How to Organize Canned Goods

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Image of can-shaped canisters by Kaboompics and the phrase, How to Organize Canned GoodsDo you need help when it comes to putting all of those stacks of cans in your kitchen in order?

In this post, I offer a couple of useful pointers when it comes to organizing metal cans in the kitchen.

Create specific location(s) for canned goods in your kitchen or pantry.

Chances are, you’ll have a general area where you store food in your pantry, or kitchen at home.

But do you have a specific area where you store canned goods?

This doesn’t have to be anything complicated, all you have to do is designate a couple of kitchen cabinets, or shelves where you’ll always store canned items.

The point is to keep everything contained in one area so you can pick up a can of pureed pumpkin with ease, for example, without having to search high and low.

This also makes it easy to see what you have on hand when it comes to preparing recipes, or making a grocery list for the week.

Group similar products together.

Sounds fairly easy, right? Well, there’s two main ways you can accomplish this: you can either group canned goods by type or by cuisine.

The first method is straightforward: all you have to do is group similar items together. That includes, soups with soups, vegetables with vegetables, fruit with fruit, stocks with stocks, etc.

So, you might decide to group canned beans together, and place cans of kidney, garbanzo, navy, white, pink, black-eyed peas, and black beans on the same shelf.

Or, if you’re stocking tomato products together, you’d place pureed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, canned tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and diced tomatoes in the same area.

The second method has more nuance. If you’re an avid cook, you might prefer storing and organizing your ingredients by cuisine for cooking ease.

Here’s a few cuisine-based organization ideas off the top of my head:

  • American cuisine: green beans, tomatoes, corn, and fruits of all kinds (peaches, pineapple, oranges, etc.)
  • Chinese cuisine: water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and baby corn
  • Indian cuisine: coconut milk, tomatoes, lentils, and kidney beans

Let shapes of cans be your guide when it comes to stacking.

Here in the United States, common round, canned good sizes include units of 8, 16, and 29 ounces. Of course these numbers may differ, depending on where you live. It really doesn’t matter what size canned goods you have, as long as you pay attention to the sizes and dimensions of the cans when you’re organizing things.

The idea here is to stack canned goods at home like they do at the supermarket or grocery store. Typically, cans are stacked neatly upon one another in a display. Just use this same technique at home. Stack similar-sized cans neatly on top of one another, and make sure to turn the labels forward so you can easily identify the contents of the can.

A good rule of thumb is to stack heavier items on the bottom, with lighter items on top. You may also want to put a limit on in your stacking, say, limiting a stack of cans to three cans high, so you don’t risk toppling over a precarious tower, and have cans crashing down on your head!

Frequently rotate your stock.

Rotating canned goods helps keep your supplies fresh, and organized. This doesn’t have to be a giant ordeal of rotating everything you own in your kitchen cabinets every couple of months!

In fact, it can be a simple weekly chore. All you have to do is this: whenever you arrive home from a trip to the supermarket or grocery store, take care to temporarily move the cans that are already sitting in your cabinet or shelves, towards the front. Then, place the cans you’ve just purchased towards the back. Ta-da! You’ve instantly rotated your canned goods.

It’s important you rotate similar items. So, if you’ve just purchased some cans of creamed corn at the store, for example, take the cans of creamed corn already sitting in your cabinet, move them to the front, and place the newly purchased cans in the back.

How about you? Are you a fan of canned goods? How do you like to keep things organized at home? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 3 Smart Steps to Organizing Your Home, by clicking here.