DIY Can Food Storage Rotation

A good rotating food storage system is one of the best ways to save time, money, and possibly help you in an emergency situation. Think about how much waste happens when your storage room is disorganized. Food gets pushed to the back of shelving, sometimes expiring before you get to it again. You don't know what food you have or where you put it.  There are so many benefits to having your food storage organized. Even better, building a system is not difficult at all.

Save Money
Did you know that according to the Food and Agricultural Organization,  Americans waste $160 billion in waste every year?(1)  Most of that waste is perishable food, but expired canned food plays into that staggering number. If you have a good storage system, you know exactly what food you have and how much of it you have.  Because food doesn't expire before you get to it, you save money by rotating your food and using it regularly.

Having an organized pantry and storage room means you know exactly what you have on hand and what you need to replenish. You'll never run out of your kitchen staples if you know what you have.  You can use your system as rotating food storage, using your food daily and replenishing when you need it.

Stay Prepared
You have your food storage because you want to be prepared, right? But how prepared are you if you don't know what food you've stored? An efficient storage system helps you be prepared for you emergencies because you know exactly what resources you have.

Even a small storage room can benefit from a good storage system. While there are many options,  sloped shelves are an excellent way to store canned goods to ensure they are rotated properly. Sloped shelves let gravity do the work.  If you're tight on space, slope just a few shelves and leave the rest flat for other food or water storage. The shelves can be as large or as small as your space allows. Remember not all cans are created equal so make sure to measure the size of cans you want to store and build your sloped shelves accordingly.

DIY Rolling Can Shelves 


  •  2x4s
  • Plywood (2' wide)
  • 8' corner bead strips
  • Deck screws
  • Stud finder
  • Stapler
  • Level


  1. Build the outer frame and make sure it is square.
  2. Place the rails on the frame at a slope. It should be sloped at about 6 inches from the top of the rail to the bottom. This will help the cans rolls smoothly.
  3. Measure the cans and space the rails accordingly.
  4. Place the frame on the wall.
  5. Trace the rails.
  6. Use the stud finder to find the wall studs.
  7. Screw the second set of rails into the studs. This will form the back wall of the shelving unit.
  8. Measure the height of the cans. Place the corner bead strips along the plywood with enough space for the cans to roll smoothly. You can use CD cases as spacers.
  9. Staple the corner bead strips to the plywood. The cans will roll between the corner bead down the length of the shelf.
  10. Lay the shelves in the frame starting from the bottom and screw them in place.
  11. Screw a piece of wood to the end of each shelve. This will prevent the cans from rolling onto the floor.