Creative Food Storage Solutions

Trista - April 25, 2020

When you have a family and household to care for, you find yourself preparing for the small and large emergencies that can happen in life. Even though some of them, such as the current crisis, still surprise you, you made sure your family was prepared to hunker down for a couple of weeks- but food storage may have slipped your mind.

After buying more groceries than usual, you find yourself running out of room and storage for the food. However, it’s on your table, so you quickly need to do something to ensure all the food is safely stored. If this sounds like you or you’re just interested in learning about more ways to store food, keep reading.

Most people don’t think of storing their cans or securely packaged non-perishable food items under their bed in baskets or pails, but it’s a great idea when you need storage space. Shutterstock.

Buckets Under The Bed

You’ll be surprised about how much can fit under your bed. Well, you probably have an idea, but you don’t dare look under there too much because everything tends to accumulate under your bed. It seems that even when you try to keep your blankets under there, other items make their way under the bed. They come from your children who play in your room, pets who throw or hide things under the bed, and even from you accidentally kicking items there.

Under your bed is excellent for storage, but to get the best space out of it, you want to stay organized and use buckets. If your bed frame is tall enough, 3- to 5-gallon buckets work great. You can also use baskets and other bins. Of course, you only want to keep non-perishable food items in the storage containers and ensure they’re sealed so your pets can’t get in.

You can build slots into a cupboard to store your cutting boards and create more room for your food items. Shutterstock.

Cutting Board Slots

Okay, this isn’t directly food, but you need cutting boards in your kitchen so you can safely chop your food. Even though you only need one or two cutting boards, it’s natural to have a few more. The unfortunate factor is that they tend to take up more room in your kitchen, which leaves less storage room for your food.

One way to overcome this problem and allow more room for your food is to place cutting boards in slots. You can make your slot right inside of the cupboard by adding vertical wood pieces inside so the boards can sit up without falling over.

Redesign your pantry to get the most out of the space. Shutterstock.

Strategize Your Pantry Shelves

Sometimes you just need to do a little rearranging to make more room in your pantry. The average pantry has a few shelves that are higher than they need to be. They also don’t have many shelves to begin with, and there are always ways to move to shelve around and even add a few buckets or baskets to help hold other items.

You can even add a few drawers if you feel like you want to play carpenter for a day or a few. One of the benefits is that you can take your time when looking at what you want to do.

You might realize your significant other was right – you don’t need all that space for your shoes. But that can be our secret. Shutterstock.

Make Space In Your Drawers

Sometimes it’s a scary place to look because you never know what you’ll find, but organizing your drawers can help open up storage space for dry goods. I’m not just talking about your one (maybe three) junk drawers you have in your kitchen. I’m also talking about the drawers in your bedroom and even other rooms in your house.

While you probably won’t want dry goods in your living room end table, when you need space, it’s a great way to store a few cans or jars.

Hanging up your pots might take up wall space, but it opens up other space. Shutterstock.

Hanging Up Your Pans

Your pots and pans have a neat little place where you can hang them up at the end of their handle. Take the time to find a rack that you can hang up on the side of your wall or one area of your pantry.

It will open up space that you were using to house your pots and pans. You’ll become amazed at how many cans and other non-perishable food items that cupboard or drawers can hold.

Instead of storing magazines, you can store cans by flipping the rack on its backside. Shutterstock.

A Great Use For Magazine Racks

You probably have a few magazine racks lying around your house. You might use them for files or something else because you’re not sure what to do with them. Fortunately, they can help you when it comes to storing canned goods.

All you need to do is turn the magazine rack on its side, and you have a great way to store your canned goods by laying them on their side.

Benches like these are perfect for storage and make great additions to your home. Shutterstock.

Store Items In Your Bench

You might not want to store items inside a piano bench, especially if you teach classes, and your students look for music in your bench. But, there are many benches that you can set around your home as decoration and a place to sit and store food inside of them, and no one will know they’re sitting on a bucket of rice or a couple of containers of flour.

You can even make your benches so you can measure them for specific areas in your home. It’s time to get your creative mind working!

You might have a big enough storage area that you can make it half pantry and half storage. Shutterstock.

Storage Room

One of the selling points in many apartments is they come with a storage room. You usually think of storing furniture and other items in there, and while this is a great idea – if you’re not going to use the things, then you might think of selling or donating them.

Once you’ve cleaned out your storage room, it’s time to turn it into a pantry. You can build or purchase shelvings units to add in and even get some drawers. You’ll be amazed at how much space you have from your small storage room.

Using a can storage organizer will lay your cans on their side so you can add another shelf or two in your pantry. Shutterstock.

