Room isn’t something you have, it’s something you make.
Many urban preppers complain about the fact that they don’t have enough space to store their preps. The way most of them do it, they will last for about a week with the food and water they currently have, but that’s about it.
In what follows I’m going to give you a whole bunch of (new) ideas on where to store your preps. I also have another goal in mind, to make sure no one will ever suspect you’re prepping. COMSEC isn’t an issue just because you’re vulnerable if people find out, but because it’s embarrassing for the average city dweller when someone looks behind his couch and sees his preps.
So let’s see what these really ingenious ways to hide your preps are.
Store Things Inside Deep Drawers
There’s unused space in some of those drawers that no one will ever think to look. A quick inspection of every drawer you have will quickly reveal which ones can accommodate part of your stockpile.
Get Smaller Versions of Everything
You’d be amazed of how many survival items come in smaller sizes. Sure, they might not offer the same functionality and might not last you as long as their larger and more durable counterparts but if you’re worried about a disaster that would last more than a few months, perhaps living inside the city isn’t a good option for you to begin with.
Consider stockpiling the following items:
- folding knives instead of fixed blade survival knives (I know, I know, they’re less than ideal but the point here is to save space)
- smaller toothbrushes
- smaller compasses
- smaller flashligths
- a smaller signaling mirror
- smaller lighters (again, we’re assuming you won’t need be needing them long-term)
- one ply toilet paper, it’s less bulky
- a smaller inflatable canoe (if that’s what you set your mind on for your bug out vehicle)
- smaller nail clippers
- a tarp instead of a tent (though it won’t protect you nearly as well when you’re out into the woods)
- …and on and on and on
Stockpile Some of Your Preps Inside Your Car
Even the smallest trunk can store a lot of things but, if it’s really small, you may want to consider getting a bigger one. Not the cheapest option but it’s definitely a place few people won’t look. The downside is that you’ll have to carry those preps with you all the time.
By the way, you should check the backseat of your car, there might be some room there as well.
Inside Your Garage
If you have one, surely you can put some shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling. That’s the last place people will be poking their noses into.
Stockpile Items In larger Quantities
That sounds funny, considering I just advised you to get smaller versions of everything. But let’s take water, for instance. You could store dozens of plastic bottles inside your flat but you can actually save space if you were to store it in larger, 5 gallon BPA-free water bottles. You see, when you stock up on them, there’s space between them. Not the case with larger bottles and barrels.
Some of the other things to consider in larger quantities include:
- hand sanitizer
- larger rolls of duct tape and/or electrical tape
- Ziploc and Mylar bags
Again, this goes somewhat against what we discussed earlier about getting smaller versions of everything so you’ll have to use your best judgement. For example, if you want hand sanitizer for your bug out bag, the smallest plastic bottle will do but if you’re looking to store it somewhere in your apartment, the biggest bottle you can find is better than 3 or 4 little ones. This will save you some money, too.
Inside the Gap Between Your Books and Bookcases
If there isn’t a gap, you can try bringing all your books forward to make one. It definitely won’t look suspicious as long as no one wants to read any of your books.
Behind Your Flat-Screen TV
Lots of room there, although those preps will be easy to spot. You need to be careful with what you store there because the odds of other people seeing it are pretty big. One way to improve your odds is to put old boxes from the stuff you bought over the years, such as your cell phone, your wireless modem, your iPad and so on. There’s nothing fishy about putting boxes that used to belong to your gadgets behind your T.V.
Inside Shelves Made of PVC Pipes
I’m not talking about the pipes used to make the frame of the shelves, I’m talking about the shelves themselves. When you put PVC pipes next to each-other, you can stash stuff both on and in them.
Focus on Dehydrated Foods
Dehydrated and freeze-dried food takes up a lot less space than canned, but the downside is that you need to store extra water in order to consume them. If you think water won’t be a problem post-SHTF, how about storing a few water filters along with your dehydrated food?
Under Your Bathtub
I’m not sure what size and shape your tub is but I do know for a fact that some of them have a ton of free space underneath. Mine is no exception. You can’t store food or medicine down there because moisture decreases shelf life but I bet you can think about a lot of other stuff you can stash.
Switch to a Platform Bed
There’s no telling how much food and water you can store underneath your bed…
Use Cans To Support Your Bed
Not everyone’s willing to go this far but maybe you are…
Get a Larger Nightstand
A nightstand that’s just a little big bigger could accommodate a lot more stuff and no one is going to complain.
Rent a Storage Container
That’s thinking outside the box, right? A storage unit will allow you to store as many things as you want and no one will ever know that you have it, let alone what’s inside.
On Top of Kitchen Cabinets
Not many people think about storing things up there. Nevertheless, you probably have a lot of space there. And if you’re worried people will ask what’s up there, you may want to replace your cabinets with bigger ones.
Into The Woods
Maybe you have a place with a nice view where you used to drive girls to make out while looking at your beautiful city. If that place is on your way to your bug out location, even better. Just make sure you carefully choose your place and keep in mind temperature variations if you decide to store it above ground.
Get a Coffee Table. Or Two.
If you don’t have one, maybe now’s the time. If you do, a second one is even better. Just make sure the ones you choose can safely conceal enough your preps without raising any suspicions. Hint: if you can get a coffee table that has little wheels underneath, it will be easier to move and, should someone else other than you do it, they won’t complain about how heavy it is and ask why.
Also, if you want to save money by doing a small DIY project. All you need is a cloth to cover the whole thing, plywood and #10 cans of food or ammo cans.
Consider The Corners of Your Rooms
The ones that aren’t getting in your way of course. Surely you can put boxes filled with goodies there.
Inside Your Suitcases
This assumes you don’t travel much but, even if you do, you can just empty them and leave the food in the same place, then put it back when you return.
Under Your Desk
You may have to cleverly disguise them but this is a great hiding place!
Under or Inside Your Sofa and Armchairs…
Install Floor to Ceiling Closets
This will give you a lot more space and you won’t have to put all your preps inside boxes on top of your current one.
Inside Your Shoes That Are Out Of Season
Since they’ll take up space, anyway, you can take advantage of that and store some of your preps inside. A side benefit to doing this is that you’ll help your shoes maintain their shape when not in use.
Install More Shelves
If you have a wall that looks too empty and is not in your way, consider filling it up with shelves all the way to the top. If you know what you’re doing, you can even make it look pretty.
Install Fake Air Vents
The closer you can put the to the ceiling, the less likely for anyone to accidentally check what’s inside. The only thing to keep in mind is that the air near the ceiling is hotter than the one form the rest of the room and might compromise your food or meds.
Get Rid Of Your Junk
OK so, if you’ve been reading about survival and prepping for a while now, you probably know that almost nothing should be thrown away because you never know when you might need it. However, if you live in a tiny apartment, your emergency essentials are more important. Consider taking all of your stuff out from every room of the house so you can see what can be thrown away and what can be reorganized.
Even if you don’t want to throw away anything, you can still reorganize your stuff to take up less space. Just take it all out and ask yourself: what should I store where, in order to save space?
Last But Not Least: Get Creative!
A careful inspection of your apartment will reveal all sorts of places you can hide your stuff. But if you’re having a hard time doing that, I highly recommend this other article full of hiding places that are mostly suitable for suburban and rural preppers. Enjoy!