Now that I have a supply closet in the barn, I can take stock of what supplies I have and what I still need. It’s much easier when everything is organized, and in one place.
Back in STL, I had a shelf in the garage, plus overflow onto the pool table, plus the upper kitchen cabinets. Now, I can walk into a 8 X 8, 6-foot-tall storage unit and see everything on the shelves.
So, what do we have?
Three cases of water bottles. We use these on occasion; they are the most practical to store at this time. When working outside, we use refillable bottles, and we do have a well and a pond. We also have various containers that will hold water, along with other empty containers to repackage certain foods.
Commercially canned vegetables. Not ideal, perhaps, but if one is hungry one tends to worry a whole lot less about GMOs or preservatives and additives. The key is being prepared to ward off starvation, if it came to that. We buy these on sale, a few at a time.
Home-canned fruits and preserves and dried herbs and vegetables, as well as pickles. Okay, so I went a little overboard on the pickles…that’s another subject! Once we make the move, I’ll have more time to do more canning, and we’ll purchase a new deep freeze; I much prefer frozen vegetables to canned.
Commercial spices. These, too, are purchased on sale. Even icky stuff can be made more palatable, which brings me to the icky shelf. You know those food items you accumulate somehow, the ones you’d never eat but immediately find their way into the food drive box? I have a shelf for that. Naturally, I stock and store things we’ll eat—just as I plant the garden—but you never know. Someday, that tin of sardines or whatever might sound good. I doubt it, but ya never know!
We also keep a supply of personal care items: shampoo, soaps, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. We have shelves for first aid and OTC meds, as well as keeping 90 days or more of prescription meds. And of course, household items, such as detergents, dish soaps, paper towels, toilet paper, and so forth.
Now, you don’t have to have a huge supply closet—you can easily tuck things away here and there, in regular closets, top kitchen cabinet shelves, your garage. But you should always keep track of those things: first in, first out. Make a running list and keep it up-to-date so you always know what you have.
That was my problem. I had so many places to store things, and occasionally someone besides me would re-stock the pantry or bathroom. Ahem. It was pretty rare, but it did happen. So I got to the point where I wasn’t entirely sure what I had and what I needed.
You’ll also notice in the picture that there are a few plastic tubs. These are for things that a mouse might find particularly tasty, and yes, that includes toothpaste. Doesn’t do a bit of good for you to store things that are ruined by rodents. We do everything we can to keep their population down, but sometimes they still can find their way inside.