How And Where Do You Store All Of Your Preps?


“Wow, where do you keep all these things??? We own a house, but i think we would need a warehouse to store all the staff you suggest people keep!”

The quote above is one that I read now and again here on Modern Survival Blog’s comment section… It’s a great question and no doubt is an issue for many of you out there.

How and where do you store all your ‘stuff’?
How creative do you get?

There’s only so much cubic footage in one’s home.

Those among us who are preparedness-minded tend to keep an inventory of extra food, supplies, and any other such tangibles that are deemed essential for ‘just in case’ and/or as part of a way-of-life which simply requires keeping various inventories on hand. However this often presents the issue of where to put it all – where to keep it.

It obviously becomes more challenging the smaller space that you occupy, or if you live in an apartment, or even if you live in a house or property that’s ‘square-foot challenged’.

Not only might it be a problem to physically store one’s tangible preps, but additionally how does one maintain OPSEC (operational security) from prying eyes? It’s a challenge, yes?

A few ideas come to mind, however the purpose is to comment with your own suggestions which may help others with this issue…

-build an ‘out building’ (shed?)
-basement (if you have one)
-space under the bed (beds)
-behind furniture
-under furniture

Note: Maybe you give up certain ‘non-essentials’ in your home and the space they occupy for something that may be more ‘essential’.

Note: Food storage should be kept in a cool, dry environment – which often negates a garage, the attic, or outdoor shed building – thus creating a greater challenge.

One example of being creative with hiding some food storage preps…
During a time when we lived in a smaller home, I kept twelve 5-gallon buckets behind a couch. I had a row of six buckets across – stacked two high. I covered (draped) them with a fabric which matched (blended) with the couch color. I placed a proper size board across the top which I had stained/finished as a nice looking shelf (I shimmed it to bring to the similar height of the couch back). The shelf board turned out to be a convenient practical thing, and it served to hide all those buckets of food storage.

1. How and where do you store your preps?
2. How do you deal with OPSEC?


  1. I saw a suggestion to store TP in the attic (using its insulating qualities). We may do that this week to free up the under-the-stairs storage. We store canned goods under the beds. Our guest room closet is our deep pantry.

  2. If you have stairs in your house odds are the space underneath them is perfectly open, just sealed up behind some drywall.

  3. We are in a four room apartment so to say we have limited space is being kind. I have boxes of stuff under tables and stacked in the one spare room my girl friend is disabled and we have all kinds of people coming in and out so Opsec is pretty much not there at all and there really ain’t much I do about it. I don’t think I learned how to dry food years ago so every chance I get I’m using the dehydrator. Either I’m drying onions or something so to limit the amount of space is taken up.

    1. @kevin,

      Thanks for your comment. Dehydrating really is a fantastic space saving solution, though I had only thought of it in terms of a great way to keep food long term. It’s amazing how much less space food takes when dehydrated!

      1. Every year I go to the public market and buy 50 pound bag of onions and dry as much as I can. As soon as tomatoes come in season I’m always buying those as well. Those however I buy what’s called the SECONDS, the ones that are either starting to go bad or have some kind defect in em. And I just read an article about the HEALTH benefits of onions. If you dry onions you can get a 50 pound bag in 6 or 7 baggies.

        1. If you had a garden it would save you money on the tomatos & other veggies.

  4. I am fortunate to have an extra bedroom. Food and water store there. Camping equipment, stoves, tools etc., out in the shed. You would be amazed how many 5 gal buckets you can stack in a closet. I am more worried about their weight than taking up the space. Also keeps them cool and in the dark along with the # 10 cans. I really don’t store a lot of canned goods as I don’t eat them much. Hate canned veggies so I have freeze dried in case I need them. Home canned meats and stuff are stored in a cupboard in the kitchen. I can get about 80 pints in there.

  5. Our stuff is kinda located in a variety of areas in the house. But most of the food storage is in my closet. I’m considering digging a hole in the backyard. Gotta get clever.

  6. Unfortunately one match is all it take to destroy anything stored in a home or any other structure. Not to mention tornadoes, hurricanes, burglars, etc. All mine are underground in various locations, stored in pvc, or five gallon buckets from home depot. Throw some mothballs down before you put the dirt back in the hole and it’ll keep the critters away.

    I also put down a few strands of barbed wired cut in one foot sections to keep the hogs out. We have lots of wild hogs in Texas. Please spread any excess dirt out over a wide area. It’s a good idea to watch the weather forecast and try to bury your stuff just a day before the next big rain is forecast. This makes the disturbed area blend back in a lot quicker.

    Four inch schedule 40 pvc will accept most quart jars. The jars add another layer between the food and the elements, but schedule 40 pvc will last a life time if buried properly. (PS: If you live in the city I can offer no advice other than find a lonely place in the country, deep in the woods and start digging. If you know of any way to do it in the city then go for it. I’m just not well versed on city living). Thanks for your time.

    1. We have a back shed attached to the house with a dirt floor. If I had the energy to clear out the drek that would be a good place.

      1. Please go find the energy, drink a Red Bull or something, ok. Because your life depends on it. Maybe, just maybe, one of your descendants will look towards heaven someday and give thanks that you dug a hole so that they were not prematurely placed in one.

        The positive steps you make now will go on for many generations. Seriously, during TEOTWAWKI, when we lose a man, including me, we just lose a man, but when a woman dies then lineage terminates. Think on that one, and consider just how important your womb is to those of yours that have never been born yet. Please take care of yourself. God bless and thanks.

