We have a large pantry with deep shelves, but the situation with canned food was never quite right. We have plenty of room on the shelves – it was better to keep the cans organized AND visible than to rearrange them every few days. Who wants to do that?
When I realized on my last trip home from Costco that I already had THREE diced tomatoes in the pantry, I had my moment. The preservation situation had to change.
At first, I thought about how to make canning systems on the shelf. We had gotten a rack for the shelf, but the problem was to keep only one can in each row – if one person attacked you, it was all over.
And then it hit me. The canned food had to be in a dispenser on the big, empty wall at the bottom of my pantry.
How could I not see this sooner?
Anyway, after thinking about it for a few days, I built it!
It's pretty simple – all 1×3 boards are bolted to acrylic glass only. The trick was to cut the bottom at an angle to keep the cans in the divider. And the acrylic glass on the front, so I can see exactly how many cans of tomato cubes I have all the time. I was lazy, so I designed the entire organizer so I do not have to cut the acrylic.
- The flat design takes up little space on the wall
- Rotates older cans automatically forward
- Cans give off easily, but do not fall out by themselves
- Simple construction with all commercially available materials and basic tools
- The clear glass front keeps the cans clearly visible, so you know when you run out of air
- Easy to hang with built-in hangers on the back
- Can be easily adapted to cans of different heights
No acrylic glass? No problem!
You can use 1x2s and 1x3s instead of acrylic glass if you prefer. It will be cheaper and easier to build in this way. Simply screw the 1x2s and 1x3s to the front of the dividers.
Plans of photos scaled down
I have to tell you that the can organizer I made was 12 doses high – which is awesome – but dropping the first can in 12 doses high is a bit sketchy – will the can blow it up? Does it split the front acrylic? It's not mine yet, maybe it never will, but to be on the safe side, I've adjusted these plans to just 8 cans.
If you need more can storage, my recommendation is to simply build two and more organizers and stack them.
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