You are 45% organized. You separate your recycling, but it doesn’t matter, because you always forget to take it to the curb. At least you don’t get in the car and realize you have no idea where you’re supposed to be going…
I’m a bit of a “Messy” by nature, but I am always trying to find new ways to be organized. As a prepper who has a large stock of food storage and supplies, I have to find places to store and organize my preps.
Make Space by Purging Stuff You Don’t Need
Don’t let what you think is a lack of space prevent you from building up your supply of preps. Most of us have at least a few shelves (if not whole closets full) of stuff we rarely use and don’t really need. Be honest and set some priorities. Getting rid of what you don’t need in order to have a higher level of preparedness for yourself and your family is a positive step to take.
TIP: Purging old clothes, coats, and shoes from a closet not only gives you space to store more preps, but donating it all to a charity will also help others.
Utilize Available Spaces
Many open areas in your home could hold your supplies. Put a photo storage box on a shelf and store first aid supplies. The space under a table could have a basket full of bags of pasta. And a storage bench at the end of your bed could hold your family 72-hour bug-in storm kit.
One feature it our new home leant itself perfectly to long term storage – ceiling ledges. Most of the time these are decorated with tchotchkes and decorative elements. I saw one thing…out of the way, long term storage! I used baskets that I already owned, bought a couple on clearance at Michael’s, and a few more at a neighbor’s garage sale. Then I loaded them up with long term storage prep items like personal hygiene items, batteries, and water purification supplies.
Under the bed is a great place to store items. If your bed is low to the ground, you can get risers to create more space. There are all kinds of storage bins that will allow easy access and keep your preps dust free. Even the modern style platform beds with sides the go all the way to the floor and without a traditional under-the-bed area, still have a great deal of storage. It’s not accessible without moving the mattress, but it is valuable space indeed.
Under my own queen size bed we have more than ninety #10 cans of long term storage food (over four months of food for four people) along with other preps. It’s not visible to others and is completely out of the way.
As a bonus, if you put your preps under your kids’ beds, they won’t be able to shove toys and dirty clothes underneath!
TIP: When storing items in out of the way spaces, be sure to make a list of what items are in which location. This will allow you to not only remember what inventory you have on hand, but also make it easy for you to find the items you need.
Find Creative Storage Solutions for Your Stash
Is your couch up against a wall? Do you know that you can stack canned goods behind it and no one will know it’s there? A six-foot couch can easily hide 48 cans of soup leaving a lot of open space in your pantry. You can also put softer items like toilet paper or paper towels, but they will almost certainly get smushed when the sofa gets shoved back.
An end table can have fabric draped to the floor to cover preps hidden underneath. You can even turn your decorative pillows into storage places by filling them with rice or beans like the woman at this website.
Take a look at your bookshelves. If you pull the spine of your books to the front of the shelf, you can create hidden space behind them to store canned goods or other supplies. No one knows it’s there, and it takes advantage of previously wasted space!
There are SO many places to add storage to your home. Check out our Pinterest board with ideas from all over the web.
TIP: Don’t get caught up in the idea that personal hygiene preps need to be stored in a bathroom or that food must always be stored in the kitchen. Find or create an open space and fill it with what fits!
Questions to ask yourself about each item before you store it…
How often do I need to access this? This seems like a no-brainer, but consider how often you need to get to something before you store it. I initially put some OTC meds up on the ceiling ledge and realized two weeks later that I needed them. The problem was that I needed the big garage ladder to reach the baskets. That’s just not convenient at all. I now store the meds in a more easily accessible location. It’s not just about convenience either. Items that you need quickly – flashlights, first aid supplies, and tools – need to be within easy reach.
Is there an issue with temperature control? Food storage is very temperature sensitive so you don’t want to store it out in the garage, attic, shed, or anywhere that will have temperature fluctuations. Toilet paper and paper towels can store in the heat or the cold. Because they are so bulky, it seems to be a waste to use valuable, usable indoor storage on them. We keep these items out in the garage on a top shelf. Since they are so light, a top shelf is a great place for them.
Is humidity a concern? The bathroom is possibly the worst place in the house to store medicine for this reason, and yet most people keep it there. Likewise, a damp basement floor will leave you with rusted cans of food if you put them directly on the floor.
Take a walk through your house. Find places to organize and repurpose in order to be able to increase your volume of preps. Your home will be less cluttered by unneeded items and your family will be better prepared for hard times.