        1. I see your point, but I had to laugh. Unmarried, no kids, and getting toward too old to have any. I prep for my nieces and nephews, and try to teach them so they’ll have the knowledge they need to survive. I have a few buried “stockpiles,” and I mentioned the shed mainly because there’s not a stockpile there. If there had been, I wouldn’t have said anything. But other people might have similar sheds and start thinking.

        2. High marks for taking care of the nieces and nephews. Commendable, very commendable. thanks

    2. Your first sentence highlights one of my many worries.

      Unfortunately the terrain in my backyard is >50% rocks, digging without adequate shoring is suicide. Doing the job properly would attract too much attention. So I’m stuck with above ground wooden structures.

      I do have several automatic fire extinguishers deployed. Big-ass 40 pounders hanging from the rafters with 155F triggers. Apparently these are quite in demand by indoor pot growers. The intense lighting they use is a significant fire hazard in a place that is not often inhabited. They’ve been buying them, so demand increases, economy of scale comes into play, and down goes the price for all of us.

      Three cheers for the pothead economy??

      1. McGyver…

        you could consider putting up a largish wooden structure, or one of those temporary sort of structures/garages, etc, dig your cellars/storage…

        1. Already done. Insulated with a 10,000 btu chiller running 24/7. That said, it’s only good for a 30 degree drop. Last week when it was 115F, the shed struggled to hold 85F. That is a bit too hot for food items.

          Pier and beam foundation in earthquake country, we’ll never have a cellar.

        2. McGyver…

          No, meant to say, put up structure and dig hole/underground storage/root cellar under cover of said structure. After, structure can be taken down, left, or a smaller shed put up to hide the access.

          Recently read about someone who did this..

        3. Oh I got you. A good idea. Problem is we are at the bottom of a mountain and substantially below-grade. So there would be 6-8 neighbors with a clear, angled view of any activity under or around the temp structure. Plus we have that gigantic decommissioned septic tank under the sweet spot in the backyard where any underground storage might go.

          Additionally, we may one day soon, sell the place and leave. Imagine the realtor listing: “Comes with a cozy non-permitted subterranean bunker”.

        4. Love it all…quite the find for the new purchaser..grin

          I got the idea, from a news article.

          The City Police had a warrant, for some reason, to search a man’s house for stolen goods. Off they went.

          They found nothing….Went outside, and searched a smallish metal shed, (I think about 8 feet by 10), and nothing there either.

          Stumped, the Police were ready to leave…Then one got an idea and pulled up some boards…

          Wow. Huge underground “room” , and tunnel, which led way out into the back alley, thirty or forty feet.

          Neighbors (apparently) had no idea when he had taken the dirt out, none. He had somehow dug this all, removed dirt and re enforced all.

          It was chock full of stolen goods.

        5. Anon, he got on their radar. That’s all it takes. Most likely he had someone inform on him.His mistake was complacency.You want to keep something hid? Have at least 3 layers of camouflage. He had the building and the wood floor. When they pulled the boards they should have been looking at dirt not a hole. The building was the obvious place to look. He was smart and stealth enough to dig it and move the dirt without being seen. Just got lazy to make sure it could pass more than passing scrutiny. I have found many a hidey hole due to Laziness in my previous life. The more layers the better. Once your on their radar expect to be watched. If they talk to neighbors you will be watched and spied upon by them.Especially if they hint of a reward.Bad situation to be in… you have to be patient and wait them out. Be a really boring neighbor for awhile. Then move whatever your hiding because the area is compromised.Because if they have it in their head you are hiding something you will be visited again by someone who will find it. Staying off the radar is so important but if you find yourself on it? Make sure you have multiple layers of camouflage to make it thru the first search. Sometimes the problem is they will expend the time and assets until they find it. Hope it never happens to you or others here…

  7. Our kitchen pantry is huge. We keep alot of food in it and the few people who visit see it if the pantry door gets opened. They are usually in awe and an explanation of 4 kids, canning from our garden and being so far from town is sufficient explanation.

    We keep about 300 gallons of water in the basement along with our food preps, preps for our dog, and any preps needed for hunkering down due to NUKE, chem, or bio attack. The back basement room houses these items. They are stored on shelving systems and are very much out of sight. Medical preps are kept in the drawers and cabinets of a hutch in the dining room. Nonperishable dry goods are kept in the pole barn with all the tools and hardware. Finally, weapons and ammo are strategically hidden throughout the home.

  8. Some rice, beans and pasta are in the closet of my guest bedroom; a few packs of toilet paper and paper towels are in my closet; more tp and paper towels are stored in plain sight on my front porch; some canned goods are in the top shelves of one of my biggest bookcases. Over time, I have purchased five storage cabinets with shelves where I store canned and boxed goods — and try to keep them rotated. My extra water is stored in 2 liter and gallon jugs in my basement. A bunch of #10 cans of FD are in my basement, behind and underneath some boxes of clothing, books, and old pictures, etc.

    My secret hiding place is in plain sight in my living room. There is a peninsula between my kitchen and living room that has a cabinet with a missing handle that is about 2 ft by 2 ft. For a long time I thought it was just the back side of the kitchen cabinets where I store my pots and pans. I figure if I didn’t discover it for 18 months after moving in, probably no one else would. But if the SHTF I could further disguise it by moving my loveseat in front of it. Anyone peeking behind the loveseat wouldn’t see it; it is at the far side of the loveseat next to the wall. Anyone looking at the kitchen cabinets on the other side of the peninsula hopefully wouldn’t think that the “L” where the cabinets beneath the peninsula and the cabinets against the wall conceal the “dead” space that opens to the living room. At least I didn’t for a year and a half.

    I don’t know if I explained that so that everyone can visualize it.

