My Food Storage — From Chaos to Clarity

Long story short, my food storage area in my basement hasn’t been very accessible lately. As I’ve taken advantage of the Macey’s food storage sales and contributed to my Three Month Supply my food has sort of just been dumped into a big pile.

I really wanted to start using our new Food Storage Calculator, but as I tried to catalog what food I already had it was a disaster. I couldn’t even GET to all my food, let alone figure out what the heck I had bought. So yesterday during my kids naps I went on a rampage and reorganized the entire area, brought in a new shelf, and reconfigured my upstairs pantry to include more of the foods I’ve been using on a regular basis. I even got REALLY ambitious and made cute little labels for all my buckets. That’s when you know you are truly a food storage nerd πŸ˜‰

Here are the results of my afternoon of agony. I just had to share because I’m so proud of myself. AND as per our latest BabySteps Checklist I can now check off the to-do item of filling out my inventory sheet. YAY! (If you haven’t signed up yet, stop reading and go sign up now!)


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  • Hi, I love your site! I noticed you’re using the metal “cheapy $18 specials” you can buy at places like Wal-Mart. I’ve been using these for years as storage in my business, but I wanted them to hold more items and the shelves to be closer together. So instead of assembling as they come I decided to buy two and assemble them as a single unit.

    This way I get 10 shelves that sit a hair less that 5″ apart (from the top shelves “lip” to the top of the shelf below it) in the same space as a single 5 shelf unit. That’s a lot of storage in a small space for canned goods. I notice that the shelves seem a bit sturdier as well when put together this way. The only thing “special” I did to improve stability was add the braces from both packages to the single unit and bolt a left over leg piece where the join isΒ in the middle on each leg. You could even bolt it to studs.

    The really great thing about it is that you can customize this to all get out for your needs and you only need one to get started.

  • Tracy

    Hi Jodi – Love it! I’m just starting out and have been looking at metal shelves (I live in high-rise apt but have a 5×5 storage unit in the basement). The metal shelves I find are like $100 so I was wondering how much yours were and where you got them?

    Many thanks!!

    Tracy πŸ™‚

  • oakl2003

    In my mall there is a cookie place that decorates huge cookies. They give me and my mall walking friends buckets all the time. They have three different sizes. All we have to do is wash them and they are free. You can also try groccery store bakeries. Hope you see this. It has almost been a year since your post.

  • oakl2003

    In my mall there is a cookie place that decorates huge cookies. They give me and my mall walking friends buckets all the time. They have three different sizes. All we have to do is wash them and they are free. You can also try groccery store bakeries. Hope you see this. It has almost been a year since your post.

  • I use the buckets because they fit in my basement better than stacks of #10 cans and they seem more cost-effective to buy in bulk that way. I'm not too familiar with humidity issues as we live in Utah where it is dry. But I don't THINK that plastic versus metal can would make a huge difference in store-ability.

  • Hollie

    How do the plastic containers compare to the #10 cans in terms of weather conditions? Meaning, do the dry ingredients stay dryer or are you using them because they give you more space? Because of the humidty in Texas, there is no way I would be able to store any type of food in the garage and therefore would only be able to put in my kitchen. But I was just curious if the plastic makes a difference in keeping the contents from clumping together vs. the #10 can. Thanks!

    • I use the buckets because they fit in my basement better than stacks of #10 cans and they seem more cost-effective to buy in bulk that way. I’m not too familiar with humidity issues as we live in Utah where it is dry. But I don’t THINK that plastic versus metal can would make a huge difference in store-ability.

  • Hollie

    How do the plastic containers compare to the #10 cans in terms of weather conditions? Meaning, do the dry ingredients stay dryer or are you using them because they give you more space? Because of the humidty in Texas, there is no way I would be able to store any type of food in the garage and therefore would only be able to put in my kitchen. But I was just curious if the plastic makes a difference in keeping the contents from clumping together vs. the #10 can. Thanks!

  • That, my friend, is a thing of beauty. I will not rest now, utill I have some cute labels of my own. My husband will be thrilled, I just know it. πŸ™‚

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Sandy, I laughed out loud at your comment πŸ™‚ We’ve had quite a few requests for us to make these labels available to download. I just need to get organized and do it. They have been so handy. Stay tuned and hopefully we will get them available for you πŸ™‚

  • That, my friend, is a thing of beauty. I will not rest now, utill I have some cute labels of my own. My husband will be thrilled, I just know it. πŸ™‚

    • Jodi — Food Storage Made Easy

      Sandy, I laughed out loud at your comment πŸ™‚ We’ve had quite a few requests for us to make these labels available to download. I just need to get organized and do it. They have been so handy. Stay tuned and hopefully we will get them available for you πŸ™‚

  • TracyinSC

    Very, very nice Jodi. I want to see it all in person someday. πŸ™‚

  • TracyinSC

    Very, very nice Jodi. I want to see it all in person someday. πŸ™‚

  • Lisa S

    Here’s a good tip for you ladies wanting pails: go to your local winery (where anyone can make wine) and ask if they have any used pails, yes you have to wash them out (sunlight and vinegar) but I only pay $2 a pail, just make sure the lids have the seals in them. If there is no seals in the lids you can still get them, but put your food into Mylar bags first. It work’s out to be a great deal,plus It’s cheaper.
    Jodi, awesome job with the reorganizing of your food storage, I’ve been doing the same thing with my pails ” word works good for making labels” hope this helps.

