Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Apartment Prepping, Part Two)

13 February 2015 (Apartment Prepping, Part Two)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photgraph by

Last week, I talked about approximately ten general areas; you and your family need to think about for apartment prepping and some of my solutions. Today, I'm going to discuss storing all of that stuff.

One of the first places, you may think about using for storing your family's supplies, are your family's closets. It's a good idea; however, you need be 'practical.'

First, don't go crazy, filling the closet. Remember, your family needs space for their clothes.

Second, place the supplies in boxes then label the boxes. This will allow your family to stack and track the supplies.

Of course, boxes of heavy canned food go on the bottom with lightweight and easily damaged items go on top.

Third, have a plan to rotate the items that will go 'bad,' such as canned food, bottled water, and triple antibiotic cream because, most of the time, these items are going to have a shelf life of a couple of years.

Yes, the can of food might say 'Expires by 8/2015' but we know that most food will last one or two years, beyond that date, if the can is kept in good shape. Yes, the water may taste 'flat.' But, ... if the bottled water is protected from sunlight and strong odors (bet you didn't know that ; - ), it will be good to drink (to get rid of the 'flat' taste, open the bottle, let a little air in, close the top and "Shake It, Shake it like a Polaroid Picture." ; - )

But, ... Tetracycline (Expired tetracycline can cause a dangerous syndrome resulting in damage to the kidneys) and other medical items will need to be disposed of after the expiration date.. Of course, you and your family will need to do some research.

Under the Bed
Depending on your resources, will determine how much space you and your family have under your beds. Let me explain.

I made a bed frame for the apartment. I built it using 2X12 and some plywood. This would allow a large quantity of boxes to be stored under the bed.

Of course, I added a 'secret' compartment to hold some money and guns; however, the secret compartment limits how much supplies I can store under the bed : - (

For folks that don't want to go through the hassle of building a bed (with a secret compartment) you can use a regular metal bed frame with short plastic boxes placed under the bed. Katniss and I do that at home for extra shoes, bedding, and other stuff.

You can find these plastic boxes at the local China-Mart. Just make sure to measure under the bed first. We ended up making two trips, one for the initial purchase and the second to return the first set of boxes and purchase another, different, set.

Of course, I'm trying to do this a cheaply as possible, so I have re-purposed some appropriately sized cardboard boxes. These boxes hold excess beauty items, like bodywash, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, dental floss, and what ever your family uses.

I also made two boxes out of excess plywood from the bed frame build. These wooden boxes hold candles (heat and light) and some sentimental items. (love notes from Katniss ; - )

Around the Apartment
Of course, there are other areas in the apartment to store your family's supplies. One of these is under tables.

When I moved into town, I sought out the local charity stores. I knew, if I waited long enough, I would find all kinds of useful stuff. Two of these items were matching side tables.

The side tables (end tables) allow me to store supplies, in plastic boxes. The plastic boxes can hold all types of supplies for your family, bulk food in mylar bags, medical supplies, or winter clothes when cold weather is over.

Speaking of winter.

Another method of storing supplies around the house is to use storage containers as furniture. I use this method to store winter blankets during warmer weather.

I do this by using a metal box, about the size of a coffee table. This metal box is covered by a floral pattern curtain used as a table cloth. It acts as camouflage, to hide the green box.

I am thinking about repainting to look like a wooden trunk. I'll see.

Add Storage Space
Another method is to add storage space.

An example is this picture of some shelves; someone else added to a closet. The shelves allow us to organize miscellaneous stuff. I would suggest, if you have the money, to place smaller items in baskets. Placing them in baskets helps to organize the items and increases the amount of stuff you can store on the shelves.

Another method is using existing storage spaces.

Usually, the 'nicer' apartments will have these storage lockers, in the the form of cages, in the basements or garages. If your family's apartment doesn't have these, you might be able to talk to the landlady about using part of the garage or basement.

Either way, try to be organized.

Oooh, ... Remember, OPSEC, OPSEC, and OPSEC

What Others Have Done
Now, some of y'all are going to try and prepare for a medium or longer term event, despite my warnings, and that's o.k.. You're thinking for yourself and that's good ; - )

Under the Bed
Some other folks have suggested using 5-gallon plastic buckets as the base for a bed. Add a properly sized sheet of plywood (to cover and protect the buckets) with a bed skirt to hide the buckets, and place the mattress on top of the plywood. Voilà, you and your family have enough storage space for about thirty buckets, under a queen sized bed. That is 750 to 1.050 pounds of food.

Be warned, check with your landlord because the apartment's floor may not be designed to hold all that weight in one place.

As Furniture
Some folks have suggested doing something like the metal box but using plastic buckets as furniture. Your family would take two or three buckets, stack them on top of each other, place a round or square piece of plywood on top the bucket, then cover with a large cloth. The cover should just barely touch the ground.

This stack would act as a corner table holding a decorative vase or other item, maybe a weather alert radio ; - )

Another, as furniture, method is using similarly sized and stacked boxes, covered with a table cloth. Just like the buckets. This 'table' could be used as a coffee table, side table, or as a table behind the couch (between the wall and couch). All you would need to do is add a piece of appropriately sized plywood to cover the top of the boxes to safely place items on the stacked boxes.

Furniture as Storage

photograph by
Lastly, I was looking for a picture, and I found this.

Needless to say, you and your partner need to talk about the style of these storage solutions, the compromises you're willing to make, and other family issues.

P.S. You may need to go to the link to see the items, under the kitchen table.

Lastly, ...
That's it. If you would like to know more about preparing for a wide range of potential disasters, you will be interested in purchasing a copy of Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead


Anonymous said...

Canned foods do NOT expire. There is a Best By Date on them but ut really means nothing. If the can is swollen or leaking throw it out. Otherwise EAT!

Anonymous said...

I have thought about using buckets under the bed, but I like the idea of a 2 x 12 / plywood bed with the storage compartment better. Thanks.

MarcioWilges said...

Home packing services would actually be very handy if you need a bit of help getting things in order in your house! But you should still keep your things organized as best as you can without professional help!