One of the often asked questions and problems shared with me is finding space to store extra food. Especially individuals with limited space and/or living in Urban settings such as apartments, condos and smaller homes. Space limitations often hampers the mindset to store additional food because space is not available or one considers the weight of extra food when living on a floor above the main floor.
I would encourage everyone to be creative within their limitations and continue to expand their food stock as much as possible. As long as you rotate and inventory your stocked items, you will always use the contents of your food plan. Ms. Lucy often voices a need for something in a meal or recipe and most often that item is in our stocked food items. This helps today and tomorrow.
I have noted a few ways for you to consider using extra space below. A few requires the use of power tools. Remember, if you have the correct measurements, you can always have wood cut for you at Lowes and Home Depot to fit your design. This will help those who do not have the power tools and save money by not buying them right now. If this doesn't work for you, find a friendly neighbor who uses power tools and have them cut the items for you. As the saying goes, "if there is a will there is a way." You don't have to tell the neighbor what you plan to do with the cut wood. Another possible way is to locate your local high school Vo-Tech and see if they can help you or find a local place that teaches woodwork classes and they would probably do it for you. Some larger churches also offers craft and wood work classes during weekday evenings.
One of my favorite alternative storage plans is building the bed base as your box springs and storing canned and dry food within. I have posted a photo below to show you what I am speaking about. If built right, the food is protected from critters to prevent tampering in storage. If time permits, consider caulking around the seems of the wood to make it fairly tight. Once you place your canned and/or dry bagged food in place you will use one or more sheets of ply weed over the storage area. The ply wood must be cut right and fit over the storage box to tightly cover the area. Consider caulking around the area where the ply wood meets the storage box. Only caulk if you have no need for the stored food for a period of time.
Another method of extra storage is to use the space between your walls where the canned foods will be shielded by the sheet rock. You will have to remove the sheet rock carefully so that you can reuse it after you place the canned items on the 2 x 4 boards. Be careful to not use space around electrical wiring. You can also cut in to the sheet rock and utilize the same space and then install a door over the space to allow easy access. Granted, this is extra storage but does allow others to freely access your stored food.
Another method would be to build shelves with 2 x 4s and brace to your wall and stack your canned items along the shelves. This is visible to the eye and others could see your resources if they have access to the area. If you aren't worried about it, this is a very easy method to consider using. If space permits, you can do this method within your closet space and then cover with your other possessions such as coats and boxes.
If you have a garage and any extra all space, building a sturdy wall system to hold plastic totes can be a great method of separating resources and storing for long or short term. To avoid questions from others you can buy red, green, orange or gray totes and explain they are seasonal storage. Red for Christmas, orange for Halloween, gray for spring, and anything else you decide. You can even label with items other than your resources. The nice thing about this system is you have access to it as you may need it or want to add to it. If you live in a possible flood area, this is a great method of storage. It lifts your resources off the floor; your items are stored within a plastic container. Enclose your resources in plastic bags, if possible for a second line of defense from any water. If you are warned of a potential flood you can then pull what items you want and rig a roping system to float your totes with you if you evacuate on foot. Just make sure you have the lids secured and any holes you place in the tote rigging your rope system are caulked in some fashion. A negative to this system is if the area you store the totes isn't climate controlled. Here is an example of the system I'm talking about:
The next suggestion can be used within the home, garage, or within a cache. The plastic 55 gallon trash container. It fits in a closet or garage, back porch, or in a cache. Place your canned items in a large plastic bag within the container and close with the lid. Just make sure you have it where you want it because it will be heavy. And, if left outside in cold temps your cans will freeze and your container may bust and dump all your canned goods on the ground.
If you have read my book or attended my classes you will recognize the term "cache"" and understand it is simply an external storage location outside your home to store critical items you may need to have if you are evacuated from your home or flee with short notice and have no food, water, shelter or security items to hold you over or help get you to your bug out location. There are many examples one could consider how to establish such as size needed, location, and items to secure. That is up to the user and based on your scenario. If you own land you can establish your cache out of site of your home but on your property. If you are on a lot with neighbors you will need to secure a location within a timely reach in order to assist you in a timely manner. If you use flex tubing or PVC pipe make sure to plug the ends with caps. Here are a few examples of storage mechanisms you can consider for burial or placing in your cache.
If you want a larger cylinder type container the Nano Vault or Puck is a great method of storing personal item such as coins, cash, precious metals, small arms, jewelry and such. The puck lid screws on and items can be placed within a waterproof and fire proof bag. The puck below cost around $100 and is the larger size.
These are a few suggestions you could consider. There are many more methods to look at if you have space and the money to spend on storage shelving and rack systems.
I hope this may help you in picking a method and moving forward with your food planning and storing of your resources.
Bravo Echo Out