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Practical Problem: The Rectangular Pantry

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    We have a rectangular pantry with shelves. 4' wide 4' deep 5' tall. Recently bought cans (of various sizes) and boxes (of various sizes) tend to get mashed into the front; the back slowly accumulates with old food and is eventually deemed too old to eat, and thrown out. Very wasteful.

    What organizational devices make it easier to eat the older food first, to follow the FIFO rule? A lazy susan, being round, would waste a large amount of space in the corners, and would still leave the center to fill up with old food. But maybe that's my best bet?

    As you make recommendations, keep in mind that the wife is the queen of the kitchen, and any system must have her approval for "ease of use." If it's not easy for her to do, she won't do it. (I say that in the most loving way, but it is what it is.)

    Previous attempts by me to organize our pantry have been met with the grumpy face, which means, "What are you doing messing with my system? Now I can't find anything."
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  2. I always put fresh food in the back. It takes a little work on my part, but is easy for everyone else.
     


  3. jason10mm

    jason10mm NRA-GOA-TSRA

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    Clarksville, TN
    They make home use can rollers like what they use in gocery stores. You put a fresh can on top and pull the oldest can from the bottom. If there are 4-5 types of cans you use regularly then those might help. Or you can split the pantry in two, eat from one side, stock the other, then switch.
     
  4. 02LimitedX

    02LimitedX 0311

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    CIN, OH
    If you built slide out shelves, you could more easily stock the back.


    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
     
  5. yep, I would go with slide out shelves, and a rolling cabinet if possible.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Nice. I like that.
     
  7. DrSticky

    DrSticky

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    Houston
    Nice pic. Anyone else have cool pantry pics for those of us planning a pantry remodel?
     
  8. quake

    quake Millennium Member

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    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Home-made version; lets you size it to fit your space, and even size the raceways for odd-size cans such as corn niblets, tuna cans, etc:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    I like the design, and am impressed with the craftsmanship, but we typically don't have 10 cans of exactly the same thing. How does one reach into the middle of the stack and pull a particular can?

    OTOH, it's a compelling design. Do you have dimentioned plans, by chance?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  10. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Sep 28, 2009
    Dude. Stock rotation!

    You don't have to change her system. But you do have to maintain it for her. (Grocery day, pull the old stuff forward, put the new stuff in the back, etc).

    There are also can racks.

    Also, if you cut her out of the equation and relegate that pantry to working stock, while you maintain

    The Strategic Stockpile

    In another location. (Codename: Cheyenne Mountain) You become Mr Rice and Bean Buckets. Mr Bulk canned goods by the case. Mr MRE orderer and stockboy/slash warehouse manager.

    honey, what are you doing down there?

    NOTHING, I'll BE UP IN A SECOND….

    Take it offline. Let her remain distracted fiddling with her domain while you go out and do What Needs To Be Done.

    They're like little kids. Just distract them when they're bad.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  11. racerford

    racerford

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    DFW area
    The point is if you are stocking up, you DO have 10 cans of the same thing. That is especially true if it is something you eat on a regular basis (once a week?).
     
  12. R_W

    R_W

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    True, but maybe not in the queen's kitchen pantry.

    I have settled on a large pantry (food storage room) in the basement that gets FIFO'd by flats at a time. Everyone knows to load on the left, remove from the right, and the kids keep the upstairs pantry filled with only a meal's worth of each item.

    I just couldn't get a rotator to work in our pantry, either :dunno:
     
  13. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    State of Stupidity
    For some reason, I find this to be an extremely compelling argument. Maybe I just stay the heck out of the kitchen altogether. It's just...all those cans in the back that go old and we throw away each year... it eats away at my soul. But, still...this may be the solution. You are a wise man, Reload. You may be one of the rare few who knows how to handle women.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  14. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Dude. With or without her, you need to become acquainted with stock rotation. "Food going bad in the back" is not acceptable with or without wifely involvement.

    Stock what you eat
    Eat what you stock,
    ROTATE ROTATE ROTATE.

    Imagine whirled peas…peas whirled right to the front of the line, never to go bad again. Plus, most canned stuff doesn't really go bad…but keep the parade moving.

    Rotate her stuff when she's not looking.

    rotate your stuff in the basement, and use the expiring stuff to backfill hers.

    Never out, always fresh.

    You, in LA are more likely than ANYONE to face the prospect of a looted store. Need to stay in for a few weeks till the riots subside? Gotta have a pristine pantry, upstairs AND down.
     
  15. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    Acme proving grounds.
    "Dates" on canned goods are very conservative,we've used cans that are years past their "dates".'08.
     
  16. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Just had a discussion with the wife, who tells me emphatically that she DOES rotate the stock, I just don't notice. "I know what's there," she says, "and I get it from anywhere it is, when I need it." She also says I'm grossly exaggerating the amount of waste.

    I purchase date everything with a sharpie when I load it in, and I load to the back...but...I'm getting the impression I need to butt out. She said I can't mess with her pantry till I built her the linen closet I promised, so...maybe I need to stock staples in my closet and enjoy familial harmony.

    Bolster's Wife: 1, Bolster 0. Starvation is bad, but grumpy looks by the wife are immediately deadly. Not giving up, just changing tactics. Reload's right, if there's a hiccup, LA will be starving first and longest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  17. quake

    quake Millennium Member

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    Arkansas, USA
    I bought the plan years ago from http://www.canracks.com
    Don't have the paper versions anymore, but it's pretty simple & easy to reproduce once you see it in person.

    They have another approach as well, one that hangs flat on the wall, protruding not much more than the diameter of one can. It can also be retrofit right into a wall cavity between studs if you prefer. I haven't done the "in the wall" version, but did a wall-hung one for a family member. I'll be at their house tonight; I'll try & remember to snap a picture of it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  18. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
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    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Not to preach, but at the risk of sounding patronizing or sarcastic, I don't know how to "stock up" or "prep" with less than ten cans of "X"; epecially if it's for a family.

    Fwiw, that rack is strictly for my wife's convenience; to allow her to just grab a can out of the kitchen cabinet, and keep her from having to go into the pantry. (Once a week or so, we restock the rack from the pantry.) The pantry:
    [​IMG]


    The rack holds 11 cans in each of six slots, except the tuna slot, which holds only ten.

    (Only three of the six slots shown in that pic). Left to right is tuna, corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, green peas and green beans. When I went to take a pic of it in place, the diced tomato slot wasn't full, so my wife propped a can in place at the top to make it "look" full. Unfortunately, it also confuses things, as you can see the empty void in the middle; so I cropped the original pic to show just the genuinely full ones. This is the original pic:
    [​IMG]

    In that small space (one shelf of one lower-cabinet space, or half the space below one kitchen drawer), that's 65 cans always neatly arranged, and always rotated.


    You don't; it's strictly a fifo thing.
     
  19. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Thanks for the awesome photos; very motivating. I must get to working on this as soon as Mrs. B. has left town for a day or two.

    Regards the lack of repeats; we've fallen into the habit of shopping about a dozen different stores, and so a dozen cans of beans are a dozen different brands and sizes. It's shameful. It would not hurt us to regularize a bit.

    Thanks again for the photos.

    Question: are the dowels solid all the way through, or cut into sections?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  20. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    Don't forget the makeup sex. :rofl:


    Fixes EVERYTHING. Well, almost. It will NOT cover a babe rotation scheme. Wives like to be the only can on that shelf. :supergrin: