Monday, December 27, 2010

The Can Organizer: A Review

I have a cabinet in my kitchen where I store several different types of canned goods - diced tomatoes, canned soup, chicken broth, etc. It's very handy to have these frequently used items stored near my prep area, but observing the rule of FIFO (first in, first out) is a pain. The cabinet is fairly deep and wide. Things tend to get out of place very easily and before you know it, the newly acquired items are mixed in with the older ones.


After learning about The Can Organizer on the Food Storage Made Easy blog, I decided that this could be the solution to my problem. I bought the "Pantry" sized organizers, which are 22-1/2" deep. According to the company, each one would hold 13 Pie filling, 16 Vegetable,18 Soup, or 39 Tuna-sized cans.

They come as flat pieces of cardboard like this:

And assemble into this.

You load the cans in the top and they roll to the bottom of the organizer. When you need to use your food storage, you simply take a can from the bottom and the remaining stock rolls down, making FIFO a snap.  

Whoever came up with this design is an evil genius. They're a genius in the fact that it is pretty nifty that you can make a can rotation device out of one sheet of cardboard. Why are they evil? Because that sucker is frustrating and difficult to put together. The instructions that came with it aren't terribly helpful. I couldn't make them out at all. Hubby Dear watched this video a couple of times

and was able to figure it out eventually.

There was one big problem, though. On the website, the can organizers are described as 5" across. They are 5" measured from outside to outside, but the inside dimensions are more like 4  1/2". That means that my extensive store of Campbell's Chunky Soups would not fit. I was pretty unhappy about that. I had a few Progresso canned soups that I had bought on sale which fit, but Hubby Dear balks at the idea of changing his favorite soup brand just so I can use the can organizers.

Too big for The Can Organizer.   Sniff.

All of my other canned goods in this area worked, though. Want to see the finished product?


I would recommend The Can Organizer if you have the patience to learn how to assemble them and if you store mostly smaller cans. Cans larger than 4 1/2" tall or extra wide cans (such as 29 oz. cans of fruit) will not fit. I should also mention that shipping was expensive but my order was shipped promptly and arrived quickly. I was not displeased with my purchase, but I also wasn't motivated to buy more of them. I think I'll invest in another solution for my can organization needs. But more about that next month.

The Can Organizer is available for purchase at


  1. My father made some can organizers out of thin plywood. He used the instructions for making them out of cardboard from here He only made three...he does the woodworking for "fun" and this was not a fun project. :-)

  2. Wow. That definitely doesn't look like a "fun" project. We had enough trouble putting together this pre-cut cardboard version!

  3. I have these. I will say, the first 2 I was painfully aware that putting them together was going to take me days :) But after the first 2, I got the groove and breezed through the rest. I like them. They were a good alternative to more expensive options. You can also decorate, contact paper, have kids color, or otherwise decorate the plain white boxes.

    And because each one is on its own, I can arrange or rearrange my shelves and cans as I wish.


  4. Are these sturdy enough to stack one on top of the other?

  5. Hmmm... Probably. The cardboard is pretty heavy-duty, but I would be curious to see what could happen if you stack them with a full load of cans inside. I haven't tried that so I can't say for certain.

    1. Yes, they are strong enough to stack on top of each other. At least mine are. I've never actually handled the one discussed here though so I can't speak for that one

    2. Here's a picture of mine!i=1705284688&k=NxZwPV4&lb=1&s=O

  6. I bought a whole bunch of these...before checking to see how many of my cupboards were deep enough to hold them. I've put together about 5, which are full and inside one of my cupboards, but the rest are still as intact as the day they arrived. And yes, putting them together sure is a challenge!

  7. Being a structural box designer, I made a set (different design) myself. More than one piece, but not too bad to put together. They sure make a nice space saver, that's for sure.

  8. years later...

    Do you find you had more, less, or just as much room as before when you set these up. Do you still use them? Have you found a solution you like/use with the bigger cans?

    1. I still use these in the same setup. They work well in my kitchen cabinet for the canned goods I use often when cooking. I bought a Shelf Reliance shelving system that I use for the bulk of my canned goods. You can adjust the size of the tracks for your cans, so it works well with my soups and other larger cans.


  9. I have a set of the pantry ones, and they sure made moving all my preps from one house to another so much easier. Now, I want to find one for all my #10 cans. Looking for recomendations.