Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Creative Pantry Storage

I know we have talked about this before, but it is always good to get some reminders of things we can use, and places we can keep our pantry stockpile.

We are at a volatile time in history again - where just about anything can happen in the world.  It is very scary to think about.  I know we all want to be able to take care  of our families and keep them nourished no matter what happens.
I have faith in the Lord to hold my hand through whatever turmoil we may bare - but I also know that He expects us to help ourselves as well.

I want to be prepared for whatever may happen, whether it's world events, mother nature, illness, loss of funds, no mater what!  I can pretty much bet you are the same way.

There are so many great ways to store our pantry items in out of the way places, and in pretty neat and original ways.

JARS - keep them all.  You can store all kinds of things SAFELY in jars.  I love the half gallon and gallon glass (and plastic) jars I have accumulated over the years.  Some came from the store with product in them and others I got a flea markets and yard sales.
Anything can be stored in jars.  They are bug free - safe zones.  I have some large plastic (gallon) ones - that I store products in, that I leave in their original containers.  Bags of beans or pasta, small packets of mixes, extra health and beauty items, etc.  They stay nice and dry and clean!
Check out Annabelle's site on the blog roll at right - at The Bluebirds Are Nesting for some adorable and creative ideas on labeling.  She makes everything look pretty!

BASKETS - oh my we all love baskets.  I have received many over the years as gifts and every one has become useful.  Extra storage for TP in bathroom, Extra storage for books or magazines that I choose to keep.  Small baskets hold recipe books in the kitchen, packets of mixes, fruit or veggies that aren't refrigerated.  Can goods can be stored away in baskets, linens, snacks, you name it.  Baskets are pretty so they fit just about any where.

BOXES - never discount good old fashioned card board boxes!  I have many canning jar boxes, that I use for storing my canning.  I simply label the outside of the box as to contents and date canned, and place in storage area.  Boxes from liquor stores are great - they are heavy and many times they are compartmentalized.  Boxes stack easily, for out of the way storage. (Back corners of closets, etc.)  I also buy lots of items from Aldi by the case, and those items stack nicely.

POP BOXES - can be used - even decorated to hold canned goods.  Not only are you creating storage but you are recycling.  Old cereal boxes can be done this way as well.

TOTES of all sorts can be used.  Small ones for certain items or large ones for are variety of items.  Keep your products safe, dry and clean.  Totes can be stacked and labeled for those long term storage items.
PLASTIC ICE CREAM container are good gallon size storage as well.

MILK CRATES are wonderful if you can get them.  I have several older ones that are nice and sturdy.  They are easy to stack, have great air flow, and take up little space.

POPCORN TINS from the holidays are another storage solution that is great.  I have many of these, and they are used from storing bird seed - to holding bags of powdered sugar, sugar, flour, etc.  Insect free, and items are dry and safe.

Make some additional storage in out of the way places.  Behind doors is a great area.  I had a nephew make me an extra spice rack that fit inside my pantry door.  Now I can keep extras (of much used items) in an out of sight way and on unused real estate!

Shoe bags can also be used for storage of things other than shoes!  Small toys, bathroom supplies, packets of seasonings, anything that is smallish.

Again this is on the back of a door - so you are creating storage from unused areas of the home.

I saw an idea for a rack that was made to store all those pots and pan lids.  I think it is cool, but I think it could be done easier.
My idea is, instead of building something like above - attached old fashioned cafĂ© curtain rods to the backside of the door.  I think it would work superbly - and I may try that on the inside of a couple cabinet doors.  If the rod is too deep - it could easily be cut off on the ends to make a shallower rack.  I have a ton of those old curtain rods stored in the basement, so all I need is a few brackets from the hardware store. 
I think it would be a great solution on the back of closet doors for scarves, jewelry, belts, etc.  (I know that may not be considered pantry - but it is extra storage)

RECYCLE - coffee cans for storage.  They can be painted or contact paper added to pretty them up.  Coffee creamer jars are good for holding popcorn, candy, dry milk, flour, etc.  Peanut cans, oatmeal boxes, you name it - it can be used for storage.

Get yourself some METAL SHELVING, or an OLD BOOK CASE, or a ROLLING RACK.  Use whatever you can find.
Here is an old rolling rack someone gave me - it works great for lots of smaller items.  The shelving behind it is in our laundry room.  I don't store laundry down there - so I utilize it for extra long term pantry items.  Behind those curtains are shelves that are full on home canned goods.
There is no limit to the ways to store stuff.
We also have a bar in our basement that is no longer used - I cleaned off and got rid of most bar items on shelving under it (gave to someone who would use), and now I use those shelves for long term storage.

Keep turntables or lazy Susan's in the corners of cabinets so as to utilize every space you can.
Tension rods placed in open areas of the pantry or in cabinets allow you to hang items.  Use those plastic pant hangers you get at the store - or add clothes pins the metal rings for hanging.  You can even get clip type shower rings.
Old drawers from unused furniture can have rollers added to the bottom.  They make great under furniture or under bed storage.  Takes up less space than a big ugly piece of furniture.

Utilized the back corners of closets for stacking boxes of labeled pantry items or packages of toilet paper or cases of water. 
DON'T FORGET under the stairs.  That area is such an unused area in our homes.  Add shelving, racks, or if enclosed add a door.  Turn it into usable space.

