Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home Tour - Hannah's food storage

Follow me, and I will give you a tour of my food storage closet.

Yes, one closet. I have officially stuffed ALL of my food storage into one closet (ok, ok, except for the two boxes under my baby's crib - I have a box of pinto beans and a box of rice, each with 6 #10 cans). But other than that, this is everything. This is my office/guest room closet.

Please bear with me... I'm a little nervous here. I kind of feel like I'm bearing my soul.

Ok, here it is. As you can see, I have some metal shelving there in the center of the closet. Let's talk about that first. I got it at WalMart, and my mother-in-law and I had to build it inside the closet because it would not have fit if we had tried to build it and then put it in. I love it, and I've put most of my canned goods on it since it's so sturdy. However, if you look closely, you'll notice that the shelves aren't flat, smooth surfaces. This made it a little challenging to stack cans on them, because they were prone to tipping. However, I just happened to have some wooden boards that I've placed on a few of the shelves. The white one (second shelf from the bottom) is a leaf that broke off from my old computer table, and I'm pretty sure the black board on the shelf above that is from the same table (I painted it black, then that leaf broke off). I don't have a board on the bottom shelf, but so far so good... I don't have many cans there yet, though. And you'll notice that I've placed my Shelf Reliance Cansolidator Pantry on the very top of the metal shelf (ideally, I'd have Cansolidators on every shelf, I think....).
You'll notice that the closet goes a little bit further in on the sides, behind the sliding doors. I have a shelf on either side, also from WalMart, made of heavy-duty plastic. For a while I only had those shelves, so I kept many cans on them. That didn't work out too well... even the heavy duty plastic started to bow under the weight of it all, and my cans could no longer stack very well. But now they're perfect for things like snack foods, cereals, baking products, etc. Yes, these shelves are little challenging to get to, but I try not to overload the side of my metal cabinets, so it's not too hard to reach through and get things from these plastic ones. Moving along to the top shelf of the closet...

Those backpacks are my 72-hour kits. Still a work in progress, I'll admit.. and when they are done, I'm not quite sure that they'll fit up there, so I'll have to do some moving around. For now, though, it's working out. Notice that they are sitting on a piece of plywood, which is above some of my dry/paper goods. The plywood is actually being held up by some #10 cans that you can't see (notice the shelf next to it, to the left... you can see those #10 cans holding up that piece of wood). This #10 can / plywood combination really helped me maximize my space! Here's another shot of the top shelf...

Notice, most of my non-food items are up top (toilet paper, paper towels, baggies, shampoo, tissue paper, feminine products, etc). Someday, if my food storage no longer fits on the shelves below, I can move those non-food items to the attic or in the crawl space under the house, and fill those top shelves with food. It's so hot and humid here that I don't want to store food in those extremes. However, non-food items will be just fine out there. Here's another shot of the closet... notice the plastic shelf over to the side, with the pastas. Juices are on the bottom shelf.
Look closely at the middle section of my closet. See anything interesting?

I have a LOT of #10 cans of food - either from LDS Catalog or from canning it up myself. And instead of pushing my metal shelf all the way to the back wall, I left just enough space to stack all those #10 cans. I've written in marker on the sides saying what's in each one, so if I need something it's easy to find.

That's my storage in a nutshell. So far I've been able to store it all in one place, thanks to some careful planning and some moving around of stuff that didn't need to be in the air conditioning (all that got moved to my attic. Or I got rid of it. When I was "nesting" a few months ago I got on a real de-cluttering streak and got rid of lots of things).

Any questions or suggestions?

Stay tuned for Abbie's storage tour next week!


Anonymous said...

Good setup using what space and what material you have on hand.

I really like those metal racks. I bought a couple for our pantry. I used a sheet of inexpensive Plexiglas as a shelf layer to gain a little more room and cleans up easier in case of spills. Don't use cardboard though, the weight of cans crush it and have a tendency to absorb moisture causing the rims of the cans to begin rusting. (trust me on this!!!)

If someone lives in a earthquake prone area, using a stretchable strap to keep items from falling forward.

As always put the heaviest items on the bottom.

Shannon said...

The most ingenious can set-up I ever saw (and I wish I could take credit for it!) was a piece pf ply wood cut to fit under a bed. The edge against the wall was raised about an inch, so the cans would roll. Thin wooden dividers were spaced according to the size cans they had and a small lip nailed to the side of the board away from the wall. Whenever cans were bought, they were dated and placed into the appropriate section on the wall side of the bed. When canned goods were needed, they were taken from the non-wall side. Even #10 cans will fit under some beds in this way and be easily rotated. Now, I just need to set this up myself!

S'mee said...

I love these kinds of posts...always great ideas!

In a dream world: A friend of mine built her home so that as you drive in the garage there were cupboards that had tilted shelves. The shelves tilted downward in the back for a reason. The idea being you would unpack the car in the garage, laying the cans in their sides in their marked shelving. Walking into the house you could see that the other side of those shelves were her pantry. Just open up the cupboard and there were all the cans, rotated perfectly.

A dream, but there you go... file it away for the day you can build your dream home!

The Garden of Egan said...

Very impressive! It's amazing at what you can get in such a small space.

Beth said...

Thank you for sharing your storage it looks great. It is inspiring to organize and add to my own.

Melonie said...

Also living in a hot/humid area, I would suggest moving those paper products to an interior area when the time comes that you need the space. Most especially the feminine products. Maybe under a bed, under the couch, or something like that...but definitely not under the house. The paper products will absorb that moisture through their boxes... at the least the boxes will begin to rot since they are not very thick in most cases. At worst, you could have something growing in the products themselves over time, unless you have some way of storing them in a completely air-tight and waterproof bin? Just the thought that came to mind for me... our humidity level here is such that I don't even store products long term in the bathroom because we don't have A/C or dehumidifier in there, only a vent that circulates the interior air with outdoor air while showering, using the facilities, etc. and I noticed the boxes of the feminine products got softer... now I store them in a better ventilated hall linen closet that doesn't have direct A/C but is between all the bedrooms which do. :-) Hope it helps!

Shane and Brandi said...

Thank you for sharing your food storage space pics with me. It has given me some really good ideas about how to reorganize mine. I love the #10 cans behind the shelves! Thanks-

Jimmy the Screwdriver said...

That's a good start to a 3 month supply. What about your long term storage? I cleaned out one of my daughters walk-in closets and moved her stuff into her sister's closet (they're twins).

With the liberated space, I moved ALL of my long term storage up there. It BARELY fits. Stacked to the ceiling in 5 gallon buckets and #10 cans. A year supply for a family of 5 takes up a good amount of space.

What you have looks like it would easily hold a 3 month supply though. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Uh, over 13 shelves of food! Stuff under the baby's bed. I'd say that's more than a 3 month supply.

Anonymous said...

Hey try thecanorganizer.com They have great can boxes that help us keep all our cans rotated. They also motivate us to keep them full and for a good feeling of preparedness. Thanks for the great blog Karen

Anonymous said...

I love all the preparedness ideas and talk, can someone tell me though, how do I stop worrying about the uunprepared. I swear in my area they just don't seem to care, so I keep adding and adding because I feel like I will have to feed some. My basement is in overload, my 2 freezers are bursting at the seams. I had one person say, "well when times get bad we will come to your house." I was upset by this.