Question from Samantha (Mesa, Arizona): I live in a 3 bedroom home with NO pantry and NO storage room. Do you have any tips?
*Be clutter-free. I found that in a smaller space I could not hold on to things I didn’t use or need. I went through the house and de-junked every closet and every room. Once I did this I was able to use half of my kids’ closets for food storage. I put my big bins/tubs on the bottom of the closet, food on top of the closet shelves and in any extra space I could find.
*Under the bed is a good place to store large bagged items. You can buy ‘bed lifters’ at Home Depot or other stores like that (or just raise up beds with blocks of wood or cement) and then store items under beds. Bags of wheat, flour, oats, pasta, etc. that should be kept in plastic containers to keep away from insects/rodents/moisture fit perfectly in the tupperwares that are about 6-8 inches tall and 3-4 feet long. These fit perfectly under a bed (measure first) and are a great way to keep your food storage hidden.
*Stay organized. I would make a list (or use the inventory sheet) and write down where you have each item around the house along with how much of each item you have. Try to keep ‘like’ items together. For example, have all of your grains (wheat, flour, cereal, cornmeal, oats, pasta, etc.) in one room (perhaps under one bed and in one closet). Have your ‘legumes’ in another area, ‘oils’ in another, etc. so that when you are looking for a particular item you won’t have to search all over the house.
*Have canisters of flour, oats, sugar, and other items ON your counter (cute ones of course) to help rotate through your food better and to keep smaller bagged items in your pantry.
*Utilize your garage—build well organized shelves so that the majority of non-food storage items can be kept out in the garage leaving more food storage room inside. My husband even built shelves on the ceiling of our garage (above where the garage door comes up on the ceiling). It makes me a little nervous, but that is where we have light storage items that won’t put too much pressure on the shelves (I wouldn’t recommend this unless you know how to brace it properly) :) A well organized storage room can generally fit more than we think it will.
*I have heard of people in hot climates like Arizona having a shed on the side of their home that has an air conditioning unit hooked to it to keep the food cool. You can either put the food in a shed or put other storage items in a shed and have more space for food inside.
*Keep your water storage in the garage to save space in the home. Make sure and keep all water jugs/barrels off of cement. Keep a thin layer of wood, plastic or cardboard in between all water jugs and the cement.
*Keep a well-stocked car kit in your car (water, food, blankets, old shoes, flashlight, batteries, etc.) that can act as a 72 hour kit without having to store another kit somewhere in your home or in a closet. You can get a list of what can be put in a 72 hour kit on our website.
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