Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat.
-Jean-Paul Sartre --French existentialist philosopher and writer, 1905-1980

How to Do Food Storage in an RV or Other Small Living Space By Terria Fleming

Many people live in RV's and other small living spaces like boats, studio apartments, dorm rooms, and tiny cabins or houses. There isn't a large amount of space to put anything, let alone that all-important food storage we are all being encouraged to have right now, so what can a person do who wants their own emergency food storage but doesn't have a huge home to put it in?
Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need:

  • An RV or other small living space
  • a plan
  • emergency food to store
  1. 1
    tiny kitchen
    tiny kitchen
    Most of us are aware of the need for storing a certain amount of extra food in our homes, in case of disasters, emergencies, a financial crisis such as an unexpected job loss, and any other possible emergency situations that could arise at any time, for anyone.

    This means, at a minimum, storing a two-week supply of emergency foods, although a three month to a year supply is even better. Still do what you can, with the money you have. Store at least two weeks worth of food and other emergency supplies like water, medications and first aid supplies, candles, emergency cooking equipment, flashlights and things of this nature.
  2. 2
    boat galley
    boat galley
    I have lived in a studio apartment and know firsthand how challenging it can be to make the place a home that is capable of storing things like extra food, not to mention all the furniture, household gear, etc. for your daily needs, and yet still have room enough to breathe. It is a challenge but it can be done.

    Especially in a small living space you need to plan carefully. Knowing just what you need to store for emergency preparedness is helpful in determining where to put it once you've bought it.

    People have lived on small boats for months at a time with just the food supplies they can get aboard, supplemented by fresh foods and fish, etc. when they stop some place long enough to shop at a grocery store or market. Boats don't have a lot of storage space for food as a rule, so if these folks can do it, so can people who live in RV's or dorm rooms or tiny studio apartments.

    Planning is key. Each tiny living space is different and each family has different food needs and likes, so this must be taken into consideration when purchasing your food storage. During an emergency situation is not the time to begin eating a lot of food you dislike, or even foods you've never tried to cook with before. You are under enough stress already without adding to it by eating unusual (for you and your family anyway) foods.

    Remember to focus on dehydrated foods if your storage space is really tiny. Then you can supplement the dehydrated foods with buckets of beans, rice, pasta, etc. and some canned foods. Canned foods take up much more room than dehydrated or dried foods do, but have their place in your food storage program too and properly stored will last a long time.
  3. 3
    food storage buckets
    food storage buckets
    If you have a bookcase or two anywhere in your house, pull the books out and then put some of your food storage behind the books. After replacing the books on the shelves, no one will even see the food storage. Most bookcases are wide so there is usually some space behind books for storing other items. Put a row or two of canned foods behind your books for example, and top with more cans if the shelves are far enough apart to do that. This works particularly well if you have room for a bookcase in or near your kitchen, because you can put cookbooks and small appliances on it too, in front of the food storage.

    Another suggestion is to combine all the stuff you now store in your hall closet and your kitchen closet if you have them, and use the kitchen closet just for food storage. With some shelves and wall hanging units and pockets you can get a lot of emergency food storage in one closet.

    On the floor in front of the shelves place five gallon plastic food buckets full of beans, rice, wheat, etc. Put another row of plastic buckets on top of the first row if there is room and you will have many buckets of food stored.

    Remove extra kitchen tools and appliances from your kitchen, especially those you never use. Get rid of them or store them somewhere else so that you can use all the kitchen cupboards that you have for your food storage.
  4. 4
    food storage in a corner
    food storage in a corner
    Declutter your studio apartment, RV, dorm room, or boat often. Get rid of things you don't need. Donate to friends, family, women's shelters and other places. Don't just put things in the trash, recycle everything.

    Try moving your furniture around in different configurations, you might find out, if you do this, that you can make room behind your couch, for example, for a lot of food storage, either by itself or stored under a table that you place behind your couch.

    New metal garbage cans can be filled with food storage, then covered with a round piece of wood, a bit bigger than the top of the can, to hide the food. Then treat it as a small table and cover the whole thing with a round tablecloth. No one will know that there is a bunch of food storage inside your new "table".

    Other storage ideas for small spaces include under bed storage, adding shelves over doors and windows, placing your food storage in chests and other storage units all over the place.

    Use your ingenuity and store the extra food wherever you can. There is no rule that extra emergency food supplies has to be stored in the kitchen.

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