    1. Oh, and I have to keep my dry dog and cat food hidden away in the closet on my [heated and air conditioned] back porch, because the little kitten I rescued a few months ago has sharp claws and keeps scratching through the pet food bags and making a big mess.(I guess he thinks I don’t feed him enough!)

      One gun is in my desk drawer near my front door and the other one is by my bed. Extra ammo is in the guest closet next to the beans, pasta and rice.

      Gardening stuff including next year’s seeds are in my basement.

  9. Recently the oil drilling industry went bust here in Texas and many of the companies just turned out the lights and left town. I went to several of the managers/owners and offered to purchase their empty mobile offices. The offices are highly insulated, wired and have air conditioners. I purchased several of these buildings for pennies on the dollar and used the
    hauling trucks to move the buildings to my ranch. That was part of the deal. My solar power system cools the buildings for free, literally. Security is provided by Leopold 3×9 gold ring and Remington.

  10. I’ve wondered about putting TP and other dry goods in the attic. It easily gets up to 200 degrees up there so I’m not sure if they would deteriorate. More insulation as well as storage.

    1. Lauren,

      I’ve had my tp, Kleenex, and paper towels on my enclosed front porch (no heat or A/C on this porch) for years. It doesn’t get to 200 degrees, but it does get the afternoon sun and it can get 20 or 30 degrees hotter than outside. I can’t see any deterioration of the product, but the plastic can get hot and stick to the plastic of the package above or below or next to it.

      You might try one small package now that the weather is hot and check it every week. But if it really gets to 200, it might pose a fire hazard.

      1. I don’t think a fire hazard as such–paper burns at 451, plastic even hotter. Trying out one package is a good idea.

      2. I’d be concerned about mice having a party in my paper goods. Guess it would still be good insulation :-)

  11. Non-perishable items get stored either in the detached garage or in a 40 foot Shipping Container; 400 rolls of TP takes a lot of room…. LOLOL.

    Perishable (food) is stored in bulk under the house in a 5’high crawl space (cool and dry); I have several racks of shelving built for organization and a very accurate inventory (a MUST). Freezers are in the Garage.

    Medical, soaps, personal, etc. are stored in the house mostly in a walking closet, along with spare clothing, BOB’s and the like.

    Water, well that’s stashed everywhere because of the weight.

    Fuel, 55 gallon drums (Diesel, Gas), ALL-Propane, White-Gas are in a steel plated, lightening proof, ventilated shed.

    Firearms/Ammo, EVERYWHERE, HAHAHAHA, but safely stored ….

    I also have an “off-site” location with about 25% of my stores, something about not keeping all of your eggs in one basket; again a very precise inventory of these items.

    Lastly I keep an compact 18 foot camp-trailer fully stocked, for Bugging Out (in case of fire or some non-EOTWAWKI event) that can be hooked up and towed within minutes.

    Basically OPSEC is not a problem with me, everything is put away somewhere behind closed/locked doors or unexcitable without knowing where to look.

    I would like to add, the most important “prep” you have is your knowledge AND keeping your mouth SHUT!!!! OPSEC is not just a fun acronym; it very well may keep your “stuff” as YOUR stuff and not someone’s that literally TAKES it from you.


  12. As it is “just me”, I use the spare bedroom and call it a pantry. I have a few things in both my room and the computer room. Seems like the bed is about 2″ to low to put much under it. I am slowly using the canned veggies and when they are gone will stay with FD. Water in the garage.

    I can tell ya that if you put much on shelves that are not anchored into a stud that they will make a lot of noise when they fall.

    1. There are little 5 inch or so platforms that you can buy at Walmart to raise your bed up several inches. That would give you the room you need, then put a skirt on your bed.

      1. I tried those and they make the bed to high. I’ve thought about cutting maybe pieces of 2×4. Don’t have anything but a hand saw and I keep putting it off.

  13. No basement here, so have had to get creative. The guest room closet houses all the 5gal grain buckets and dog food preps, as well as ammo for shotgun.

    We had more dinning room cabinets installed to handle all the home canned garden veggies and it is now stacked to the max.

    All this years home canned produce will have to go into the storm shelter. It will make a nice root cellar too. :)

    All the yrs paper storage is in the guest bathtub behind the shower curtain.

    We have several stacks of canned food with tablecloth coverings around the bonus room.

    Canned meat is on shelves in guest room with lovely covering to match the decor.

    The guest bathroom towel cabinets hold the years worth of personal/medical supplies. Under that sink is a years worth of cleaning supplies.

    Under kitchen sink is years work of dish soap supplies. Laundry room holds a years worth of laundry supplies as well as supplies to make home made laundry soap for at least half a year.

    Sewing room holds fabric/notion supplies as well as water storage and other liquid refreshment. Have at least a years worth of boxed tea bags, while I get my tea gardens up and growing.

    The deck holds my chicken feed supplies in attractive plastic tubs that double as tables for outdoor eating.

    and… so it goes. Most is hiding in plain sight.

  14. Nothing special on storage space, pretty typical. Not to rub noses in it, but have more house space than needed after tossing junk, need to downsize.

    Basement: Cabinets (locked) for foods, hygiene. Bins for medical/emergency items, camping cooking gear, freezer storage bags, foils/plastic wrap, freeze dried foods, cleaning liquids/chemical.

    Bins are not marked but different colors. Not too heavy to carry. That way the curious are told just storing old stuff. Locked cabinets keep anyone from poking their nose in it (I say tools), could be pried open easily but if that occurs it’s too late anyway.

    Extra bins for tossing stuff into, grabbing what we can if we have to leave (working on a bigger set of wheels, plus an enclosed trailer).

