i've run out of room!

Six years ago, our stake president challenged all of the families in our stake (group of local congregations) to complete their one-year food storage. We had just purchased our first home and were new members in the area. We'd made multiple moves across the country during that past few years and had some food storage, but not enough. I took the challenge seriously. Over the next year, I was able to gather a one-year supply. The foods recommended at the time were the basics -- and were very easy to store. I had mostly buckets and #10 cans.

Four years later, the new church recommendations were introduced in General Conference. We had recently added a little boy to our family and I needed to increase our food storage to include him. Because I had a full year's supply, I dragged my feet to implement these new recommendations - particularly the three-month supply of foods that we regularly eat since I knew I already had a three-month supply of the basics. In fact, part of the reason that I began this blog was because I knew I needed to follow that counsel. So, I'm working on my three-month supply right along with the rest of you.

Anyway, that's two long paragraphs to get to my point, which is that storing a three-month supply of foods that we regularly eat is harder than storing all the buckets and cans of a longer-term supply. I've been surprised at the volume of cans, bags and boxes that I've added to my food storage. I've had to purchase an extra set of shelves that are already full. I suspect that I could reduce the sheer volume of products by utilizing fewer canned foods, but I really want to make my three-month supply as user friendly as possible.

As I look at all this food, I'm wondering how to fit it all into my home. Having lived in even smaller quarters, I know that many of you are also having to be creative in storing your food storage. So where do YOU put it?

Here are a few of my ideas (I'd love to hear yours!):
* Use the space between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling (in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room etc.). Put items in canisters, pots or cute baskets if needed (sometimes food storage can be decorative). Use curtains if needed.
*Utilize top shelves in closets and storage areas that might not have things on them because they are hard to reach.
*Store things under beds. You could even raise your bed with risers and store even more. Eliminate your bottom mattress and create a "foundation" using buckets and storage items.
* Store items under bedside tables or other decorative tables. Hide with a tablecloth.
*Store boxes in the bottoms of closets (shoes, boots, etc. can sit on top of the boxes).
*Insulate an attic space and add pull-down stairs.
*Basements, garages (might be too hot), cellars, sheds, cold-storage, etc.
*Dig a cold storage area.
*Pull a couch away from a wall and store items behind it.
*Free up cupboard space by hanging your pots and pans.
*Buy/make a decorative privacy screen and store items behind it.
*Buy an armoire and fill it with food storage.
*Use beds for the kids that are like bunk-beds, but that only have the top bunk. Fill the bottom area with home storage supplies. Cover with decorative fabric that matches the room. You could even use part of this space for storage and the other part for toys or a play area (separated by a desk or chest of drawers).
*Turn an extra coat closet into a food storage closet.
*Keep a box or two of food storage items in your trunk.

Keep in mind that idea food storage conditions are dry, dark and cool. You may or may not have an ideal place for your home storage. Be creative. If you don't have a place/way to store things in ideal conditions, then do your best. You might just have to rotate things through a little more quickly.


AP said...

This is a great topic. I have used so many of the ideas you list--under tables, under beds (even propping the beds up so the jars would fit under), lining closets and drawers! We have never had a large house and certainly no "extra" bedrooms or closets so have had to get creative. One thing we have done is to pack the food in the mylar bags and put them in metal 55 gallon drums in the carport. The drums were sealed so we didn't get mice or insects in them. We've since moved to a slightly bigger house and were able to move all the food storage inside.
We've pulled a dresser away from the wall and stacked buckets behind it. I once saw a laundry folding table made from 2 55 gal water drums with a board on top. Never had a "laundry room" to do this myself!
Right now I have cases of canned goods stacked under the lip of my counter in the kitchen, waiting for a shelf to clear off in the food room to put them on. Not too discreet, but it works for now. :)


Prudent Homemaker said...

Build an insulated, air-conditioned room in your garage. We did this in two different houses. We put a window a/c unit in the wall to the outside in the first house, using half of our two-car garage. We put insulation in the ceiling over the room, and we put in insulated interior walls. We left the garage door in, which could still be opened, and just closed up the room under the door mechanism (the ceiling in that room). The walls can easily be taken down when you go to sell if the buyer wants them out (ours liked the room and so we left it up). We just parked in the driveway.

In our current house, we have a three car garage. We put a room in the one-car garage section, and we put the window a/c unit on an interior wall into the rest of our garage. Our HOA doesn't see it and there are no complaints about it that way. We left the garage door in place, but it is non functioning; we took out the door mechanism to get a higher ceiling and more storage space. We didn't make to room the full-size of the garage, chossing to keep the water heater that was in the garage OUT of the room, so it's about 4 feet short of a one-car garage size. You can see pictures of it on my site.