Storing Food and Water in a Small Home or Apartment

I recently received a request for information on how to store food and water if you live in a small house or apartment.  For a lot of people this is a real problem.  Here are a few suggestions I can make.


Let’s start with the bedroom, Remove the bed frame, place #10 cans on the floor a thin sheet of plywood and then your box spring and mattress.  My bed side table is a stack of food boxes covered by a cloth.   How about your closet, can you put a layer of cans on the floor and place your shoes on top of them

Boxes of food stored behind couch

The living room, side tables made from boxes of food covered with a pretty cloth and a little imagination can look quite nice.  Pull your couch 6” – 10” out from the wall and you can stack food behind it.

In hall closets make a stack of small cans in the rear corners, almost no lost space. Also place food cans on the floor and cover with plywood and use the same as the floor.

Your bathroom, get a water bob from  This is a bladder that fits in your bath tub and holds about 100 gallons of water.  Keep it available to fill in an emergency.

Kitchen, look for the spaces in the lower and very upper cabinets that often get ignored.  If you have extra space in your freezer, fill it with water jugs.  Extra water and ice to help keep your food save if the power goes off.

Your garage is usually too hot to store some types of food items; however that does not affect water or camping equipment.

Attics are often too hot for food, treat then the same as garages, but be careful not to over load them.

Crawl spaces under house are often an ideal space with low temperatures.  However watch for moisture damage.  Make sure any items you place under the house are rodent and bug proof.

Consider the type of food you are storing. Get the most calories from the amount of space you have available.  Dehydrated food takes less room than wet pack.  Don’t store empty calories.

Don’t forget the water heater, use it as part of your water storage.

Use your imagination.


3 thoughts on “Storing Food and Water in a Small Home or Apartment”

  1. Good info. Some people store water in a series of 55 gallons drums in line with their hot water heater so that it gets renewed constantly. The only real issue with that is that if the water supply gets compromised, then much of your reserves are compromised as well.

    Thanks, Howard.


  2. Great post, thanks! We are just wrapping up a diy food storage project ourselves. I got the inspiration from these folks:
    Instead of Ikea wardrobes behind the curtains, I put big steel shelving units from Costco that can hold 4,000 pounds each. Finished it off aesthetically like they did, with the header and curtains. Still need to hang some swing arm lights but I was surprised how nice it looks for how little we spent on it. (Shelves were $50 each and curtains were $40 from Ikea, lumber and trim were mostly scrap from other projects)
    (here’s a link to just the picture instead of the whole project:

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