    Basement off the concrete stacked the bulk items (water, water containers, coolers, paper towels, TP [pitiful amount of TP when compared to some people on this blog]). Dehumidifier for the summer with hose drain going to the house footing drain (could capture and filter if needed).

    Rotated stuff in kitchen cabinets, small pantry.

    Security “items” are spread around.

    Typical outside garden/lawn tools shed. Adding a generator shed.

    Most closets are empty since we cleaned out stuff that was collected during 30 years and would not be useful.

  15. We have no pantry, basement, coat closet or linen closet. So, we spread things between garage storage (we have a reasonably cool climate so as long as I keep rotating inventory then we are okay), plus some kitchen storage and the closet floor in our spare bedroom. Extra candles, flashlights, paper goods and some 1st aid items in dining room hutch (after cleaning out and donating a lot of unused placements and other linens).

    Defense items in various locations. 1st aid items spread around with main duffel in spare bedroom closet. Not much room under beds, but can get a little bit under there. Water in all closets to spread it around. I am constantly looking for nooks and crannies I can use and still keep things out of plain sight.

  16. 60% already at Bug out Retreat.
    10% at friends/relatives that live along bug out routes in a rural setting.
    15% buried in several locations.
    15% at residence to be moved.

    Guns, ammo, gasoline, food/water, cooking, fire starting supplies, clothing,
    first aid, alternate power sources at each of the above.

    I have also made plans for another site with trusted friends in the event that my Bug Out Retreat is overrun.

    The future events are unknown and our ability to survive may depend on our ability to adapt and overcome. I’ve tried to mentally prepare by planning flexibility options. It might be what I haven’t prepared for that brings me down, but not without a fight. Like so many have mentioned knowledge will make a huge difference. An individual group of multiple talents should stand a much better chance of survival. So if you haven’t joined a group yet, please consider doing so ASAP. It might prove to be the most important prep to make.

  17. Mostly in my garage and man-cave. My wife gives me grief about the mess in my man-cave but this is the first time I’ve ever had one.(go easy on me Sister!) Guns and most ammo are inside the house, canned food is in the garage. TP and soap is in the garage. Cleaning supplies are in the bathrooms. Pet food is in the pantry or garage. Guns not locked in a security cabinet are generally stored high off the floor (6 feet) to avoid cold air and temperature extremes. (Also a good guideline for the occasional small child that wanders through.)

  18. To increase under-bed storage consider buying ‘risers’ to place under each leg. And/or, I’ve found Rubbermaid type storage containers that are long rectangles short in height that fit under some beds. Some of these can be found with wheels that will help on wood or short pile carpet. Items that don’t require rotation go up at the head end since they’ll by blocked to easy access by bedside tables. A big bedspread or dust ruffle hides everything. A dust ruffle doesn’t have to be frilly, they make plain ones ;)

  19. Most “box springs” don’t have springs anymore, just a fancy padded box to set your mattress on. You can easily pull out the staples that hold the fabric to the underside, fill with light weight items, and staple the fabric back. If you want to fill it with #10 cans of light weight FD food, add a piece of thin paneling to the frame to help support it.
    Another “empty” space is behind the kick boards under your cabinets. A little tricky to access, but if you are handy, the boards can be attached with magnet latches and no one would be the wiser.

  20. Now that it’s mentioned, I’ve been seeing more and more shipping containers on peoples’ property lately, and haven’t thought much about it.
    BOING! Now the light goes on. ‘So that’s what’s it’s all about!’

  21. My stuff is stored all over my house and I’ve had to stack stuff where there would otherwise be nothing but extra floor space to vacuum (dining room, living room, bedrooms, closets, den room.)

    After hearing all kinds of opinions over the years about where to keep my preps, I have come to realize that it all has to do with your location and climate.

    For my climate (hot and wet) I have developed four rules about storage.

    1. Nothing but junk goes into the attic because it’s too hot (PERIOD.) Even toilet paper will deteriorate after being stored for long periods in a hot attic.

    2. Nothing goes outside whether it’s in a crawl space under the house or in a non climate controlled shed because it’s also too hot as well as wet and infested with all manner of creatures (rodents, roaches, termites etc…) who all enjoy gnawing and crapping on everything. Think about how disgusting (and unsanitary) it is to have to shake, wipe and wash all the roach, mouse and rat crap off everything stored in the shed before using it, or picking up a case of TP and have it crumble in your hands, or opening a sack of chicken crumbles and find that it is has become a large bag of mold.(I’m speaking from experience on these accounts.) I had to start storing my extra bags of chicken crumbles in the house because of the rodents and humidity. I even had to move a couple bags of NH4 NO3 and (NH4)2S04 fertilizer as well as bulk miracle grow into the house because the high humidity in the shed turns it into water or a brick. I don’t use very much of either so a 50# bag will last a very long time but a 50# bag is expensive and won’t last if stored outside of a climate controlled environment.

    3. All dry perishables (grain, beans, pasta etc) must be kept in closed or sealed buckets, cans or glass jars to keep them from being eaten by moths or weevils.

    4. Food storage must be organized and inventoried. We like to consume our stuff first in, first out so every time we can something we have to do minor re-arrangements in order to get the older stuff up front.. There’s nothing like finding a 14 year old jar of pickles in the back of a bottom shelf even if it is still edible.

    For those of you that live in less hospitable environments and have nice root cellars, or other cool, dry outside storage, consider yourself lucky and blessed.

