Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

How and where to Organize your
Long-Term Food Storage

pantry full of organized long term food storage.

**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

When it comes to tracking and knowing how to organize your long-term food storage, I have one preliminary thought for you:  Just start!


Don’t get hung up on having a perfectly calculated spreadsheet of how many of each item you want to eventually have, and where you are going to put every can. You’ll spend WAY too long trying to figure that out, when you could have been accumulating food all that time.


That being said, I have learned (& tried) a lot of tips over the years and I want to share them with you to help alleviate some of the overwhelm you might feel about your long-term food storage.

Take an inventory of the space in your home

When you’re ready to start growing an emergency supply of food for your family, one of the first questions you’ll probably ask yourself is:

Where am I going to store all this food? 


Especially when you start having a big enough supply for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months plus! That’s a lot of space to allocate to food storage and I know a lot of us don’t have extra bedrooms or basements.

One place you definitely don’t want to store food is your garage.

Do.Not.Store.Food.In.Your.Garage. (unless it’s climate-controlled)

Spaces you can consider for storing food

Boxes of long-term food storage under a bed.

Under Beds

You can fit a surprising amount of food storage underneath a bed!


If you find that your bed isn’t tall enough to fit cans of food storage underneath it, consider getting some small bed risers. We have these ones from Amazon, and they work great! (affiliate link)

Boxes of Long-Term Food Storage on a closet shelf.

On Closet Shelves

Do your closets have those really high shelves that are basically useless because no one can reach them?

Fill them up with food storage (and a pinata while you’re at it, ha)!

Boxes of food storage on a closet floor.

On Closet Floors

Likewise, if your closets have a bunch of wasted space underneath your hanging clothes, that’s a great place to tuck away some boxes/cans of food storage. I know it isn’t the prettiest thing, but how many people see the inside of your closet?


If you don’t want to see it in your closet, chances are your kids won’t mind seeing it in theirs! 

Under the Stairs

This space is typically super underutilized!


You can stack a whole lot of boxes of food storage in the back and still use the rest of it however you want!

Boxes of food storage on the floor of a teenager's bedroom, holding a gaming station.

Scattered Haphazardly In a Bedroom, Doubling as Furniture

Boxes of food storage can double as coffee tables, end tables, or stands to make your gaming setup more comfortable, as shown here in my teenager’s room!

Spare Bedroom / Guest Bedroom

Even if you don’t want to have a stack of boxes against a wall showing in a spare bedroom, consider filling up the closet of a guest bedroom.


You could also install additional shelves to get more use out of that upper dead space

Coat closet turned into evacuation closet.

Coat Closet

If your coat closet has some extra space in it, consider sticking some food storage in there. 


We don’t really use our coat closet for coats, so we ended up completely transforming ours to accommodate our 72-hour kits, by adding shelving to help utilize the space better.

Food storage stored on laundry room shelves.

Laundry Room

Could you use those tippy top shelves in your laundry cabinets for food storage?


Or even add some shelving and/or a standing cabinet?

pantry full of organized long term food storage.


For those of you who are fortunate enough to have a basement, I would highly recommend keeping your food storage in your basement! 

Basements are typically cool and dry, which are two very favorable conditions for storing food in. So 100%, use that basement!!

How to Organize Your Long-Term Food Storage

I have a confession to make. I love the look of all of the cans out of the boxes, with all the labels lined up, separated by category of food. Kind of like a picture on Pinterest. Can you imagine it?

Well … as much as I would LOVE to organize my food storage that way, I am a little short on space.  Unfortunately, I don’t have an entire room that I can dedicate to our long-term food storage.

For our situation, it makes more sense to keep our cans in boxes, so that they’re easier to stack and easier to move around.

If this is how you decide to organize your food storage, I have a couple tips for you.

1 - Label your boxes

There are 4 things that I recommend you label your boxes with:


  1. The type of food
  2. The size of can
  3. The quantity of cans
  4. The expiration date

2 - Organize by food group

This may not seem important when you’re just starting out, but it will become more important as you accumulate more food storage, so the more organized you can be from the beginning, the easier it will be later.


3 - Record what's where

Again, this may not seem important at the beginning, but as you accumulate more food, you’ll be glad you have something to reference.

Even if you just draw a rough picture of the area under your bed, and label what you put where … something is better than nothing.





And just remember….
the most important thing you can do with your long-term food storage is to JUST START!

Related Posts:

5 simple things you can do to get your family prepared if you don't have thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours


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