Food Storage Do-Over Week 4: Shelves and Organizing Spaces

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We are excited to be starting week 4 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! Last week we saw more great progress from all those participating in the car kit and evacuation list do-over and we are excited to keep going. If you didn’t catch last week’s post you can see it here. You should also make sure to check out the Jodi’s Car Kit Post where she talked about what she did for her do-over.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!


In BabyStep 1: SHELVES we cover getting an area set up and designated for your food storage. We talk about different shelves to consider buying and areas to considering storing food. While it’s not crucial to have everything completely mapped out (because your storage will grow and evolve) it is important to have a place you feel good about putting your food. If you don’t have a place to bring food home to it will be hard to get started and visualize your goals.



If you are BRAND NEW and don’t have anywhere set up for your food decide on and clear out an area. Determine which type of shelf system you want to use and purchase one shelf to get started. Build your own, buy plastic or metal shelves, or splurge and buy a fancy can rotation system.

  • Don’t let small spaces intimidate you. For a comprehensive list of helpful ideas view our Small Spaces Storage Solutions post
  • There are a wide variety of shelf options available. Determine the amount you feel comfortable spending and consider what will suit your needs best.
  • Options for canned goods and other Three Month Supply foods:
    • Build Your Own – Cheap & offers the most flexibility, but time-intensive
    • Inexpensive metal or plastic shelving (i.e. from Walmart) – A cheap and easy way to get started, shelves may not be as durable. Be careful with cheaper metal shelves as they may bow in the middle.
    • Higher quality metal shelves – Heavy duty hardware store shelves should have no problem with bowing or collapsing under heavy food weights.
    • Deluxe Can Rotation System – Most expensive option, but very convenient for easily rotating through foods. Found at (formerly
  • Start with one set of shelves and add more as your food storage grows.
  • Plastic may be better than metal for storing heavier items (cheap metal shelves tend to bow in the middle).
  • Adjustable shelf heights will be useful as you store different types and sizes of foods and cans.
  • Clear a space near your shelves for 5 gallon buckets/water containers/etc. Cover with old carpet or pallets to avoid storing directly on concrete.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!



If you already have an area set up for your food storage consider some of the following:

  • If your family grows and you need more storage space do you have a plan for that?
  • Are you shelves set up to maximize rotation? What can you do to change it?
  • Do you have glass canning jars stored in a manner that would protect them from earthquakes or other potential disasters?
  • Do you have a 2nd area where you store some extra food in case your main area was compromised?
  • If you purchased cheaper shelves when you started are you ready to upgrade? Maybe move your old shelves to your garage where you can store other lighter items.


Having your kitchen set up in an efficient manner allows you to use and rotate your food storage more frequently. How does your pantry look? How does your spice cupboard look? Consider cleaning and re-arranging those areas. Here are some ideas:

  • Store small amounts of your grains in smaller containers in your pantry so you will use them. Thinking about having to go tackle a big bucket in your storage each time you want to use a grain will cause you to use them less frequently.
  • Store bulk spices in your food storage area and smaller containers in your spice cupboard to keep it cleaner and easier to use.
  • If using your wheat for making bread is a priority for you, consider creating an area in a cupboard for everything you need for bread. That way each time you want to make bread it’s simple and fast.
  • When you go shopping bring your food straight to your food storage room and then bring up food from the food storage room to your pantry. Don’t just put the new stuff in your pantry or you won’t be rotating efficiently.
  • Here are some tips from a spring cleaning post we did awhile back that shows these ideas with pictures and more details.
  • Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!


    Deluxe Food Rotation Systems: Thrive Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) produces high quality shelves are customizable in any shape and size to fit everything from tuna cans to #10 cans and more!
    CanSolidators: Sturdy plastic can racks also from Thrive Life that can be adjustable for any width of small to medium can. Available in three sizes and fit on a regular shelf or in a pantry.
    CanOrganizers: The cardboard rotating racks fit on any shelf in your cupboard or pantry. Three sizes available to best suit your needs.

    Here are some resources both from us and all over the web that can help you if you want more depth on any areas or are looking for even more ideas of items to include in your plans. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple approaches and decide what will work best for you! And don’t forget to check out the discussions on our facebook group to catch anything we are missing or see what others are doing!

    Small Spaces Storage Solutions
    How To Build a Can Rotating Rack
    DIY Wall-Hanging Food Storage Solution
    Can Organizers
    5 Gallon Buckets and #10 Cans: How Much Can They Hold
    Attic Storage Space
    Cute Shelf Labels
    Creative Uses For Old #10 Cans

    Please pin and get your friends joining in too!


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