    My take is that you store your stuff where ever you can within the interior walls of your home. It really doesn’t matter if you have to stack twenty buckets of grain in the living room, against the wall, covered with a sheet or blanket. It doesn’t matter if you have to stack five cases of TP in the corner of the bathroom. It doesn’t matter if you have to store buckets of grain or cases of stuff under every bed in the house. It doesn’t matter if you have to use up half your closet floor space to stack buckets of grain, cases of salt or other dry or non perishable goods. It doesn’t matter if you have to build unsightly (or nice) shelves all along the walls of spare or sparsely used rooms to store all your home canned food. The ONLY thing that matters is that you have something to eat and the tools necessary to defend it either before or after SHTF.

    I’m not so much concerned about the cosmetics of the interior of my home because it’s filled up with preps, as I am about having something for my family to eat or drink before, during or after SHTF. For that matter, regarding home canned goods, it doesn’t even matter whether SHTF or not since we consume daily our home canned goods so there is a constant flow of canned goods going in and out of that area… (our home canned goods, along with our gardens are our grocery store.)

    Use your imagination and good luck to all in finding a place to store your stuff.

  22. We have a 10×12 shed built on a concrete pad, in order to insulate this building we used a product that looks like silver bubble wrap(Lowe’s). It comes in 2 to 4 foot width to line the interior walls of a building. It reflects the heat better than normal insulation. We started with the silver bubble wrap, then normal insulation inside the building, then placed ridge insulation as our wall. It helps when you live in an area that can have summer heat up to 115+ degrees. Have used it on our metal sheds to drop the heat index in them also. Thought those who have outside building this might work for you.

    Our closets are full of beautiful buckets, and the underside of the bed I used a drip pan for vehicles to help slide the packages out for easy reach.

  23. It is way too hot and humid here to put anything in the attic. I can’t even put our Christmas tree up there anymore cause the mice will get into it. The heat just ruins everything. Even though we tried to get rid of them. I am a little scared of poison because we have dogs and other animals. Our house is on a slab, so no storage under it, but the fire ants would get it anyway and the critters. So everything in the house. In different places. Best we can do right now.

    @Lynn that is good idea about the box springs.

    1. Texasgirl

      At the big hardware sort of stores, you can buy these things that have a hinged sort of lid, and little holes on each end, put poison in, and lid locks shut. Allows the mice in, take poison, but other stuff cant get in. Might work. Husband also made some wooden ones, similar.

    2. For slightly damp storage on a slab home check out the master bathroom whirl pool tub. Sometimes under it you can bust out the concrete and dig out a bunker. You can increase the size of the bunker or storage area by digging so far and then continuing to add steel tube (Home Depot) supports. Metal pipe supports can be installed with concrete foundations poured loosely into holes where the support will go. A fan can be run into the whirlpool tub drain. The cold water can be rerouted into a cold water faucet for the bunker. Because the house has a foundation you can dig large areas with supports. As big as you want. You can build a wooden ladder to stand against the side of the bunker to climb in and out. You can also build it so the tub can be quickly replaced over the top of the opening as the last person or the last supplies is placed in it. Just an idea I saw done once.

  24. There is a big difference between being out of sight and being hidden.

    I have hidden 600 #10 cans in walls in a Las Vegas home before. My friend had a 4 year contract there so he wanted to store supplies in the house he bought. Conventional homes are difficult to borrow sq. Footage without being noticed. We borrowed 5 inches only out of each room. First we removed the drywall from the walls.That opens up 3 1/2 “. We built the walls out with 2×4’s. Now we had 7″ #10 cans will fit in that space. Now there’s 14 1/2″ in the space between studs. 26 #10 cans fit in each space. Ran plastic plumbers strap across the framing to hold cans in place.. moved the electric plugs out to the new framing. Brought in 3/4” plywood cut to fit walls. He had saved all the weathered wood from the privacy fence he replaced.

    We placed the wood in random pattern on the ply wood making sure the middle plywood had all the rows overhanging to the other 2 sides so the center piece could be removed first without removing any of the fence wood. Made a south western style accent wall to hang knick knacks on. Looked great and neighbors and family had no idea what was behind the wall. He just kept the a/c on all the time. We did it all in a long day. After he sold the house he and his wife removed all the supplies, boxed them up and replaced the walls in under 5 hours. Just one way to hide in plain site.

    The underlying concern I’m hearing is that the new Gov. career jobs will be thugs looking for your “contraband “. People are placing long term caches. I just helped folks who are putting 20 year F.D. food away for Grandchildren not even born yet. Hope those kids appreciate their Grandparents sacrifices…

    1. Holy crap! THAT is impressive. Not to be a “negative ninny”, but have you considered some of this new millimeter wave and back scatter imaging that grew our of airport security theater?

      Rumors have been persistent for years that police and the like now have the ability to drive a van down the street and see through walls. Authorities have consistently denied having or using the tech. But there was an interesting case in Texas a few years back where a homeowner, sick of police harassment, and his lawyer set a trap for the local PD drug unit. They covered all the windows and placed potted 3-4 foot baby Christmas trees around the house with high intensity lights over each one.

      Within a couple of days black-clad Ninja/SWAT/Tacticool/steroid guys bashed the front door down screaming and yelling, waving guns around. They found the lawyer sitting in a rocking chair, between the evergreens and lighting fixtures. Said he: “Hi guys, we’ve been expecting you.”

      That story got buried pretty quick, but the concern remains.

      1. I’ve heard the stories and have no reason no to believe them. I know that if you are pulled over and have money on you and they conveniently decide your a trafficker they can pull all money from you bank account. I mean they can take it ‘right now’ while your sitting road side.

        1. aka

          I have also read several news reports, that if you have on you any of those Visa “Cash” cards (or other cash cards) it is perfectly legal for the police to scan these cards (they must have a machine in the car?) and transfer the funds to police custody.

