Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canned Goods Rack for the Pantry

When we moved into our house a few years back, the one thing that I was glad to gain was a pantry in the kitchen. At our last house, we had used a closet in our basement to store extra food items. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that the wire rack shelving that seems to be used so universally in the closets is not at all suited for holding significant numbers of cans. At least not with the configuration that I have that only has side supports due to the relatively small size of the pantry. To combat this, I found myself organizing my shelves with cans lining the three wall sides and then filling the middle with other "lighter" stuff. Unfortunately, this way of organizing resulted in me double stacking cans and made locating items more challenging. I knew there had to be a better way.

I wanted something that would allow me to organize my cans where they would be easily accessible. As I thought about possible solutions, I decided that the racks that Campbell's Soup was displayed in on shelf was exactly what I needed to help me organize my pantry. I figured that something like that would be easy to find. I searched high and low for something that I could purchase. I tried a number of racks, including both wire and plastic soda can organizers, but nothing worked for canned vegetables. I even contacted Campbell's directly to see if I could either order through them or if they could put me in contact with a supplier. All to no avail.

Then, one day, I found it. I found it on QVC.com (just checked, I can't find it there anymore). It has plastic rails with metal connection rods. It was a little more money than I had hoped to spend, but I decided to maximize my shipping dollar and to allow for more storage, I would get two racks. This turned out to be a great idea on my part, because when I received the racks, I discovered that when you bought two you could use the enclosed connection rods to connect the two racks, creating a "third" rack between the two I had purchased. The two racks I had purchased were perfectly sized for a standard vegetable can (and canned pasta, beans, tomatoes, etc) and the additional rack created with the connection rods is the perfect size for soup cans. Actually, if I had bought the third rack, I would then be able to have five "racks". The modularity is a very nice feature.

Each rack has two sections, one inside the other, so it allows for the storage of a lot of cans. I keep vegetables in one section, beans in one, tomatoes in one and canned pasta meals in one. I have two sections for soup, which I have split between eating soups and cooking soups. It is a great organization tool. Since you load the cans from the top and remove them from the bottom, it helps to make sure that we are using the oldest product first.

I keep the rack on the floor, it is much too heavy to put on a shelf. This required me to relocate things like soda that I had previously stored on the floor of the pantry, but freed up some additional space for me on the shelves. I still struggle to keep the balance of the pantry organized, but my cans are always in order.

This is one organization tool that I am glad I found.

For other Kitchen Orgnazition Solutions, check out Works For Me Wednesday Kitchen Organization Edition at Rocks in My Dryer. Find other tools to make your life easier at Toolin' Up Tuesday at Life As Mom.


Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

I have been looking for one of those forever. I can't find them anywhere locally. I know that would help my can problem. Yours looks great.
Blessings to you.

Ryann said...

I am definately going to be searching high and low for these... right now I have 4 of the "case" boxes that the canned goods are displayed in at the store... just the low sided cardboard. I am running out of space, these would be perfect. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What a great tip! I'm so bummed that you don't know where to get more; I would LOVE to Use this tip. Blessings, Whitney

Frugal Finds said...

what a great little tool!!!

The Halbert Home said...

I would love to find one of those somewhere. That's a great idea.

Leslie said...

A company called Shelf Reliance sells them. I don't have them from the company but I've seen them in person and they seem very sturdy.