*Secret Storage Places*
Creative Storage
By: Vikis
23 February 2011

It seems that you can never have enough storage space, but there really is more space available than you probably think. You have to remember, it's not what you put in your available space, but how you put there.

It doesn't matter if you live in an apartment, mobile home, house, or McMansion - the space you need is potentially there, you just have to be a little creative and break free from the ordinary!

For prepper's, getting organized is a huge challenge. You've got to keep up with where you are putting everything and then you have expiration dates to worry about too. Not to mention, you've got many times the "normal" amount of any one item to deal with!

So, let's talk about how to get-it-together!

In the back of the photo directly above is how I store used aluminum foil that was only used to cover food or something simple. I simply take the used foil and wrap it around an empty paper towel roll too. Stores nicely like this.

Due to the fact my kitchen does not have a panty, I've spent a while trying to figure out another way to make a "working pantry." I really don't have a lot of cabinet space and then, I had a "duh-moment!"

I've not completely got this system in place yet, but I've made it through the cleaning out, consolidating and practicing the methodology.

This dresser sits in a spare bedroom adjacent to the kitchen so it's a perfect place for canned goods! How many cans (the small ones, not #10's) do you think you can store away in a dresser? Well, in my case, 225 and that's just in the bottom three drawers.

Once my preps start outgrowing the storage room, this is where I'll be bringing my "working pantry" items. New items will go to storage and I'll bring the latest dated items to the dresser and work out of it.

Rotation will be simple using the dresser method by marking the expiration date on the top of the can and rotating by:

  1. Removing the can in the left front corner
  2. Slide remaining cans in that row forward
  3. The last (or farthest back) can in the second row goes across to the end of the first row
  4. Slide all second row cans back
  5. Repeat through all the rows of cans in drawer
  6. New cans get added to the last row furthest to the right

Simple rotation is accomplished by using the S method. One drawer will hold 75 cans and that's enough for 1 meal a week with that particular item. I can mark that food item off my one year list when the drawer is full. As long as the drawer stays full, my one year goal is accomplished. When I start running low in the storage room I'll replenish.

An entertainment center can also be used as an out-of-the-way storage place. To friends and family it looks like any other entertainment center, butů

to me it is more storage!

Forty cans will fit on each shelf pictured. And the nice thing about entertainment centers is the shelves are normally adjustable and the doors close. So, I know I have enough storage, behind the bottom four cabinet doors, for a minimum of 320 cans of food. This only includes the shelves, not the very bottom area (where the Bible is in this picture.)

The easiest way to make this type system work is:

  1. Keep like items together. Soup should be in one drawer/shelf, green beans in another, etc. This way your inventory sheet is easy to maintain.
  2. Cans stored on shelves - it's easy to maintain rotation if you mark the expiration date on the label, facing out.
  3. If you really don't want to see what you've got stored away, put like items with like expiration dates in boxes. Make sure the box will hold an even number of cans. Close the box, label the goods that are inside and write the expiration date on the box

By utilizing 2 pieces of furniture that have been decluttered and consolidated, I have gained enough space to hide-away a total of 545 cans of food.

And finally, my favorite storage places are in the wide open. Most of our cast iron and some of our long-term manual kitchen items are displayed in the house. They fit the decor, so why not?


Other quick tips to consider:

In Part 2 I'll show you easy ways to get the main storage area organized and how to keep a running list of it all!

Being prepared starts with getting prepared; declutter, consolidate, and get creative! You'll be amazed at how much space you can find!


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