        2. Yep. Oklahoma state police have those handheld devices. The 4th amendment died awhile ago.

          Plus now we are in the age of Negative Interest Rates. We can’t have those clever cheaters running around with cash cards that actually RETAIN their value. Why that would be un-American!

          Wait…. whut?

      2. That is crazy!! I have heard from former military that this is a real thing. I can’t believe they can take your cash like that.

      3. Mac, it helps when you are in a gated community. You are right. That usually happens when you have gotten your self on somebody’s radar. 99% of the time somebody’s informed on you and TPTB are willing to expend time and assessment on you. If you’re a low on their list you may garner little or no interest…yet. The problem is if they think you are hiding something of interest (to them)they won’t stop searching til they find something. I didn’t stop. The goal is to stay off their radar at all cost… my article touches on this. Will endeavor to finish it..

  25. Before starting to prepare for ‘whatever’, I really didn’t like this house with 4 BR. The cost–mortgage, property taxes, homeowners–for just two people seemed such a waste. We couldn’t find anything here in 2007 for many reasons and chose this for the windows(so many houses don’t have windows now).

    But now, with the actual ‘sewing room’ (listed on the house plan!!),which is 8 X 8 and two vacant bedrooms, I think God was watching our for us…again!

    I guarantee these rooms are serving a grand purpose and I justify not paying a monthly temp-controlled storage room for the extra monthly debt we do pay. Having supplies at hand is heavenly. I do have to remember that even though I don’t need the A/C on lots of times, those rooms do need it.

    Just having space in the garage for (20)30 gallon drums for water eases my mind.I even have one closet I made extra shelves for to keep dehydrated foods and my canned quart/pints.
    I am fortunate for now we have been able to afford this place for 8 years.

    I am puzzled with a neighbor that talks of storing food, has three furnished bedrooms and there is only her and her husband.

    Poorman, I once had 16 buckets of rice (stacked in twos) in one closet. I never even considered the weight!! Not for food, etc., but I made a shelf over one bedroom closet shelf for folded jeans and things. It was wasted space and I used it.

    One thing that utilized space on shelves–I took things like shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. and put in 1 gallon jugs like vinegar comes in! It helped a lot!! Yes, I had that much cheap $1 shampoo and $2 detergent, even though I now use homemade laundry detergent.

    Of all the funds spent, I could have gone on the Alaskan cruise, and visited Canada, and visited Hawaii, and….oh, well.

    I have my priorities in order, starting in 2008. Yep, when the fraud was selected.

    Lauren, had my there for years. It’s fine. We make a point every time we are there to get a 24 pack or two. Mices don’t like cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil; so far, so good.

    AKA, been in your dilemna before having a power miter saw. Know what I did?
    Bought 1/2 inch thick pieces and after cutting desired lengt, stacked them for 2″. More cutting, but feasible for little arms and not much strength.
    Now, need help lifting that bed for those homemade platforms??

    Concern here is what if someone takes everything they can pack.
    I stocked 4 (5) gallon buckets and they are on a 12″ 6 foot slab underneath the house. Best I could do.

  26. Metal containers are great. Problem is every one now associates them with prepping. They are easy to see from the air. People are building faux sheds and roofs over them so they don’t stand out from the air.

    Few years back you could get a view of your property when you went on “under the dome” TV website. Literally in a few seconds there was an overview and a street shot of your place. I put in a house address of a place I had sold 10 years earlier. The street shot had a pic of my truck in the driveway. I again put the address in but from a laptop at a computer store. This time it had a different street shot with the new owners car in it. Now this was just some lousy TV website but their algorithm picked up on my specific computer to show my pic instead of the other one. And people wonder why I’m always cautious…not much they don’t see these days.

  27. My hubby custom-made a solid wood frame for a queen sized bed in the guest room. It holds 24 five-gallon buckets that are covered by plywood. No box spring on the bed, just a little taller than a regular bed and no one can see what’s underneath!

  28. I built a 10 by 15 foot room (well insulated) in my barn with a window air conditioner…set on about 65 degrees…haven’t noticed any larger electric bills…preps stacked to the ceiling…only option in our hot climate.

  29. Re the container idea. 20′ containers are about $1500-2,000 and 40′ about $1500-3,000. Delivery may be extra. If you buy two, dig a hole for the first one and double stack them, you will not need to pour a concrete roof for the one in the ground. The ground one can be coated outside with asphalt. Attaching the containers as they are built to do.

    You can cut out a hidden floor opening in the above ground container and then cut out a roof cutout in the buried unit. They can be attached by steel plating or tubing. This makes for cheap hidden storage below ground where temps will remain lower but not to bad. The upper one insures shade for the lower one and no one will drive over the buried one with the upper one in place. The upper one will require some camo landscaping to hide both being attached to the casual looker.

    Most searching for food and such will have very limited time to search each home and out buildings will receive less eyeballing if at all searched. The air stacks if used for below ground bunker can be run up through the attic of your home to look natural and unnoticed with a small electric in line exhaust fan. Water can be run from the home to the below storage or bunker. Just another idea I am aware of.

    If you have a person with half a brain they can dig and backfill the hole after the unit is placed. A excavator with a front blade can be used. Medium size units rent for about $200.00 per day plus delivery. This is not very expensive for the square footage. Just another idea.

    1. @ CEEBEE

      I would use great caution in burying a shipping container, even if not piling on top. They are not designed to take the lateral loads from dirt placed on the sides. Yes, there are ways to reinforce them, but please us caution.


      1. Thanks. No issue. Welding is second nature. Most people can easily reinforce the sides with angle iron. This is still one of the cheapest ways to prepare.

