DIY Hidden storage: canned food storage cabinet

It's totally tiny but does a fine job suiting our needs...mostly... One problem I've run into with a small space is storage space. I've had to get a little creative and maximize the empty space hiding in the room since we're lacking a pantry. However, our kitchen had about a 6" opening between our wall and the refrigerator. I decided I needed to utilize this hidden space and that's exactly what I did!
For those concerned about heat, the side of my refrigerator does not get warm/hot at all. I have had this since May and it has been a dream come true in my kitchen!
Check out the full post for full instructions with a shopping list, wood list and full tutorial.
Hidden next the fridge!
Pulls out for easy access to canned goods, etc.
the plan..
The full cabinet open

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

13 questions
  • Dee B
    Dee B
    on Jan 10, 2016

    This is so perfect for my kitchen with no pantry. Is it hard to construct?

  • Blu4033753
    on Jan 18, 2016

    How did you mount it? Did you use a track roller since can weight can be quite heavy? My email is: Thanks Bill

  • Nancy070214
    on Jan 19, 2016

    Does the unit wobble or mark the wall or the fridge?

  • Shirley donnell
    Shirley donnell
    on Mar 12, 2016

    What about ventilation for the drug and the heat from the frog in back...does it affect your canned goods? It's a great idea!

    • Lyn
      on Jul 12, 2016

      Hi Shirley :) don't know the answer to the ventilation question, but drugs need to be stored at room temp or inside fridge. Don't keep them in your bathroom, because the increased temp. can change their composition

    • Shelly Moore
      Shelly Moore
      on May 21, 2020

  • Sandra K Salisbury
    Sandra K Salisbury
    on Apr 9, 2016

    I really admire your vision and creativity! The cabinet looks very professionally built! Maybe I've missed something, but I don't see a wall on the outside of the rolling cabinet. If there is no wall there, could you have placed the cabinet with the shelves on the outside, in which case you would not have to roll it out. You could also make the cabinet a little narrower, in width not depth, which would create a narrow "shaft" of space and allow the fridge to breathe. I know it may not look as good by exposing your pantry. I guess it would look like a giant spice rack! Hmmmm? It has been noted though, that the heat from the fridge may have a negative effect on the food items as well as shortening the life of the fridge. So, it's just a thought.

    • Sandra K Salisbury
      Sandra K Salisbury
      on Apr 9, 2016

      Oh wow, I just went back and looked at the before pictures and I see there's no cabinet above the fridge, plus there is a sliver of space to it's right and there is still ventilation underneath. So what's the big fuss about? Eh? I'm very sorry I didn't notice that in the first place.

    • DeAnn Gardyszewski
      DeAnn Gardyszewski
      on Sep 15, 2016

      Refrigerators are built in all the time so whats the difference?

    • Susan Tatham
      Susan Tatham
      on Oct 13, 2016

      There is a recess space for the fridge with a little bit of wall before the door. Maybe that is what she meant.

  • Cheryl
    on May 11, 2016

    Wouldn't the rollers dent the floor?

  • Kate Mackinnon
    Kate Mackinnon
    on Aug 14, 2016

    Wouldn't the fridge heat everything you have in the storage rack? Sides of fridge tend to be warm.

  • Joel Nikolas
    Joel Nikolas
    on Nov 29, 2016

    This is the absolute best use of space I've ever seen!as someone who simply has NO MORE ROOM in my kitchen...I realized I have about a foot between my fridge and the wall! I was storing the broom and plastic bags, but this could add about 20 times the storage. Bravo!

  • Dpl11684163
    on Jan 2, 2017

    it looks like you have a lot of wasted space above the cans. could you add more shelves or would that make it unstable?

    • Shawna Bailey
      Shawna Bailey
      on Jan 3, 2017

      Great idea

    • Kathy Tozer
      Kathy Tozer
      on Jan 3, 2017

      Need to leave enough space above cans to lift them over the dowels when removing. Therefore depends on the height of the cans as to whether more shelves can be added

    • Cathi Fiala
      Cathi Fiala
      on Jan 12, 2017

      Instead of using the dowels, put a 1/2" lip on each shelf. You would only need about 3/4" to lift out each can, allowing you to have more shelves.

