Shelf Reliance Rotation System Review

What is the Shelf Reliance Rotation System?

This system is a great system for food storage, or just basic canned food rotation.  The tracks are built at angles, so the first can you put in, is the first can you put out.  These shelves have been out for years.  We have personally been using our units for over 5 years.

These systems come in a variety of sizes.  The pictures below are the largest ones.  They range from about 6 ft tall x 2 ft x 3 ft (these are estimated measurements)  to smaller plastic units that would fit on a shelf in your pantry.  I have used both.

Here is a picture of mine compared to the Shelf Reliance (Thrive Life) photos.

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Pros and Cons of the Shelf Reliance Rotation System


  • There is a variety of sizes.  Here is the link to a post that shows pictures of all the sizes.  Personally, I started off loving the large size… but now that I’ve continued to progress and improve my food storage, I’m looking into smaller sizes to fit glass cans and one that will store on my shelves instead of a solid unit.
  • You can customize each shelf to different sizes of canned goods.  This is nice!  The big metal shelves are 90% customization to any can.  The small plastic shelves, are a general customized size, like small/medium/large.  Any can size from Tuna to “Pantry Size” thrive cans or the larger bushes baked beans.
  • These shelves hold a TON of cans.  Let me rephrase that, the large metal shelves hold a ton of cans!  Then #10 large shelves hold up to 112 cans, and the large shelves with multiple sizes can hold up to 300.  Let’s just say, I have a year supply of food for a family of 4, and I still have room on my shelves for more cans.
  • There is a small “lip” on top of the shelves.  This allows you to cut a thick piece of wood, and have a flat shelf on top of these shelves for increased storage space.
  • They have 2 “pantry” size shelves which allow for newer deeper cupboards and cupboards not as deep.


  • The large metal shelving units are hard to change and customize once pushed against the wall, and filled.  Typically, these shelves are shoved in the corner somewhere.  They are stuffed with cans.  What if you want to change-up the width of the row?  Well, you have to make adjustments in the front AND back of the rack… which is very hard to once filled (I know from experience).
  • Some of the instructions can be tricky.  We have taken apart and set up our large metal shelves twice, and it still took some figuring out.  A tip, use a Sharpe and number the holes.  This makes it easier to line up your rows accurately.  Although, rumor has, that they re-wrote their instructions last year making them easier to understand and apply.
  • The large shelving units come out 18 inches to 2 ft from the wall, which is a little too bulky to hide the shelf in a bedroom closet.  The smaller shelf units, are nice, but they are bulky if you have a small pantry to work with.  You could use pantry space better, as these shelves would leave extra space in the back.
  • It may allow for TOO many cans.  Since these systems are made to hold bulk cans, if you only have about 50 #10 cans, or 100 smaller cans, you’ll be wasting your space.  They do sale shorter versions of these large shelves, which sounds awesome!

In conclusion

Depending on your can amount and size, will determine if these shelves are right for you.

#10 cans

If you use and need to rotate your #10 cans, then these will be great (such as going through 2 or so cans a month).  But since MOST #10 cans are made for long-term food storage, you may just want them stacked in a box under your bed.  There are many #10 cans I do not rotate such as: freeze-dried meats, powdered eggs and butter, whole freeze-dried packaged meals. In this case, I could pack these items easier and save the space from having a large rotation shelf, since I won’t be “rotating” these items consistently.  Not sure what #10 cans are?  Read more here.

Also, not all #10 cans are created equal, be sure you are buying the right quality for your family.  Read more about the 6 Myths of #10 cans.

Basic sized cans

When planning for food storage, I recommend buying cans in the size you typically cook from.  So, if you use 1 can of cream of chicken soup for a meal, and you are storing enough for 12 meals that year, then you’ll need 12 cans.  The shelf reliance rotation system works GREAT for this.  This allows you to use those cans monthly, while keeping them rotated and in order.  With the “Variety Can System”, you can create rows small enough to fit tomato sauce, and large enough for #10 cans.  Also, it allows for the “fatter” cans such as pie fillings, or longer cans like baked beans.  The only down side, is glass jars, such as Alfredo sauce, do not work well.  As you can imagine, 14 glass jars lined up, and one falls off track.  This equals a big mess all around.

Small Pantry Space

The smaller shelving units, called “consolidator pantry” (on sale for 56% off black Friday) and the “consolidator cupboard” (on sale for 51% off black Friday), come in a variety of sizes to determine which fits in your pantry best.  They are a little pricey when you estimate the “per can cost”.  Here is a DIY post on how to make your own cardboard can rotating system.

Large Pantry

If you have plenty of space somewhere, and plenty of cans to store, then I would defiantly recommend the large free standing shelf reliance rotation system (these are 48% off for black Friday).  Even if you only use 80%  of the space, it is worth it for how well-organized everything will look.  It’s easy to see what you do and don’t have.  Since the price can vary from $299-350, you are able to search the web for some DIY shelves.  Those will save you time and money if you are handy with tools.

In Conclusion

If you are planning on storing canned food, your best option is to either make or purchase a rotating canned system.  I LOVE the self reliance ones, but we also have space for them as well.  If you are looking to invest in one of these systems, I recommend waiting until Black Friday because they always go on sale for a more reasonable price.

Do you have a shelving rotation system?  Comment below with if it was DIY or store-bought.

Further Reading:

5 Steps to Start your Food Storage 

7 Tips for Planning your Food Storage Meals

4 Steps to LOVE your Food Storage Meals

As always, if you love what you read or have found it helpful, please PIN, share or comment below.

Thanks for reading!
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2 thoughts on “Shelf Reliance Rotation System Review”

  1. I got one of these a few years back and it’s absolutely awesome. Mine was fully customized with just small can shelves, so I have six rows of cans and it holds basically all the standard supermarket cans I use regularly. Tuna, ravioli, soups, broths, refried beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, veggies, etc. I have well over 300 cans in my 24″ deep 72″ tall rack, and with a few boards on top I was able to put four boxes of #10 cans up there (24 cans in all) to save floor space.
    I installed it in my basement so I was able to place it so I had easy access to both the front and back, so if I decided to change shelf spacings I had easy access (I read up before installation!) 😉 I did a little rearranging as I found more types of canned goods to add, but after I filled it up I haven’t shifted any row dividers.
    One other thing I did and would recommend others do is to get a roll of magnetic tape (I got 1/4″ wide, 1/16″ thick tape in a 50′ roll from Amazon) and then used a Brother P-Touch label maker so I could print out labels, stick them to chunks of magnetic strip cut to length and apply it to the various food types. I have multiple slots of a few types of food…8 slots of tuna (yes, over 100 cans!), 3 of ravioli, 6 of chicken soups, 4 of beef soups and 2 chowders. This reminds me or lets other family members know which slot to be grabbing food from. This way if we decide to go to 5 rows of beef soups and cut down the chicken soup, I can print a new label and move the labels around to match what’s stored. The steel cross bars make magnetic labels so easy.
    If you have the space and can swing the budget, it’s worth every penny to avoid having to toss canned food that went too far past expiration and spoiled.

    1. Yes! Magnetic tape or some way to label them in a must! Then you know which row to take from. I had to learn that the hard way. lol

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