Can Storage Organizer

You can purchase can storage organizers at the store, or you can build them. Use a shelf as a way to create a top of the organizers, and you have another shelf to place items. Using can storage organizers lets you save room because cans are laying on their side instead of sitting straight up. That means that you can usually fit an extra shelf or two for your cans.

If you can’t make a trip to the store, you can also buy the organizers on Amazon. With the current crisis, this is a safer bet because they’re shipped to you. You might just want to remember to sanitize everything once it comes.

12-packs of pop have an excellent side opening that allows you to put more cans in there, even vegetables. Shutterstock.

Recycled Soda Can Boxes

Let your children have a little fun decorating a soda can box with construction paper and then put it into your pantry and use it to store canned goods. You might want to use one for vegetables, fruit, and other types of cans in another. If you organize them in a way that you know precisely what cans are in the boxes, such as putting Corn in one box and Peas in another, you don’t need to go digging for the item you want.

Not only are you recycling, but you’re giving your children a creative task, and you’re creating more storage room in your pantry because it takes a couple of years, at least for your cans, to hit their expiration date.

You never know what type of storage options are available until you look. Shutterstock.

Look To See What Stores Have

You probably don’t even realize how many options for food storage containers are out there. While you can always look around and build something on your own, stores have a lot of choices available.

People started stocking up with their dry goods before the current crisis. Now, people realize how important it is to make sure they have enough dry products and other personal items for at least a couple of weeks.

It’s time to clean out your closet and reorganize. Shutterstock.

What About Your Closet Space?

This article talks a lot about what you can do with your kitchen and pantry space so you can store more dry foods in these areas. However, there are many closets around your home, and if you’re like most people, you could clean them out and make room for more dry goods.

All you need to do is add some shelving to your closet and then store your dry goods in there. Even if you have blankets or some clothing on one side, it’s a great way to make extra room, especially during the current crisis.

The trick to magnet boards is to make sure the magnets are strong enough to hold your jars of spices. Shutterstock.

Magnet Board Spices

I promise this is something that you can easily make at home. Look to see how much space you have between your pantry door and the shelving before you decide to do this, but you can make your spices magnet and attach them to the back of the pantry door.

All you need to do is find a magnet board that will fit on your door, buy some magnets, glass jars, and then put your spices into the glass jars. Put everything up, and your magnets will stick to the board just like magnets do on a fridge.

Okay, your crates might not look exactly like this, but you won’t be yelling, “why aren’t you on wheels!” when you can’t pull your bucket out from underneath your bed. Shutterstock.

Make Rolling Crates For Under Your Bed

We already talked about putting buckets and baskets under your bed for more storage (and to help the cluttering underneath the bed that magically happens). But, another task you can take on is to make rolling crates that fit right under your bed.

The best part is that you can push them under your bed, so people don’t see any buckets when they walk into your bedroom. Rolling crates are also helpful for those moments where you push the basket or bucket a little too far under the bed and struggle to get it out.

A large freezer is a great way to store extra frozen foods. Shutterstock.

What About Your Garage

Let’s face it; you can’t just worry about stocking up on dry goods. You also need to think a couple of weeks ahead when it comes to frozen foods. When it comes to this, getting an extra-large freezer or two is a great idea.

But where can you keep them? Well, a garage works well. Don’t worry about cold weather because freezers are pretty good when it comes to the cold. The only problem is needing to bundle up to get a loaf of bread.

Because of the design of the bed frame, you can easily lift your mattress to get what you need. Shutterstock. Because of the design of the bed frame, you can easily lift your mattress to get what you need. Shutterstock.

Bed Frame Storage

Yes, there is another way to store dry goods and other items underneath your bed and not have to worry about them getting lost because of the magical trolls that push other things under your bed.

One way to do this is to build or buy a bed frame that will easily lift your mattress so you can get under your bed without any trouble. Another benefit is that the frame has walls, so no one sees what or how you store your items underneath.

Some couches have more room underneath for storage than others. Shutterstock.

Under Your Couch

Just like you can store dry goods under your bed, you can also store them under your couch. You’ll want to look to see how much space you have and what type of storage container you need to make, but it’s a great way to store dry goods on a temporary (or permanent) basis.

You might also want to think of adding wheels to your storage crate, as this will make it easier when it comes to retrieving items.

Adding a top shelf to your pantry or closet might cause the people taller than you to tease you when you need their help reaching an item. Shutterstock.

Add Higher Shelves

You probably have a closet or pantry space that isn’t being used. Sure, you do – you just need to lookup. There is space at the top of your wardrobe, which is a bare wall. You can install shelving in this area to keep some of your non-perishable food items.

