One of the big questions when starting to prep is “but where will I store it all”?
Some people have genuinely limited available space, and are limited in quantity but can prioritise. Others would benefit from some Marie Kondo style decluttering. Still more do have space, but just need to be inventive with where they store it.
If you have genuinely limited storage space, when choosing items to prep, ensure you choose items which are dried, as they allow you to pack more food into the available space. For instance,
- dried beans, not tinned
- regular rice, not microwave pouches
- coconut milk powder, not tins
- powdered milk, not UHT
As for where to store it – here are a few ideas…
Under the bed
If you have a regular bed, this is relatively simple. You can either stash it directly or use the special under bed storage containers.
If storing it directly, make sure you keep a record of what’s under there, and where, so you can find it again relevatively easily. It’s best to stick to jars and tins in case of damp or rodents.
If you have a divan bed without drawers, and it doesn’t belong to your landlord, some people have been known to cut a flap in the side to access the space.
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bookshelf, you can use that. Perhaps you have shelves that are deeper than the books and can hide a row of tins behind them. Billy bookcases can often be picked up cheap second hand, and resold at a later date if desired.
I have utilised some unused drawers within the TV table. Some people may be able to reorganise a set of drawers and free up one within a chest for the stockpile.
Not the cheapest option at £14.99 a pop, but a good way to make use of spaces like alcoves and cupboards which lack shelves. You could even use them in a narrow hallway, above great height. This is particularly relevant if you’re renting and can’t drill into the walls. They probably won’t withstand large quantities of tins, but are good for high volume low weight items like coffee, loo rolls and pasta shapes.
Cellars, Sheds and Lofts
These spaces can all work but you need to be mindful of damp and vermin; they are best suited to tins and jars. Keep food off the floor and away from the walls to reduce the chances of damp; consider setting mouse traps as an insurance policy.
In areas which may be damp and don’t need to be aesthetically pleasing, garage shelving can provide a cheap and durable storage solution.
If you need to store foods other than tins and jars in such locations, consider using a metal dustbin to rat-proof your stash.
Many people have space on top of or at the bottom of their wardrobe
Behind the TV
If you have a freestanding TV, there’s usually some space behind it where you can stack some tins.
Behind the Sofa, and Other Furniture
Pull the sofa out 6 inches, and you will be able to stash some supplies behind it – bulky things work best here, such as big sacks of rice or pasta, and loo roll.
Most people can find a corner to stack some crates in. I’ve mainly used them for sorting packets and bags of things like flour, as they reduce the risks of damp and rodent infestation.
If you’re storing flour, put each bag inside a sandwich bag, clipped shut. That way if you get weevils the outbreak will be limited to one bag not your entire stash (freezing the flour for 48 hours also prevents weevils). It also protects it from damp and helps to extend the shelf life.
On top of the freezer
The top of my free-standing freezer has become dog food central! You can stack higher if you retain the cardboard trays that the cans are often stored in in supermarkets.
Behind the bath panel
Most baths have side panels that can be popped on and off for maintenance to reveal surprisingly large amounts of hidden storage space. You might want to vacuum first, however….
Most fitted kitchens have kickboards that can be removed and returned to store tins.
Where are you stashing your stockpile?