        1. CEEBEE, I agree they are a fast way to acquire storage. I have overseen the “planting” of quite a few containers that have been reinforced . You have to make sure your layers of camouflage will withstand more than casual scrutiny. This is where most fail. Best to have a plan before you place it. Down to the last detail. Have everything you need before hand. The quicker it’s placed the better chance of not being noticed or found. Anybody can dig a hole. The goal is to not be noticed or ever found out…

  30. just a thought, but several have mentioned they are keeping their preps in good shape, by running an air conditioner….

    hmmm….if shtf, electricity might be in short supply………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

  31. We cannot store tp or any paper products in our attic as the mice will have a field day with it. So most of our preps are stored in the basement. Some are scattered around the house. Some are buried, and still some are camouflaged.

    Since we have so little basement space and people have to go through this area to access things like the furnace, I decided to start camouflaging some of our preps. Just a couple of examples, 5 gallon buckets of food stuff disguised to look like joint compound complete with drywall tools sitting on top of the buckets to complete the illusion. Then other 5 gallon buckets to look like the chemical version of rock salt for the driveway. I printed a label from the internet to tape to the bucket. I wanted to stay away from the rock salt as I feel that would be valuable after a SHTF event. The chemical version not so much.

    I have other examples but would rather not reveal them. The whole idea is to make something look something else. I don’t think anyone will be trying to haul off the “Joint compound” as I don’t think anyone will be doing home improvements after a major event.

    As far as buried, we were careful only to dig when there was a full cloud cover. I know the capabilities of “eyes in the sky” can see everything, but I don’t think they have the capability to see through clouds yet.

    1. A friend of mine went to a display (not open to the public) at a nearby base. They were displaying samples of technology from the 70’s and 80’s. One was a drone built in the 80’s (she didn’t say that, she said “more than 30 years old”) that was designed to hide in the clouds and take pictures of the ground.

      1. Lauren

        I have heard previously, and read, that they had this type of drones (more than 30 yrs ago). In fact, have heard/read, much longer than that.

        I surely makes me wonder, what tech do they “really” have now.

        Surely it is beyond anything we can imagine?

  32. Back yard storage in Desert Climates:

    At my old home in California, I remember storing some things in my backyard beneath a tarp. I never really worried about theft because of the tendency to attract Black Widow Spiders in and around the covered item. It was a great natural security measure though it meant that accessing the item (s) meant decontaminating the site carefully with Black Flag, gloves and long sleeve work clothes. We grew some impressive-sized specimens that way.

  33. We have a food pantry in our extended kitchen. Visitors could see a variety of home-canned foods if the door was open. We have large gardens, no one would think anything other than how we like our self-sufficiency.

    We have a food storage room in the basement w/ floor-to-ceiling shelving on 3 walls. I have peg board on 2 sides of the door’s wall and we hang Mountain house foods there rather than bucket them. One wall is all FD/DH #10 cans. We filled the room up and earlier this year, bought a 5-shelf metal unit to hold more canned foods. It’s on wheels and in front of the FD wall — if I need to access anything there, the roller-shelf is moved temporarily. Works great.

    Some extra foods were moved into my sewing room. All 5-gallon buckets of rice were moved under 2 long sewing tables. All of the sugar buckets were moved to the far corner in my sewing room downstairs.

    Two bedroom closets had make-overs and are food storage areas. Everything stored there is in half-gallon glass jars or the very large plastic jars that stored bulk-buy pretzels. One closet in the master bedroom holds 4 5-gallon buckets of groats.

    We also have a few food caches outside the home. We’ll leave it at that.

    “Food Is Us” lol

    Large TP collection is stored in the basement. It takes up quite a bit of space. Wanted to experiment with a vacuum-sealed bag or two and see how that works or fails. Stored TP bugs me — I worry that mice may chew through plastic for the cotton but so far that hasn’t happened. If we stored any in our sheds or a barn, that would be a big issue.

    Extra propane tanks (25 lbs) are stored in a ‘gas house’ we built — looks similar to an outhouse, not a suspicious building at all out here.

    Water catchment system is outside — can’t hide a 1,000 gallon storage tank from a couple of neighbors but we have big gardens and livestock so no one would suspect anything. Stored drinkable water is under one bed and a shelf of water is in the basement laundry room. Also 2 5-gallon jugs of potable water stored in laundry room.

    Security is an easy reach in every room, plus a security system (while the grid is up). Total fencing around a few acres surrounding the home, with locked gates — anyone at the house-zone is either invited or a trespasser. Remaining acreage all posted for no trespassing/no hunting. Visible posted signage gives us some rights when up against trespassers.

  34. Built 2 storage pantries in the old milk barn for dry goods. Large pantry room in the house, shelf units I built in the office with bi-fold doors. TP in the attic, along with a generous sprinkling of mouse poison pellets.

    Thieves aren’t usually very ambitious, so plastic trash cans in the back of the woodshed, covered with firewood, but accessible by taking off the back panels of the shed.

    Various and sundry other places where work would be required to access.

  35. What is with all the articles today getting people to spill the beans on all they do. And what is with you people giving up the info so easily…the above comments are a grocery list for people you don’t want seeing this stuff. Maybe they can never find you but some idiot is going to take your advise and a looter is going to have their way with them.

    1. It’s all anonymous on this site, so its really not breaking OPSEC. Instead, it’s helping others by presenting ideas for their own storage issues. I appreciate all the comments.

    2. @ Stewedaso & Ken

      AND you will need to get past the other “security measures” including but not limited to the 308, 12ga, and the 45ACP.

      Com-On-Down and join in the fun.


      1. Right?

        And the fencing, and the alarms, and the motion detectors, and 16 cameras on isolated power, and the lights, and the rather large, muscular dog whose bark will cause an unwanted visitor to void their bowels.

