A common sense approach to storing and organizing your preps!

Hello my friend and welcome back! Have you ever looked at your preps and thought to yourself that there just has to be a better way to store and organize them?  I know I sure have and over the years and through trial and error, I have picked up a few tricks that I would like to pass on to you in today’s post.  Grab yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit for a while.

Have you ever seen that show on A&E called “Hoarders”? If you have then you have a good idea of how not to store your preps!  Just how you store and organize your preps should be something that you need to think long and hard about.  If you can’t find what you need or if you are not rotating your inventory then you need to take this as a wakeup call to get your preps in order.

Organizing your preps in a logical way is critical and you really need to plan it out. You need to separate your dry goods, canned goods, Medical supplies and other categories with a distinct area for each.  This will go a long way in helping you keep a good inventory and let you know what you have and what you still need.  The idea here is set your preps up so that you can locate and get to exactly what you need when you need it.  Here are a few guidelines that I have found to work for me below.

  1. 5 Gal. Plastic buckets – These are a great way to store dry goods, however you don’t want to just pour you dry goods into the bucket and pop a lid on it to store them. I’m afraid you will be very disappointed when it comes time to use them if you do. You will need to seal them in an airtight bag and remove all of the excess air from the bag before you seal it. You will also want to throw in an oxygen absorber to keep the oxygen in the bag from spoiling the food. The weak point in using buckets is their lids. If you stack them too high, the weight could actually damage them. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to put a row down and then place a 1X12 or a piece of plywood down on top before adding another row of buckets. This will help you distribute the weight of the buckets more evenly and also allow you to stack the rows higher than you would have been able to do otherwise. By placing buckets with like items close together and marking the outside on the buckets with their contents and date, you will be able to find what you need when you need it when it comes to dry goods.
  2. Shelving – There are many designs for building storage shelves for canned goods on the internet. The most important thing to remember when storing canned goods is to rotate your stock. You should always use the oldest items first to keep them from expiring. I have seen one design where the cans roll down at an angle and makes sure that you always use the newest ones last. It’s a pretty slick design and I could see how it would help a lot. Just remember that when you buy canned goods for your preps, they have a very short shelf life (most of them anyway) and need to be used regularly or they will go bad. I tend to try to stay with dried foods that you just need to add water to. Things like instant potatoes, soups, gravy and stew seasoning that when you add just a little water, can produce an incredible meal. Whichever route you decide to take. Just be sure to separate them out by what they are. It will make inventory or fixing a meal much easier when the time comes.
  3. Large metal or fiberglass containers – These can be found at most military surplus stores for very little. These are ideal for storing medical supplies and electronic devices. They not only protect the medical supplies from humidity and moisture, but can offer some measure of protection to electronic devices in the event of an EMP attack. If you have an issue with mice or other vermin getting into your preps, you may want to consider storing your dehydrated foods in one as well. Just be sure to tape a list on the outside of the box that list exactly what is in the box so you don’t have to go digging through several of them just to find a single item.

When storing your preps, you need to always maintain a clear walking path that allows you to get to all of your items without moving half of the room. Start with a piece of paper and draw out your storage area to scale if possible.  Once you have done this you will want to draw in the different shelves and places where you will be stacking each type of food or supplies. Note on the drawing what items are where or make a list at the bottom of the drawing to act as a legend for finding things.  Try to stick to the list as much as possible.  When you are finished, post the drawing on the wall near the entrance so you can easily locate the items you need.  Remember to take the time to think through where you want to put each type of items and keep a path so you can reach them.  You will also be able to see what you have and what you need for your next shopping trip to get supplies.  Well I guess that is it for today’s post and I hope you have found it valuable.  Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared!

-The Sargent-

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