Thursday, April 15, 2010

Prepping Basics: Storing Bulk Food Supplies PART 2

In this Prepping Basics Series, we've mainly talked about the philosophical aspects of preparing for the unexpected from a Biblical viewpoint. (If you've missed any in this series, you'll see that I've added a tab at the top, right above this post, where you can quickly access this series in the order that it was written and posted.) Now we are moving into the practical aspects of prepping!

In part 2 of Storing Bulk Food Supplies, I want to talk about location options for your dry long term storage needs. Each home is different in it's size, configuration, and construction, so you'll need to consider which will work best for your family. Here's some suggestions for finding just the right space (or two)...

Long Term Food Storage Locations

A regular pantry. This is pretty much a no-brainer, but I mention it because some of you are in the process of selling your current home and looking for a new one. This should certainly be a consideration. Be sure to review some of the items I mentioned in the last post when considering a pantry. Mine has a window and I must keep a blind over it unless I'm in there working for an extended period of time. 

A linen closet. Can you repurpose a hallway closet for food storage? I've found that an extra shelf added up high in a closet can house extra blankets and pillows if your ceiling is high enough. And an extra set of sheets can go in a nightstand drawer. Then you can free up that linen closet for food items! This might not hold an entire year's worth of food, but it might hold a 3 months supply (my hall closet is pretty large, so maybe even 6 months if I packed it and added extra shelves). 

Under the beds. You can get quite a bit under a bed. Especially a tall one. If you need to, you could elevate it with blocks and cover them with a bed skirt. Use large cardboard boxes cut down to fit underneath or plastic containers.  Just fill them up and slide them under.

Old furniture pieces. This can be a fun solution. Scavenge old armoires or dressers at flea markets, yard sales, or thrift stores. Make sure they are termite free, clean them up, repaint them if necessary, and place them around your home. You're supplies will be right at hand, but stylishly out of sight. If you do a lot of canning, you could even open or remove the doors to show off your pretty jars (just be sure they are not exposed to too much light). You could also hang a pretty curtain over an open cabinet that's missing it's doors.

Kitchen cabinets. This may not apply to most families, but a few people could use some seldom used cabinet space in the kitchen. If this is your only solution, it's a great incentive to do a thorough purge of the kitchen to make space! (Avoid placing too much on top of your cabinets because heat rises. It could be much warmer near the ceiling! Monitor the space with a thermometer before going high with food storage.)

Spare room. Older homes are famous for having extra small spaces in odd places! A room that isn't big enough for most purposes might work for food storage. Or if you have a home office or family room, one end of it could have shelves erected and a drape hung in front.

Basements. This seems obvious, but some foods might not do well in a basement. If your area is damp and often wet, find another place for foods like grains. Other foods will store well in this kind of situation as long as they are elevated off the floor. (Be sure to read Storing Bulk Food Supplies PART 1).

Garages. If you're going to just store your food out in the open in your garage, it might not be a wise location. Especially if you're pets are in there a lot. But, if you're garage has a storeroom, it could be great. Also, you might be able to build a closet or closed shelving along one wall in an extra large garage. Depending on where you live, the temperature could drop below freezing in the winter, so you need to consider this when deciding. I stored a box of apples in my garage this winter and thought that it would stay warm enough to keep them crisp. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It's a sad thing to loose that much fruit. Andrea at Chicky-Bit Run suggested using coolers in the garage to house items. Ingenious if you ask me.

Where are you storing your long term food supplies?


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