Stocking up on prepping items can quickly take over your living space. If you are an apartment prepper this can happen ever faster. When we first started prepping, water storage was an issue after only a couple of weeks. We constantly brought gallons of water in, but realized we don’t have a lot of space for storing several gallons of water along with our other preps.
So what do you do if you are short on space but still want to be prepared?
Small Spaces Prepping Tip 1: Think Compact
Water: Instead of storing 300 gallons of water, consider storing enough for a few days, then supplementing with purification tablets and a bathtub liner such as a Water Bob for each tub. This gives you an extra 60 gallons of water per bag that you can fill up right before SHTF, assuming you get notice. A good filter should be in your water kit, too.
Food: Instead of storing canned or boxed food, which can take up a ton of space, consider storing dehydrated food. You can buy actual food buckets that already have several meals’ worth of dehydrated packets in it, or you can dehydrate your own food, seal it in plastic bags, and make your own buckets.
You can also store your dry goods in the bags, too. A sealed bag of pancake mix takes up much less space than a box and stay fresh longer. You can get great 5-gallon buckets from local restaurants. Remember that even the best dehydrated or sealed food still expires. Rotate!
Small Spaces Prepping Tip 2: Utilize Every Inch of Space
If you open your closet doors, you’ll most likely see hanging bars, and perhaps one or two shelves. That needs to change, posthaste.
You have a couple of options here. You can either use stack able plastic bins or you can install shelving for just a few bucks. If somebody else has access to your home and you don’t want them to know what you’re storing, use the opaque storage bins. Most people will assume it’s clothing.
Other places that you may not have considered as storage spaces include:
- Under the bed
- Free-standing cabinets that you can pick up at yard sales or thrift stores
- Overhead crawl spaces (be careful though because these spaces typically aren’t temperature-regulated. Store non-perishables and toiletry/hygiene/first aid items there.)
- Behind furniture
- Overhead shelving – if you have high ceilings, install some extra shelving and hide with pretty curtains
- Allotted storage space – some condos and apartments come with an external storage unit. Carry your supplies to it in black plastic bags or in opaque plastic bins.
- Sheds – If you’re fortunate enough to have even a postage-stamp yard, you have enough room for a small storage shed. Watch Craigslist and other local sources for used ones. Again, go with non-perishables here unless you seal it and control the temp and humidity
- Medicine Cabinets. You’d be surprised how many tubes of toothpaste, antibiotic ointment, etc. you can stack in your medicine cabinet if you leave them in the box.
- Paracord can be functionally stored as wearable bracelets, dog collars, light-pulls or blinds cord. Food buckets can be covered with pretty doilies or cloth and used as plant stands, etc. Be creative!
Small Spaces Prepping Tip 3: Consider a Storage Unit
You can get a decent-sized, temperature-controlled storage unit for around $30 per month. Get one within walking distance of your house and use it as a back-up facility.
This not only gives you a ton more space, but also gives you a back-up place to build a stockpile in case your house burns down or your building is destroyed or captured.
A couple of tips, though.
- Use a combination lock for the added security, though it won’t help against a pair of bolt cutters.
- Carry your stuff into the unit in bins or black garbage bags so that people don’t know what you’re storing.
- Use sealed plastic containers to keep out rodents. 5-gallon buckets are great for this.
- Get a unit that is accessible from the outside, if possible. If not, make sure that the facility has manual doors so that you can still gain access even if the power is out.
- If you choose to use a unit that isn’t temperature and humidity-controlled, only store non-perishables in it and make sure that everything that you store is completely dry in order to avoid mold and mildew.
- Store an extra docs box, weapons (if you want) and bug-out bag here, too.
Prepping in small spaced doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your preparedness. It just means thinking outside the box for better storage inside the box. How do you prep and save space?