a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#12 What If . . .Making Room for Food Storage

Yesterday I presented bagging ideas for toys. Since today is the day for a preparedness post I am continuing with the storage theme ---- this time for storing the extra food you are hopefully acquiring for a time of need.

Continuing the series to prepare you for a time when the store
shelves are empty and you have to get by on what you have on hand.

Over the years I have collected storage ideas from a variety of Internet sites. Today I am going to present some of them. Hopefully they will give you good ideas or spark other ideas to meet your own needs.

Storage Ideas from the Internet

My son (the only boy among a gaggle of girls) also has his own room. Some of the extra space is dedicated to a large shelf filled with cans and boxes.

A few cases of food can take up some less-than-necessary-room under a desk.

I have decorative shelves near the ceiling in my great room. Many houses have such shelves. On these shelves, I store sugar in #10 cans (one gallon). I put decorative wallpaper around the cans. In front of the cans I have placed greenery and white "Christmas" lights. Several guests have commented on my pretty decorations. They are always surprised to find it is disguised sugar. I use sugar since it stores for a long time and takes heat well. (Note from Simply, Gail: While this sounds really cute, I would worry about earthquakes or other incidences that could cause the cans to topple---and cause serious injury. Can you think of something lightweight that you store and disguise in a similar way? Toilet paper?)

I am a professional organizer. One of my specialties is food storage. I have found that lack of space is usually not the big problem many people think it is. Once I help my clients realize what they value most and why, they typically find or make space for what is important in their lives.

Pull a dresser or couch away from the wall a couple of feet and you can fit lots of cans or buckets behind it where they won't be seen too easily. We put food in Mylar pouches in rolling boxes that go under beds and in giant 55 gallon metal drums in the carport (the drums keep the insects/rodents/critters away from the food. Make a table with a board on top of a couple of cases of canned goods and cover it with a cloth. I've stacked 2-liter pop bottles, cleaned and filled with water, horizontally between my filing cabinet and the wall.

Identically-sized boxes fit nicely between the wall and my couches. Every piece of furniture in my living room and family room has boxes containing food storage behind it. I stack them about three boxes tall, and then extend them as long as the couch. It leaves just the perfect amount of space between the wall and the furniture---nobody would even guess there was anything back there. (Note from SG: Cover it with a cloth or a finished board and it will appear to be nothing but a regular table that is designed to go behind couches.) Boxes can also be stacked to form a table---my telephone sits on one such table. It's just boxes with a cloth over them.

We converted our coat closet into another food pantry. Since this closet is not directly in the kitchen and it is carpeted we store our #10 cans, case lot sales items, and items purchased in bulk. I stock my main pantry from this converted coat closet. Also the coat closet had a built-in shelf above the rod so that shelf is for unopened boxes of food like our case of tuna and our 72-hour  kits (grab-and-go kits near a door exiting the house).

We put short bookshelves in our son's closet and use them for food storage. Since his clothes are small they fit great over the top of the boxes. We also stacked boxes of #10 (one gallon) cans in the ends of the closets. Just make sure the boxes are labeled with what's in them and put the things you will need to get into most often on the top or it can be a real pain to find things.

What I am planning on doing is curtaining off two feet or so along one wall of the dining room (Ikea has curtain rails you can mount on the ceiling) and putting all my food storage on shelves behind it.

If you have a couch that has a "skirt" to the floor, you can store a lot of toilet paper unseen!

Have any of these ideas given you ideas? 

 “We have no room” is the excuse voiced most often. An excuse is exactly what it is. 

The comment from the professional organizer says it best when she wrote "once I help my clients realize what they value most and why..."  

Unfortunately, sometimes it needs to be what they should value most and why. You can't eat stuff in an emergency, and since I am simply cheap I'll add --- 

you shouldn't need a professional organizer! 
  • Be creative
  • Organize your space yourself 
  • Use the money you would have paid for the advice to--- 
  • Buy the food to store in your created space!

And, one final thought, if you do not have one inch of space to disguise a minimum three-day supply of food, will that prevent you from being prepared?  Should that prevent you from being prepared?

Being prepared "just in case" provides immeasurable peace. Even though it will take some money to be prepared, it is highly probable that no amount of money can help you---at the actual time of need.

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