Food Storage Shelf Labels: How to Make Your Own

Here’s my hard-working man.

Loving my food storage room! Saturday my husband built some more wooden food storage shelves. He must love me. I’m sure he enjoyed skiing more later that day. I will post a video soon. But first I want to share my food storage shelf label idea. They are wonderful! They show the food storage goal of each item I want to store, the name of it, and its shelf life. Awesome!
My food storage room is really two rooms: a 7 ft. x 7 ft. outer room with shelves on both sides, and a 5ft. x 5 ft. cold storage room with cinder block walls, a vent to the outside, and U-shaped wood shelves (only 3 sides of the room). The temperature in the outer room is 60 degrees and the cold storage room is currently 50 degrees. I don’t keep paper goods, toiletries or water in these rooms. Only food because of the wonderful cooler temperatures. I keep my grains, condiments, fats/oils, and baking items in the outer room. And my fruits, vegetables, meats, soups, etc. in my cold storage room.
How I Made Food Storage Shelf Labels

  • Using a spreadsheet, I typed up a list of items for my storage room. I divided the list into two columns on the vertical page setting.
  • Then I typed the storage goal of each item in front of its name and the shelf life at the end of its name. An example is 48 Corn 3Y. It didn’t matter to me the size of an item because I can see that. Just my goals. My shelf life may be different than some of yours because I have a very cool storage room. If you are storing above 70 degrees or so, you will want to reduce the shelf life of your foods.
  • I adjusted the height of the labels and used smaller labels for the cold storage room shelves, and larger ones for the outer room shelves and boxes.
  • I then printed my list on full-sized shipping labels (Staples) in my printer, meaning the whole sheet of paper is a sticker. I had these on hand anyway for all of my shipping.
  • Then I cut out each label on the border.
  • Next, I laid the labels on the shelves without removing the sticker backing so I could see if I wanted to shift some food items. It was sooooooo nice to see how much I wanted to store because I could leave space for future purchase goals. I can now see how it is all going to fit. I could also visualize the types of containers I needed for some foods. For instance I need more plastic containers for my packaged pasta, jello, pudding and brown sugar. So, I left room for that.
  • Then, I removed the backing of some of the stickers and stuck them to the shelves. Helps to dust off the shelves first.Here are some shelves in the cold storage room.

  • I like to use the store box trays of some canned foods on my shelves to hold items. Most grocery stores recycle these boxes, but if you go in the early morning hours when they are restocking, you can get them for free and reuse them. It helps keep everything neat and tidy, and helps me see how much room I need for canned goods and how I might want to stack them. You can pull the trays out to add more items. Nice! Some of the larger labels are on the fronts of these boxes. Looking good!


  • Group items by food type. Vegetables together, meats together, oils together, etc. This makes it easier to take a quicker inventory count.
  • Do not store chemicals and cleaning solutions over or near food supplies. I keep mine in other parts of my house, but if you kept them on a separate shelf that would probably be okay. Not sure.
  • Label food items with date of purchase on all items. Keep a Sharpie permanent marker in the room. I also keep a pair of scissors in my room to help me open plastic and cardboard.
  • Place heaviest items on lowest shelves, and lighter items on top shelves if possible.
  • I also have a stool in this room to help me reach the top shelves. A must for me because I’m not very tall.
  • To prevent water damage from a flood, keep plastic buckets, bottles, barrels and totes on bottom shelves. I still keep some #10 cans in boxes on my lower shelves, but I figure if I lost some of them we would still be blessed.
  • Keep a barrier between food and the cement floor. My boxes with #10 cans rest on a few 2 x 4’s to prevent daily moisture damage from the cement floor. And I keep my canner, roaster oven, etc. on the floor in my cold storage room, and not food.
  • Keep the floor swept or vacuumed so critters aren’t tempted. I also have some sticky spider traps set out. And I am getting a noise emitter that rodents do not like.
  • Hope you enjoyed this post. Would love to hear your ideas. I am thinking of doing another post on making my food storage room earthquake safe.
    P.S. If you can’t print your own labels, use masking tape but still write your goals, name of item, and its shelf life.
    Here are my labels.

    See some cute Food Storage Shelf Label ideas here. Scroll down to Digiscrapital.

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