Lazy Susan RE-DO...Organize the Chaos

I have a love/hate relationship with my lower Lazy-Susan. We store cereals, chips, crackers, oils and larger bottles of things on the lower tray. The cereal boxes get tipped over when we spin the tray, the chip bags get smashed and a good amount of both get lodged between the wall and the tray in that unreachable outer limits.

I searched and searched for a solution and ordered the expensive wedge bins ($16.99 each!!!) that didn’t fit. Returned them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and got the larger ones, but there was wasted space where they didn’t fit my 28" round trays. One size(s) does not fit all...:) I returned those also.
I needed something taller and more custom to the things we store. I also wanted to utilize the space. After thinking about it for sometime, I knew I could come up with a solution of the idea I had carried in my mind for months.
First we removed the Lazy-Susan from the corner cabinet. This gave me a chance to actually see what space I had on the tray.

I then did a simple layout of the size of space I needed. I knew boxed cereal needed a flat back to allow them to line up, and avoid wasting space by having an unused space behind it. Bagged chips could fill up a wedge shape nicely. I actually laid out the items to see what space was needed.

I taped out the layout design...and decided it was perfect for giving me the most usable space for storage.

This is where the hard part came in....what materials to use that would be light, sturdy and not cost me a fortune. 1/4" plexiglass (have you priced that stuff) was out!!!! I thought about the plastic cutting boards....but wondered if there would be something else. I walked the isles of stores checking out every perceivable option. Looked like cutting boards were my best option. I had one large one I purchased from Sam’s Club on clearance for only $5.00 and could have kicked myself for not getting more. One just wasn’t enough to use as dividers, and I did want them to match. I ended up purchasing 2 large poly cutting boards at Walmart (15" X 20" - no handle cut out). This allowed me to cut 2 dividers from each board and enough excess to custom cut to the size needed. It also provided me with a factory edge on all exposed sides.  You could use wood, but I liked the look and ease of cleaning the poly cutting boards. 

The poly plastic material cut really easily with a chop saw. I cut mine in half, giving me 10" X 15" pieces. I had the 4 divider I needed and would modify the length to the size needed.

I decided to make the center piece from 1" X 12" pine board. I measured the width from the edge to edge of the tray. Because the tray edge tapers in on the bottom, I measured what I would need to cut on an angle to make it fit along the bottom of the tray.   I came up apx 1" and came in apx 3/8" on the bottom to allow for the taper (NOTICE the slight angle on the bottom corners of the center brace)  . I then measured where the dividers would go to make the center "square" shape for the cereal boxes.
You can see where I marked the center of the board, then I measured where the groove cut would be. To cut the groove, I just ran the board through my table saw apx 3-4 times to get the 3/8" width I needed to align the cutting board in.   Just make sure the depth of the blade only goes apx. 1/3 into your board.

This is what the one side looked like. I also used the chop saw to cut an angle on the top corners....just because I liked the look of not having it square. You could round the corner like the cutting board corners if you wanted.

Now I needed the groove for the angled dividers. This would have been a challenge to do on the table saw and get it right. I just took a 1" X 2" board and cut down the center on a 35' angle. This gave me the perfect angle to make the wedge section. I measured how far out I would need to go to clear the center pole bracket and glued and brad nailed the pieces to make the groove for the angled divider. I used a small piece of the extra poly board placed in the middle to get the right distance. I did clamp it and let the glue dry over night. Clamping wasn’t necessary since I had nailed it, but just made me think it would make a stronger bond. You could also do this process for the straight dividers on the other side. It is a super easy process. 

NOTE - the scrap of poly board just kept the clamp from making a mark on my board - not part of the project.

This is what the other side now looked like.

Because the inside of my cabinets are a natural color, I just sealed the wood portion with Danish Oil Clear. I sanded them smooth before sealing them. Now I am ready for a dry run and to determine where I needed to cut off the poly dividers. Also, because I couldn’t assemble the new dividers on the tray and fit them through the cabinet door, the grooves are cut to allow fitting them inside the cabinet. On the two dividers on the wedge side (for the chips) I cut the end that goes in the groove on the same 35' angle.

This is what it looks like before adding to the tray.   I then took the 2 angles dividers out to install the unit inside my cabinet.  I was able to fit the center brace with the 2 square dividers through my cabinet opening.

I installed the center board first adding the angled dividers last. See how the wedge side surrounds the center pole.

