When using your food storage, you’ll want to make sure that you are tracking your cans of food storage. After all, no one wants to find a dusty old can that they purchased 30 years ago (even though with freeze-dried food, it still would be good.)
FIFO (First In First Out) shelves are an easy way to track your food storage and keep things organized if you use your food storage on a regular basis. You can pay a lot for a commercial shelving system or you could put in a little elbow grease and save yourself tons of money.
• Two pieces of 24 x 68 inches
• Three pieces of 31.5 x 17 9/16 inches
• Three pieces of 31.5 x 24 inches
• Two pieces of 24 x 32.5 inches
• Three pieces of 32.5 x 2 inches
• 15 strips measuring 17 9/16 x ½ inches
• 15 strips measuring 24 x ½ inches
Wood screws or heavy-duty glue
1. The first thing you’ll want to know about these shelves is that they’re designed for #10 food storage cans. A typical food storage can measures 7 inches tall. If you want to house smaller cans or customize your shelving for a different size, you can; but more about that later.
2. Start with your largest piece of plywood (24”x68”). Lay it down on the ground and begin measuring on one side of the board. Measure down 6.5 inches and make a mark. From that mark, measure another 10.5 inches down and make a mark. Measure down from that mark another 6.5 inches and mark. Continue this process until you reach the bottom of the plywood.
3. With the board still laying on the ground, move to the opposite side that you weren’t marking, begin by measuring from the top corner down 8.5 inches. Make a mark there. Measure from that mark another 6.5 inches down and make a mark. Measure 2 inches below that and mark it on the board. Repeat this process until you get to the bottom of the board. Your board should look like the figure below:
4. Draw a line from the top mark on the right side, down to the corresponding mark on the left side. Then draw a line from the next mark on the left side to the corresponding mark on the right side.
5. Locate three ½-inch strips of wood measuring 24 inches long. Locate the other three ½-inch strips of wood measuring 17 9/16-inches long. You can drill or glue these strips on to the lines that you’ve drawn. You’ll notice that the 17 9/16-inch strips won’t reach all the way across the board, and that’s fine. They will always be above the 24-inch strips.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the other large piece of plywood (24”x68”). You should however, draw your lines mirrored to your previous measurements.
7. Lay the two large boards on their sides and use the base and top boards to secure them together. Make sure that the two large boards (24”x68”) are placed in a mirrored way facing each other.
8. Stand up the large box that you’ve created
9. Now that we’ve created the basic structure of the shelving unit, we can move on to creating the shelves that will lay onto the 1/2-inch strips that we've secured. We'll be creating shelves that will have 4 ramps of cans. Each can will roll down the 7.5-inch ramp that we create.
10. Begin by locating three boards measuring 31.5” x 17 9/16”. Measure from one end of the board to the other making a mark every 7.5 inches.
11. Now, glue or drill the 1/2-inch strips (measuring 17 9/16”) perpendicular across the board as shown below:
12. Locate three boards measuring 31.5” x 24”. Measure from one end of the board to the other making a mark every 7.5 inches. Lay the strips measuring 24”x1/2” on the marks.
13. Your boards should look like these images below:
14. Slide the shelving units into the large case that you’ve created. The boards measuring 17 9/16” should be placed on the strips measuring 17 9/16”. The 24” boards should be laid on the 24” strips. The 17 9/16” strips will probably need to be drilled into the holdings. They can also be glued into place.
15. Now that your shelves are in place, You’ll want to install the lips on the bottom of each rotation space so that your can doesn’t roll right off the shelf once you put it in.
16. Locate the three strips measuring 32.5” x 2”. Use glue or a drill to secure these lips to the front of the case in front of the bottom of the 2nd, 4th and 6th space.
17. Now that you have your shelving and lips in place, the shelving unit should fit all securely together and allow for a can to be placed in the 1st, 3rd and 5th levels and rotate down to their corresponding shelving units (2nd, 4th and 6th levels respectively).
18. Paint and decorate your shelving unit as desired
How do you approach food storage? Has this tutorial helped you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook