But Where Do I Store My Preps?

This topic contains 24 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  james762 7 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #550

    IceFire
    Moderator

    “But Where Do I Store My Preps?”

    This is a common question for new preppers, especially ones who live in apartments or homes with limited storage. Ideally, shelving units in a basement, root cellar, storage room or (less desirable) garage provide storage for “preps”, but for those without those facilities, storage is more of an issue, so here are a few creative storage solutions.

    There is usually a lot of “wasted space” under furniture that can be used for storage. Beds, in particular, offer quite a bit of area that can be used to store cases of canned goods. If your bed sits too low to the floor for adequate storage room, a set of inexpensive bed risers can be placed under the bedframe, giving more height so that items can be placed underneath. You can hide the items from view by using a bed skirt. (If using risers, place the bed skirt under the box spring, rather than between the box spring and matress.) If you have dressers or other furniture that sit up on “legs”, you can usually fit some items under there, as well.

    Boxes of stored items can be placed under end tables which are then covered with a cloth, allowing you to “hide your items in plain sight”. If you are lacking tables, you can always stack boxes, cover them with a tablecloth, and place a lamp on top…this provides you with a “table” AND stores your “preps”.

    Make use of any “unused” space, and place a few items (however many will fit) in that space.

    #53716

    kymber
    Member

    can’t wait for more ideas from you Icefire….these are some really good ones!

    #53717

    roolu
    Member

    I hadn’t thought about the bed risers. Thanks for that idea.

    #53718

    ReadyMom
    Moderator

    Other ideas:
    * Pull your books to the front of the shelf, and store behind the books.

    * If you have an unfinished basement, where you are storing your preps, don’t forget the space between the 2×4 boards. It’s ideal for stacking rolls of TP or papertowels end to end. Those are the ‘hard-to-store items’ for most of us, I think. Try putting them is a plastic shopping bag, taping the bag tight around the rolls. Then stack. It will be hidden behind your other prep items and will also act as additional insulation, lol! The plastic grocery sacks will also be available for trash or use in your potty/potty bucket.

    * Water bottles: rinse w/ bleach, store in black trash bags. If available, store in your attic. (Doesn’t matter if they are hot in the summer). You have now stored water bottles AND trash bags (after they are empty).

    * Reuse your empty plastic vinegar jugs (the kinds with the handles) or other type jugs that are strong. I empty all my regular-sized shampoo/conditioner bottles into these larger bottles. Then I either peel off the label from the original bottle OR I photo copy a product picture to use and tape to bottle for identification. You can store a lot more in a single space, rather than having all those individual shampoo/conditioner bottles. Also … LESS TRASH! Plus, the larger bottles can be used for water gathering, if needed.

    #53719

    roolu
    Member

    For those with cats, the big litter bottles work as well. I rinse those out and use them for water storage. May have to change to shampoo storage after reading this though! Wonderful idea!

    #53720

    ReadyMom
    Moderator

    @roolu wrote:

    For those with cats, the big litter bottles work as well. I rinse those out and use them for water storage. May have to change to shampoo storage after reading this though! Wonderful idea!

    If you are using those kitty containers for water storage, I would STRONGLY suggest that water be used as GREY water and NOT CONSUMABLE water!

    I also save my liquid laundry detergent bottles. I keep a little bit of detergent in the bottom of the bottle. Then when it is filled up with water, you will have some soapy water for cleaning!

    #53721

    Kailyst
    Member

    I buy my cat litter in the buckets. When empty, I wash and sterilize them and then I store packaged items in them, such as beans, rice, packaged Mac ‘n Cheese, etc. They are water proof and mouse proof and stack well in the garage. I wouldn’t use them for unpacked goods.

    I also save cans with lids, such as metal coffee cans, for storage that I then put into the litter buckets. Of course, you have to make sure you label the bucket as to what you have in it, or you’re going to be a bit confused at a later date!!! 🙄

    I LOVE the idea of using TP and papertowels as extra insulation between the wall studs!!

    Kailyst

    #53722

    Silent Bob
    Member

    If you have an inside door that normaly stays open and there is a little space behind it , you can buils a can shelf. It is just wide enough to store 1 can deep and it can be as wide and high as the door is to keep it out of site. A word of caution , make sure that you build it using wood heavy enough to hold the weight and be sure that you put a small strip of wood in the front so the cans don’t fall out on your foot . Also we found at a garage sale a rack that fits over the door to hold spices in . we have it in the prep room filled with pepper, packs of gravy mix , small bottles of honey , and a lot of spices .
    Spot

    #53723

    ReadyMom
    Moderator

    @scifichick wrote:

    A great resource for buckets is your local grocery stores bakery department, your local donut shop, BBQ places, and sandwich shops. I like the ones from the bakery as I can pick up different sizes which is great for me! Oh and did I mention FREE 🙂

    For labeling the buckets, consider cutting the original label (and any cooking directions, for the other members of your family to follow, who do not usually cook). Affix this original label to your buck with clear tape (available in your local dollar store). I’m a ‘visual’ person, and like having these labels for quick & easy ID, instead of lots of buckets with the same handwriting on them.

    #53724

    kymber
    Member

    lots of great ideas here guys – thanks!

    #53725

    ReadyMom
    Moderator

    I have little labels on ALL of my prep items. We ‘shop’ from our pantry. When my family takes something from our prep pantry … they have to remove the label and put it in a jar we keep in the kitchen. I place the label over the cooking directions, or where the pkg. gets opened so they don’t forget to remove it.

    This label is my ‘inventory control‘ tag. Then I know what I need to replace from our storage. I keep an excel sheet and remove the items from my excel sheet. I keep my shopping receipts to add the items back in, when I’ve repurchased. Easy to do, when you’re watching a favorite TV show (if you have a laptop).

    I also put a COLORED ‘year’ tag on each item. Easy for family to see all items for the current year in one color. So, all 2009 items are blue, 2010 items are yellow, 2011 items are pink, etc. (I use colored paper … use the back of all those colored handouts your kids bring home from school!)

    I have everything formatted in a file, if you are interested and want it for a quick start. Just PM me. Or email me at capadmin@comcast.net -k

    #53726

    roolu
    Member

    @readymom wrote:

    If you are using those kitty containers for water storage, I would STRONGLY suggest that water be used as GREY water and NOT CONSUMABLE water!

    I also save my liquid laundry detergent bottles. I keep a little bit of detergent in the bottom of the bottle. Then when it is filled up with water, you will have some soapy water for cleaning!

    O yes only Grey water. even though I bleach them I would not drink that water I keep in those, or even use it for anything other than flushing my toilet or bathing. But I do keep 7-8 of these on hand for when the power foes out. It takes 2 to fill up my toilet, so that I can flush it. it works out very well.

    #53727

    D_Loki
    Participant

    A note on the used vinegar bottles and the like, don’t start storing water in them. The plastic used in those and milk gallons, degrade over time and nothing is worse than finding a leaking jug that has destroyed items you have in storage. Also if you purchase water in these types of containers, again beware of potential leakage.

    A note on storage locations, food stuffs should be kept in the coolest area possible for shelf life longevity. If possible keep at temperatures below 70 degrees F. Basements are great, but if you have a room that is ONLY used for storage, closing off heat vents, covering windows to eliminate light and heat, and having adequate ventilation around the items will aid in keeping them longer.

    The kitty litter buckets are great for bulk food storage if you use large mylar bags, or my favorite, vacuum sealed food-saver bags. If the food is sealed in food grade bags, it can be stored safely in non-food grade plastics. NEVER use garbage bags for food storage, many contain pest and odor control chemicals that can destroy your food. The square litter buckets are also good for water resistant gear storage as well as being square, more efficient store space use.

    As in all food storage situations, make sure food stuffs have been made pest repellent. Tops closed securely. If you’re using Rubber-maid style containers, duct tape the tops to help prevent invading pests. Before storing dry food stuffs (flour, sugar, pasta, rice), make sure you freeze the items for 24 hours, then at room temperature for 72 hours, and then freeze for another 72. This will kill any live bugs, allow any potential eggs to hatch, and then killing any that did hatch to die again. In non living space, consider using Diamaceous Earth (or DE) dusted around storage areas. It is fossilized algae that will stab, cut and kill the outer skins of bugs. It is not poisonous to humans or pets and contains no chemicals.

    Thats all I can think of on the fly…then again now I see why my wife calls me a windbag LOL

    #53728

    Genevieve
    Participant

    @scifichick wrote:

    A great resource for buckets is your local grocery stores bakery department, your local donut shop, BBQ places, and sandwich shops. I like the ones from the bakery as I can pick up different sizes which is great for me! Oh and did I mention FREE 🙂

    not around here. they put their nasty used grease in them and them throw them out. you can not even find someone to give you a bucket around here. you have to get them from the drywallers. they’re food grade and clean up good with hot soapy water. the new lids are very tight.

    #53729

    rattfink
    Member

    Looking for a hide/stash spot for small items like cash, jewelry, etc.? Get one of those safety can openers ( http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=oxo+smooth-edge+can+opener&tag=yahhyd-20&index=aps&hvadid=35443935011&ref=pd_sl_5q75pejirb_b ) that cuts around the sealing band around canned goods, empty the contents, rinse,dry and there you have it…a place to hide small valuables. Just mix it in with your canned goods.

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