Here are some tips that I have found have made my food storage more
organized, useful, and rotated. I find building and using your food
storage to be an ever changing thing, and I keep adapting as I learn
more. I have a food storage area in an unfinished part of my basement
(I know we're lucky to have basements). I also have a little cupboard
space upstairs I use for day to day cooking.
MY FOOD STORAGE AREA: I call this my food storage
area, because it's just against a wall in my basement. In my "dream"
home, I'll have a whole dedicated room, with all sorts of super cool
shelves and stuff, but for now this is like heaven compared to my
condo before. I have three areas along the wall. One is for long term
foods, the shelves are for three month supply, and I have an area for
water. Ok- ok, I have a fourth area - it's called a big fat pile of
non-food items, and appliances that are waiting for a new shelf area
I also keep some water and my 72 hour kits upstairs in case we had to
evacuate, or my whole basement got smooshed in a disaster. Oh and this
reminds me, I need to put up a blanket against that window to block
light from getting onto my long term food. I just moved everything
around and before this wasn't an issue. Light makes food go bad
TIP FOR KEEPING MY STORAGE ORGANIZED: In my food
storage room downstairs I try to keep like foods together on shelves.
That way I can quickly get stuff assessed and know where everything is
easily. I like to keep fats together, sugars together, condiments,
and all sorts of other logical (to me) groupings.
TIP FOR MAKING USING FOOD STORAGE EASIER: I put all
the ingredients I need for making bread on one shelf in one of my
cupboards. That way when it's bread making day, I just pull all the
things off that one shelf and I'm ready to go. Having to dig, and push
through other ingredients is something I have always hated about
baking, so this way I'm ready to go right away.
TIP FOR ROTATING MY FOOD STORAGE: These are ALL the
cans in my upstairs pantry. How is this Food Storage? Well you see by
keeping very, very few of my three month supply types of foods
upstairs, I am FORCED to go downstairs to get food out of my food
storage and use it. When I go grocery shopping, I come STRAIGHT home
and put my food in the basement. Then when I need food, I have to go
down there (send one of my cute little kids) to get it. I know it
sounds annoying, but if I don't do it this way, I'd end up using
everything I just barely bought first, and my food storage in the
basement would just collect dust.
TIP FOR USING MY LONG TERM FOOD STORAGE: One way I
encourage myself to use my long term food storage such as grains and
legumes is I keep smaller containers of them upstairs. I know this
contradicts my previous tip a little - but it's different- trust me. I
save containers from nuts I get at Costco and use them to store the
smaller quantities of my long term foods. This makes making pancakes,
or muffins and all that kind of stuff with whole grains a lot easier.
I also use my legumes a lot more in soups and chili's.
TIP FOR REPLACING FOODS I'VE USED: Placed
conveniently on a work table right next to the food storage is a pad
of paper for me to write down things I take out of my food storage so
I can replace them next time I'm shopping, or next time there is a
sale. My dear husband knows if he takes something off a shelf he BEST
be writing it down on that paper - or else ;)
HEY WAIT! How did this get in here. Ok fine- when I
go grocery shopping I DON'T immediately put the food in the basement.
I put it on the stairs DOWN to the basement and deal with it later.
For anyone feeling OVERWHELMED right now- here's a
look at what my food storage area looked like 3 years ago. THIS was my
before and after. Through a lot of time, dedication, and sacrifice (no
Disney trips for us) I have been able to build it up to a little less
sad than it was.
Thanks Julie! What an inspiration. With sacrifice and hard work, you can have a great food storage just like hers. Be sure to check out Food Storage Made Easy for more great tips and ideas.