How to Organize Canned Goods

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how to organize canned goods

Canned goods are actually a great help because it makes preparing meals easier and they can last for a long time. Some canned goods are making certain ingredients easier to get hold of or process while some canned goods can stand as actual meals. No matter where you are in the world, canned goods will always be a pantry staple.

But one thing about canned goods is that we often take them for granted. We know they can last for months and even years but if we are not careful, we could end up with a bunch of expired products.

To make sure that you do not waste any food, you need to have an organizational system in place where you will be able to see everything and know which ones are about to go bad soon so you have to use them right away.

Also, an organization system will have them all arranged neatly so that they won’t be such an eyesore when you walk into the pantry or open your kitchen cabinets.

Henceforth, we gathered a bunch of ways to organize canned goods that you can copy at home. Here we go!

Group similar products together.

If you like trying out different brands, then you should organize your canned goods by product.

Here, you can see the canned goods are placed in baskets, so the pantry still looks neat even if the groups have different brands in there. The baskets come with labels like canned fish, soup, canned fruits, etc.

how to organize canned goods - group similar products together
Image from Delightful Order

If you like to stack, organize by size or shape.

Stacking things is always a surefire way to maximize space and this idea can work for canned goods too. But canned goods come in different sizes and shapes. So, you can have the option to organize by that.

This way, the cans will stack neatly on top of each other, and you do not have to worry about them falling off.

Use tiered risers.

Tiered risers or shelf steps allow you to see everything that you have stock of in full sight. Think of it as stadium seating to organize your canned goods!

You can use them inside your kitchen cabinets, or your pantry shelves, or have them displayed on your kitchen counter. They also come in a wide variety of materials and sizes so you will definitely be able to find one that fits your needs.

Use a Lazy Susan.

If you only keep a few canned goods on hand, then you can use a Lazy Susan.

Lazy Susans often come in round trays, so they are perfect for canned goods since most of them come in round containers too. Plus, you no longer have to struggle to reach for the ones at the back!

Take note that the turntable can only hold a handful of canned goods at a time. This is why we only recommend if you are not heavy on stocking canned goods. But you can always get a bunch of Lazy Susans if you have the budget for it and just spin away!

Use a closet rack.

You can use closet racks as canned goods organizers for your kitchen cabinets. These closet racks are usually easy to trim with the help of a hacksaw. Then, all you have to do is mount some screws to hold the rack in place.

Having it in a slant position means the cans will just roll down into place when you grab one from the front row.

how to organize canned goods - use a closet rack
Image from Family Handyman

Use magazine holders.

You can upcycle magazine holders or magazine racks to stack your canned goods and save space. The cool thing is that these magazine holders are very cheap and they can be found in any office supply store near you.

You can have one holder for every type of canned good you want to keep stock of.

Hide them in the drawers.

If you have a free kitchen drawer, you can keep your canned goods in it. Of course, you have to remind everyone not to pull out the whole drawer all at once or you will be in for a heavy surprise!

Arrange your canned goods sideways so you can see the labels, but you can save more space if they are upright. The problem is you won’t see the labels this way so all you have to do is write the contents on the bottom of the can.

how to organize canned goods - hide them in drawers
Image from One Crazy House

DIY slide-out narrow organizer.

If you lack storage space but have the talent for carpentry, you should check out this DIY project!

Savannah Kay decided to take advantage of the 6-inch space between the wall and the fridge and created this canned goods organizer that provides a lot of storage space.

how to organize canned goods - DIY slide-out narrow organizer
Image from Classy Clutter

Use an over-the-door rack.

If you have pantry doors, you may use an over-the-door rack to organize your canned goods. This way you have more space on your shelves! Just make sure that you also apply a door stopper so that people will not be slamming the door.

Keep them on the walls.

This is another DIY solution if you do not have a pantry or kitchen cabinets. As you can see, it’s a grab-and-go solution where the cans just roll down when you grab one.

how to organize canned goods - keep them on walls
Image from Amy and Toby

It is also a good way to ensure you use the oldest ones in your stock first. When you refill, the new products go to the top, so it is a sure way to consume everything without worrying about expired products!

Use plastic bins.

Plastic bins can easily corral your canned goods together if you like arranging them by product category. It is always best to stick with transparent bins so that you can easily see what the contents are.

This way, you can just lift up the bin that has the products you need and choose which brand you prefer!

how to organize canned goods - use plastic bins
Image from I Heart Organizing

Measure and maximize your space.

Have you ever wondered why most pantry shelves are not placed at equal heights? This is to accommodate a wide variety of products and containers.

Just take a look at this sample. The pantry space is maximized because the products are grouped together according to their height. It also looks a lot neater this way!

how to organize canned goods - measure and maximize space
Image from Food Storage Moms

DIY slide-out cabinet shelf.

The thing about keeping canned goods in your kitchen cabinets is that sometimes you have to dig around to find what you need. And when the specific canned good you want is all the way at the back, you can create a mess.

But with this DIY project, you no longer have to worry about this. Just slide out the tray and you can easily grab the canned good that you need.

how to organize canned goods - DIY slide-out cabinet shelf
Image from The Kim Six Fix

Canned food dispenser rack.

If you like to stock multiple items of your favorite canned goods, you should check out this canned food dispenser rack. The new stock can just be inserted on the top rack and they will roll down the ramp once you grab a can from the bottom rack.

It’s a good organization method that does not take up much space, plus, it lets you consume your oldest stock first!

Old cans at the front, new ones at the back.

No matter what kind of organization system you go for, this should always be applied so that you always consume the old cans first. This is important so you do not grab a can someday and feel frustrated because it is already expired.

You may think this is common sense but so many people often eat the new ones first and end up wasting the old ones because they were not consumed on time. Being able to consume all your canned goods on time is one way to not waste your money!

old cans at the front, new ones at the back
Image from Food Network

It’s really an easy system – every time you do a restock and there is still some old stock, place the new ones at the back. Simple!

Create an “Eat Me First” container.

Here is another simple way to avoid expired food but it requires some dedication. This is usually done on fridge items. But of course, you can apply this technique to canned goods too!

"eat me first" container
Image from In Habitat

Have a container and place an “Eat Me First” label on it. Every month, go through your canned goods and see which ones will be expiring soon. Then, put all of them in the container! Do the same with other pantry items.

If people get hungry, you can tell them they can get anything from the “Eat Me First” box!

Organize your canned goods and don’t waste any!

Everybody stocks up on canned goods and we bet you have more than 10 around in your kitchen.

Whether you go big on your grocery shopping and get a bunch of canned goods every time, or you just have a few to last you for the week, these organization tips and tricks will surely help you out in the pantry and in the kitchen!

Need more ideas for organizing the pantry? Check these out!

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Apply these tips to organize your canned goods well and never let anything get expired again... ever! See everything and keep them neatly arranged.

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