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....
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:
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!