Organization of Preps : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I noticed that Big Dog had listed possible ideas for future discussions for the few remaining months. I have piced the Organization of Preps to share what I have done, and to get a few hints from others of you.

So, let me first say what I have done. I have collected a bunch of boxes from work that the paper we use comes in. Every business gets them for their copiers and printers. I have filled these boxes up, making sure to write the contents on the outside of the box. I have taken over the closet in my son's room to be my major stash point. I have stacked the boxes, with the written contents facing toward the door. Now, this is an older house, so the closet isn't a walk-in closet. I am amazed at how much food I have packed into these boxes in that closet. There is at least 6 months of food there. But don't worry about his clothes, they are mostly in his chest of drawers.

Also, I have recently taken to storing boxes in my sewing room. I also have been putting boxes of some of my canned food under my table which I use for cutting. It's getting kind of hard to walk in there, but no one goes in that room but me and maybe a cat.

Next, I have a small shelf that lines the top of my cabinets in the kitchen. I have taken all of my "junk" down from there and packed it up for later, after the crisis is over. I have lined this small shelf with some of the food that I have canned. It is actually quite attractive. I have had numerous comments on it from my guests, as they complement me on being such a wonder woman. I do get quite a few questions about the jars of hamburger rocks up there, and have even rehydrated some for tasting.

That is how I'm doing it, what about you? Give me more ideas. I don't want to have to make bean bags out of beans.....

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 07, 1999


I made a spreadsheet to track my supplies, so I could do a quick check on what I have bought and what I keep meaning to. Sometimes the mind forgets what is stored in the back closet.

-- Artful Dodger (, October 07, 1999.

I'm getting desperate, even after installing shelving all over the spare bedroom. Hey, we don't have a garage, only a carport! Today I made a "litter box hideaway," from plywood and 1 x 4s, which holds two large litterboxes on the 2nd shelf (shelf is lined with Con-tac paper for easy clean-up) and stores a very large plastic tote containing lots of dry catfood on the first shelf. The top is hinged and doubles as a kitty lounging area.

I made this thing primarily so I wouldn't have to bend down to clean out litter boxes (very creaky knees), but had the bright idea of adding storage underneath. There'll be room for a few boxes of Scoop-Away too. I'm already planning a second litter box hideaway for the remaining two litter boxes. And I think I'd like to add casters to both hideaways.

All I can say is, "Think vertical!" What do you have that can be elevated or elevated even more, to provide storage underneath? A bedroom TV? A linen chest?

Cases of catfood fit nicely under a sofa and a dresser. The others are flat to the floor--but I wonder if I can build plywood platforms to elevate them. . .? Oh and I have light stuff in plastic bags hanging from hooks in the closet ceiling.

I wonder how much it would cost to add a second story to this house?

-- Old Git (, October 07, 1999.

Old Git, my kind of prepper, vertical indeed! That is the main way I have stored everything.

We (my family home) is very large but having some unique needs for space, my particular space is limited. I built a 2nd story on this house and that area is my home, it is loaded with preps. I raised the bed on blocks to get storage boxes and single items into every square inch. I had an extra door to outside that was never used and purchased free standing shelving (got filled up immediately). I have tucked in every space in drawers, cupboards (loaded most of my dishes and cookware and stored in the garage so as not to expose food to temperature extremes). My mother will store some stuff and says she is GI, but I suppose since it is hard for her to really understand the urgency, she does not want her ordinary way of storing and doing things disrupted (the family, or neighbors might not think she lives in house beautiful, understandable, but irritating - and I love her!)

So I try to find work arounds. I even stored under my typewriter stand and straddle to do any typing work. I have moved books to boxes and put them up on pallets in the shop so as to use the bookcase. Running out of room and ideas, glad this thread was started. ;-)

-- Sammie Davis (, October 08, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

I have a (non public) web page where I keep a list of various local types of stores and what I need from each one. It's something like a grocery list, except that it includes sections for stores such as: builder supply, drugstore, nursery, hardware store, box store, walmart, radio shack, camping store, military surplus, office supply...

