I covet these can rotating systems from Shelf Reliance but can't really afford them right now. Plus, as we're getting our food storage in order I think it's more important to spend the money on actual food. So how do you rotate?
First, designate a space for your rotated food storage -- preferably one that is easy to access when you're cooking. I had my wonderful husband build some extra shelves in the pantry specifically for that purpose. Before then, I told him -- top shelf is food storage -- DON'T TOUCH UNTIL I GET THE SYSTEM GOING!!
Purchase a white board or chalk board and hang it on the wall next to your space and load up your shelves.
Everything that goes on the food storage shelf gets a sticker. Garage sale stickers (less than $2 at Walmart) work perfectly.
It is a pain to search each can and figure out when it expires. The stickers are color-coded by year (with a key taped to the shelf) and the month and year are written on the sticker. There is nothing that will expire in 2011 on these shelves. When 2012 hits, anything left on the shelf with that green sticker will go into my regular food area for use before it expires.
But we still rotate. This is where the white board comes in handy. My husband has explicit instructions that if he takes something off the shelf that has a sticker on it, he writes the item down on the white board. This way, I know what needs to be replaced when I grocery shop.
Does it work? Well, this morning my husband was eating instant oatmeal and like the OCD organizer that I am I immediately asked him if he had written it down. He said yes, I double-checked (I'm that terrible), and he really did.
Works for me!