Here are a few ideas to help you find the necessary space to get your food storage squared away after your shopping trip or order of long-term storage foods arrive at your door.
The big idea: you don’t have to renovate your pantry or have a storage room to store food storage.
Where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and can be used to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans. These items last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place.
Five tips for safely storing food storage
Here are five tips for safely storing food storage that can maximize space in your house or apartment.
1. Utilize closet space
If you have cases or cans of food, like the food you can purchase at one of the 100-plus home storage centers near you or online from store.lds.org, try storing it in the back of a closet in your home. If your closet is full, make use of your children’s closets. You can stack cases or cans of food against the back wall of the closet or layer the floor with cases of food and store shoes or other items on top.
2. Store food under the bed (or other furniture)
If you’re not already using the space under your bed, consider purchasing bed risers and using the space to store food. Store grain and dried milk, food storage items with 20-plus year storage lives, up toward the head of the bed. This area is typically harder to access, so you likely won’t even miss the space.
Consider sliding a case of spaghetti bites or beans underneath high clearance furniture such as dressers, end tables, entertainment centers, and desks.
3. Use the back of your shelves
If you’re like most people, you have space at the back of your kitchen shelves or cupboards that is unused. Try using any spaces such as cupboards above the fridge or higher shelves in the kitchen that are hard to reach to store food storage items.
You can also store your food storage in your pantry with everyday food items, though you should be cautious about using food storage for normal meals because of its purpose.
For deep shelves, experiment by stacking cans or pouches of food behind the items in front. You may even consider this in more visible areas. If it’s inconspicuous and doesn’t disrupt your style, consider storing a different food item on each shelf.
4. Fill those suitcases
Another underutilized space is an empty suitcase. Most people only use their suitcases a handful of times each year—the rest of the time they sit empty. So make use of that space. Consider storing pouches of dried milk or other softer food storage items that won’t damage your suitcases.
5. Avoid using the attic or garage
Food needs to be stored at moderate temperatures (24 degrees Celsius/75 degrees Fahrenheit, or lower). Avoid storing your food in places with dramatic temperature shifts or exposure to light and heat. This can spoil and shorten the shelf-life of your food. For this reason, attics and garages aren’t generally suitable locations for food storage. If you store your food in an unfinished area like a basement, be sure the food is not in direct contact with concrete; cans or pouches can absorb moisture through the concrete.
The best food storage is food that you know how to use and is easily accessible. Keep track of where you store your food storage and be sure to rotate items as they expire.