Pomegrante wrote:When I look at these awesome stockpiles...I can't help but remember throwing away bags of trash (from hoarder family members) of food that has expired. Cans do expire, pasta does expire. How do you decide what is worth buying and storing as apposed to perfecting gardening skills? Obviously cans can be on the go while gardeing is in a stationary place, but you can't take ALL those cans. I'm a noob, give me some logic pls.
Rotation of food as you add to the stockpile, seems the best course, for me. I buy my canned goods by the case, and stack the cases. Dropping the new stuff on top of the older stuff is easy, but you end up with expired goods, as you mentioned, sitting on the bottom. So, to keep my stock rotated, and the shelves cleaned, I remove each short stack of the older food, place it on the floor, and wipe off the shelf. Then, I add the new stuff to the shelf, and the old on top of it- instant stock rotation, with maintenance tossed in for free
I'm copying this pic because it shows both types of shelves, and many of us use basement space for our storage.
The white shelves appear to be the 'assemble it yourself' type of furniture, where all the slabs making up the sides and shelves are a compressed wood product some refer to as particle board, or, what I call simply "crap"
The grey shelves are obviously steel sheets formed for strength, and bolted together. The reason I'm bringing it up, is the tendency for basements to get wet. Moisture is the enemy here- for the food, the "wood" shelves, and also the steel shelves. Steel rusts, particle board crumbles and warps, and dry goods need to stay, well, DRY. The basement is where most homes have their plumbing, usually exposed- and this can be a source of moisture from a few sources. Water lines can form condensation, which drips. Obviously, leaks or broken piping can lead to disastrous amounts of water in a very short time. And, the possibility of a sewer/septic line backup or blowout could REALLY ruin your day, and your preps, too.
A few tips, therefore, from a professional plumber, to minimize your risk level. Insulate your pipes (the pressurized ones). This not only removes the condensation problem, but can also save you money in energy costs. Place all your shelving on cement blocks, to minimize the chance of them getting wet if there's a flood. A dehumidifier, with an automatic pump to remove the collected water, can not only keep your basement dry, and cleaner, but also help remove any water that may occur from a problem- they can even minimize smells from a sewer line problem. Perimeter drainage and a sump pump can also help, and can be installed during or after actual home construction- you might even be able to DIY, and save some money.
Try to locate your storage as far away from the course your drain lines take as you can- it's not always possible, I know, but try. The further away your food storage is from the wastes spilling from the sewer line, the better, and the more increased chance of them staying dry. Combining ALL these tips, would, of course, be the best possible outcome, but homes being different, not all of the above may suit your situation. And, yes- I realize these are all 'common sense' ideas, but you'd be surprised at how often something this "obvious" gets overlooked, even by a prepper/planner type person.
My own, "ideal" set up would be all stainless steel shelving, in a separate room that has a raised floor of concrete, and humidity/temperature control, but let's face it- who has that kind of money?