Thursday, March 22, 2018

Storage Containers - It's ALL Good!

We all look to prep and provide for our families.  We all love to save money when we can.  We all want to be ready for anything.
I have found that I stock and store a lot of stuff.  I well imagine many of you do too.  Where do you keep it?
My main storage area is in the basement (I am lucky to have one), but I am not limited to any one spot or any one method.

NOTHING is off limits in my house to use as a storage container.
We commonly and most often think of baskets.  I love them and have many.  They are good for pantry items, books, crafts, towels, TP, etc.. 
I keep just about any box I get.  Cat food flats, canning jar boxes, pet food boxes, boxes I have received in the mail......................... there is no limit.

Boxes are great for anything.  If using a larger box, turn it on it's side (opening towards you) - tuck in the flaps for sturdiness - and store items in the box, and store lighter weight items on top of it.  Small packets of seasoning are great for smaller boxes.  I have a shoe box that is used to keep my small recipe books in, in the kitchen.  Folks think LITERALLY outside the box!!!!!!

Shoe box on top of store bought drawer stacks for extra storage in the kitchen.  My small handmade recipe books are in the shoe box.  I have a drawer stack on each side of the stove.
Small box from pet treats works great for seasoning and sauce mixes.  These can be painted or covered in pretty paper if desired.  Keeps things together and organized.
I have totes and inexpensive plastic boxes that I have gotten at thrift stores and from the Dollar Tree that work great.  Plastic milk crate 'like' boxes are super for the freezer as well.  Sort meats and place in separate containers for easy access.  Perhaps blue for pork, red for beef, green for fish, yellow for chicken.

I keep plastic gallon ice cream buckets for all kinds of dry storage.  Popcorn tins (those big pretty ones from the holidays) are super storage containers - they work great for holding pet food and bird seed as well.
Tins of all sorts are good storage.  You can often find nice size ones at thrift stores for pennies.
Large glass jars are great for dry good.  I keep jars of all shapes and sizes.  Large ones are great for pasta, rice, flour, sugar, etc. in the regular pantry and for long term storage.  Smaller ones are used for spices, soup mixes, etc.  They are also nice for leftovers in the frig - since you can see through them.

These hold jars of dehydrated goods I use a lot - nuts, herb teas, barley, etc.  They just stack on top of each other.  $1 each at the dollar tree.

 Tote I got at thrift store.  Holds a ton of stuff for long term storage.  I keep dried been (in ice cream buckets (by type)) in it, extra pasta, etc. It easily closes with the lid and things can be stored on top of it.
Books, books, books.

TP storage - easily accessible under bathroom cabinet
Storage for extra bags of flour and sugar. I have many of these.  Easily stack in a corner out of the way or in a closet.

Ice cream buckets are great for anything.  I even cover them with pretty paper and use as goody baskets at the holidays
Fruit baskets from the orchard get used in may ways.  This one holds jars of dehydrated mushrooms.  They are nice for gifting pantry good at holidays as well.  Add a pretty dish cloth to the bottom and you have a rustic gift basket.
FREE rolling rack I was gifted
$1 baskets stacked on each other for various bathroom goods.  Not necessarily things I use daily, but want close at hand.  These sit beside the tub just under the pedestal sink.

I get canned cat food by the case and keep those boxes.  When they become empty of cat food, they work great for canned veggies or fruits.  They are super for deep pantry storage of mixes, spices, broth, soups, etc.  I also buy lots of things at Aldi and get many flats from there.  I don't throw them away.  They all get used.  It makes stacking and moving goods so easy.

Like I said most of my deep storage is in the basement - BUT not all.  I use whatever space I can.  My second bedroom has lots of goodies stored in the closet.  I have my upstairs (daily use) pantry.  I have a linen closet in the hall for all first aid supplies.  I have a nice 'pie safe' looking cabinet in the bath for towels, make-up, hair dye, bathroom cleaners, etc.
I have baskets that hold candles of all sorts - behind a chair in the living room.
I have a wall of bookcases in second bedroom - as I get rid of books I am done with, I store goods in there.
I have an old non-working freezer (upright) in the basement.  It didn't make the trip out when we got a new one.  It is used to store extra blankets, pillows, and comforters.
I even have a older wicker laundry hamper downstairs (years old) that contains the bedding for the outdoor kitties when all laundered and not in use.

When you have a  smaller home, you have to get creative.  There is no place or nothing that is scared from use!  It is also handy at times, as many storage solutions camouflage your goods, so that no one can actually see what you have.  That could be very IMPORTANT if SHTF someday - as you don't everyone knowing about your storage.

I know many people have truly depended on their stock-piles this winter with the occurances of bad weather and being out away from town.  Fires, storms, hurricanes, snow, etc. can cause us to stay put and use what we have.  Loss of job, poor health, SHTF, etc. can all be reasons for needing our long term storage.

NEVER think it costs a fortune to get storage.  Use what you have and get creative.  Where there is a will there is a way!
Stay safe and work on keeping your supplies up and ready for your precious families.  Being organized saves money!


