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4 Steps to Organizing Long Term Food Storage

If you are interested in food storage, or are actively building up your long term food storage, then it is important to be organized so that your food is properly stored and inventoried. These tips will help you get organized and get the most out of your food storage.


Label

When you are building up your food storage, it is very important to label your containers. Whether you are using five-gallon food grade containers or plastic totes to store your food, take the time to clearly label each item and/or container with the expiration date. When you store food long term, you need to rotate the food as you buy new food so that you are not storing or consuming expired food.

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Inventory

As you label items and add cans and boxes to your food storage supply, you may find it helpful to start an inventory list to help keep track of what you have on hand.

Your inventory list can be kept on your computer or in a notebook. Make a note of what you have, how many of that item you have, and expiration dates. As you remove an item from your food storage, mark that item off your inventory list so that you always know what you have on hand.

Organize

When you are ready to organize your food storage items, it may help to place the items into categories such as wheat, rice, beans, vegetables, fruits, etc. Group like items together so that they are easier to find.

After you have grouped your food items, place them in order by expiration date so that you use up the oldest items first.

Storage

If you do not have a large pantry, or even if you have a pantry in your kitchen but you have run out of room, then you may have to get creative when looking for places to store your long term food storage items.

Although the garage seems like the best choice for storing extra food, it is not a good idea to store food in the garage unless your garage is temperature controlled. It is recommended that food items be stored at a temperature between 50 and 70 degrees in order to be safe to consume. High temperatures will also reduce the shelf life of your food. There are, however, many items that are safe to store in the garage, such as toilet paper and paper towels.

Be creative when you are looking for extra storage space. Many people store extra food in totes under beds. If you have an extra bedroom, you could convert the whole bedroom into a food storage room.

Another alternative place for food storage is a coat closet. Many people have started hanging their coats in their clothes closets and have remodeled coat closets into very functional food storage areas.

When storing food long term, it is a good idea to think about where you are going to store everything and how you are going to keep track of your food inventory before you go out and start stocking up your pantry. A little planning ahead of time will save you a lot of space and organizational problems in the future.

Copyright 2013, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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