I have even used a couple of G's old t-shirts (bigger ones he no longer wears) and make hanging storage for bags of snacks, nuts, or any light packaging.
This works great.  Any size shirt could be used, depending on what you are wanting to store. I have a much smaller shirt cut this way and hanging on the back of the basement door in the kitchen to hold onions. I like that because it's breathable material. (you could even add slits ever so often for more air flow - since material will not fray).


Another neat idea if you have a basement with rafters - place some heavy wire shelving on the underside of the rafters and you can store ON it and in between the rafters.  No wasted space.
If rodent free - paper goods can be stored in attics or garages.                                      

I have a couple of those older wicker laundry hampers from days gone by (the ones with lids attached) - I use those for storing extra blankets and quilts.  I have put some cedar blocks in them to keep any buggers out.  They would also be good storage for extra warm clothing or even dry goods for food storage.


When you think you have no space for storing those maybe life saving long term pantry items - think again.  THINK hanging - think vertical - think behind and under - think above. 
Just stop and think and get creative with your storage plans.


Be prepared for ANY emergency!


  1. These are great ideas and it looks like you are very well prepared. We are truly living in uncertain times, for sure!

    1. We surely are - both prepared - and living in uncertain times.
      I didn't show a lot, but well, let's just say we can withstand not going to the store for a long while. Keeping me out of the store is the problem!!!! LOL

  2. Wonderful post Cheryl! As you know I love jars! I also love baskets! I sit baskets in top of all my cabinets and cupboards. They look lovely. But the are full of back ups and useful things.
    My husband made blocks for under our bed legs... this raised the bed about three inches. This was enough that now I have large low tubs that fit in under there and its a big storage area. The bed skirt hides the lot!
    I have stashes everywhere, trying to do it in a way that makes sense i.e. soaps in my blanket box, shampoos in my bathroom cabinet, I have a big cupboard for first aides and medicines.... each stash adds up. A lot of people say they have no room but they do have room for 500 CDs and fifty pairs of shoes and so on. I would see this as space! Things are uncertain and here we are with a chance to be prepared! With love Annabel.xxx

    1. Annabel baskets and jars are just FUN as well! I am the same way with baskets - they are all over and full.
      You are so correct about having space - you just have to decide what your priorities are. I guess for some people it is their stuff - for us it is our families well being.
      The world is very uncertain now, and if folks have never prepared before - they should now.
      Be blessed.

  3. Cheryl we have a large 3 bay shed and a shipping container on our suburban block. We store extras in large plastic boxes in these sheds. I also have the caravan set up so that if we need to bug out in a hurry, think natural disaster such as floods and cyclones, we can be moving within half an hour. In the house I have a lot of older free standing furniture. In my old tredle sewing machine drawers I keep OTC medications and first aid products.
    As you have stated you can find extra storage in your home with a little bit of creative thinking.

    1. Jane it sounds like you are totally prepared. Fantastic!
      Love the idea of storing small items in the drawers. I have a sewing table bedside which has many compartments - I until this moment I never really thought about it. I will start using it as well. That is a big DUH on my part!

      I am glad for your family. I just wish all were as prepared.
      Take care.

    2. Cheryl there are a lot of holes in our preparation. I have been following along on quite a few blogs of late and have seen just how unprepared we are. I am currently working on developing a list of things we can build on over time. Here's hoping time is on our side.

    3. Jane -I am sure we all have holes in preparedness. I know we do. All we can do if just keep plugging away, and do a little bit as we can.
      I read some prepper blogs once in a while - and some of them just scare me! It is such a devastating thought of what could actually happen. I choose to keep adding things, and thinking positive that all will be well.

  4. Food, Clothing, Shelter -- the big three of essential needs, and your ideas here definitely help, Cheryl!

    and may I add a 4th -- communication...I recently read of how Amateur Radio Operators work with DOD and Homeland Security to maintain communication lines between everyone if there was an EMP. I need to talk with my family about how we will find each other if such a thing happens.

    1. Ellen - that is something I have never thought about. Good idea!!!
      I have car chargers for cell - in case of elec. outage from storm, (and no gas service for geni.) but never thought of that idea.
      You go girl!!!!!

      We have a rechargeable weather radio (crank) - but your idea is something I will have to think about and talk about with other family as well.
      THANK YOU!

  5. You have some great storage ideas! Some I had not thought of. thanks for sharing! Nancy

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  7. These are all great ideas!I'm new to your blog and have been reading old blog post gaining a lot of knowledge. Thank you.

    1. Glad to have you here. The more the merrier. It is great to have lots of people to share ideas.
      Hope you enjoy and learn!

  8. I'm new here too (came over from Annabel's). You are much better prepared than we are,mvut we are making progress! Every once in a while we go on a spending fast (like this month) and it is gratifying to have enough on hand to eat.

    Thanks for all the storage tips!

    1. Cheri - welcome aboard. It has taken us a lot of years to get where we are - and I am still not done. I don't think you ever are.

      I love spending freezes - have done those often in the past. Yes, it is wonderful to have enough to get you through it. We just never know when it may not be a choice.
      Slow and steady wins the race!!!
      Thanks - hope you enjoy.

  9. Great ideas! I have gathered free buckets from the bakery and they are filled with flour, sugar, oats, rice and lentils. Bugs cannot get into them and they keep things nice and protected. I love boxes from the liquor stores because of the dividers in them. I have one that is filled with various wines and other assorted liquor. People tend to give me wine as gifts, so I am well set for a very long time. ;)