7 Better Ways to Store All of Your Canned Goods

published Apr 1, 2022
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Someone straightening cans in kitchen pantry.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Whether you’re whipping up your favorite chili recipe or you need a quick-and-easy side dish of corn, a supply of canned goods can make your life in the kitchen a whole lot easier. The only downside? It can be hard to figure out how to store canned foods — especially if you’re short on space (or don’t want a tower of beans toppling over in your pantry, or on your toes!). 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to organize canned food in a pantry, cabinet, or drawer — you’ll just need to be a little creative. Here are seven clever ways to store cans of food.

1. Use a tiered organizer.

Just like with your spice jars, organizing cans in tiers can help you see the front of every label. Professional organizer Marie Jackson of Organized Marie swears by a three-tiered organizer, whether you’re storing cans in a cabinet or on a pantry shelf. A stackable can rack is great for storing cans on their sides, while an expandable tiered shelf is best if you want them upright. 

2. Hang an over-the-door rack.

Lucky enough to have a pantry with a door? Pro organizer Jamie Novak says that’s prime storage real estate. “Narrow, sturdy wire baskets are the perfect spot for all those cans. When you can see them all, you are less likely to forget to use them,” she says. Try this handy wire rack with six tiers.

3. Organize with a magazine holder.

Magazine holders can be repurposed as organizers for your fridge and freezer, and you can also use extra-wide ones to store cans in a pantry! Just be sure to label the holders you use.

4. Line up some can dispensers.

If you’re short on space in a cabinet or pantry and you buy several of the same canned items in bulk (say, cans of beans, coconut milk, or chicken broth), Novak says you might like a convenient can dispenser. Clear plastic is a good bet, so that you can keep an eye on your supply.

5. Hide cans in a drawer.

Have a deep drawer with extra space? You can totally store cans in it. If you stand the cans up (like they are in this photo, off to the right), just make sure to label the tops with a permanent marker, so you can see what’s what at a glance.

Credit: Jen Ashley

6. Spin a turntable.

We’re big fans of turntables (aka lazy Susans) because they’re so versatile. As you can probably guess, they’re great for cans, too. Organizing expert Jessica Litman of The Organized Mama says turntables are a great way to keep canned goods more visible in cabinets, so they don’t get lost in dark corners. 

If you’re storing cans in a lower cabinet, Litman likes a divided turntable. The dividers keep things nice and sturdy, and the raised lip keeps things from wobbling on the tray. On a pantry shelf, try a space-saving, two-tiered lazy Susan.

7. Get moving with a rolling cart.

A rolling cart is another clever place to stow away cans. Keep the heaviest ones, like jumbo-sized cans of tomatoes, on the bottom, with the lightest or most-used cans on the top shelf. Pull it out while you’re cooking, then tuck it away into your pantry or a closet.

How do you store cans of food in your kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.