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Finding or Making a Space
The number one issue most people have about stockpiling is their perceived lack of space. Media has made a big deal out of “impressive” stockpiles that have taken over whole rooms, garages and even every spare space in some houses. What you need to do is take a realistic look at the needs of your own situation. How much money do you need to save? How large of a stockpile (in months) do you need to meet your goals? Do you have or can you make the space to store it all?
Sometimes it’s about thinking beyond typical.
I personally gave up two extra feet of my family room in our downstairs when we built the wall so that I had storage space in my utility room. Not many people have that option. But, if you are remodeling, moving or building and can build it in, it makes planning easier. We had a strange cut out space in our bathroom downstairs so that’s where our “use first” HBA items go. Any extra after that go in a storage tote in the bottom of the closet.
For small spaces, consider storage and decorative totes and boxes. Can clear containers double as storage and decoration? Under the bed storage totes (in clear for easy identification of items) are also an option. Can you store items in decorative baskets on top of your refrigerator or cupboards in your kitchen?
Sometimes you just have to make the most of the space you have. Will adding a wire shelf let you stack more boxes in your cupboard? Can you add a pull out unit under your cupboard? Can you combine boxes of cereal bars, pasta or cereal? Have you maximized your freezer space by removing bulky boxes and marking bags? Can you repackage items to avoid air pockets that take up space? Can a junk drawer be cleared out? Can some non food cupboards be combined to make extra food storage space?
For non food items, does it have to be accessible visually and daily? Can you tuck it in a tote in the back of a closet? If it’s not a liquid can you store it in a box in the garage year round? Ask yourself where you have space, or make some.
Be sure to think it through.
If you are storing under the stairs, in a utility room or a garage you will want to invest in a basic shelf system. Be it stand alone or built in, you will want something to keep items off the ground. Keep in mind any issues in the area, if your utility room floods every spring you will want to avoid using the space or want to consider additional plastic storage totes on the shelves to keep your stockpile safe.
Pick your battles.
Remember as you take a look and start making decisions that you have to find balance. Figure out what items you need/want more of on hand and how you can store them. If you are limited on space you will have to make some choices so your stockpile doesn’t end up owning your space.