Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where to put all this food storage

One of the most important principles with food storage is to store what you eat, and eat what you store. To do that, find a place in your home where you can store large quantities of food, such as canned goods and bulk items. You should also designate a place in or near your kitchen to keep smaller quantities of those items to use when you are cooking.

Most people already have a kitchen cupboard or shelf that they use for a pantry. Here is an example of kitchen shelves with small containers for items such as flour, rice, sugar, beans, etc.:

Larger containers of those same items could be kept in a storage room. When the smaller containers in the kitchen are empty they can be refilled from the larger containers in the storage room. This is a good system for rotating and using food storage.

However, even if you don't have a separate room for food storage, it is still possible to find places to store food. Below are a few ideas.

Build or buy shelves for food storage. These shelves could be in the basement or in a closet anywhere in the house:

You can also put food into boxes. Boxes are a good idea for storing smaller items (such as spices, cake mixes, or jello). Boxes are also good for stacking, so you can fit more food in a small space. (Be sure to label the boxes!)

You can purchase clear plastic containers, or you can use cardboard boxes. Many grocery stores will give you their cardboard boxes if you ask. Produce boxes are especially suited for stacking and storing. If you or your neighbors have a home-based business, you may have access to cardboard boxes of similar size, such as these boxes:

If you store a lot of canned goods, a rolling shelf such as this one makes it easy to organize and rotate the food. The shelves are slanted, so you put newly purchased items in at one end and they roll forward. When you need a can you take it from the forward end, so you are always using the oldest cans first. These are fairly simple to build.

Dry food items (such as grains) are easily stored in air-tight buckets (which were described in more detail in the previous post). It is recommended that these buckets not be stored directly on the floor (to avoid condensation inside the bucket). In this picture you will see that they are sitting on a small platform:

In the next picture you will see an island of buckets. This is a food storage room with shelves built along the walls. The room had a lot of empty space in the middle. There is a pallet in the middle of the floor. There are 27 buckets stacked up on this pallet. Most of the buckets are easily accessible, and there is room to walk all the way around this "island."

If you don't have a storage room, you can still have food storage. Here is another place to store food--under a bed. If you have a bedskirt, the food will not be visible from the room. If you store food around the house like this, it is helpful to keep a list of where food is. You can also keep a tally on the list and mark each time an item is used so you know when to replace it.

Here is another creative place to store food. This couch is at an angle in the corner. What is behind the couch is not visible from anywhere in the room:

But if you could see behind the couch you would find two buckets with bulk food storage:

This is an end table with a lamp on top:

But the end table is actually a bucket of food storage:

If you have more ideas, please comment and share them!

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