Of course, you’ll probably want a step stool as well, unless you have a taller person living with you that you can bother to help you reach items from the highest shelf.

Air-tight containers come in different sizes, but they’re easy to stack on top of each other, which can help save space. Shutterstock.

Get Some Air-Tight Containers

You can use glass jars for some items as it’s best, but for other dry goods, you can use any type of Tupperware that’s air-tight. This trick can help you store items easier because you don’t have to deal with different sizes of jars, bins, buckets, or bags.

You might want to get some labels so you can write what you have in the container on the side so you can easily search for the item later, grab it, and start cooking!

You’ll be amazed at what type of space you can find in an attic, once you stop imagining the rocking chair moving. Shutterstock.

Think About Your Attic Space

If you have an attic in your home, walk around to see what type of free space you have. You probably will find a lot as most people don’t organize their attics, they simply become a place where you can store things you don’t want to get rid of, not sure if you’ll use it again, or don’t have space for at this moment.

You might find space where the ceiling and floor meet where you can place a few totes filled with dry goods. You might also find a spot where you can build another pantry. Whatever you do, don’t forget where you store the food.

You never know what you can do with your basement space until you look. Shutterstock.

Don’t Forget About The Basement

From the attic to the basement, you can find room to store dry goods. If you don’t have an attic, the basement is a great place to look at because you probably have tons of room so you can build shelves, a pantry, or another space for your dry goods.

The trick is to know if your basement gets water in it and where this goes the most. You also don’t want to keep containers of food on your basement floor. It’s best to place them on some type of shelf.

Keep your cans and pantry organized, so you don’t fall victim to this. Shutterstock.

Can Wall Hanger

Another build your own storage container to hold your cans is to make a wall storage holder. You can use your creativity when it comes to this task, but all you need is a base, so your cans don’t fall out of the holders. It’s similar to how stores store cans.

You need wood and a curved base to hold the cans. You’ll also want a measuring tape, pencil, and a way to cut and hang the wood. Measure the wood to how long you want the columns and then measure each column to the length of cans. Of course, you might have one a little wider for the taller cans.

Steel shelving like this works great for your appliances and doesn’t take up much wall room. Shutterstock.

Store Your Appliances Elsewhere

Let’s face it; there are many appliances that you can buy (and probably have) such as slow cookers, George Foreman Grills, and Instant Pots. The trouble is that all of these appliances are rather large and take up a lot of space, which means you don’t like storing them on your counter.

Instead of storing them in your kitchen cabinets, get some metal shelving and store them in a particular location in the corner of your pantry or a closet. It will open up some of your kitchen space for your dry goods.

Plastic totes like this work great when hanging storage from the ceiling.

Hang Containers From The Ceiling

I’m not talking about stringing plastic totes to your ceiling by twine. I’m talking about purchasing wood and making flanges on each side of the board and then hanging it up. You’ll want a measuring tape so you can measure the size of the containers and space the wood out correctly, so the containers easily slide in and out.

Some plastic totes work perfectly for food storage because they have a hanging edge that allows you to hang them from the top. You’ll just want to make sure that they’re not packaged too heavy, and everything is secure.

No one would ever know that there are food and supplies underneath this table cloth. Shutterstock.

Make Furniture With Your Food Supplies

Don’t laugh at this idea yet. Even though it might look silly to you, storing your bins, buckets, and larger items on the floor and then placing a sheet of plywood or top of an old table on it and then covering everything with a tablecloth can make people think they’re looking at a table.

They will never know (unless they peak or you tell them) that you have food supplies underneath the tablecloth. You can even set decoration and pictures on top to give it a more table-like look. This is a resourceful and sneaky food storage option.

Make a little home improvement project by building shelves under your stairs instead of just a wall. Shutterstock.

Space Under The Stairs

If you’ve ever seen the movie “The People Under The Stairs,” I promise that this is entirely different. Many homes have a mysterious space under the stairs, and even though you might be reminded of a horror movie, it’s a great location to store bulky items, bins, or add shelving to create another pantry for food storage.

You could also store your household items, such as blankets, under the stairs, and use other space for your pantry items. It’s your space so you can get as creative as possible, especially when you have the time.

You can utilize even the smallest space; all you need to do is take a look around and get a little creative. Shutterstock.

Find A Way To Put Small Spaces To Use

Sometimes we look at a space and think, “This is too small for anything.” But have you ever thought of building a rack or anything that would fit into that space? You’ll be amazed at what you can find online merely by going to Google.

