Organizing Food Storage

Alright, the second of our class was about organizing our food storage .  Vickie taught this portion.  There are a lot of great resources out there about preparedness but she recommended this one.  This site allows you to purchase the book or a digital copy.  I have not explored the book personally but Vickie used it back when she had kids at home and is using it now as she tries to get her household prepared.

Vickie also suggested using markers on everything.  She said any time she goes to the store, they come home, put everything on the counter and write expiration dates in permanent marker.  Her grandchildren love to help out.  If you have younger children she suggested a grease pen.

Be sure to rotate the food you buy.  Use the oldest products first.  Make a row on your shelves for the newest items and a row for the oldest – use up the oldest row and start on the next.

To make rotating easier you can purchase a can rotation system – here are some possibilities

One clever little tip for using these shelves – Vickie will use masking tape and tape three cans of tuna together so they will fit in one of the rotation systems.  Of course the nice plastic ones are adjustable but if you opt for the cardboard ones that might be helpful.

The remainder of the class was sharing ideas of places to put storage items.

Canned goods in the garage in Florida? – We live in Florida so we discussed whether or not canned goods will keep in the garage.  The best bet is to keep them inside the house and keep their nutritional value longer.  One thought though was to move paper products and cleaners out to the garage.  Put out the things you know will not go bad.

Laundry room – if you have extra shelves – use them for your food storage.  If you have dead space up top – put in additional shelving to hold more items.  Vickie put in two rows that will fit #10 cans on their side.  When she uses one she takes it down and then slides down the rest of the cans so she always uses the oldest first.

Closets – add additional shelves to the top of closets throughout the house that will fit #10 cans or other items to store.  My sister used one of the long walls in her house for food storage.  They filled the walls with shelves and then created a “fake” wall in front of it.  They created a major amount of storage without losing a whole lot of space.

Store items under beds, behind books on book shelves or anything other place that is not being used.  Vickie suggested covering boxes with contact paper and storing them on ledges found in your house – above cabinets.  She also uses large laundry bags to store paper towels and toilet paper in – then she puts the large bags where the counters in her laundry room overlap.

Another suggestion was moving the shelves in their walk in closet all to one side.  Then putting up shelves on the long wall for food storage.

Contact paper the outside of toilet paper packages or paper towels and let the kids use them as building blocks.

Or use plain boxes and let the kids decorate the box.  Then you can store it in their room without a fuss.

I have wheat in large frosting buckets – I put them under the sink in the kids bathroom so I do not find a whole bunch of random stuff under there.  Wheat stores for 30 years so even if I occasionally forget they are there I will eventually get back around to them.

Another great idea for using ledges in the home – get baskets with fabric lining – not only can you use it to store items but they are decorative.

Vickie’s biggest message was to re purpose things.  Think outside the box – find ways to use items you already have or space that you already have but could use more productively.

Someone else suggested using kleenex boxes once emptied to store things in the pantry – they are already decorated.

In a previous home we used a shoe organizer on the back of the pantry door to hold jello, pudding, kool aid, sauce packets and other small items that sometimes gets lost in the pantry.

I think I already mention pinterest.com – it is a visual bookmarking site.  I LOVE it.  It has a ton of ideas for organization and it is your own pin board – when you want to see all of the organization ideas you pinned you click on it and it shows you the pictures of everything you liked and pinned.  Great for a visual person!  But I have found several great organizational ideas just browsing around.  One idea that I mentioned during the class was someone used pvc pipes, attached them together and made it into shoe racks.  Very clever I thought.  Then someone else suggested using #10 cans to create a shoe organizer for kids.   What a great way to reuse cans.

The class was wonderful.  I learned so much – in fact, I have been putting some of the tips from both parts into practice over the last couple of days and that is why I have not gotten back to writing the rest of the post.

One more tip  from Vickie:

“When we were looking at model homes, we saw one which had additional storage doors on the walls above the closets. There is generally a lot of space in the top of the “in the wall ” type of closets but it is next to impossible to utilize.

What Tim did:

He cut a hole in the drywall above the closet doors.

Put a large piece of wood at the top of the closet as a ceiling to the existing closet and a bottom shelf for the one above.

Then he put doors for the new storage above the closet door.

There is an issue with a supporting piece of wood but we just built the storage door around it so we did not change anything structurally.

It’s great for bulky suitcases or linen etc which you only use occasionally. Or for long term food storage.”

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