Small Space Food Storage Ideas

So I told everyone I knew of some good ideas/websites that had small space storage ideas and then my computer got a horrible virus and I had to send it off to my computer genius dad so he could fix it. So I started the search all over again to try and find my favorite ideas. I may be adding to this when my computer is back and put together.

First off I will share a few that I use myself. We have cute little house that was built about a hundred years ago (literally) and even though I love it I don’t love my storage options.

I use the extra space above my cupboards. You could use boxes or baskets as shown in the photo below or you can go the cheap way. Go to the Wal-Mart bakery and ask to buy the medium size buckets that get their frosting in. My Wal-Mart sells these for .50 cents a piece. I then covered them with contact paper (there are some really cute designs out there) and added a cute label. I have keep buckets with my basic staples up there such as flour, sugar, oatmeal (and oatmeal packets), granola bars, and I hide my candy up there where the kids can’t see it. :)

above cabinets

My very handy husband also created an awesome can rotation system for me a few years ago. He added to it and now it is on the wall in my very small kitchen. I love it! (I know how you can get one, if you’re interested.) It gives me a lot of storage, rotates my canned food, and doesn’t take up much space. (I didn’t have it completely full in this picture.)


Lastly I again take advantage of the inexpensive buckets at Wal-Mart. Their bigger buckets are $1.00 each and are food grade since the come with frosting in them. I wash and dry them very well and then use them for things like food, lotion, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. (Pretty much whatever you want) They obviously stack well and prevent anything from getting squished and spilling.


Below are some of the ways that I have come across. Keep in mind that some of these things may seem extreme to you but will work great for others.  I am only listing these ideas to get the ball rolling. You will have to take what you want and figure out how to best use it for your family.

1- Under Bed Idea 1


Under Bed Idea 2

6985569 (click the link above to see the finished project.) There are a couple other ideas on this bloggers site for covert storage. I won’t add the pictures but you may find them interesting. Here is one in which she uses pillows.

Under Bed Idea 3


Under Bed Idea 4

006   These easy diy under bed storage boxes would make it a lot easier to get to items under the bed in my opinion. (also if you don’t want to build them the shorter plastic bins/totes at Wal-Mart would work. Baskets or even plain old boxes would work.)

Under Bed Idea 5


This idea is sort of like something I have been thinking about building. I was thinking about putting something under the bed that was on a slight incline on one side. The cans could be loaded from one side and taken out from the other.

2- This is an idea, but if it were me I would probably add a cute table skirt or something so I didn’t have to look at all of it everyday. :)


3- I also found this video of a self rotating can rack. It may take a little work but its a  good idea.

4- This blogger got a little creative and maximized the empty space in her kitchen. There was a 6″ opening between her wall and the refrigerator and she decided to take advantage of it!  Check out the full post for full instructions with a shopping list, wood list and full tutorial.


5- Here is a video with an awesome use of space!! It is a very creative storage solution. It may not be that realistic unless you are building or are willing to put money into a remodel.

6- These homemade rolling cabinets the organize all the tools in the garage are a great idea! It was thinking it could be altered to hold food storage. This idea could also be applied to closets. It would improve accessibility to food storage as well as utilize the space more efficiently, especially if the opening eliminated the wasted side and overhead space.

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7- Last (for this post anyway) but not least are some small space storage solutions ideas for around the house. There is even a PDF you can print if you want to.

Here are a few of my favorites.


My husband and I decided to convert one of the bedrooms into our food storage room. We took the smallest of the three, bought heavy duty shelves from Costco and ordered a Shelf Reliance storage system for our canned goods. The closet in our food storage room holds our wheat, powdered milk, and bottled water. We also raised our bed up, and have rolling totes underneath for additional storage.

I have wheat boxes behind my bed headboard against the wall, in a layer under my daughter’s mattress (she doesn’t have a frame or box spring), and under the TV (that layer is covered with a blanket). We hardly notice they’re around. I also have water stored under my bed (I used to store it under the couch – that’s a great place to store extra diapers, too).



We put short bookshelves in our son’s closet and used them for food storage. Since his clothes were small they fit great over the top of the shelves. We also stacked boxes of #10 cans in the ends of the closets. Just make sure the boxes are labeled with what’s in them and put the things you will need to get into most often on the top or it can be a real pain to find things.

Create false bottoms in your closets! Clear everything out of the bottom of your chosen closet. Fill that space with either #10 cans or a couple of cases of canned goods. Cut a piece of plywood (or have it cut for you!) to size and place on top of the cans. Now, use your closet as you normally would!



What I’m planning on doing is curtaining off two feet or so along one wall of the dining room (IKEA has curtain rails you can mount on the ceiling) and putting all my food storage on shelves behind it.

The laundry/utility room often has extra space above the washer and dryer that can be used. Even if you don’t want to put food there, it works for storing toilet paper, dish soap, shampoos, etc.



The food storage boxes from the church canneries (the kind that hold six #10 cans each) fit very nicely between the wall and my couches. Every piece of furniture in my living room and family room has food storage boxes behind it. I stack them about 3 boxes tall, and then extend them as long as the couch. It leaves just the perfect amount of space between the wall and the furniture — nobody would guess there was anything back there. Those boxes also can be stacked to form a table — my telephone sits on one such table. It’s just boxes with a cloth over them.



We have used the top space in closets, a drawer in a bench, under beds (even propped the beds up on blocks so the food would fit underneath), lined every closet with food and/or water. Pull a dresser or couch away from the wall a couple of feet and you can fit lots of cans or buckets behind it where they won’t be seen too easily. We put food in the mylar pouches in the rolly boxes that go under beds and in giant 55 gal metal drums in the carport (the drums sealed so the insects/rodents/critters weren’t able to get to our food. Make a table with a board on top of a couple of cases of canned goods and cover it with a cloth. I’ve stacked 2 liter pop bottles of water horizontally between my filing cabinet and the wall. I’m also okay with the fact that my house doesn’t look professionally decorated—it’s disguise the food décor!


Like I said you may not like all of these ideas and some might make you laugh :) but there are some really creative ideas that will help you get the ball rolling on ideas that work for you.


(There are food inventory ideas here if you need them)



23 thoughts on “Small Space Food Storage Ideas

  1. Hello!! I would love to know how to make or get the wall can food storage that your husband made. I have been wanting to make one, but not sure how to start. I didn’t see a link, can you help? Thanks. :)

  2. Thanks for your info on how to organize food storage. Can you give some direction or info how to build the skinny full wall can rotating system your husband made?

  3. I would like to know how to make the can rotation racks. I have a lovely space in my garage where we store all our cans and it is a mess. I also know that I don’t rotate every time we go shopping.

  4. I love the all rotation system. I have measured everything out, but wasnt sure if you used 1×4 between the cans and then 1x 2 over those boards to keep cans in the rolling alley. If you could let me know that would be awesome.

  5. I would like fo get the instructions on how to make your wall storage for cans. Also do you have the storage rollers plans for the garage.

  6. Love the ideas – and especially love the can rotation system! We are converting a room downstairs into a “man/woman cave” / storage and my hubby is going to build me a can rotation system. I really love this one because it won’t take up much space. Any chance you will be posting or selling instructions?

  7. I would love to get the instructions for building the can rotation system. I am moving from a 2800sf home into one less than 1400sf and will have VERY little room for any foods or storage of anything else. I will have a garden, but will still need some can storage as well. Thank you in advance!


  8. I am very interested in the wall storage for cans that your husband made.
    What a great idea for those of us without much space.


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