There are tons of DIY projects that give you clear and strong directions to help put every spot in your home to use, even the smaller ones that you feel your broom will barely fit in. Take advantage of these google food storage ideas! You never know until you try and see what you can do!

Using jars like these can help you make room for other dry goods in your pantry. Shutterstock.

Glass Jars

Sometimes it’s the packaging that the good comes in that takes up a lot of space. For example, if you buy bigger packages of flour, rice, sugar, and pasta, you can find these items taking up a whole shelf. That causes you to pile the boxes too high or put them on the floor, which isn’t the best place for them.

Just by taking the effort and a few minutes to pour your contents into glass jars and storing the dry goods this way can help increase food storage space. Don’t you believe me? Try it! You’ll be amazed at how much space there is when you’ve made the switch.

You can store items like this on your DIY cabinet. Shutterstock.

Make Your Own Food Storage Cabinet

If you feel creative, you can make your roller cabinet. All you need is a big piece of wood, similar to a door, add some thin shelves that can hold cans, jars, and seasonings, rods to keep the items securely on the shelves and wheels.

You can even purchase some type of wallpaper or decorate the door. Oh, you’ll want a handle as well so you can wheel it in and out of its location, such as between your fridge and wall. Food storage DIYs like this can provide a nice weekend activity!

Keep some non-perishable food items in a drawer instead of a cupboard. Shutterstock.

Keep Cans In A Drawer

People who travel a lot know this trick. They keep cans in their drawer as it helps them when it comes to food storage storage. We quickly run out of cupboard space, but we usually have a couple of draws that can open up for our cans.

Don’t worry about needing to pull the cans out to see what’s inside. You can write what they are on top of the can’s lid so you can quickly scan when looking for an item.

Rolling carts can also give your kitchen an aesthetic look and help with a bit of decoration when not in use with your dry goods. Shutterstock.

Rolling Cart Offers Effortless Food Storage

Sometimes there’s space in your kitchen or pantry, but not for building shelves or adding drawers. In this case, you can make or purchase a rolling cart. You can either keep dry goods that you regularly use on the cart or your more substantial items, so it’s easier to bring them into your kitchen when you need them.

Rolling carts are also handy food storage when you have many ingredients to carry from your pantry into your kitchen or when you need a little extra help walking around your kitchen because you’ve been a bit clumsy trying to keep your kids entertained during the current situation.

Even if you don’t have much space on the side of your fridge, building a thin bookcase can make room for a bit more food storage. Shutterstock.

What About That Space Next To Your Fridge?

It’s something that happens in most homes – you have adequate space between your fridge and the wall or counter. Usually, you’ll see space on both sides of your refrigerator. While it’s not anyone’s favorite thing to do, push your fridge to one side and then utilize the area on the other side.

You can purchase or make a thin bookcase to go there or add drawers. It might even help you to label the food storage drawers so you know where your flour, sugar, and onions are located.

Measuring before you make shelves will make sure that you have enough space so you can close the doors but still have plenty of food storage. Shutterstock.

Use The Back Of Your Doors

You’ve seen the shoe holders that you can put on the back of your closet door, but do you know they work great for canned goods on your pantry door? You can also build small shelves to hold your smaller items, such as cans and seasonings.

Open your pantry door and see how much space you have when you close it. You can even use these holders to store some of your kitchen utensils, which might open a drawer for larger dry items. A perfect solution for food storage!

Retractable shelving is a great way to make more room in your kitchen. Shutterstock.

Retractable Shelving

There are always bottom cupboards, such as next to your dishwasher, that is hard to get items out of, especially if they’re way in the back. It makes them more storage cupboards that you barely go into rather than food storage. (In fact, you might not even remember what you have in the back of your bottom cupboard).

It’s time to change that by building retractable shelving in these hard to get to cupboards. There are many instructions you can find online, and all you need are a few simple tools. Plus, you can store cans, spices, or whatever you wish and easily reach them later.

You can even make a couple of extra Lazy Susan shelves to use on your table or counter for food storage. Shutterstock.

Lazy Susans for Food Storage

Lazy Susans are a great way to create more space for food storage in a corner cupboard. Many people think that you need to buy and install one. While you can do this, they’re also pretty easy to make on your own. All you need to do is get round pieces of wood, drill holes, and place them in.

Of course, you need to make sure you attach some type of spinners to the bottom of the wood so they can spin. It’s best to buy timber and not focus on pieces of round plastic because those can break easily.


“34 Insanely Smart DIY Kitchen Storage Ideas.” Architecture art designs.

“37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies.” Jamie, Prepared Housewives.

“11 Creative Food Storage Ideas for Modern Homesteaders.” Anna Sakawsky, House Homestead.