  • Lisa S

    Here’s a good tip for you ladies wanting pails: go to your local winery (where anyone can make wine) and ask if they have any used pails, yes you have to wash them out (sunlight and vinegar) but I only pay $2 a pail, just make sure the lids have the seals in them. If there is no seals in the lids you can still get them, but put your food into Mylar bags first. It work’s out to be a great deal,plus It’s cheaper.
    Jodi, awesome job with the reorganizing of your food storage, I’ve been doing the same thing with my pails ” word works good for making labels” hope this helps.

  • Lisa

    In the past few months I been grinding my wheat and baking bread weekly. Now that I am actually using my wheat, I find myself trucking down the stairs (food storage room) regularly to refill my wheat container that I have in my pantry. I would like to find a good size container for the kitchen pantry (20 to 25 lb size), but half the size of the typical food storage bucket . Any ideas? I have looked everywhere..

  • Lisa

    In the past few months I been grinding my wheat and baking bread weekly. Now that I am actually using my wheat, I find myself trucking down the stairs (food storage room) regularly to refill my wheat container that I have in my pantry. I would like to find a good size container for the kitchen pantry (20 to 25 lb size), but half the size of the typical food storage bucket . Any ideas? I have looked everywhere..

    • Anonymous

      In my mall there is a cookie place that decorates huge cookies. They give me and my mall walking friends buckets all the time. They have three different sizes. All we have to do is wash them and they are free. You can also try groccery store bakeries. Hope you see this. It has almost been a year since your post.

  • kayla

    How about sharing your cute labels in a download on this site for the rest of us to use to get organized! πŸ˜‰

  • kayla

    How about sharing your cute labels in a download on this site for the rest of us to use to get organized! πŸ˜‰

  • Kim

    Is there anywhere on your site to download the different fun labels that you have? ie, sugar label?

  • Kim

    Is there anywhere on your site to download the different fun labels that you have? ie, sugar label?

  • ctdaffodil

    You are an Organization Inspiration!!
    My stored food is fairly organized- but looking at the before and after pictures of what you accomplished during naptime – well thats just amazing! That has me ready to tackle the youngest child’s clothes closet! (since my kids are big into hand-me-downs) The closet is a mishmash of odd boxes of clothes to grow into – I think I’ll work on it today!!

  • ctdaffodil

    You are an Organization Inspiration!!
    My stored food is fairly organized- but looking at the before and after pictures of what you accomplished during naptime – well thats just amazing! That has me ready to tackle the youngest child’s clothes closet! (since my kids are big into hand-me-downs) The closet is a mishmash of odd boxes of clothes to grow into – I think I’ll work on it today!!

  • I love it! Thanks for sharing. It gives me hope =)

  • I love it! Thanks for sharing. It gives me hope =)

  • That looks great! I hope to get started doing the same thing soon!

  • That looks great! I hope to get started doing the same thing soon!

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  • Jodi

    The white containers were $3.99 at the Macey’s sale this week. The square one in my stack was from Walmart but they don’t always have them. I have also seen similar buckets at home depot but I’m not sure if the lids have as good of a seal.

    The pails in the black lids are wheat and oats that came IN the buckets. The white buckets have white flour, sugar, rice, and beans that I bought in bulk bags. I still need to get a ton more and then I’ll need to reorganize again into bigger stacks in a different area of the basement. But for now … this works!

  • Jodi

    The white containers were $3.99 at the Macey’s sale this week. The square one in my stack was from Walmart but they don’t always have them. I have also seen similar buckets at home depot but I’m not sure if the lids have as good of a seal.

    The pails in the black lids are wheat and oats that came IN the buckets. The white buckets have white flour, sugar, rice, and beans that I bought in bulk bags. I still need to get a ton more and then I’ll need to reorganize again into bigger stacks in a different area of the basement. But for now … this works!

  • Molly

    I lOVE THIS SITE!!! I love the labels you made up. I will be trying that idea on mine. I would love to know what you have in all of your pails?
    Thanks!

  • Molly

    I lOVE THIS SITE!!! I love the labels you made up. I will be trying that idea on mine. I would love to know what you have in all of your pails?
    Thanks!

  • Sandra Scherf

    I have seen them at Walmart

  • Sandra Scherf

    I have seen them at Walmart

  • Oh! It gives me goosebumps – beautiful!

  • Oh! It gives me goosebumps – beautiful!

  • Angela Williams

    I have a question.. .where do you get those big white containers (for your sugar)? I am not sure where to get those type of containers.t
    thanks so much… love your blog!

  • Angela Williams

    I have a question.. .where do you get those big white containers (for your sugar)? I am not sure where to get those type of containers.t
    thanks so much… love your blog!

  • Sandra

    Wow – CONGRATS – looks fantastic … and I bet such a feeling of accomplishment to have it all done. yay!!!

  • Sandra

    Wow – CONGRATS – looks fantastic … and I bet such a feeling of accomplishment to have it all done. yay!!!