One of the biggest problems with storing a year’s or more worth of food and other emergency supplies is that it can take a lot of space. Ordinary homes simply aren’t built for storing several months or years of food at one time. If you are not lucky enough to live in a home with tons of built-in storage space, then these alternative storage tricks are for you.
Basic Buckets and Containers
The easiest way to store food is, naturally, in containers in a pantry or in the kitchen. You can use any size container, but 5-gallon buckets seem to be particularly popular. You can place these in the pantry or kitchen and they are ready-to-go at all times. Clear storage containers will help you easily identify what food you have. If you use opaque containers, make sure you label them clearly. Living Prepared has some excellent storage and labeling examples.
Under the Bed
Beds are the perfect place to store your emergency food stash. You can use standard slide-out storage containers, or you can get fancier and build you own drawer or shelf system under your bed. Food Storage and Beyond shows how to store food under the bed.
Expand the Use of Your Closets
Small closets may be the norm now, but with the right organization system, you can get more mileage out of your closet areas. Food Storage and Beyond has a great closet food storage system that is simple and effective.
Build a Cellar
Erica’s parents have a really neat cellar-based storage system that uses large wood shelves and milk crates for storing a variety of food products. If you are lucky enough to live in a region that can support a cellar, they are one of the best food storage options.
Store Food Behind Furniture
You may be surprised at how much space is wasted behind your furniture. For example, you may be able to hide emergency supplies behind your sofa or in hidden corners of your living room or bedroom. The family from Food Storage and Beyond offers advice for hiding food stores almost anywhere.
If you don’t have any extra space behind your furniture, you can always place food in an unused dresser or store it on an inexpensive bookshelf (just watch the weight of your items. Our cheap bookshelf drooped after we filled it with books).
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Create Raised Floor Storage
One of the most radical storage solutions is to build a raised floor for storing food. I’ve seen a lot of pictures where the storage area is incorporated into a sleeping area.
Use Your Laundry Room
With the right shelving, you can transform your laundry room into a food-storage haven. Danielle from Transforming Home made her laundry room into an organized storage zone for almost everything she owns, and it looks awesome.
Don’t forget to utilize the storage power of your doors! We actually did this recently to keep cleaning supplies out of reach of our 1-year-old, but my husband put an over-door organizer in our pantry as well, and it nearly doubled the storage capacity of our pantry (which granted, was not a lot to begin with, but still, more space!).
Stash Supplies Behind Stairs
Behind stair storage is effective and popular. You can do as little as simply storing your buckets behind the stairs, or get more complicated with custom-built shelves. The family from Barnacles Choice modified Ieka cubby shelves to store items neatly under the stairs.
How do you store your emergency food stores? Share your solutions below!