  • LDodd
    on Feb 13, 2017

    What kind of "guide" keeps it vertical -- doesn't appear to be inside a wall and looks as if it would turn over easily w/o some kind of guide.

    • Dave
      on Mar 17, 2017

      The upright stability would depend upon width, height, and weight distribution. Obviously, with 5'4" height, a width of only 3 to 4 inches the amount of weight on the higher storage is important. It would be imperative to watch carefully to keep the most weight items on the lower shelves. With the outside depth of about 6 inches the stability would be better than if the finished depth were less. It would also be advisable to make the lower shelves shorter rather than very high. A good idea would also be to use a trim 'lip' of about 1 inch on the front of each shelf, and get rid of dowels on all shelves where the 1 inch lip height above the shelf is enough to hold the items on the shelf. The taller, lighter weight items could use the dowels on the upper shelves to help with the 'balance'.

    • Steven Burnett
      Steven Burnett
      on Jan 28, 2020

      I am going to build one. Thinking of using a block of wood on the underside, that would be able to rotate and stick out about 6 inches on each side. Needs to fit in between wheels and be easy to rotate out and then back in for storage. Needs to be very close to the height of the wheels.

      Another idea is to have a tether strap at the back attached to the wall that keeps you from polling out too far.

  • Patty Conry-Brown
    Patty Conry-Brown
    on Apr 3, 2017

    what is the backboard.

  • Patty Conry-Brown
    Patty Conry-Brown
    on Apr 3, 2017

    what is the backboard, plywood, if so what is the size.

    • Martin Zimny
      Martin Zimny
      on May 3, 2017

      Go to the home depot or lowes web page. search blackboard (Black not back) plywood. see what sizes they offer. They will cut for you no cost.
    • Linda Endres
      Linda Endres
      on May 27, 2017

      I think Patty was asking what you used for the back of your hidden storage. I do not belief she was asking about the black board behind the Starsage.
    • Carey
      on Nov 29, 2017

      Taking out the shelves and leaving the dowels, this would make a wonderful drying rack for dishrag, hand towels, dishtowels and anything else that you would want to hang to dry. It is true that the Fridg. gets warm at the sides as it moves heat out of the inside to the outside. The condensers are no longer just on the back as they once were and the transfer is done through the walls. When my hubby built our kitchen he designed a cabinet next to the fridg. with vented door. My dishrag, dishtowels and drainer were completely dry within about an hour. I never had a stinky dishrag while we lived with that kitchen. I think that this cabinet is open enough that it doesn't restrict the heat transfer out a lot unless it was really stuffed, but canned goods and spices should be stored in a cooler place.
    • Redtyde
      on Dec 29, 2018

      Very good points. So that's why there is always that space next to the fridge along the wall.

  • Jerry Mccutcheon
    Jerry Mccutcheon
    on Feb 27, 2018

    why did you stagger the casters, for the room or stablility?
    • Rachelle Deranger
      Rachelle Deranger
      on Oct 31, 2018

      That may be just the way it looks on the drawing. I'm pretty sure they are actually evenly spaced, 2 side/side, front, 2 in back as usual.

    • Dronerg
      on Feb 17, 2019

      You can clearly see on the photo they are not side by side but staggered as the previous person said.

    • Trish
      on Jun 6, 2019

      The casters need to spin. There is not enough space for proper spin if side by side.

Join the conversation

2 of 125 comments
  • Celeste Taylor
    Celeste Taylor
    on Jul 28, 2019

    I'm going tto try this for under my cabinet for my pots n hang them so i won't have to look under the shelves, I can pull them out. Thanks

  • J J
    J J
    on Oct 25, 2019

    No room between the side of my fridge & the wall. There's 3", p'raps.

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