Saturday, February 21, 2009

Storing Your Buckets

After cleaning out both my storage units I realized that one critical item was missing from my house here in the valley. I have no closets! Not only do I not have any closets I have no storage space other than the kitchen cabinets. Right now the 30 plus buckets of food and miscellaneous storage totes are divided between the bathroom and sunroom. Here is what I am doing to permanently stow these items.

Your average 5 gallon bucket is about 15 inches tall and 12 inches across.

I built a 16 inch platform for my bed. With my mattress I sleep roughly 28 inches off the floor. I am fine with this but had to build some steps for the dogs. This created a 5 by 6 foot space capable of holding 30 buckets. The under bed storage contains mostly totes right now.

The dogs love lying on footstools pushed against the windows. They sit there all day guarding the house. I am planning a 3 by 5 foot window seat covered with an old piece of foam rubber I picked up by a dumpster. I used to have a couple of old futon mattresses in front of the windows but they were huge and afforded no storage. The new window seat should be able to store 15 buckets and offers additional seating when necessary.

I keep 4 buckets under the coffee table. This could have been sized to hold many more but the rugs are shaken outside for cleaning so you don’t really want to move 15 buckets each week. Four buckets are also used as end tables.

Eventually most of the buckets will be placed in a root cellar but I won’t be building that until this summer.

If you are planning a very small house do not overlook the storage. If you are stockpiling several years worth of food the storage space is essential.

27 comments:

theotherryan said...

The lack of storage is one of the biggest problems with living in very small places. It is an issue with RV/ travel trailers as well as little cabins.

When people think of the amount of space they need they usually think of living space and not space to store stuff. Have you considered some sort of a shed? You could build it or pick up one of those pre fabed ones.

HermitJim said...

Some very useful points, my friend. Thank you...

BigBear said...

I had planned on a shed but didn't get to it before the snow came. Later this springs I will build one.

Mayberry said...

Clever solutions! Storage can be maximized in many ways. Modern American homes are very wasteful of space, especially where furniture is concerned....

Michael said...

Consider building floor to ceiling cabinets or even room dividers. You can even make it look like a wall if you want more stealth.

Jay said...

I agree with Mike .Make a false wall with buckets stacked and racked behind it. You dont want to stack more than 2 buckets on top of each other without supports,the weight I've noticed starts to warp/buckle the lids. I'd think of building some shelves for the buckets. This would be for long term stuff like wheat since the access for rotating would be a bit a PITA. I like the root cellar idea over a shed due to temperature stability the shed temp swing from frozen in winter to oven in summer,not good for your grub.

Jay

Anonymous said...

I made the mistake of building for 5 gal buckets. 6 gallon buckets are a little taller build for those so you can store both

Anonymous said...

Remember thattempature inside those buckets can greatly shorten the shelf life. I would tray and find a tempature stable area not in direct sunlight...

JMHO

Anonymous said...

I am a little confused about storage.
I have a foodsaver and was thinking that if I used it to store grains such as rice and beans that this would work ok, after all I am removing the air from the product.
But according to foodsaver this only gives 1 - 2 years of storage life to rice.


Mark C.

Anonymous said...

Man, this is a relevant post - thanks for bringing this up Bear.

Preps take up SPACE and it adds up quick. If I had the money (and my wife would allow it, lol), I'd design our next home to have an 1/2 floor (approx. 5' high) bedroom deck, so that underneath it, preps could be stored in the space underneath.

Sidewalls of this half deck would be simple fixed shelving as well, limited to about 12" deep - if you can't see it, its very hard to keep track of.

Try and be aware of what preps required conditioned space for long life, vs. tools / steel that can be in cold / heat and not be affected. Root cellars will work if your watertable allows it.

Read a post years back which mentioned author having a continuous shelf above door / window header, allowing lots of storage above. A curtain / screen covered up the materials above - not a bad idea, if walls can hold the weight. Having some wall pilasters (wall furr-out with load bearing unit within) would certainly help here.

Again, thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

We built with the need to store food in mind, including an unfinished blocked-in half-basement (built into the hillside) with simple 2x4 constructed floor to ceiling shelves across the entire width of the basement (house width, made entirely from the framing leftovers) on both sides makes access a breeze, and the temperature stays pretty stable without the need to an additional building or more finished space.
Size the shelving for both 6 gallon buckets & #10 cans in boxes if possible.

garage storage ideas said...

what a clever and helpful idea of storing!

Bob said...

Hello, This is a bit off topic to this post but slightly convergent with the theme of this blog so I thought that I should communicate. I just enjoyed watching this video, on a vision of a collapse of US institution as we know it, to do with the current economic doom and other whatnots. Although I would not go so far as saying that it blew my mind, I did find it enjoyable. It is longish, over an hour, but if you have the bandwdith then this makes a good watch over a long lunch type thing. It was donated by The Long Now Foundation, if that adds credibility.

http://fora.tv/2009/02/13/Dmitry_Orlov_Social_Collapse_Best_Practices#chapter_01

Anonymous said...

ive been reading your blog on and off for some time now and find your advice for survival helpful. but...
your so informed in the art of survival, its hard for me to understand why you dont carry that to the political process. you seem to be caught in the false left right paradigm. riddle me this batman. what do bush, cheney, gore, kerry and obama all have in common? hint: use the google

SurvivalTopics.com said...

There are many inventive ways to increase storage. As mentioned, my favorite is to use the buckets as part of the furniture. Coffee table bases, for example

NVG-WmsFam said...

That's a great reminder - there are opportunities for storage almost everywhere. Our next house, I'm thinking we'll build a platform for our bed too, giving plenty of storage room underneath. Thanks! Vikki at www.survival-cooking.com

Anonymous said...

Beware: The American Prepper Network and Canadian Prepper Network and all individual state/providence "networks" are a scam commercial enterprise.

Mayberry said...

Anon 7:27, you are full of crap....

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Anonymous said...

Bear Where Ya Been?
Ive Missed Reading your very interesting and helpfull blog.
anyhow hope your doig well

l in ca

Anonymous said...

Hoping you post some time soon, take care.

Anonymous said...

Where'd you go? Either you're having the time of your life or you've deserted your survivalist lifestyle! Which is it?

Anonymous said...

Bear , I love the blog , but man where have you been , no updates since feb?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick said...

@Anonymous 4/20 4:55PM - That wasn't really all that constructive! Most "true survivalists" (though they typically don't refer to themselves as such) are eager to see others adopt a similar lifestyle and offer help rather than mock people who are learning the lifestyle. Like it or not, we are all learning, even you, chief...

Anonymous said...

Right on Nick ! I agree 100% with you. We should all stick together.

Anonymous said...

Storage times are affected by many things. Temperature, humidity, oxygen, etc. Rice could last 20 or 30 or 40 years or more. Whole wheat flour might last a couple of years or less while wheat could last a couple of lifetimes. White flour might last 2 or 5 or 20 years depending on how it is stored. Here is a trick that can save you some time and trouble: Pack your rice, flour and other super market staples in buckets and after a few years give the food to a charity/food bank and replace it with fresh food. This won't work if you are storing a years supply for 6 people but will work well if you are storing six months for two people.