Trying to find space to build a stockpile when you don’t even have enough room to store your clothes can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. It just takes a little creativity. Fortunately, we’re not lacking there, so let’s put our heads together and come up with some ideas about how to build a stockpile in an apartment or small house.
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 stackable 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.
Finding ways to build a stockpile when you live in a shoebox is tough but no impossible. Prepping in a small space just means that you need to carefully choose what you store and put a bit more thought into what you’ll actually need versus what you just WANT. Just as we tell everybody else, the worst thing that you can do is put it off.
It doesn’t matter how small your stockpile is right now – HAVE ONE and think of ways to build it!
Find out more about food independence on Backyard Liberty and check
out more about off-grid survival on Conquering the Coming Collapse.
Theresa Crouse is a full-time copywriter currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She has an intense passion for all things SHTF-related because she believes that it’s better to be prepared and have nothing happen, than to be unprepared when something does! She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. In keeping with her upbringing and her beliefs, Theresa has a large stockpile, cans her own food from her family garden, raises her own livestock and has several different survival plans in place, both independently and in conjunction with her neighbors. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.