Sunday, August 1, 2010

Storage Space

Hi FerFAL,
Thank you so much for your great blog and book. I finished your book about 2 weeks ago and have been reading your blog too. I have a question about storage. I currently live in a condo, but I want to stock food and water supplies. I can only store so much in my place because there is not a lot of room. Are there storage lockers in Argentina that people used before the collapse. I’m interested in renting out a storage locker to store food and water in, but I’m worried that once the collapse happens, the storage facilities would be the first thing that gets looted. What happened with these places in Argentina.

Hi, thanks for your email, glad oyu liked it.
Yes, I’d be very cautious about storage units. Not only do they cost money, they also can be broken into and it also means that your supplies aren’t directly under your control and that makes all the difference in the world at the time when: a) you want to bug in and cant afford to risk going outside or b) you want to leave your location as fast as possible because some event is forcing you to do so and you cant afford to waste a second. Because of this, I wouldn’t want to go that route.

No, in Argentina we don’t have storage units like the ones you guys have. Ours are mostly located near docks and storage space for furniture and such isn’t at all common. People here don’t trust that kind of setup.
I’ve lived in condos before and space is an issue. Having said that, more often than not there’s still lots of space. Try emptying your closet of all the clothes you don’t need, check every storage space you have for stuff that you simply don’t need. You can donate the extra stuff or sell it to finance more preps. I usually give adult clothes to people on the street, I take baby and children clothes as well as toys to an orphan home near by. Just like survival mindset, charity also begins today, unlike some people that boast of how charitable they will be once the refugees show up at their door. Its most convenient the chances of that occurring for real are almost non-existent.

A small note about charity since I brought it up. Don’t ever give food or anything else away from your home, go to the places where its needed and deliver it yourself. Believe me, I’ve learned it the hard way. Not only are you doing it in a way in which its divided among those that need it the most, but you also avoid painting a bullseye on yourself as the guy that has stuff to spare. The word alone getting out that you are charitable will mean people knocking on your door on daily basis and having people asking for food, sometimes more than you can spare. Its sad when this happens, specially when it comes to children. Avoid those situations by not doing charity from your front door.Due to the recession, this is something coming to your average American town, sooner rather than later. Remember it.

As I was saying before I drifted, sell the stuff you don’t need, throw the trash. Haven’t used something in the last 12 months? Chances are that you don’t need it, so sell it. Even the average clean looking house that isn’t over stuffed with stuff easily has 500 or 1000 bucks worth of unnecessary items.
I remember one time, I bought a fine home alarm system by selling a used xbox videogame console. Think about that next time I mention an alarm, a safe, or burglar proof security door. Most likely you have stuff you could easily sell on ebay or just the nearest pawn shop and finance something much more important for your security, without spending a single dollar or even having some cash to spare.
Under the bed is also a good place to store food and water. Use 2 liter soda bottles, these can be had for almost nothing and you can store water there for years as long as its in room temp conditions and away from sunlight.

Take a good look at your closet, chances are that you could store several months worth of food just by adding a few shelves to take advantage of the space better. I’ve stored food in mine for many years, using supermarket food stored in cardboard boxes and rotating it. Check it often if bugs are a problem in your location.

If you’re really space challenged, you can look into your furniture. The mattress sitting on a ammo case springbox is a bit extreme but I know one guy that actually did it. You could easily build or buy a bed that is a bit higher than average and that leaves you lots of cubic feet underneath for storage.
I have a trunk that at some time was decoration, other times it was used as a table and there’s lots of space inside for storage.

If all that fails, instead of using a storage unit, I’d rather store it at my parents house or some other family member or friend whom you trust enough. Buried catches sometimes work, but make sure you can get to them when needed, that they are stored properly (buckets with good lids).
Having said all this, take advantage of every cubic feet you have. During an emergency or SHTF event, the key will be having your supplies at hand under your direct control.



Ryan said...

At one point toward the end of college I rented a bedroom to live in. I had a month of water for 2 people, food for 3 months x2 and enough ammo to fight a small war under my queen sized bed. It sat a bit high but worked fine and was there if I had needed it.

Maldek said...

Hi FerFal,

thats a fantastic example of the difference FerFal and joe average about his age in EUSA:

" by selling a used xbox ...and finance something much more important for your security"

"I need security so people dont steal my Xbox"

Anonymous said...

Store only as much as can be stored in your residence, the balance of funds can go into gold and silver. Moving supplies in later, all at once and at the time it's needed can only alert the neighbors and be very risky in the process. Of course that won't be the case as the wife is hopefully supportive. If not, that's when a small storage unit, the last resort, might be necessary. If so, have the means to move it quickly. A secure enclosed trailer might be worth the price.


Anonymous said...

Here is a good storage space idea:

My husband just built me a window-seat to fit under a bedroom window with a high sill. Now I can sit and look out the window, and I've also gained lots of storage space under it.

It was cheap to make: a few 2x4 boards and two shipping pallets. I covered the ugly lumber with a pretty skirt made from a bed sheet, and we cushioned the seat with a twin-bed mattress that we got from a friend. Total cost was well under $20.

Anonymous said...

Some ideas:


1. Adjustable bed risers, for example these from Walmart:

2. You'll want to hide that ugly pile under your bed, so get an extra long bedskirt, like this:

Don't worry about the inconvenience of climbing into and out of an extra high bed. It's balanced by the convenience and your wife/girlfriend will find out soon enough.


3. If your condo has a patio or small deck, consider an outdoor storage bench like this: An ideal place to store your propane camp stove and a few bottles of propane, outside.


4. When storing water, remember that smaller bottles are easier to find space for. Consider buying cases of 16-oz bottles, and packing the bottles around the plumbing under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

5. Get a dining table with storage underneath, like this: Move some of your kitchen equipment out of your base cabinets and put it there. Make it the equipment that you use at the table: cheese grater, pepper mill, iced tea pitcher, coffee press, ceramic teapot.

Hopefully you just made some room in your kitchen base cabinets. With that extra room, store gallon jugs of water all the way in the back. Then put a piece of sturdy cardboard in front of them, so your pots and pans don't bash into the bottles and puncture them. Put a big date on the cardboard if you want, so you remember to rotate them out. Now you only have the front 15 inches of cabinet shelf for kitchen equipment, but, if it lives all the way in the back of your base cabinet, you weren't using it anyway. So move some of that kitchen gear to the dining room table storage, or get rid of it. By the way, a standard 30 inch wide kitchen cabinet (two doors wide) can hold four gallon jugs across.

Hope these few suggestions get you started.

Anonymous said...

Regarding giving stuff away at home:

During the great depression, my grandmother would give handouts to the occasional hobo (migrant worker).

She asked one of them how they knew to ask her, and he told her that there were coded marks on the sidewalk or street that told folks that this was a good place for a meal.

He asked her if she wanted him to erase the marks, and she told him to leave them. I guess times and people were different, back then. They did alright running a boarding house, with an interest-only loan payment, and good credit with the local butcher. She was a good cook, so everybody ate well at their house.

I suppose today that would be a good way to get robbed, but there wasn't that much to steal - the house didn't belong to them, and until it was cooked, the food was not worth that much. I suppose somebody could steal the furniture, or the pots and pans, but everything else was at the bank.