Whenever I think of something that I definitely want to buy, or anything graduates from , I put it on that list in the most likely catagor(ies). Then, whenever I go somewhere, I try to also stop off at at least one of these stores, so as to come home with a full trunk whenever possible.

Inside my house is what I think of as prep constipation. I haven't yet gotten the processing down to a JIT science. You can't just go get the stuff. More than half the battle is digesting it so that we'll be able to actually find what we need.

My method so far has been to pack everything into 72-hour kits. Each kit consists of a bag of 21 cans (variety), a mason box of 12 half-pint jars, another box (storebought jars cushioned with toiletries), and a bucket of dry foods. In each container (except for the mason box, I put several settings of paper plates and plasticware.

I make up in advance baggies of necessities, variety packs of staples & spices, so that once the bulky items arrive from the store, everything can be shuffled into boxes as efficiently as possible. This helps for living in a DGI household, where the mess is less than appreciated (to put it mildly).

My thought is that in case of a home invasion, we would want to display a minimum of preparations. Each day we would retrieve only one item from storage (a box, a bucket, or a bag), and thus only 72-hours total would be visable at any one time.

My goal is to have the house pulled together to such a point that I can throw a little kiddy birthday party here in mid-December, and nobody will be the wiser. We're not anywhere near that point, now.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 08, 1999.

I had an old coal bin about 12" by 5" in the basement--I got insulation and wrapped the inside and then bought 8 of those knock together shelves (with slots for the shelves and you just hammer them together) for about $8 apiece. Stacked some and Put dry stuff like beans, rice etc in buckets and laid them on their sides on the shelves---this old house also had a small pantry that was not very efficient so I constructed a ventilating system with dryer hose to cool it down and have my produce (not potatos) there plus my canning goods that I can't squeeze into the coal bin--am able to keep the temp about right in both. I have a card system for inventory--did this when I discovered I had bought and squirlled awway about a 45 gal metal garbage can full of pasta--(all over the house). THis got me very embarrassed and then organized! I do have 2 metal garbage cans for stuff that is too vulnerable and attractive to mice. I am very friendly with the neighborhood cats(when they come to visit I feed them a little)--they are keeping the mice out of my house. ONe has already brought me a mouse--I suppose that is cat language for thankyou?

-- catherine plamondon (, October 08, 1999.

Catherine, there is a school of thought that believes when a cat brings you an offering, it is trying to teach you to hunt for yourself! Which reminds me--I may have a possible solution for mice in no-cat households. We have a male cat who, when frghtened or upset (as when I use a power tool in the house), will sometimes spray. PetsMart stocks this great stuff with pheromones in it; that is, you put it in a spray bottle and pre-spray likely spots, although you can do it after the fact and it deodorizes too. The cat sniffs the spot, smells that it's been taken care of already, and doesn't spray. This stuff doesn't contain the awful ammonia odor, only the pertinent pheromone, which is not nearly so bad. I wonder if a mouse would think a cat had been around if he smelled it? Worth a shot with those in the attic. I've been afraid to look for fear of seeing fresh droppings but I must bite the bullet. If so, I shall next try the pheromone stuff. (It comes in an opaque plastic bottle with a noisy pink and purple design.)

Now--a confession. Last night I came across a forgotten box of crackers plainly felt-tip marked, "X 1/99." Sure enough, no mistake, I checked the printed expiration date and it was 1/99. They had not been packed in anything but their original wrappings. Eaten plain they tasted a bit stale but I crumbled them into some hot chili and they were fine. Not the equal of a fresh crusty baguette from the local whole foods bakery but certainly a great inmprovement over nothing. (Stomach is fine this morning!)

-- Old Git (, October 08, 1999.

My husband has done a good job of labeling and storing food on racks in the basement, but other than that, we have "stuff" everywhere. Toilet paper clogs the top of the bathroom closet, tampons and pads are in every nook and cranny, the unused bedroom is a mishmash of Y2K items and stored suitcases. I'm counting on having plenty of time to hunt for what I know is somewhere in the house or garage. This is the hazard of having lots of storage space; you aren't forced to be orderly.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, October 08, 1999.

