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Ready or Not #8: Storage Space

Ok. Enough with the earthquakes and kits. Those things are for immediacy during an extreme condition – and we must be ready for those types of experiences when they happen, but let’s go on now to life, everyday life.

When I lived in Denmark, the families that I lived with didn’t know about the concept of food storage (AAAGHHH). Every morning my Danish father would go downtown to get the mail and breakfast at a Danish bakery (which by the way was PHENOMINAL) and my Danish mother would go shopping nearly every day for what we were to eat that day. I was in a panic. What would happen if some tragedy occurred, and they couldn’t get to the store?

When I lived at home, I never worried because we had two rooms in the basement dedicated to food storage: 1) the “freezer/wheat room” and 2) the “rest of the food storage” room. You would think that after going through WWI and WWII and the other catastrophes that Europe has experienced, that the people would store more food. But the families I knew didn’t.

I realize that not everyone, everywhere, can have a good food storage program because of climate, availability, and laws against “hoarding” (which to me is just next month’s casserole, I don’t understand the problem), but we don’t have any of those problems in this area. As a matter of fact, we are ENCOURAGED to have at least a one year food and sundry supply storage for every family.

Some of you may think that I left out the lack of storage space as a deterrent to a good food storage program. WRONG! I have been there and done that and believe me, you can store a lot of stuff in a two bedroom apartment.

Let’s talk about the storage side of food storage. Where do I put it? When we lived in our

two-bedroom apartment, I had to get very creative. We had moved from a house that had plenty of storage room to an apartment that was meant to store only four people and little else. I found that the biggest thing that I had to overcome was the “this can’t be done” attitude. Once I started to get creative, the thoughts and ideas just started coming to me.

I used a case of toilet paper, with a piece of wood on the top and covered with material, as a nightstand between my kids’ beds. It was big enough to hold two lamps (one for each child, of course), a radio/alarm clock, a couple of dolls and my son’s dinosaur collection.

I was reminiscing with my married daughter, about creatively hiding food storage items, when I reminded her of that. She had no idea that her nightstand was a box full of toilet paper. She just thought that it was big so that she and her brother wouldn’t fight over space.

My year’s supply of flour went behind my couch like a couch table. It was up against the wall and all I had to do was put a plank down and cover it with more material. It looked nice and we had a place to decorate and keep the remote.

In your clothes closet you can put down cases of cans and use them as a place to put your shoes on instead of a shoe tree, one row of shoes on the box and one row in front of the box. You can also store water on each end of the closet. (Two gallons of water, per person, per day, for a two week period.)

Another good place is under the bed. But not like you think. This takes a little more planning. Use either a strong blanket that can be pulled on or better yet, a sheet of plywood with handholds cut out. Place the items to be stored on the blanket or plywood and make a map of it and then just push or pull it from under the bed. You can cover the items with a sheet, and it will help with the dust problem if you want to. With your map of items stored and the ability to expose the items easily, food storage will be easy.

Coat closets are also good. I “built” shelves with five-gallon buckets and planks to hold cases of canned and bottled goods. We had one of those under the stair closets that was shaped in a triangle. All of the 25-lbs. and 50-lbs. bags of stuff went in the extreme part of the triangle and everything else went on my bucket shelves by the door. I kept a map of this too. Believe me, food storage maps are very helpful. I bought a coat stand for the coats. It was kind of cute.

Now stop making excuses and go get creative. I’m thinking three or four cases of tuna and a table round would make a darn cute end table (did that too)!


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