. They come complete with a lip at the bottom that stops cans from rolling out. Great for increasing the space inside your pantry.
Idea #7: Plastic Steps
Placing your cans on steps improves the use of your space by raising those further towards the back. It makes identifying cans much easier than trying to reach into the dark area of your pantry.
Many hardware stores sell stackable steps and if you can’t find some, have your resident handyman design you some.
Idea #8: Extendable Spice Racks
Many spice racks offer the owner to extend their compartments so they hold larger items. Maybe even big enough to hold cans. Designed to organise a lot of jars into a very small space, spice racks may just be a valuable option for you.
Idea #9: Door-Hanging Organizers
Who doesn’t have racks attached to the inside of their pantry door? It is one of the most under-utilized spaces in your kitchen. I have 2, reaching from almost floor level, all the way to the very top of my pantry door.
While many may only be wide enough to hold spice jars, others hold larger items, like the cans that fill mine.
Idea #10: Purpose-Built Can Storage
When all else feels insufficient, how about designing your own purpose-built storage solution? Maybe an old closet, purchased used from Craig’s List or another vendor. Design the interior that fills the available space with as many cans as possible.
The advantage of designing something yourself is that it will also fit any space you choose. Only have a slim space no wider than a can itself? Maybe an old broom closet might work.
You’d be surprised with the different shapes and sizes closets come in. With a little investigation, there should be something perfect for you.
Whether a recycled soda box sitting inside your fridge, or a purpose-built fully automatic can dispensary living inside your walk-in pantry, the canned food storage ideas are endless. All it takes is a little imagination and you too, will no doubt use every possible space available to you.
Because you know what happens when you do? There’s more room for the next batch of cans.