Not everyone has the space to store years' worth of food and survival supplies.
Next to the lack of money, adequate space with the correct temperature for food storage is the greatest challenge many of us face when we decide to begin our food storage.
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But it IS possible — even if you don't have the ideal storage space situation.
No matter how small your home or apartment, just get a little creative.
First thing to consider is temperature — the would-be killer of nutrition.
Since we are talking about longer term food storage and not just food you're planning on fixing tomorrow night for dinner, the temperature of your storage areas are the most important.
Heat destroys food. It's as simple as that.
With every 10 degrees above 50 or 60 degrees, the shelf life and nutritional value of foods will be reduced — no matter how it is packaged.
If you live in an area that has four seasons, or very high temperatures and humidity, long term food storage can be difficult. If you live in an area where homes do not have basements, food storage must be kept somewhere in your home with a constant temperature (around 70°F). Cement basements are ideal because they are below ground level (for the most part) and therefore, maintain a pretty constant 50-60°F, which is ideal for long term food storage.
Lacking a basement, just know that the higher the temperatures, the shorter the shelf life of stored foods. But don't let that stop you from getting prepared.
If you live in a hot and humid area:
For the best food storage conditions, a dehumidifier would be a good investment.
If you live in a hot and dry area:
Air conditioning is the most logical solution, but it takes electricity. Right? That's ok as long as we have electricity. In the days before electricity, people dug root cellars in order to store their garden produce, jerky, and grains in a cooler environment. Is that a possibility for you?
For a more information on the shelf life of foods, check out long term food shelf life or short term shelf life of foods.
That's a start if you do. But your "pantry" may be a food storage system that is a combination of mini-pantries in several rooms, closets, and transformed nooks and crannies.
So your next step is to look around your home to discover how many different places can be turned into pantries or mini-pantries. Your mini-pantries may be in different places, but it makes sense to keep like items together.
Let's take each area of your home or apartment and come up with some possible suggestions.
Behind the Headboard
Outside House (non-food only if not temperature controlled)
The best and most manageable way to know what is in each of the areas you have designated for food storage is to tape a list of everything on the inside of a door, wall or shelf. And, if there are many different items in that space, write what's on each shelf.
Another idea is to keep a continuous record and inventory with some type of planner to help keep track of where, what, and how much food storage you have.
As you are planning the space for your food storage, remember to take into account the accessibility of each item. There are long-term storage items that can be left in place for years, but there will also be short-term items, which will need to be rotated more frequently. If it's a short-term storage item, make sure you can see it and get to it to rotate on a regular basis.
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.