Food Storage Systems - Wher to Put it All?

Finding a place to store your preps can be a problem. Most homes are not designed to store the quantity of food, gear and equipment that a serious Prepper would like to have. Here are a few ideas to get you started, and maybe knock loose a few ideas you didn’t know you had. If you can think of more, let us know and we’ll post them here.

Under your stairway. Some multi-level homes have spaces underneath the stairway already prepared. Others have voids that can be accessed by cutting through the drywall. Still others have prepared spaces and voids. With a little study, you might “discover” added space. Determine if it is suitable for food rotation, or long term storage of items that will not be rotated out, or accessed regularly.

Behind false walls. The prime candidates for false walls are basements. The far end of a wall can be fitted with shelves, stocked and walled-in. The completed false wall can be finished as a real wall, that must be ripped open, or as simple as panels that don’t look like they open. If you are storing buckets, they can be stacked quite high. Smaller items would go on shelves. Be careful that the feel of the room isn’t affected by the wall. Sometimes, the change in the rooms dimensions causes the mind to say, “This doesn’t look right.” Widows that were once centered become slightly offset since the space on either side shrinks by the thickness of the storage area and wall. Other places for false walls are: the rear of deep closets, walk-in closets, hall closets, fat pantries, the wall at the end of an unusually deep room (always wanted to know how to “fix” that problem, right?), unfinished half basements (finish it off to your advantage).

Secret rooms. Remember the stair voids? Sometimes there are whole rooms in a building’s voids! Look for  spaces above low ceilings in houses that have peaked roofs. Check for voids where there are strange angles in the walls. Sometimes a room high triangular void can be found within those angles. In two story homes where the upper floor isn’t as wide as the lower, there can be wasted space.

Some attics can be converted to store rooms. doing so requires building a room within that space, and insulating it and cooling it. A thorough study of the space in question is necessary. You will need to insulate the walls and especially the ceiling. Even with insulation, the room will need cooling to prevent extreme high temperature swings. Cooling ducts from the existing system, and a way to return the air, are essential. Most attic rooms have strange shapes and angles. Plan wisely for a safe and hidden entrance, and the best use of the space.

Furniture. There is room inside your box springs, and under most beds. If your bed is too low, buy a set of risers to add access and volume. Large and boxy coffee tables have storage inside. Some preppers build their own coffee tables by wrapping storage buckets with shrink wrap, or by setting uniformly shaped boxes close together, and topping them with a table top. The whole works gets covered by a nice table cloth, or just boxed in!

Shelving. It’s rather obvious to visitors, but shelving units, or shelves up on walls can be useful. Some preppers make use of closet shelves by beefing them up, and expanding them. It makes for some cramping, but the goal is to stock things away, and things take space.

Do you have lots of plants? Raise them up on some old boxes, stained to look fashionable, and no one will think twice about looking under them.

Where clutter lays. Most of us have junk and clutter that just needs to go away. Well, get rid of it. If you can’t do it all at once, then do it in stages on each trash day. If you have access to a dumpster, so much the better! Free up space for the things you want and need.

Within walls. Some can systems make use of the 16″ space between studs within walls. Cans in the top, cans out the bottom. With another shelf system along the wall, almost top to bottom, both end of the chutes are pretty well hidden.

Try these guys.  They have quite the selection of rack systems to maximize the capacity of a dedicated storage area. They are not the cheapest, but if you have a few bucks to spare, the cardboard FIFO organizers have some merit. They are light weight, so they won’t contribute to overloading already tentative shelf systems.

Here are a few commercial units to think about….   and a couple to consider below them….

FIFO (First IN, First Out) 54 can

FIFO 30 can

CanSolidator 80 can max unit, 2-pack

Want to try building your own from cardboard?

You can use the template from the above article as a guide to building one from plywood. 1/8″ ply with some square supports for floor panels would do the job. Being handy can save some cash.

Regarding local and remote storage: If you are bugging out, some of your storage can be off site, either in caches along the bug out route, or at your retreat. This might be a way to offload some storage stress from your home. Keep in mind, though, that if you are forced to stay put, your access to remote foods is cut off.

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