If you live in an urban area, chances are your space is just right for all your things, or maybe even smaller. Prepping for a disaster is one thing that you think you don’t have space for, but the truth is, you don’t need a lot of space to become a prepper. Having a home with many rooms, a garden, a full-size garage, and a basement is ideal, but not everyone has the luxury of space and money for it. But even if you live in an apartment in a busy city, you can still stock up on survival supplies and prepare for emergencies. All it takes is just a little strategy and creativity.
Here are some helpful tips to maximize your limited space for urban prepping:
1. Make a list of everything you need.
Before starting with storage and organization, get a notebook and a pen and list all your supplies. You may forget where everything is, but you can’t afford to forget where the crucial items are during an emergency. Don’t save it on the computer or laptop because both need battery and electricity to work. Store that notebook somewhere safe.
To organize your list, divide your notebook into sessions, each representing a room and a list of supplies stored inside. Draw columns for the kind of supply, room, and the specific spot where you hid it.
2. Utilize every inch of space.
Your apartment may seem small, but check if you’re making the most out of every available space. For a limited space, you can either use stackable plastic bins or simply install a tall shelving for just a few boxes. If you don’t want people to know what you’re storing, use opaque storage bins if you’re using an open shelf.
Here are some of the storage areas in your house that you can maximize:
- Under the bed – You can store plastic bins here for storing blankets, winter supplies, and more.
- Overhead crawl spaces – These spaces are perfect for storing non-perishables, toiletries, hygiene, and first aid items. It’s not advisable to store food items here because these spaces aren’t usually temperature-regulated.
- Behind furniture – Store anything you can fit in there.
- Overhead shelving – If you have high ceilings, add some extra shelving. You may hide it with pretty curtains.
- Medicine cabinets – This small cabinet has a high level of storage potential if you organize it right. You’ll be surprised about how many medicines, ointments, and tubes of toothpaste you can fit in here.
- Under the kitchen or bathroom sink – Store items like toiletries and medical kits in plastic containers, then put it beneath the sink. Remember to avoid storing clothes and food in areas where there’s a great chance of a leak.
- Suitcases and backpacks – Fill up your suitcases and backpacks with clothes, toiletries, medical supplies, blankets, food, and water. This way, you can simply pick up your suitcase or backpack and leave with everything you need.
- Behind the books – Store cans of food or bottles of water behind your books. Most bookshelves are wide enough, creating a gap between your books and the back of the shelf.
- Back of closet doors – Attach hooks or shoe bags at the back of closet doors, and fill the pockets with food and snacks. Make sure the items you put are not too heavy as it might tear the pockets.
- Car – Check out the trunk of your car. You can store extra clothes and non-perishable items in there, so when a disaster happens, you can easily jump in the car and evacuate.
- Allotted storage space – Some apartments and condos have an external storage unit. You can put your supplies in opaque plastic bins in here.
3. Think of compact ways to store food and supplies.
Since space is a premium, always think of ways on how to save it while stocking up.
Instead of storing too much canned and boxed food (which takes up a lot of space), consider storing dehydrated food. There are food buckets with several meals’ worth of dehydrated packets in it, or you can simply dehydrate your own food, seal it in plastic bags, then make your own food buckets. You may also store your dried goods in the bags. A sealed bag of pancake mix takes up less space than a box, and it helps the product stay fresh longer. You can buy 5-gallon food-grade buckets or ask them from local restaurants. Take note of the expiration dates, though – even the best dehydrated and sealed food still expires. Rotate if needed.
Also, instead of storing hundreds of gallons of water, store an amount that’s just enough for a few days. Supplement with purification tablets. It can give you extra gallons of water per bag that you can fill before SHTF.
4. Ensure water supply.
Speaking of water, it’s the most crucial resource for every prepper. You can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water. The problem is, it’s not easy to store them like food. Read here for some tips on how to store emergency drinking water.
5. Make the most out of containers and organizers.
Some people throw away plastic bottles, lunch boxes, shoe boxes, organizers, and plastic containers, but it’s a waste because they can still be useful. Also, it will help if you recycle or reuse them to lessen trash. With proper organization, there are so many things you can store in them. Here are some tips for reusing old containers:
- Don’t just throw away sturdy plastic bottles. Clean it and fill it with drinking water.
- Use old boxes for organizing your pantry. And as you organize, you can have the opportunity to clear out any expired products you may be storing, and make room for fresher supplies.
- Store emergency kits in shoe boxes and make sure you keep one in every room.
- Lunch boxes are not just great for storing food. You can also store medical supplies and toiletries in them, especially for older lunch boxes. If there are kids in your home, prepare one for each of them and instruct them to keep it within reach always.
6. Add cubes to put into your bookcases.
Depending on the size of your bookshelves, you can invest in decorative storage cubes to match your décor while storing small prepper items. You can get these boxes in wood, canvas, woven, and all sorts of finishes.