How to make your own cardboard storage bins

Written by megan shoop
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How to make your own cardboard storage bins
It's simple to recycle cardboard boxes into food storage. (Getty Creative)

Due to ecological issues and budget concerns, many homeowners buy in bulk to reduce waste and save money. Bulk items often use fewer package materials than the same quantity of non-bulk items, and they also cost less per unit than purchasing the items individually. This buying pattern creates its own problem: food storage. The good news is that you don't have to purchase expensive storage systems to preserve and organise your food. Keep your home green and frugal by making your own cardboard storage bins.


  1. 1

    Turn a flat-stack cardboard box up on its side, with the opening facing you. These boxes are thin and tall, making them handy for storing canned food, drinks, coffee and any other food stored in cylindrical containers. Cut the flaps from the opening of the box.

  2. 2

    Measure the height of your box, and divide the number by the width of the item you want to store. For instance, a 1-metre (39-inch) tall box meant to store 8-cm-wide soup cans could contain up to 12 shelves.

  3. 3

    Measure the width and length of your box, and add about 2.5 cm (1 inch) to each measurement. Cut 12 pieces of cardboard to match your measurements. For instance, a 15 cm (6 inch) wide, 60 cm (2 foot) long box requires shelves that are 17.5 cm (7 inches) wide and 62.5 cm (25 inches) long.

  4. 4

    Place your measuring tape horizontally along each side of your box, and draw horizontal, hatch marks 7.5 cm (3 inches) apart down each side. Space the hatch marks about 7.5 cm (3 inches) apart, and make them 2.5 cm (1 inch) long. Cut a slit in each hatch mark with a utility knife.

  5. 5

    Cut 6 mm (1/4 inch) wide, 2.5 cm (1 inch) long notches into both sides of each cardboard shelf. Slide each shelf into the box, feeding the cardboard notches into the hatch mark slits. Fold the last inch of each shelf upward to form a lip that holds in the food stuffs.

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