Monday, March 25, 2013

Make Your own Food Storage Rotation Shelf System

 Make Your Own Food Storage Rotation Shelf System

via The Ready Store

(Note: I have not personally designed these shelves yet, however it appears the design is for # 10 cans.  I feel this design is an excellent choice, but for our family I would alter it to fit regular, large  and tuna sized cans. It seems a waste of material and time to design a shelf for #10 cans when they last 20+ years and do not need to be rotated. That is just an observation from my POV.)

This Photo is NOT the actual design in the article.
When using your food storage, you’ll want to make sure that you are tracking your cans of food storage correctly. After all, no one wants to find a dusty old can that they purchased 30 years ago (even though with freeze-dried food, it still would be good.)

FIFO (First In First Out) shelves are an easy way to track your food storage and keep things organized if you use your food storage on a regular basis. You can pay a lot for a commercial shelving system or you could put in a little elbow grease and save yourself tons of money.

You’ll need:
• Two pieces of 24 x 68 inches
• Three pieces of 31.5 x 17 9/16 inches
• Three pieces of 31.5 x 24 inches
• Two pieces of 24 x 32.5 inches
• Three pieces of 32.5 x 2 inches
• 15 strips measuring 17 9/16 x ½ inches
• 15 strips measuring 24 x ½ inches
Circular Saw
Wood screws or heavy-duty glue
Paint (optional)


1. The first thing you’ll want to know about these shelves is that they’re designed for #10 food storage cans. A typical food storage can measures 7 inches tall. If you want to house smaller cans or customize your shelving for a different size, you can; but more about that later.

2. Start with your largest piece of plywood (24”x68”). Lay it down on the ground and begin measuring on one side of the board. Measure down 6.5 inches and make a mark. From that mark, measure another 10.5 inches down and make a mark. Measure down from that mark another 6.5 inches and mark. Continue this process until you reach the bottom of the plywood.

3. With the board still laying on the ground, move to the opposite side that you weren’t marking, begin by measuring from the top corner down 8.5 inches. Make a mark there. Measure from that mark another 6.5 inches down and make a mark. Measure 2 inches below that and mark it on the board. Repeat this process until you get to the bottom of the board. Your board should look like the figure below:
Homemade food storage rotation shelves
4. Draw a line from the top mark on the right side, down to the corresponding mark on the left side. Then draw a line from the next mark on the left side to the corresponding mark on the right side.

5. Locate three ½-inch strips of wood measuring 24 inches long. Locate the other three ½-inch strips of wood measuring 17 9/16-inches long. You can drill or glue these strips on to the lines that you’ve drawn. You’ll notice that the 17 9/16-inch strips won’t reach all the way across the board, and that’s fine. They will always be above the 24-inch strips.

6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the other large piece of plywood (24”x68”). You should however, draw your lines mirrored to your previous measurements.

7. Lay the two large boards on their sides and use the base and top boards to secure them together. Make sure that the two large boards (24”x68”) are placed in a mirrored way facing each other.
Fifo Racks
8. Stand up the large box that you’ve created

9. Now that we’ve created the basic structure of the shelving unit, we can move on to creating the shelves that will lay onto the 1/2-inch strips that we’ve secured. We’ll be creating shelves that will have 4 ramps of cans. Each can will roll down the 7.5-inch ramp that we create.

10. Begin by locating three boards measuring 31.5” x 17 9/16”. Measure from one end of the board to the other making a mark every 7.5 inches.

11. Now, glue or drill the 1/2-inch strips (measuring 17 9/16”) perpendicular across the board as shown below:

12. Locate three boards measuring 31.5” x 24”. Measure from one end of the board to the other making a mark every 7.5 inches. Lay the strips measuring 24”x1/2” on the marks.

13. Your boards should look like these images below:
food storage rotation shelves food storage shelves
14. Slide the shelving units into the large case that you’ve created. The boards measuring 17 9/16” should be placed on the strips measuring 17 9/16”. The 24” boards should be laid on the 24” strips. The 17 9/16” strips will probably need to be drilled into the holdings. They can also be glued into place.
fifo racks
15. Now that your shelves are in place, You’ll want to install the lips on the bottom of each rotation space so that your can doesn’t roll right off the shelf once you put it in.

16. Locate the three strips measuring 32.5” x 2”. Use glue or a drill to secure these lips to the front of the case in front of the bottom of the 2nd, 4th and 6th space.
food storage shelves
17. Now that you have your shelving and lips in place, the shelving unit should fit all securely together and allow for a can to be placed in the 1st, 3rd and 5th levels and rotate down to their corresponding shelving units (2nd, 4th and 6th levels respectively).

18. Paint and decorate your shelving unit as desired


  1. Thanks for posting! Even though many canned items can last a long time, it is smart to use your food storage and rotate it so as to not shockyour system with food items it isn't used to in such high amounts.

  2. very nice ! Where do u buy the blue drums from ? I like those...

    1. You can buy the blue drums online, but just so we are clear, that picture is not the design in the instructions in the article.

    2. Yes I know That the picture is different....Do you know what site sell the drums...


  3. Thanks for sharing these designs. I guess my hubby has a new item to add to his honey-do! :)

    1. Yup! So does mine lol. He hates me on the internet because he always has new projects lol


  4. Shared on Madtown Preppers on Blogspot.

    Thanks Cari,
    Page Looks Awesome!


  5. Excellent Post, I like it
    Wide variety is also available