Sunday, June 10, 2012

Apartment Prepping Has Spacial Issues

Our apartment I about 1000sq feet, has two bedrooms and five actual closets. Apartment preppers are forever battling with their apartments for space to store preps. Our homestead counterparts could easily have my 1000sq feet as actual spare space to store stuff, whereas I have to store everything I'll need to survive the apocalypse, and still have room to live lol. My wife says she's on board with me and my "hobby" as long as it doesn't make our apartment look like we're hoarders. So I can have and store it as long as it doesn't appear to exist. So finding space where there is no space is going to be a small issue.

A further description of our apartment in more detail so you know exactly what I'm working with. I've enclosed I very rudimentary iPad drawing of our apartment so you can follow along. So when you come into the apartment, directly to your left is a standard 4' hallway closet, followed immediately by a 2' linen closet, and then again immediately followed by a storage room room that's about 4' deep and 10' long. The closet in bedroom #1 is a 6' by 2' deep closet, and the same goes for the closet in bedroom #2. There are three beds in these rooms, a queen in ours and two doubles in the kids room. So that would be repurposed storage zone number one, under the beds. I've read on other blogs that you can store up to three months of food under a twin bed, so I would imagine we could fit somewhere near a years worth under our three beds...theoretically. Obviously the closets could all be used to store preps, but we're looking for repurposed areas.

Because we built the island in our kitchen ourselves when we remodeled the apartment, the countertop on the existing cabinetry is ours, and when I was putting it in I noticed that in the corner, the original cabinet maker decided not to make a corner unit to allow for more storage, but the space is still there. So this 2' x 2' by 32" space under my countertop can be repurposed to store some stuff that we'll not need access frequently and allow us to store it behind the cabinetry. So that's another space repurposed. Also in the kitchen, and again because we made the island, the island itself can be repurposed somewhat. After I finished making the island, the wife said it seems to be about three inches too low, to comfortably use the chairs she had bought for the breakfast bar side of the island, so she has been naggin...errr gently suggesting that I raise it up. Well if I'm raising it up I can build a compartment under the cabinetry to hold some preps. Since she waits about 3" I figure, toilet paper is 4 1/2" I'll raise it up that much and make the equivalent of the entire surface area worth of toilet paper storage room in this repurposing. Also, while thinking of that I thought that our tv is on an 8' x 24" cabinet, and we've often thought that the wall it's on makes the tv seem small, even though at 55" its not small, but if we raised it up say 16" it would fit the wall better, and, make more storage under the existing cabinet.

I've also read on a couple blogs about, storing water in 30 gallon barrels and turning them into decorative tables by adding a top and covering with a nice table clothe, hiding your water in plain sight. This is the kind of thinking that apartment preppers are going to benefit from. We gotta be the out side of the box thinking people if we're going to have decent sized stockpile.

As far as my own situation goes, there is no other storage in the building, you know some apartment buildings will have larger storage rooms in the basement that you can rent to use if you your apartment storage room isnt adequate enough. Our building does not have that. But what I have noticed is that management has opted not to have people occupy the suites on the second floor. The main reason being, that that's where the building stores a lot of it's extra stuff, but there is still a couple suites that are pretty much empty all the time. If I ever got to the point where I needed more space, I could see it being conceivable that I could obtain, maybe the bachelor suite on that floor as my own storage for a reasonable price, if my negotiating and/or bartering skills have improved by then lol. I've also read that other apartment preppers will get off site storage lockers to store excess preps. The only thing I have a problem with there, is in an EOTWAWKI scenario, and the grid goes down, am I going to have reliable access to my materials when I really need them? Seems like to big of a risk to I could see some scum bag storage facility manager taking advantage of the circumstances and essentially sell us our own stuff back, I mean what are we gonna do call the's the end of the world...all bets are off.

