All preppers that I know have a common problem. Storage space. It doesn't seem to matter how big your house is or how many outbuildings you have, when it comes to preparedness nuts, there is no such thing as enough storage space. We have lived in everything from a 2200 square foot house with a shop and a barn to our current 1200 square foot "shouse" with no outbuildings (save our 40 foot shipping container) and precious little storage space. Regardless of our living situation, we never seem to have enough storage for our preparedness supplies.
|Fold-top bins for clothing and boots|
Sir Knight and I have done a great deal of wrestling with the storage issue. A couple of conclusions that we have come to are......
1. Store what you like, for all of the reasons mentioned above.
2. Organize, organize, organize. If you are anything like us, you don't have a huge empty basement to fill with preparedness essentials. Most of the preppers that we know have a nook here and a cranny there. You have to organize and mark your containers so that you can put your hands on any given item when you need it.
3. Inventory. If you don't know what you have and where it is, you might as well not have it. It is important to know how much you have of any given item and where it is. An inventory is essential to properly plan your preparedness stores. Make sure you include location, amount and the date the item went into storage in your inventory. If you don't know what you have, you don't know what you need. I can't tell you how many times I have needed something and said "I know I have that here somewhere.....", only to end up buying whatever it is all over again. It is a terrible waste of money and time and a frustration of immense proportions.
4. Rotate, rotate, rotate. If you have unlimited storage space, you might have the ability to stock so much quantity that if some of it goes bad, it really doesn't matter. For most of us, that just isn't the case. By rotating your food and supplies, you can be assured that your stores are fresh and usable. And, if you rotate your food, it can be assumed that you are using it, which is the surest way to transition to a grid-down situation with the least amount of trauma.
5. Use appropriate storage containers. We have found that 4 and 5 gallon buckets are perfect for most of our long-term storage needs, however, certain items are more easily stored in larger or smaller containers. When it comes to things like bouillon, #10 tins are perfect for our family. The bouillon stays fresh and it is easily stacked. We also employ #10 tins for corn starch, pectin and certain dehydrated fruits and vegetables. When it comes to kitchen staples like flour, wheat and powdered milk, we don't mess around. Our chosen storage option for these commodities is a 55 gallon barrel. We label the barrels and make sure that we have at least two for each item (so that we can rotate the barrels and refill them in turn). We have also found that 55 gallon barrels are perfect for non-food, bulky items like bedding and toilet paper. The beauty of storing these things in large, waterproof and rodent-proof barrels is that you can, conceivably, store them outside on racking or neatly stacked against a building. Because of the non-perishable nature of towels, out-of-season clothing and boots, they are perfect candidates for 55 gallon barrels, stored in an out of the way location.
|55 gallon barrels|
|Our "coffee table"/bulk medical storage|
|In-shouse storage of canned goods|