        Get past all that, and you might just get to meet me!

        1. @ McGyver

          HAHAHA, Great minds huh???
          After all the Hogs need to eat also….
          Not that I would condone any type of violence though ….. right? :-)


    3. @ Stewpedaso. My thoughts are, that if these people are looting then chances are they are not preppers, so they also are not likely to be on sites like Kens to begin with. I’m sure there may be a few less prepared out there that entered the game late and could likely turn to looting if times get desperate. So this might give them some useful information, which is why I did not disclose what I consider some of my more delicate plans.

  36. Love all the info & ideas. We sometimes feel a bit isolated as none of our friends or family are really into prepping.

    One if the very best investments we have made is a Vacuum Sealer. While mine is lower end & tends to overheat after a few seals… I love it!

    I have vacuum sealed paper products, including TP, Kleenex & paper towels. It greatly reduces the space required to store these items, plus keeps them dry & rodent free no matter where we store them. I vacuum seal 3 rolls of TP together, do individual rolls of paper towels & individual boxes of Kleenex.

    On the last, I remove the Kleenex tissues from the box, vacuum seal it & replace it into the box. There is room to add yet another box’s worth of vacuum sealed Kleenex.

    I can store a year’s worth of all the paper items in 2 totes. These totes can be put out in the storage shed or under the house in the crawl space.

    We have also invested in some of the long term FD food storage items. Again, we vacuum sealed each individual mylar package to add another layer of protection from humidity & rodents.

    These double sealed packages were then put into Harbor Freight space saver vacuum bags. (We found the Harbor Freight vacuum storage bags to be far superior to the big name brand!) Gained enough space in the emergency food storage plastic totes to add vacuum packed coffee, teabags, vitamins, condiments, & eating utensils, along with some handsoap tooth brush etc. to each tote. Basically each tote holds a month’s worth of essentials.

    Another idea about storage… learn to garden. I recently took some classes from folks in our area who are really into being self sufficient. Their classes helped me learn how to garden in this area but also discuss types of plants that can look ornamental but still provide edible leaves, roots, flowers or seeds. A lot of the edible ornamental plants can also be grown as feed for chickens, goats, pigs etc…

    And then there is the advantage of having areas in your yard you can legitimately dig up for storing well sealed supplies out of sight. Your garden or container gardens can go right on top…

    1. @ Angelcrest. What a wonderful idea on the tissues. We actually use hankerchiefs and bandanas now, but I do keep several boxes of tissues on hand for flu season. Space always being an issue forces us to keep less than I would like to have on hand.

  37. I built a storage based bed frame. I needed a new bed and wanted to utilize the space under it. I bought one of those Casper mattress with no box spring. KING size too. I built a box frame from finished plywood. I made two boxes and conjoined in the middle It has a top that opens with hinges from either side. It’s just tall enough to stack 2 50 cans on top of each other and still close. It’s no so high as to look out of place either.

  38. lots of talk about TP and space allocation …. if you squash the paper core and pack the rolls tite in something like a 30 gallon drum – you’ll have a protected paper mass of approximately 120 rolls ….

  39. Food storage is in the basement in built in cabinets my wife made. The basement stays at a more constant cool temp which is important to maximizing the nutritional value of your food.
    Fuel stores: fire wood is kept in a pole building to keep it dry. 1000 gal propane tank is outside set 150ft from the house. Looking to get some elevated fuel barrels for diesel and gas (stabilized).
    Fire arms: some are stored around the house in accessible locations. The rest are in the safe near the ammo supply.
    I think the trick is to incorporate your preps around your daily life. This not only gets you use to them by using them, but also affords you the opportunity to spot something wrong and adjust your preps. I don’t just prep for a disaster, I prep to build a self reliant life style. Some of us have been prepping longer than others and will attest to the fact that once you get fully committed to it you look at your entire life as a prepper. What you buy, where you live, what you do will revolve around a self reliant life style that will sustain you in the best of times and the worst of times.

  40. I’m really surprised not to see this mentioned already, but I MAY or MAY NOT have “caches” of preps stored in various Self-Storage units. They’re fairly inexpensive for a small unit (10×10, $60/month) and some facilities offer climate controlled space as well. Nothing like having supplies available and spread out in a secure location.

  41. I keep my food in an old freezer that doesnt work. house is small & not many places to put things. Water & paper towels are in back bedroom. rifles in closet & pistols in drawer of chest of drawers under clothes. all tools in garage. people go in there to steal things they will be met by snakes.
    I didnt put them there, they just made their home there.
    toilet paper is kept in bathroom stacked up. i always have bought water when go grocery shopping & I’ve always had the habit of buying extra canned items & crackers so neighbors ignore me when I unload vehicle. I’ve shared with 1 of my neighbors about prepping–he thought it was funny. I also shared this website with my sister & told her about prepping. even though she doesnt have a job right now or her husband. she has a feeling about this nov with something happening-she is concerned.
    I dont know how to store fuel for vehicle. looking for home in mtns but not having any luck. that puts stress on me.
    any suggestions about any of this would be appreciated.

  42. What preparations are people taking for restroom “waste?” If grid is down there will be no water to flush and water can’t be poured into the tank of these newer toilets.

    1. i did not know the newer toilets were like that. bought a new one on sale so cant take back. anyway, think ill keep my dino. as far as waste goes do some research on “humanure” for gardens. that may help. and actually urine is good for the garden believe it or not. but really, check that out…..

      1. Thanks for the response Monarch. I guess I should have mentioned that I’m in an apartment in a city, and on the 10th floor, a garden is not a possibility.

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