I know a lot of people are going to say, "well I don't know why you need so much stuff in an apartment anyhow, as an apartment tenant you're going to bug out anyway...buildings won't be safe after TSHTF, they'll be war zones" which in most cases will probably be true, but I live in a tiny town of 3000 people and the HighRise building that I live in is the only structure of its kind in my town, everything else is houses and two story
buildings. So as the only building with a good view of the surrounding are for a long ways, I think of it as a strategically sound stronghold that I should try to maintain for as long as it is safe to do so.

So with all that being said, I hope you can help me think of places to store stuff in my apartment, and the apartments of the many apartment preppers like myself that are looking for a way to have it all, and still be able to move. So if you have any ideas, stick 'em in the comment section below, and we'll start making apartment prepping a better place.


  1. Don't buy into the "you're gonna bug out anyway" argument... because there are possible scenarios that would keep you home... and honestly, I think the most likely TEOTWAWKI scenarios are the ones where you would stay home. One of these is pandemic. If there was a superflu outbreak, wouldn't it be nice to have everything you need to outlast it without having to leave your home? What about social unrest? There may come a time where it simply is safer to stay home than venture out. I'd hate to have to risk my life just to get groceries. So having as much as possible in your home is a prudent step to take.

    As for suggestions for where to find more space... here are a few ideas...

    Consider replacing some of your furniture with something that has storage. A coffee table in the living room is nice... but one that allows you to store 4 cases of water out of sight is even better. We had a bench at the foot of our bed, but last year swapped it out for a storage ottoman... we still have a place to sit to put on our shoes, but now we also have a place to store lots of ammo and the gun safe.

    I recently had an "a-ha" moment when I realized that I was wasting a large amount of space under our queen sized bed. Our bed is the style that the sides go all the way to the floor so there is no "accessible" under the bed. But when I decided to put a few things under there that we don't have to have immediate access to... I was AMAZED at how much storage there was. I got an ENTIRE ONE YEAR ONE PERSON kit of food plus a little more (90+ #10 cans) plus all kinds of other stuff under there. The best part of it all... not only is it out of the way, but if someone breaks into our home to steal our food, it is doubtful they would look there... after they cleaned out our pantry, we would still have some food available. My daughter has a similar style bed...

    I've seen six boxes of #10 cans (usually 6 cans per box) stacked two wide and three high, then covered with fabric and a piece of glass and used as an end table. Or, if you sew, you can make a great "fitted" cover for the boxes. No one will be any the wiser!

    Google "Pharoah's Storehouse" for some unique ideas for storage... the "on wall" system might work in an apartment if you put the racks in a closet. The lazy suzan might work in a cabinet.

    For water storage, consider Water Bricks. Go to The Ready Store website to look for them. (It's where I bought mine.) Though I keep them in my garage, you could find places around the house where you could keep them. Don't forget to buy some of the water preserver. You won't have to rotate out water for 5 years.

    Don't forget your vehicle... It's important to have things stored there that are not heat sensitive. A case (12 packages) or two of MRE meals in each car along with cans of water (again, The Ready Store is a good source) will not only be stored out of the house, but will be with you if you find out you are stranded away from home. If you have two cases in each car trunk (two cars)... at about 3,000 calories each MRE, that's 144,000 calories of food stored and ready to go.

    Really go through those 5 closets of yours. Look under your bathroom sink and in your kitchen cabinets. Look at your dressers and what you store under beds. Do you really need all that stuff? Can you consolidate and organize? Can you downsize some of your things? If you haven't worn something in a year, get rid of it. Scaling back 25% of your stuff in your storage areas will provide you with a lot of room for prepping supplies!

    Good luck! I hope you are able to reclaim some space to your benefit!

  2. As do I, all of those are good ideas, I've also thought its time to stock the car

  3. Preps in the car should be a higher priority for many people. Think about it... how many hours a day are you away from home? For people who work outside the home, that's often 9-10 hours per day at least just for work and commuting. Then think about errands run, social events, church, etc etc. For most people, half their day or more is away from home. If it hits the fan suddenly, there's a 50-50 chance you won't be at home with your stockpile. How will you get home? Will you have the supplies and resources you need until you get there?

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