Top 15 Places to Store Your Survival Food

survivalstorageFood storage is an essential part of any crisis plan, but where do you store all of those supplies? What if you live in an apartment that’s somewhat challenged in the square footage department? Where are you going to store all of that food?

Unless you invest in compact food buckets with a  shelf life of 25+ years, there are a surprising number of considerations that go into the process. Each storage location has a unique set of pros and cons. Basements, closets, furniture, attics, storage sheds… all of these can vary widely in temperature, humidity, etc.

Here’s a list of 15 common places to store survival food, along with recommendations for each one.

  • Kitchen shelves:  For homemade preserves and canned foods with shelf lives less than 1 year, it’s best to keep them accessible.
  • Kitchen pantry:  If your food storage includes items that must be rotated periodically (before they expire), it’s best keep them where you’ll be able to use them.
  • Duct taped to furniturehiddencansIf secrecy is a top concern, then you may want to get creative with some duct tape (see photo). By taping cans, boxes, and bags to the back of shelving, you can hide quite a bit of food in the open spaces of your home. I don’t recommend duct taping it to the wall… that can get messy.
  • Broom closet:  Since it’s climate controlled, you can use your broom closet as a survival pantry. With some wall-mounted shelving you may be able to fit your food and some cleaning supplies.
  • Blanket storage trunk or ottoman:  If you have a piece of furniture that has a built-in area for linen storage, that’s a great place to store dried beans, in a mylar bag of course.
  • Decorative boxes:  A lot of people place decorative hat boxes on top of armoires and furniture. This is a great place to store bags of beans, baking supplies, and any other long-term dry storage.
  • Utility room/mudroom:  Since mudrooms are usually filled with clutter anyway, it’s a good place to stash some large water jugs.
  • Basement: If your home has a basement, then you’ve got an excellent storage area for  water, canned goods, along with tons of other necessities like soap, shampoo, and disinfectants. Basements can be damp, so avoid items that would be negatively affected by moisture.
  • Garage:  Garages can have widely fluctuating temperatures depending on your climate and how well-insulated they are, so choose what goes into your garage accordingly. Any edible items stored in your garage should be placed in mylar bags and stored in 5-gallon buckets.
  • Attic: Attics can be okay for paper goods like toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, trash bags, and other non-food items. Heat in attics is too extreme for food. Store these in Rubbermaid-style containers to prevent rodents from nesting in paper goods.
  • Laundry room closet:  Laundry room closets are great places to store buckets of bulk grains, pastas, etc.
  • Front hall closet: I’ve seen some enterprising survivalists fit their entire food supply, inside of rolling Rubbermaid carts, inside their front hall closets.
  • Bedroom closets:  Most bedroom closets are maxed-out as it is. But you can probably find room for a first aid kit and medical supplies, possible a few boxes of cereal and canned food as well.
  • Under beds:  You can fit a surprising amount of food in rolling under-the-bed containers. Throw in a few bottles of water and you’ve got a nice cache.
  • Outbuildings: Barns, sheds, and detached garages can all provide abundant space.  However the same rules that apply for garages apply for other outbuildings. Beware of extremes in temperature, moisture, and rodents and other pests.

Did I leave out your favorite food storage space? Share your food storage tips in the comments section below!


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  1. Deep shelved bookcases. Can goods in the back of books, books out front…Usually there is 5-6″ from the books to the front edge of the shelf that normally holds figurines or collects dust, canned goods behind the books are never seen.

    The other suggestions is to build a decorative closet that is 2 regular size cans deep, 2 cans high between shelves, and approx. 3-4 foot wide and ever high you can reach . Decorate the door panels and use pretty door knobs and hinges that compliment the room. This could be on any way in the house.

    The other is to go cut into the dry wall where no electric wires are running and build a inset closet between the wall studs, just like the inset medicine cabinet in the bath room that is normally set back in the wall between the wall studs. Cover with nice decorative doors, mirrors or whatever compliments the space.

    A wall of shelves in a guest room can act to display books, tv, etc, wider 12 inch shelves at the top but the lower half of shelved wall is covered with decorative curtain or fabric, split for easy access designed to match decor. The lower half of shelves will be accessibly and holds can goods or plastic shoe boxes with packaged mixes.. The key to efficient rotation of can goods is not make the shelves more than 2 cans wide ( 6-8″) so you can easily organize and see what you have.

  2. Be sure and keep an inventory log. When you put your food and supplies away so NO one can find it you may be including yourself. I know dowsers who have put valuables away so they are not stolen/found and even they can’t find them. Use a Composition Book as your log. It will easily slip in among your books and help you when you need special items. Log the pages like the 15 items above.

  3. Coffee tables and end tables designed or decorated boxes act as storage units in plain site is another idea. A large box on coasters with a padded upholstered top makes a great ottoman and storage place for extra groceries. Watch HGTV for inexpersive decorating ideas.

    There are seveal pieces of furniture that can hide can goods. A box framed head board for a bed, decorated on the front to match the bedroom decor, but structured to be nothing more than a pantry shelf on the back side. A bed 6′ wide, 6′ high filled with shelves is not only a sturdy headboard..but will hold a lot of can goods ! Put it on casters that lock if you want easy accessiblity.

  4. Another idea: Reinforce interior (in-side) of your home walls with 2 x 4 lengths between each stud in the wall and recover the wall facing with veneer or wood paneling and fasten back onto the wall with philips’ screws instead of nails.

    Each inside wall redesigned in this manner within your home can serve to stack canned goods and other items, and can be useful even for both long and short-time purposes…in short, a thin pantry in terms of depth but a large pantry to suit volume of food and barter item storage needs…walls of food and relatively small items you can get to with a power-driven or manual phillips’ screwdriver Besides that, imagine how much more trouble a looter would have first in finding the foodstuffs and then the amount of time it would take to get the foodstuffs out of the walls by themselves? The time factor means they are more likely to not only make more noise but also be more likely to worry that they will get caught when they stay in the building too long for comfort. Grab and run would be the normal course of action of a worried looter…forcing them to work may be just enough bother to cause them to go elsewhere when work is involved.

    You would be surprised at some of the clever ways some of my own tax clients hide their foodstuffs, barter items, weapons, ammunition, etc., etc. One guy put in an extra sub-floor and put various valuables between the lower sub-floor and the second sub-floor, then covered with various types of flooring during a needed redecorating and remodeling effort.

  5. These guys have a heartbeat! They called and set me straight on the ‘Secure Order’ process, all went well, Thanks, SD

  6. If in your basement you have drop ceilings there is ample space to store totes between the joist.

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