This is Part III of a series of stockpiling solutions: My Kitchen is Booby-Trapped! Where should I store everything? (You can read Part I: What can I freeze? and Part II: My Cabinets are screamin'! bathroom solutions.)
As I've mentioned before, we have a fairly small house and not alot of room for stockpiling. We invested in a used freezer on Craigslist and some storage containers for the bedroom to help out, but when it came to our pantry, well frankly, we didn't have a "pantry". You know the ones I'm talking about? A little closet-like room off the kitchen where the walls are lined with shelves from top to bottom and all your pantry items are neatly stored in alphabetical order with the ones expiring the earliest up front. Okay, okay, so I live in a dream land, but it doesn't hurt to dream!
When we started stockpiling I ran out of room after the first month. I literally have 2 cabinets that house pantry related items so it didn't take long to fill them up. I knew it was time to do something when I opened the cabinet door and a box of brownies tumbled out and nearly knocked my lights out! With little ones running around, I couldn't risk them getting hurt by falling boxes and cans. (Now that would be a very interesting conversation with the ER Doctors!) So again, we did some investing. I talked it over with my husband and he agreed we could spend a little money to erect some shelving units in the garage.
Yes the garage! We don't use our garage like normal people. I wish we did, but inevitably it gets filled with empty cardboard boxes, lawnmower, weed-whacker, leaf-blower, old yard sale items, old furniture, old scrapbooking supplies, the list is endless...and now it holds our pantry items too. Target put their wire rack shelving units on sale for around $30 last summer. We purchased two, one for our pantry items and the other for my husband's tools and what-nots. These shelves are very sturdy and hold alot! They have lots to choose from.
So if you have a small house and don't have a beloved pantry closet, look for creative ways to store your stockpiled pantry items. Do you have empty space above your washer and dryer? You might be able to install a couple of extra shelves above there. Do you have empty space in your hot water heater room? My in-laws replaced their air conditioning unit and it opened up a small closet near her kitchen. Do you have an enclosed garage with a spare wall? Be creative with your storage solutions. It's better to be a little organized than to have to explain to the ER Doctor why your child is unconscious from a flying can of vegetable soup!
Where do you store your pantry items?