Written by Dan Carpenter: The Daily Prep
For most people, building out food storage can be a little overwhelming. It’s an expense, and it requires figuring out some answers to questions—what kind of food to store, when it needs to be rotated, how much to buy per person, and more.
One of the biggest hang-ups of them all though, is finding places to keep your food storage. But with a little creativity, there are most likely some additional places you can store food in your home. Although some of these might not be doable, here are 10 ideas to get you going:
1. The Laundry Room: Do you have a laundry room, or other “utility” area? Odds are, there is some space that can be capitalized on for food storage here. The nice thing about these locations is that because they are out of sight, you don’t have to be fancy about how you do it. Stack food along a wall, use a free cupboard, or slice the space any way need to, in order to fit the most. Many laundry rooms will actually have some version of an emergency floor drain, so it might make a good place to store water as well.
2. Food Storage Furniture: How about creating your very own “food storage entertainment center?” This can be done by stacking boxes into your desired shape for a TV stand, and then draping with fabric. Tuck the fabric in tightly for a sleek, modern look, and then set your TV, speakers, or anything else you want on your new entertainment center! If this doesn’t work for you, you can also pull out your couches, beds, etc. and store food in the space created behind them. Drape with a simple fabric covering, table top, or other guise of your choosing.
3. Attic or Crawl Space: These areas aren’t ideal, due to the extreme temperatures, moisture, critters, and limited access. Still, if you need the space, they are worth considering. Think about keeping your dry goods and other “non-foods” in these locations–toilet paper, paper towels, toothbrushes, first aid items, deodorant, etc. Check back periodically, and evaluate whether or not it’s working out.
4. Dead Space and Cupboards Above the Fridge: Much like the dead space above your kitchen cupboards, the cupboards above your fridge are often underutilized. Store some food in em! Or for even more storage space, take the doors off, and store food not only IN the cupboards, but also in front of them on top of the fridge. Then cover the whole area with an easy fabric curtain.
5. High Shelving in Kids’ Closets: If your kids aren’t using the high shelves in their closets, this could be a good option for some food storage space. In many cases, they probably can’t reach the high shelves anyway, so this area goes unused. Alternatively, some people opt for a false floor in kids’ closets, or a wall of #10 cans stacked on one side. While this isn’t the worst thing ever, having your food storage lower to the ground in kid’s closets increases the likelihood that they might get into it.
6. Under Your Bed: This space is prime for storage, and there are a lot of ways you can do it. One easy way is to line the outside with boxes of food. You can also stack your bed on top of cinderblocks to create a little more vertical space. For a slightly more sophisticated version, you can incorporate a side-to-side rotation system, by storing foods of the same type in rows running underneath your bed. The new cans are put in on one side, and the oldest cans are taken from the other.
7. Coat Closets: Are you actually hanging jackets in your coat closet? Many people don’t. This could be a great area for extra food storage! Stack cases of cans, rig up some inexpensive shelving, whatever you want. Even if you ARE actually using your coat closet to hang coats, you can still use leftover space by creating a false floor, or storing food on the high shelves.
8. Inside Decorative Containers: Another good option for some additional space in the living areas is by using decorative containers. Think wicker baskets, hope chests, hollow footstools, and even large urns that would otherwise remain hollow. Fill them chock full of food!
9. Under Stairways: Lots of houses have already converted the space under the stairs into storage, but if not, create some simple shelving for this awkwardly shaped space, and cash in! Under the stairs works the best for cans, and other items that are modular and small enough to fit in versatile spaces.
10. Empty Luggage: Unless you’re constantly on the go, empty suitcases can make an AWESOME place to store extra food. By and large, suitcases are modular, and will take up the same amount of total space whether they are full or not. Put them to use by filling with non-perishables! If you have sealed Mylar pouches as part of your food storage, these work great for maximizing the area inside a suitcase.
There you go, 10 suggestions to maximize the space you have available, for some additional food storage.
One thing to keep in mind with these, is to put your “longest term” food storage away the deepest. These things will be rarely used, and don’t need to be super accessible.
Just as with any prepping, the most important thing is to be realistic about how you do it. If creating a faux wall with a curtain in your living room makes you embarrassed to have people over, then don’t do it. If putting your bed up on cinderblocks annoys you every time you get in, it’s probably not worth it. While a little inconvenience here and there isn’t going to kill you, prepping should not be something that makes your life miserable.
This list is only a start! Don’t be afraid to have some fun with it, get creative, and go for it!
Source and more helpful ideas like these, check out The Daily Prep’s Guide to Food Storage Planning.
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