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During the outbreak of COVID-19, a lot of people have been stocking up on emergency supplies in the event of a shortage or other issues – surely by now you’ve seen all the photographs of people’s shopping carts full to the brim with bottled water and toilet paper.


While it may seem like some of us are going a bit, er, overboard with buying emergency supplies for the home, the truth is that a lot of us are keeping extra groceries and emergency preparedness kits around just in case things get worse before they get better during COVID-19. But during your last trip to Costco to buy food, one question may have crossed your mind: where am I going to keep all this?


Proper emergency supply storage is important both during a pandemic and otherwise, but it can be tough to know how you can safely store everything. Here’s a few common emergency supplies and emergency foods you might (and should!) have on hand for the near future, and where you can keep it all:


Toilet Paper: Let’s start with the big one. Toilet paper storage is a pretty constant struggle for many homes, but it can get magnified by the need to store giant bulk packages. Bulk toilet paper storage is best achieved through the old process of “divide & conquer” – start by keeping a few active rolls in your bathroom on bathroom wall shelves for easy access, and then find a closet with floor space, a corner in the garage or another dry spot to keep the rest of them on wire shelves until you need it. Try to avoid using the basement unless it’s temperature-controlled, so they don’t get damaged by basement humidity.


Bulk Food: Canned goods are a common sight during these situations, and while they’re frequently praised for their resiliency, you can still take some steps to keep them fresh and edible. Similar to the toilet paper, you should designate two storage areas for canned goods storage: use pantry organizers to keep a few cans in the kitchen where they’re still easily accessible, and then store the rest somewhere safe. Depending on what you’re trying to store and how the weather is where you live, you might be able to store these in the garage or basement out of the sunlight, but otherwise these may need to go in a quiet corner of the dining room or kitchen to prevent premature spoilage.


Cleaning Supplies: Things like hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are coming in handier than ever these days, and you’ve probably been stocking up on them over the last few weeks. Cleaning supply storage, especially during coronavirus, is actually best accomplished by spreading them all over the house. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on your coffee table, leave some wipes in the kitchen, put that bleach pen down in the laundry room right away, and so on. Keeping them immediately visible will help your family remember to use them more often, and the rest can go safely under a sink until they’re needed again.


Medical Supplies: Even if you’ve got a fully-stocked first aid kit at hand, you’re probably less worried about bandages and more worried about cough syrup and decongestants right now. Home medicine storage is usually defined by however your family can get to them fastest. If you have younger kids that need help measuring the right dosage, you might want to look into keeping them on higher closet shelves or taller bathroom shelves to make sure they don’t get taken on accident without you around. Older kids (and the parents, of course) can probably keep a bottle of cough syrup on their bedroom nightstand – you know, just in case.

However you wind up storing your bulk goods and organizing emergency supplies, everyone here at The Shelving Store wishes you and your family a safe and healthy season!

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