Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Making Space for Food Storage

This is adapted from an article written by Carolyn Nicolaysen for Meridian Magazine

There are three reasons to make a space for storage even before you lay in the food supplies:

First, you won't start a project the size of food storage, until you have made a dedicated space for it. Time to unclutter and get organized.

Second, you need to take time to save a little money while eliminating the unimportant stuff you are storing — make room for what is more important. Begin today by saving your change or designating a small amount to be put aside each day, and then do it. As you sort through cupboards — creating space — keep a box handy for items you can sell or trade. Determine ahead of time that any money you make will be used for food storage. But, if you are too busy or hate holding garage sales and selling on eBay, then please give your appropriate surplus goods to charity and move on!

Third, we’ve already addressed the question of what to store and how much. See our article “A Second Look at Food Storage”.

Let’s begin with the tried and true — the ideas we have heard for years. These are the space-saving food storage strategies that worked for your mom:

1. Create a table by stacking two 5-gallon plastic buckets, placing a wooden table round from the hardware store on top, and draping the whole thing with a fabric skirt.
2. Purchase a bookshelf or storage shelf and hang a curtain to cover your stored items.
3. Move the sofa out from the wall and stack food storage in boxes behind the sofa.
4. Instead of a brick and board bookshelf use #10 cans from the Church cannery to create that shelf. If they’re full of food, they’ll serve a double purpose.

Most of you have heard those ideas, and most of them do not sound very appealing, so we will move on to some more creative concepts.

1. We all know the value of under-bed storage. You can purchase risers for your bed, thus adding increased height for taller items and easier access. Higher beds are a popular decorating trend! Purchase under-bed storage boxes, wire baskets or visit a Mailboxes-type shipping store to peruse the various sizes of shipping cartons available to fit your space. Wooden drawers or bins with rollers would be ideal for easy access. The cost of store-bought solutions can be shocking, so watch for sales, or innovate with what you already have on hand.

2. Redesign your closets.

a. If you have a deep closet with a bar for hanging clothes, move the bar as far forward as possible. Make sure you still have room to hang clothing. Add shelving to the back wall of the closet. Even if the shelf is narrow it can be used for smaller items such as soup cans, catsup, or shampoo bottles.
b. Add an additional shelf. Most closets have a shelf above the bar on which you hang your clothes. Look for wasted space above that shelf. Add another shelf if you can, and take advantage of the space all the way to the ceiling. Remember you don’t have to use this for food storage but it is a great place for Christmas decorations and items you use only occasionally.
c. In children’s rooms, lower the clothing bar and add shelving above. Most clothing bars are hung higher than they need to be, even for adults, creating wasted space on the floor — which usually collects lots of clutter.

3. Under a staircase. If you have enclosed space under your stairs, it could be a huge cavern just waiting to be put to work. Even an open staircase offers possibilities.

a. If you have an open staircase, you can install custom cabinets, shelves, storage cubes on the wall, or a bench with storage underneath to utilize this space in a fashionable way. If you don’t care about fashion, then it’s a great place to stack and store lots of goods, but if you do — keep a map of your inventory and remember to rotate your foodstuffs.
b. If your staircase is enclosed, create access to the space within, and store away!

4. If you remodel, or know someone who is doing so, salvage the kitchen cupboards and add them to your garage. Remember you can mount them high and go all the way to the ceiling with storage while retaining plenty of floor space for the car.

5. Don’t forget the back of a closet door. An over-the-door shoe bag makes a great place to store spices, packaged seasonings, and other small items.

6. Instead of a dresser, use an armoire. An armoire will double your storage space but without taking extra floor space. Add shelves and fold clothing on the shelves. Add baskets for small items. You probably don’t really want green beans stored in with your clothing, so why not move the sheets and other bedding into the bedrooms and empty the linen closet for food storage. Remember to look up … Baskets, hat boxes, and other decorative storage containers can also be added to the top of the armoire for even more storage, and can be decorative as well.

7. Have a big bathroom? Add a dresser and store your supply of toothpaste and other bathroom products where these items are ready to use.

8. Do you have a lot of open space in your cupboards? Add more shelves. This is such an easy fix. If you are stacking cans in the cupboard you can easily add another shelf. Adjust shelving to accommodate the size cans you wish to store on them. Leave about 1 ½ inches above the can so you are able to easily access your stored food. Pre-laminated shelving is ideal — it is easy to clean, and there is no need for shelf liners. Home centers will cut the boards for you so take exact measurements with you. If your shelving has the plastic supports, this would be a good time to replace them with the stronger metal ones. If you have cupboards without the predrilled holes for shelving, you will need to get some 1x1s and add supports for each shelf.

9. If you have a sofa in the middle of a room, consider adding a dresser or cabinet behind it that can be used as lamp table. This is a great place to store games, DVDs, or anything else that is taking up space in a cupboard that might best be used for food storage.

10. Baskets, baskets everywhere! I use baskets to free up other space. I store TP in a tall, tiered sewing basket in the corner of a guest bathroom, which is decorative and holds about 15 rolls. Sheet music is stored in a picnic basket next to the piano. Baby bottles and bibs are in a basket that decorates a dining room hutch.

11. You may be noticing a theme here. Clear items out of cupboards and off closet shelves and use these areas to store food.

a. Roll towels and place them in a basket in the bathroom.
b. Roll towels and place them in a wine rack hung on the wall. Our hutch came with two built in wine racks. What are we going to do with that? Roll place mats and place them in one and remove the other and add a basket to hide small items like cookie cutters. Now you can use the cookie cutter drawer for pudding and gelatins.
c. Remove pots and pans from cupboards and hang them. All the decorative wrought iron curtain rods on the market now make an easy way to create a custom looking pot rack; just add hooks.

12. Open up a wall. That’s right. There are so many ways to use the space between the studs in your walls, including storage solutions. You can:
a. Add a medicine cabinet. They really make some beautiful ones now, which are flush to the wall and look like any other mirror.
b. Look at recessed shelving for spice storage.
c. Build-in storage with dowels to hang tablecloths. Enclose with cabinet doors.

13. Invest in uniform storage containers. Having containers of the same size, for everything from linens to cereal, will greatly increase the amount you can store in a given space.

14. Don’t forget the attic, both in the house and in the garage. Of course you would never store food in these hot spaces, but they are great for dry goods and other items unaffected by the heat.

15. Create a window seat. Use two purchased bookcases to flank either side of a window. Add a bench or cabinets on the floor between the bookcases. Lay a board on the top of the bookcases, long enough to span both cases and the opening between. Add molding to the front edge of the board. Paint the whole unit the same color and enjoy your added space for storage. If you don’t have a window wall, use the same purchased bookcases and create a storage space as if you had a window. Add a board instead of a bench and you have a great desk.

Now that you have created room for that food storage there is one last thing to prepare. Create a list of the places you have designated for food storage areas and a master list of the items to be stored in each area. After all this work you want to be able to find your ingredients as you prepare your family feasts.

Source: Meridian Magazine, 2007. http://www.meridianmagazine.com/emergency/070502space.html

2 comments:

Whitehead Family: East Coast Addition said...

hey sister madsen! this is leah whitehead! my mom told me about this site! lets just say.. its awesome!! what is your personal site? let me know!

Susan said...

Hi Kerri,

I keep meaning to leave a message about how helpful this blog is. In fact, my whole ward here in MA knows about it now. Thanks for all your efforts!

Susan BK

Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball


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