I just spun it around and added the other dividers.   The poly cutting board pieces just slide in the grooves of the center brace.  The outer rim of the Lazy Susan hold them in place nice and secure.  My dividers fit tight in the grooves, but if yours wobble a little, run a bead of clear silicone on the edge before fitting them in the groove to help secure them.

Perfect....Everything stable and no more fall over. 

And Action.....everything stays right in place.  Easy to see and reach...:)   I especially love that the bagged chips stand upright and it keeps the bags from getting smashed....avoiding crushed chips.

Mine holds 4 boxed cereals, 2 gallon containers (syrup and oil), 3-4 boxed - bagged crackers, a large jar of instant oatmeal, and 3-4 large bags of chips.  Customized to fit what YOU store.

Resources for this project:

American Wood Moulding 309584 Board Pine, 1" X 12" X 4"
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Have a question about this project?

13 questions
  • Liz Sojanna
    on Feb 21, 2017

    I just thought of using dowel pins like 5/8" diameter instead of cutting board. Any thoughts?

    • Susan
      on Feb 21, 2017

      not an answer but I like YOUR idea. HOW would you attach to the lazy susan?

    • Ijensen
      on Feb 22, 2017

      I actually thought of dowels also in the beginning thought process. The cutting boards are just more stable and don't need other support (other than the groove to hold it in place).

  • Gail
    on Feb 21, 2017

    How did you get the lazy susan out of the cupboard? Ours came out of the track and we can't get it out or figure out how to fix it in place.

    • Ijensen
      on Feb 22, 2017

      You can unscrew the top bracket if the middle support pole doesn't adjust. If it is adjustable, just loosen the screw on the pole and it will slide down. Then just lift the tray up and over the top of the pole, turn it sideways and remove it through the door. Mine has little rollers it turns on and they are located on the small adjustable round brace that in just under the tray and is hooked to the pole.

    • Marcia Lazenby
      on Feb 22, 2017

      mine is from a 1970's kitchen...very heavy is screwed in to the pole that sits in the middle has one little pie shape that lets it come off the pole once you undo the screws ...this is all metal...actually mine is brass...

  • Cathy
    on Feb 26, 2017

    I have to ask....what do you use a gallon of Karo for? I've used about 5 small bottles in 40 years!! Do you have some good recipes I need to know about?? Love the dividers!!

    • Ijensen
      on Feb 26, 2017

      I make killer caramel popcorn....LOL I have bribed public officials and federal judges with it...:)

    • Diane Burke
      on Mar 3, 2017

      Use Karo syrup for Scotcheroos , yumm

    • Karen Giacherio Beaudoin
      on Mar 5, 2017

      @Diane Burke ...OMG! You are the first person I have EVER seen mention or know what a scotcheroo was...I love love love them...maybe too much! They are addictive...Lol

    • EKO
      on Mar 10, 2017

      They're a must in the Midwest at all potlucks/church events

    • Janet Keuter Decker
      on Mar 10, 2017

      Scotcharoos (nephew can devour a pan in a day), No bake cookies (father in law gets about 4 dozen a month), Caramel corn...caramel anything, really.

    • Donna
      on Mar 10, 2017

      Oh yes!! Everyone who knows me, knows that CARAMEL IS MY CRACK!

    • Bernice H
      on Mar 10, 2017 idea what a scotcheroo is..but don't you love Hometalk? We learn so many new things!

    • Sandra M
      on Mar 12, 2017

      Bernice you haven't lived until you've tried a Scotcheroo! Here's a link for you, enjoy:

    • Linda Farrell Rolfe
      on Mar 15, 2017

      Pecan Pie!

    • Carmie Lynch
      on Mar 15, 2017

      I bet I haven't bought or used 3 bottles of Karo in 35

    • Sherri
      on Mar 21, 2017

      Special K Bars! I make these all the time! I'm known for making great Special K Bars!! I think the only difference between Scotcheroos and Special K Bars is what kind of cereal you use, Special K or Rice Krispies. I only use 1/2 c sugar and they are still plenty sweet but less unwanted bleached/processed sugar;)

    • Lisa Ferguson
      on Apr 2, 2017

      I use Karo syrup to make peanut brittle.

    • Sna9379793
      on Apr 3, 2017

      Scotcheroos are called Chocoscotch Bars in Minnesota. They are yummy!