Od Git...

Re: Stale crackers

If you unwrap them, spread them out on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for several minutes at about 275 degrees, they will freshen up completely. I personally like my crackers a little bit more "browned" than they normally are, so I increase the heat to 350 and watch them closely so they don't get too brown.


-- Gerald R. Cox (, October 08, 1999.

The best storage that even beats the xerox boxes is the 22 gallon Rubbermaid Containers. They are _relatively_ rodent proof, absolutely water proof/resistant (unless submerged!) and hold a pile of dry goods. They also have those nice pre-formed handles to assist with toting them, and they can be stacked X2 high which helps with saving on the storage space. And you can't beat the price $4.00 a shot on sale regularly at Wally-world, Ames, ectectect. And, if nothing does come about, I still have some fantastic storage boxes.

-- Billy-Boy (, October 08, 1999.

The cheapest rodent-proof storage is a used tin trunk from Goodwill for $8-10. Bug-proof the contents by putting everything in plastic bags, maybe with dessicant packets. One tin trunk holds a whole lot of stuff.

The second choice (cheaper, but not quite so neat) is used metal wastebaskets. To rodent-proof it, lay a metal shelf (yard sale, junkyard, whatever) of two wastebaskets side by side, and weight it with a brick. Even better, weight the first shelf with two MORE wastebaskets and then another shelf and a brick.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), October 08, 1999.

I have a spare bedroom with no furniture in it. (It is usually used as a foster kitten room.) I am no where near organized yet but most of my dry foods are in those large plastic storage containers from WalMart. They are not airtight but as I packed them, I sprinkled bay leaves in with the goods. This was mentioned here but I thought it bears repeating. Apparently, the bay leaves deter bugs. So far, so good. My beans were transferred to one-gallon ziplock bags and stored here. Easily handled amounts.

I feel a little nervous that almost all my preps are in one room, but as stated above, in a DGI household, it makes for a more peaceful environment, not having everything in constant view.

-- dakota (, October 08, 1999.

I keep tabs of stuff on a spreadsheet. I went through the nonsense of having stuff everywhere, finally got it organized (what a battle!!!), and put into about 5 different places, including attic storage for TP, toiletries and other stuff that doesn't mind heat. When I got most of the stuff put away I had to inventory it to make sure I had everything. Now, my wife 'signs out' food that is put into use so that I know to replace it, and I can keep the inventory current.

-- de (, October 08, 1999.

I first emptied the small linen closet and made it my food pantry,used the cats bedroom(with a bed and other furniture)for storage,under the couch and beds.My girlfriend is coming out for a week from California and will have to sleep on the couch!She is also going to help me get organized.At first I kept a good list of what I had bought,then slacked off.I'm sure I will also find that I have more then enough pasta.If you are storing dry cat food,I keep it in the original large bags and put them in a new plastic trash can(with a snap on type lid)in the garage.The skunk and possum can't get into it.

-- Maggie (, October 09, 1999.

Has anyone else resorted to hanging relatively lightweight items in plastic grocery bags from hooks in the ceiling? I'm getting desperate. Bought another shelf at a yard sale today. But also bought more wine and started on the liquor stash. Does anyone know how many cans, jars and bottles the average 60s ranch 12 x 12 bedroom can take? Are these creaks in the floor new, or is it just my overworked imagination? I have visions of us all disappearing into the crawl space, a la some Mel Brooks movie. I guess if that happens, I'll just shrug and be grateful for the extra storage space-and check the insurance policy fine print. Must remember to store the wine and liquor in a sturdy corner where they'll be safe from any collapse.

-- Old Git (, October 10, 1999.

Old Git,

Having had a drink or two myself this evening.... Might I suggest buying it by the case? If it is wine, turn it on it's side. That is the last prep item that I really need at this point. I guess no point putting it off any longer.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 10, 1999.

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