  1. We do not have very much closet space and only a one car garage, but we manage to store much like you do.

    1. Good for you. You just pack it in and store it where you can. Glad to hear someone say that they do these things too.

  2. Hi! I love plastic boxes and shoe boxes and those large pickle and olive glass jars for storage! Nancy

    1. They are great. it usually takes some work to get the smell out of pickle jars - but they sure hold a lot.

  3. Another great (and sometimes free) storage container for bulk flour, oats, rice, sugar, etc. are frosting buckets that you can sometimes get free from the bakery. I use them to store lots of our bulk goods and they work great. I store most of my packaged pastas in large totes because I don't want to risk rodents getting into them. We had a mouse problem not too long ago and I was so thankful that my grains and pastas we safe from those buggers.

    1. Super idea. I hadn't thought of that. You know that is one thing I have never gotten. I need to check with area bakeries. Those would stack out of the way easily.

  4. I have several large tin cans that Vacation Bible School material originally came in. They are similar to popcorn cans. I have Tupperware containers that are huge--some over 30 years old. I also use empty ice cream buckets--I just used to collect them after Sunday school ice cream feeds, etc., so I have a lot. They have rice, sugar, things like that, in them. My garage is made into a pantry on one side, and I also have things out in the shop. I have quite a few glass gallon jars, as well, full of dry beans and rice that were bought in large quantities. I'm with you--whatever I can round up that's air-tight!

    1. Great ways to store. we don't have an attached garage and it isn't heated either - so that wouldn't be an option here. That is wonderful that you can use the garage - so much space.

      I haven't bought Tupperware in years - but still have many pieces. That stuff sure does last.
      Yep, if we keep things air tight and dry, we are good to go.
      Good job.

  5. We have a dishwasher that we brought with us from Illinois 30 years ago and never used it here as the faucet on our sink did not match the one of the dishwasher. I hand wash my dishes anyway, so that does not bother me. What is great about a dishwasher is it's airtight. So, we store all of our dried beans, rice and cereal, and pasta in ours, which keeps it pest free, which is the humid south is always a plus.

    I too love baskets and use them for so many things. My daughter tries to ban me from getting any more at yard sales, but I can't resist. I store little things in them, medicine in one, my sewing items in another. They are just great for helping to keep things organized. I love to use them in my pantry to keep like items together.

    That Sunbird Stir Fry seasoning packet is the same one I use for Fried Rice. It's a good combination of spices that reminds me of the Fried Rice they serve at those cook in front of you Japanese restaurants. My family likes the spice pack, so I make sure to keep it on hand.

    Your dehydrated mushrooms look so pretty in the jars. Did you dehydrate them yourself or did you buy them already dehydrated?

    1. That is genius on the dishwasher! That would be a great place to store important papers if you were expecting awful weather as well. I store a lot of pots and pans in my oven - which makes for a pain every time I use it.

      Those Stir Fry packets were purchased on clearance for a few cents each - I haven't used them yet. Glad to hear they are good.

      Yes, I dehydrated the mushrooms myself. Very easy to do. The jars that say 8 oz. on top are jelly jars and they continue the equivilent of an 8 oz. box of fresh mushrooms. They do shrink up! I buy them when they are super cheap on sale. Work great in soups and such.

    2. That's great on the mushrooms, Cheryl. They are so good for you too. I need to be eating more of them.

    3. We love mushrooms. Give it a try sometime. they don't take too long to dry.

  6. The color coding baskets for the freezer is a great idea. I use baskets when items are out in the open to make them look pretty such as in the office, on dressers or in the bathroom. I keep all shoe boxes because they are great for so many things. I have all of my card stash in a shoebox divided by occasions. My mom and sisters give me their old jars and I use them to store things like herbs and seeds that I dry out. Or I make my own items and store it in them like salad dressings.
    I'm lucky that I have easy access to buckets. I tell the cooks at work to keep the potato/pasta salad containers for me. They are great for storage.

    1. That is great that you have access to food grade buckets.
      Good ideas on your storage. I love the look of pretty baskets and they do keep us organized.
      Good idea on your cards. I have mine in a file cabinet drawer - that would free up space if I used a shoe box. Thanks for that idea.

      I just love how we all use what we have - that just keeps us organized and is so frugal!

  7. I used to get those frosting buckets from the stores I worked at.
    Somehow they have ended up with rocks, nails and other hardware paraphernalia in them!
    I do have my food grade buckets with the gamma lids for my flour, sugar etc.
    And I save everything. Drives the hubby crazy!

    1. Hey, at least they are being used for some sort of storage and organizing!! LOL
      I save everything too! BUT my hubs always saved everything as well, so he can't really say anything. Now that he can't get around much - he doesn't see all my stashes!

      Food grade buckets are really nice. I think I need to get a few.
      have a good weekend.

  8. Love the ideas! Thanks! I have some of those popcorn tins that I need to repurpose.