Monday, June 21, 2010

Apartment Survival Strategies

One of the problems of living in an apartment is that you are highly dependent on infrastructure: water/sewer, power, trash and the like.

While an ultimate solution is to bug out to a family member's home in the country; that isn't always possible for many reasons, like if you are trapped because of a blizzard.

So remember the basics: food, water, shelter (heat and light) and medical supplies.

An apartment doesn't have a basement so you'll have to get creative with storage.

Bottled water is easy to store. A great place is under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, because water bottles aren't concerned about moisture and those spaces are often not completely filled anyway.

Food is a little more interesting. Obviously, you are not going to have a big freezer so most of your food will have to be boxed or canned. But that means we can fit it practically anywhere they can fit.

A note about boxes. Food tends to be heavy so don't get big boxes, think small like large shoebox sized.

To make them more useful organize the food in the boxes so that you have several meals ready to go. That way you don't have to dig through a bunch of boxes looking for the right ingredients.

Putting labels of what is inside on the outside so you can find things easily. You could even put recipes in there to make it even easier. If you are worried about peekers, just use a generic label like taxes 1999 and reference code and keep the master list in a safe place, but add the location so you know where to look.

At home improvement and home deco stores you can usually get inexpensive side tables that are some legs, a round top and a fabric covering. There is plenty of room under there for several boxes worth of dry goods.

There are underbed storage boxes that allow you to easily slip lots of stuff under the bed.

There are risers for sofas and beds that give you an extra 6 inches under them. They are made for people who have a hard time getting in and out but this also gives us extra space to store food.

If you pull the sofa out from the wall a little you can stack boxes behind it and disguise it with a board on top and  a fabric covering.

And over the toilet storage rack opens up space for soap, toilet paper and cleaning chemicals.