    • Willadean Jackson
      on Apr 25, 2017

      I use it to make icing for angel food cakes I love to make them for family and friends for their birthday. Put an Angel food cake on a cake stand with pink white mountain icing and it's a special birthday present and cost under $4.
    • Karen Giacherio Beaudoin
      on May 3, 2017

      I love how a lazy suzan post turned into a scotcharoo love fest..Lol😆
  • Mary Tickner
    on Mar 21, 2017

    My problem is things fall off the lazy susan and I have to unload everything to get the fallen item, because of course everything falls of in the back. Any suggestions?
    • Ijensen
      on Mar 23, 2017

      That was my problem also. This resolved that by keeping items in place....:)

    • Linda Sikut
      on Mar 28, 2017

      At 71 years old, I don't have the skills to do what you did or the patience to learn them. :( I'm in the process of fixing up a lazy susan that was put up in the late 1970's when the kitchen was remodeled. While my solution to this issue isn't as great as yours, I did find some of those folding "cubes" that will fit pretty good. Yes, I'll lose some space but I plan on using them for bottles, sauces that don't need refrigeration, syrups, oils, vinegars, etc. I'm hoping for a little sanity in my lazy susan.

    • Coni
      on Jul 7, 2017

      Me too! At 71, I've learned to know my limitations.
      I don't quite know what you mean by "folding cubes" but I'd like to see what they are. Is there a link or suggestion on how to research them?
    • Cindy Stark
      on Apr 21, 2018

      The section where the bags of chips are, I would attach a bungee cord.

  • Mary Tickner
    on Mar 21, 2017

    My problem is everything tends to fall off the. lzy susan, then I have to unload it to retrieve the item, because of course it falls off in the back. any suggestions?

    • Ijensen
      on Apr 28, 2017

      This helped with that problem because it stabilized the stored items. Mine things fell off when they tipped over.
  • Sara
    on May 18, 2017

    I found a blog the other day that took all my pictures from one of my projects and gave instructions on how to do the project without any permission, and I just saw one of your projects on there today.

    They don't have a place to contact them or leave comments. The only place I've been able to find them is on FB. Just wanted to give you a heads up in case they didn’t have your permission.

    • Ijensen
      on May 19, 2017

      Hey THANKS!!! I have never heard of that site. Thanks for the heads up....I need to go investigate....:)

    • Ijensen
      on May 19, 2017

      :( .....this is all I got
      Error 404 - Page not found!
      The page you trying to reach does not exist, or has been moved. Please use the menus or the search box to find what you are looking for.
    • Ijensen
      on May 19, 2017

      I did find it in a round-about way. Guess being called "the woman" better than "the other woman"...LOL

    • Susan
      on Aug 27, 2017

      lol she talks about you in the third person, without giving you credit - how rude! And cannot leave a comment, because the comments section is closed.
    • LaNae Carpenter
      on Aug 29, 2017

      You can report her, though...
    • Donna Ann Lien Wyss
      on Sep 19, 2017

      It can up for me when I tapped on the link. Try a different computer?
    • Jeannie.mcquaid
      on Sep 28, 2017

      Pirates...not just in the Carribean.
  • Marcie Davis
    on Jul 14, 2017

    Could you attach bungy cords (elastic cords) to help keep things from turning over? Just a thought...You could make them loose enough to get your items out yet tight enough to keep them from turning over. You might could even use a wide piece of elastic and attach it to the pieces standing up.
    • Carey
      on Nov 29, 2017

      Marcy, this sounds like a farmers repair to me! : ) When we were first married, my husbands go to solution to almost everything was Baling wire! Granted he would usually make it work but it wasn't always pretty when finished. Later, he added Duck Tape to his supplies and later still, zip ties and bungie cords! : ) Later, he turned out to be a pretty good all around handyman at almost anything that he tried. I will always be grateful for the many times that I have benefited from his efforts in so many ways. He did all the upkeep on our vehicles, repaired just about anything that needed repair (except electronics), built my kitchen on one home, built our garage, built our storage shed all from scratch, I could not even enumerate all the things that he accomplished. He always cared for his family lovingly, faithfully and generously. He finished well!
    • Marcie Davis
      on Nov 30, 2017

      Well then, it sounds like my farmers repair would be just right then. That's what us southern women do....we should all be so fortunate to understand a farmers life. lol I was thinking wide elastic so it would hold yet be movable so you could take things out and replace things. Duck Tape, baling wire....not so good for my thought on the project. Got to do what works for you. ; ) Also, when living in a camper, motor home etc. (which a LOT of people are doing now) you have to make sure things don't move around and elastic works so well with that and it's easy to remove if it has Velcro on the ends. The story of your husband are wonderful...not many family loving, faithful, generous men out there any more. What a blessing to have one or have had one. I couldn't tell by your words if he is still alive or not. At one point it sounds like he's still with you then at the end....He finished well...makes me think maybe he's passed. My condolences if he has passed. Blessings....MARCIE

  • Lin533723
    on Aug 27, 2017

    Great job but have you seen krazy corner cabinets?
    • Ijensen
      on Sep 30, 2017

      I have....they look pretty neat but I already had these and just wanted to modify it.

