There is one item that always seems to be in short supply when it comes to storage and that is space. Not everyone has a basement or a garage or a storage shed where they live. So where do we put our survival supplies? How do we organize our supplies once we get them to maximize the space we have? How do we make sure that our stores are put away in the most efficient manner possible for when we need them?
If you live in a small apartment, duplex, or even a small house and are lacking space to store items, don’t worry! There are ways to maximize the space you have as well as obtain more space if needed.
- Begin by focusing on your living space. If you don’t have a basement or garage, that’s ok. Start with your closets and cupboards throughout your house. You know…those dark spaces that wind up crammed full of useless items for lack of a better place to put them! You might find broken toys, unfinished craft projects, that gawd awful sweater your aunt bought you for Christmas, or unused fitness equipment that simply didn’t work right after you bought it. Toss it all out. Do a bit of spring cleaning and create some space.
- Tornado through bedrooms next and get rid of items you’ve been meaning to get rid of for a while. You might find that you are able to clear out a bookcase sized space on one wall and if so…voila…you have storage space for some survival supplies.
- Hit your kitchen cupboards and toss out food you’ll never in a million years eat. Yeah.. the stuff you bought because it was such a good deal but after you got it home it sat and sat because for some reason you discovered you just can’t pair up creamed mushy peas with anything remotely edible! Organize your cupboards with cans in one area, boxed goods in another and see how much room you can gain by stacking items and tossing yucky ones.
- Vacuum seal whatever items you can to create more space.
If after you’ve organized and tossed a bunch from your living space and still can’t find the space to store what you need…rent a storage unit. You can line the storage unit with cheap pvc shelves and begin storing your survival supplies.
Storage units probably won’t be the first thing looted in a disaster. Retailers of all sorts will be so that will give you time to pack your supplies back to your home where they will be safer and handier to use.
So once you have your supplies and the space, how will you organize everything?
- For food items, organize by expiration date. There are many items that will never go bad like sugar, honey, spices, and salt. Put these items in one area. If working in a front to back area, these items would go in the back because it doesn’t matter how often you get to them. In another area, store survival foods that were packaged to last 20+ years. Again, these would go towards the back in a front to back area. Work your way toward the front with items like canned foods that will last a few years and boxed foods in the front. Items you use everyday and can replace as they get low, store in the front for easy access.
- Camping and outdoor survival equipment should all be in one area. Include: sleeping bags, tents, axes, hatchets, cooking equipment, hiking packs, fire starting items etc.
- Water should have its own area, easily accessible as you’ll probably be using and replacing and adding more continuously. Constantly rotating stock.
- Medicinal and first aid items should be easily accessible and refreshed and updated regularly. Don’t keep medicines past their expiration dates. Toss them and replace as needed.
- Personal Hygiene items should be in a separate area but accessible as well.
- If stocking defense items, make sure they are locked up and stored safely. Never store guns loaded or put bullets in the same place you store the weapons. Make use of key and combination locks. The last thing you want to have happen is an accident, disaster or no disaster. Don’t help create a preventable one.
Ideally, imagine a basement or garage, lined wall to wall with shelving units and up above each unit are signs to assist in finding items. Imagine your own personal supermarket except instead of providing you a thousand choices of items you don’t want or need, your store provides only the items you want and/or need.
This is what you are creating…your own personal supermarket. Your kitchen is running low on salt? No problem! Hop downstairs and you’ve got some (replace and add at next grocery visit).
Items that don’t expire (never go bad).. stock but don’t use. These are supplies guaranteed to be there for you in a disaster. Don’t ever borrow from these supplies and if you do? Buy twice as much to replace and add to your supplies.
Items that are designed to be good for a long time? Try not to use these. Stock but don’t use except in an emergency. When storing these items, use a black marker and write the date on the container that you bought the item if you can’t find a date stamped anywhere.
Boxed goods, dry goods, canned goods, water… these are items you use everyday. Use them! But always replace and add to your supplies each time. If you use 1 can of chili, buy 2 the next time you go grocery shopping. Your supplies will continue to grow if you do this. When an item you like to eat is on sale, buy a case.
Don’t forget to stock up on items that keep you human too!
- Books, for learning and for pleasure
- Socks and underwear – anyone who has lost their luggage before or gone camping without extra’s knows exactly why extra socks and underwear keep you human!
- Chocolate – in times of trouble, a little sweet treat can make all the difference
- Hard candy
- Make-up – Some women go to self-defense classes, others just need their make up to feel confident and self-assured.
- Lots and lots of batteries – not just for flashlights and the like but for iPods and MP3 players. I know some people who just are lost without their music.
- Craft items – things like yarn or embroidery thread, whatever hobby you have that will help keep you sane in a disaster.
Everyone has something that helps to calm them or comfort them in times of trouble. Figure out what those things are and stock up on them while you can.