It happened virtually overnight. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve become a nation of “preppers“. One look at empty grocery store shelves is enough to convince the most jaded skeptic that the entire country is stocking up on emergency food storage and other essential supplies. But when the pantry and closets are full, where do we put all this “stuff”?

We all have a much greater appreciation of toilet paper now than we had just a couple of weeks ago. After all, we’re survivalists now. With “Stay at Home” Orders in place for much of the country, everyone went to the store and stocked up as fast as they could on supplies to last throughout the pandemic. But where are we putting all this stuff? Chances are the house didn’t grow to accommodate the influx. Once the kitchen cabinets and closets are full, where can we store our stockpiles of essentials?

How to Add Extra Shelving for Food Storage and Other Emergency Supplies

There are ways to add additional storage to your home. The outdoor storage shed filled with shelves of canned goods is one popular option. But this solution is distinctly unappealing to those in the northern states for obvious reasons. No one wants to trudge through snow and crappy weather to get to their food. Outdoor storage is also subject to attack by varmints of all kinds and is less secure than in-home storage. So what is the solution?

  • Wardrobe Closets with Shelves

    If you take the traditional wardrobe closet and fill it with shelves instead of clothes rods, you have an instant supplemental pantry. You can use an old armoire and convert it to this use. Better yet, build one yourself. A custom closet like this is essentially a floor-based pantry closet system with doors covering the shelves. The beauty of this type of built-in is that because it has doors, you can put it ANYWHERE in the home and it will look great. Match the doors and trim to the rest of the style in your home and your emergency food storage system is not only practical but an elegant addition to your home’s décor.

 built-in on the landing at the top of the stairsThis newly created built-in pantry installed in the homeowner’s staircase landing solves a multitude of storage issues.

  • Use a 360 Organizer® for Emergency Food Storage

    360 Organizer PantryThe 360 Organizer® offers a lot of storage in a small space. Use either the 360 pantry unit or the 360 Shoe Spinner for your emergency supplies. Both offer loads of shelving storage in a small space. Each model rotates manually a full 360 degrees like a giant, multi-level Lazy Susan.

    The Shoe Spinner is designed to fit in a 40-inch x 40-inch corner, whereas the 360 Pantry uses either a 32-3/4 x 32-3/4″ corner or a 30-1/2″ x 30-1/2″ section of wall depending on which model is chosen. The Shoe spinner is the biggest but lacks the fences along the edges of the shelves that keep things from falling off. Of course you wouldn’t use it for shoes if you’re interested in emergency storage. But a shelf is a shelf and you can put anything on it you like. If it holds up to 200 pairs of shoes, just imagine how many canned goods and rolls of toilet paper you could get on one of these.

    All the 360 Organizer® units are rated to hold up to 9000 pounds. That’s a lot of supplies. Purchase the units that come with a cabinet so that you can add doors to the front. This will make an elegant cabinet you’d be proud to put anywhere in your home.

    360 Pantry 
 pantry wall unit with glass doorsThis pantry wall has a 360 Organizer® on either end. The one on the far right is a 360 wall Pantry with glass doors added for a finished look. The one in the left corner, next to the aprons, is a 360 Corner Pantry without doors.

  • Garage Cabinets

    Use garage cabinets in either your garage or basement for supplemental food storage. This will be much more convenient than a shed and less likely to be infiltrated by animals. It is also more likely to have electricity and better climate control, allowing for the storage of more kinds of items. If your garage is attached to the house, even better. You won’t have to go outside at all to access your emergency supplies. Put locks on the cabinet doors if you are concerned about security.

    It is important to place all storage that rests on a cement floor in a garage on legs. Ditto for a basement. Raise the cabinets about 3-inches from the cement. This is needed because concrete is porous by nature. Moisture can wick up from the cement floor into the wood and damaging the cabinet and its contents. You want to keep some air flow underneath the storage cabinet. Simple metal or plastic legs that screw into the bottom of the cabinet will do. They don’t need to be fancy. Just make sure the legs you choose are rated to support the amount of weight you intend to keep in the cabinets.

    Garage with cabinets for emergency food storageEmpty garage cabinets ready for supplies. Put your emergency supplies in a garage or basement. You can build a simple do-it-yourself cabinet like this one. Just remember to raise any storage cabinets off the cement floor to prevent moisture damage.

Life Goes On

Take charge of your life and situation. We are living in unprecedented times. But don’t let the uncertainties get you down. Remember that time heals all and this too will pass. In the meantime, hunker down and follow the “Stay at Home” Orders from your State and local governments. Use these emergency food storage tips so that you can keep enough basic supplies in your home and don’t have to run out to the store very often.

We are in a grievous situation and it may seem like the world is ending, but it won’t. No one seems sure how long it will take, but eventually the sun will come out. In the meantime, stay healthy. Stay safe. Stay home.

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