  • Linda Wilson
    on Sep 28, 2017

    What about weight? Seems the wood would be a lot of extra weight on the susan. Think they can only handle so much.
    • Ijensen
      on Sep 30, 2017

      The wood is just pine - so really light. Doesn't seem to affect it at all....spins smoothly.
    • Mary Russell
      on Apr 21, 2018

      that small extra weight would be so negligible compared to all the items we pile onto those shelves.the real problem is in the design of lazy susan cabinets.a proper design and construct would have a round"shell"just large enough to match the circumference of the rotating shelves.that design would not allow items to fall when rotated away from the opening.

    • Mel92767
      on Sep 26, 2019

      Yes but the lazy susan is usually in a corner cabinet where the beed is about more upper/surface space. Unfortunately, it creates “dead” space in the back if the cabinet. On a corner cabinet it would be nice to have pull out shelving. I think the door woyld rhen need to be large/wide.

  • Millies_mom47
    on Feb 28, 2018

    Hey I don't have a question, just a comment. I love this! I have a cabinet in my craftroom that has a lazy susan, but I can't figure out how to divide it so that it looks good too. I found an idea on another hometalk page, it's more adjustable to sizes but doesn't look that good. Yours looks great. Oh I do have a question; any idea how to make your divider more adjustable for changing sizes of sections so it won't matter what you decide to put there?
    • Mary Russell
      on Apr 21, 2018

      put down a circular base of pegboard.make dividers with "pegs"that will fit,or lock into the holes in the pegboard.It may take some trial to get it working.

    • Ijensen
      on Apr 25, 2018

      When I did this, I usually store the same items, so made the dividers to fit. I am boring....LOL

    • Mel92767
      on Sep 26, 2019

      Any suggestions on how to make a circular shape from the peg board? I have limited tools and skills lol

  • Chris Ann Hanousek
    on Apr 21, 2018

    Great project. What is a CHOP SAW. TY.

    • Carol
      on Apr 21, 2018

      A chop saw is the same as a miter saw.

    • Ijensen
      on Apr 25, 2018

      They are called either chop saws or meter saws. I have 2, one slides to cut wider pieces of wood.

  • Shawna Strickler Tecco
    on Jul 25, 2018

    My question is how to organize my lazy susan cabinet with my pans . Then the other side of my kitchen has another lazy susan that we store our plastics. I can't keep them organized.

    • Mel92767
      on Sep 26, 2019

      I think how ljansen (original poster) made a layout/template & follow her instructions would work, especially for the pots & pans because they won’t change. You could do the same for the plastic containers.

      What I do for my containers us 1st make sure there are lids for each bottom, no saving of singles. Sort & stack by size & keep corresponding lids next to or under the containers. I have seen people use magazine holders to store the lids. You can even cut a cereal box to the shape of a magazine holder as a “trial”. Good Luck 😉

  • Tegma
    on Feb 18, 2019

    Great idea, but why was it necessary to use cutting boards? Why not just plywood painted white?

    • Lola
      on Apr 30, 2019

      I believe it was personal preference.

    • Ijensen
      on May 1, 2019

      Could use either....but I liked the finished look of the cutting board and no painting or future upkeep.

Join the conversation

2 of 137 comments
  • L. Creative
    on Oct 12, 2018

    Kudos! Great job!!!!!

  • NotHermione
    on Jan 20, 2019

    My suggestion keeps disappearing.

    Nice idea!

    You might try making partitions, a base plate and a top piece with dowels connecting them. Glue the dowels to hold partition together. Height = height of that individual tray. I would taper the inside edge to accomodate the smaller space available near the spindle. Caulk or use a non-permanent 'glue' to hold it in place better. The base of the partition should make it quite stable.

    Basically, sandwich dowels between 2 pieces of wood, 1 top, 1 bottom. Taper the spindle edge to accommodate the less space available there. Drill holes for dowels and glue dowels in place. Position the partitions in place. Caulk in place if needed. They easily moveable when they need to be, pull up and scrape away old caulk.

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