Space. The final frontier.

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Storage seems to be a recurring theme around the blogosphere this week. Nine times out of ten its something like “I live in a tiny apartment and I have no place to store food or anything else. Am I doomed?”

Yes. You are doomed.

You’re doomed because you’ve locked yourself into thinking that the amount of space available to you is insufficient to store what you need and therefore you are less likely to pursue being prepared. How much space do you need? Beats me, everyone has their own crazy ideas about just how much stuff they need to be prepared. However, I can guarantee you that you’ve got the space for it. People will chime in and say that you can utilize the space under the bed, the high shelves in closets, the crawlspace behind the wall, etc, etc. and those are all good ideas. But it seems like when people say they don’t have the space what they are really saying is “I don’t have any empty space that Im willing to use for this stuff” and that’s a big difference than “I have no space”.

Very few people have a hundred square feet of space that isn’t doing anything. So you make space. You decide whats more important – having a 3’x1.5’x6’ shelving rack holding enough food to get you by for three months or sitting a rocking chair that you never use but looks quaint and ‘ties the room together’ in that space.

Preparedness requires rethinking priorities. I have a bunch of different things I’d like to do with the space I have devoted to storing preps, but are any of them more important to me than having those preps? No. I’ll trade the footprint of a bookshelf full of books that we barely read for the footprint of a steel shelf full of freeze drieds. Books are important and I’ll find somewhere else to put them, but if it’s a real estate deal between dedicating square footage to insurance against the future or an end table that just sits there and never gets used….well, the end table loses.

“Easy for you to say, you don’t have to deal with my wife”. Hey, I’m married too. We have a deal that (usually) works pretty well. She gets this room, that room, this hallway, and the other room to do whatever she wants with. Furnish it, don’t furnish it, move furniture around in it…do whatever you want. I get this room, that room, and this part of the house to do whatever I want with and if it looks like an Iraqi arms bazaar or supermarket warehouse then that’s entirely my right. I call it ‘Man Country’. She can visit Man Country, conduct business in Man Country, import/export things from Man Country and even be a legal resident in Man Country but she gets no voice in the (literal) one-man-one-vote system that governs Man Country. But, when I leave Man Country I’m in No Man’s Land. And in No Man’s Land I’m the one who doesn’t get to rearrange the scenery. (There are some jointly held territories that sometimes see some border skirmishes, but all in all it’s a peaceful détente.)

So here’s the upshot – you do have the room you need, you’re just deciding that it’s more important to have an entertainment center, a bookshelf, a china cabinet, a dog bed or a loveseat in that space. The space is there, you’re just using it for something else. It isn’t that you don’t have the space, its that you don’t want a stack of buckets in the corner of your living room, or a collection of ammo cans in the hallway closet, or steel rack of #10 cans in the corner of the bedroom. And that’s perfectly cool, after all it is your home and your space.

If you genuinely believe in what youre doing, what it will afford you in security and peace of mind, and that it will make a difference in your safety and well being in times of crisis, then you need to decide if that’s more important than the closet in the guest bedroom, your ‘home office’ room, or the storage area in the basement where the old furniture goes to die.

If its important to you and you believe in what youre doing, you’ll find that you have all the room you need.

As an aside, the floor in the room I am typing this in has linoleum tiles on the floor that are 1’x1’. Using them as a guide, I’d say that, other than fuel, all of our preps including food, ammo, guns, etc, if packed carefully and as snugly as possible, would fit a footprint of 8′x8′. Be stacked to the ceiling though.