Making Room for Preparedness Supplies
Preparation supplies, also known as ‘preps’, are an essential part of the Prepper Life. Throughout your journey of becoming a survivalist you will most definitely amass a collection of supplies to ensure you are prepared for all scenarios. Making room for all those supplies is the tricky part.
Your get home bag, EDC bag, first aid kits, water, shelf stable food, tents, waterproof matches, and more will all need a place to live until needed. For some finding ample room for all of these supplies may be hard to come by, and for others adding additional cabinetry or rearranging one’s garage could open up the perfect amount of space.
Step One: Eliminate Unnecessary Items
Keeping in mind that prepping is a lifestyle change, first start by eliminating the unnecessary. Supplies can quickly consume the space in your home and if you don’t begin with essentialism practices, you could not only run out of space quickly but make it difficult to find things of value in the future.
Empty every closet and consolidate those belongings into a single room or garage with plenty of table or floor space. Then, separate everything into piles like keep, donate & trash. Be relentless; if it can't be used for survival, isn’t used often, or isn't a valuable keepsake, it should probably go.
Step Two: Organize What’s Left
Since you have just established what you will be keeping, it is time to re-store your belongings again. Now that you should have less items to contend with, you should have more space to play with once everything is returned.
But first let’s contemplate a few factors:
Using Space Efficiently
Add shelving, purchase bins, stack whenever possible and work towards using all the vertical space; from floor to ceiling. Place the items that need to be accessed the least like keepsakes at the bottom and to the back, etc. When using plastic tubs it is also a good idea to label the containers and/or color code to match your organization style.
Prepare for Growth
Keep in mind that your supplies will be increasing, and that designated space should remain for new items. One of the challenges you will face is how difficult it is to completely predict how your supplies will grow and change over the evolution of your preparation. Even before I started prepping, I found myself constantly organizing my garage.
The problem was that the stuff I owned kept changing. So, I finally decided to installed a slate wall system. I installed it along the longest wall in my garage and purchased an array of hooks; my favorite being the baskets and tub holders. This setup allows me to move and update the configuration of the storage space based on how my supply collection changes.
If you are moving items to the garage, attic, or shed avoid items that can't handle heat, cold, or other extreme weathering conditions. Leaving designated space in climate controlled closets and other spaces in your non air conditioned places will ensure there are places for new preps that are either okay to be exposed to the elements or need a cool dry location.
Step Three: Expand Your Space
If possible and/or necessary, add new space to your home. Through the introduction of an outdoor storage shed, temperature-controlled attic space, adding on a closet or porch area, even a barn if you’re in a rural area; can more than double your preparedness supply storage space.
Make sure you use any outdoor storage for non-perishables and items that need ventilation, like fuel. Consider security when storing your items in these spaces as they are most likely the first places to get vandalized by burglars or scavengers.
There are also ways to create more space within the house with security in mind. Consider going into the walls. Hidden panels are great places for concealing supplies in spaces that did not previously exist. When doing indoor renovations be sure to watch out for insulation and wiring; hiring a handyman if you do not feel fully confident.
Whether you are just starting out or have been on this path for years, reevaluating your storage systems every so often is a good idea. On top of routine maintenance like rotating your food and water storage or refreshing your get home bag; reorganizing your preps will allow you to re-learn all the items you have.
These steps are designed to have you evaluate your current supplies, get rid of dead weight, re-organize them as to be more reachable and therefore useful, and expanding your space if you are finding things a little tight.