Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Storage

I have had many people ask me about this small picture on my sidebar of my storage asking me to explain more about it. Yes, it is my garage! I don't have a pantry in my kitchen so my garage is my pantry. I do have a free-standing pantry inside, but it is small so the bulk of my food is in the garage.

First I need to explain that I believe in having a food storage (or stockpile like others call it). My church encourages it's members to be prepared for emergencies like disasters or unemployment and by having a food storage you can have peace of mind knowing you can survive if you needed to. I will link to more information on that later in my post.

Now, back to my photo....

(For those who know no attention to that Heineken we did not start drinking...I got it with some canning jars years ago and never changed the box.)

First, this picture was taken six months ago, back in January 2009. This area in my garage looks MUCH different now. Lots of this food is gone and more has taken it's place. It is not as full now, I have more empty space on the shelves. My storage looks different depending on the sale items I get. For example, much of that instant oatmeal is gone, and lots, lots of salsa has taken it's place. Although that is disappearing fast too!

Those large bags of rice on the top shelf are gone. I had purchased them at Costco to dry pack for longer term food storage, and I did that not long after I took this photo. Everything you see here is my short-term food storage, six months or less. My long term-food storage I don't touch. Much of that is dry packed in #10 cans. I keep those in my crawl space (up on wood slats of course), under the beds in my house, in closets, and the garage. Basically, anywhere I can find space.

The large buckets are full of flour, white sugar and brown sugar. They are my regular rotation of food. Like I stated above, my longer term food storage I have dry packed. The backpacks on the top shelf are our 72 hour kits. Yes, we do have water storage. We currently have about a month's worth of water storage for our family in two 55 gallon drums and other containers. Those are also in the garage.

In the photo above I have lots on the floor in my garage...toilet paper, paper towels, etc. In May my husband built these creative shelves on the ceiling in our garage to store more of our stockpile:

It has been a big help having more space to store! We don't live in a very big house (1605 sq ft) and it's a 2 car garage. We don't have much storage space in the house so I have had to be very creative with where to find room for all of our food. My husband just threw stuff up there when he built them that day and I have yet to organize it the way I want. But I am thrilled with the shelves.
My food storage areas and items have changed with my needs over the years. Here is a photo of my food storage area in the garage (the same area as the first photo) in 2006:

Those two photos are drastically different! At the time of this photo I had just had my third child and my other two children were much smaller (thus consuming less food). Plus, I didn't have those shelves all over the wall in my garage then. But couponing was still awesome! In fact couponing was so much better then. All those brownie mixes I got for only .50 cents and cereal for .30 cents a box. Albertson's was a good couponing store then too just not as many people did couponing. Prices are higher now but that's inflation for you.

Anyway, so what I do after I shop a big stock-up sale is re-organize my area in the garage. I try to keep the items that expire first in the front so I know what to use first. I also keep items together that are similar: condiments, salsa, taco shells, spaghetti sauce, etc. Then I can also find items quickly and they don't get lost on the shelf. Much of that stuff is hidden in the photo above from the bikes hanging or the boxes of other food, but I always know where things are. I can ask my husband to get me something from the garage and he will not be able to find it...but I know where it is! :) :)

If you are starting to begin your stockpile or food storage, just start putting food anywhere you have space. I mentioned above that we keep food under our beds. I put bed risers on all the beds to fit more under them. Utilize your space, and you will be surprised at what you can come up with. I can do it, so I know you can too!

For more detailed information on acquiring your food storage, read A New Message on Home Storage. Also check out basic information on family home storage techniques and how-to's.



Jeff and Tonia Clark said...

My question is how cool does your garage stay in the summertime? Mine gets extremely hot & I can't imagine being able to safely store most canned foods there. I'm afraid they would go bad if I did.

Marne said...

Good point Tonia. I forgot to mention this fact in my post.

Yes, the garage does get hot in the summer. However, like I mentioned what I keep in the garage is short term, so we are constantly rotating through it. I have found out from a nutritionist that the food will not go bad, but left for long periods of time in high heat will cause nutrients to no longer be there, but the food will not go bad. I don't have a choice...I don't have a pantry inside so I have to store in my garage. If I had room in my house I would definately chose storing indoors. If you can store inside that is ideal.

Almost all of my long term food storage is indoors or in our crawl space to keep cool so it will last longer.

It is hard to make every situation perfect, so just do the best you can!

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