Tips on Stockpiling Food When Living in a Small Space

Not everyone has a full basement or a room to store the extra food, household, or personal care items they purchase from the store. If you have very little space to keep your stockpiled items, use these tips to help you maximize where to cleverly store your stockpile.

1. Buy Only What is Needed
If you live in a small house with no space to store excess items you purchase on sale with your coupons, then stick to the basics. Pick up the items you prefer to use for free, or next to nothing, but pass on the items you would not personally use. Stockpile 2-3 of your favorite items and wait until the deal happens again.

2. Clean Out What You Don’t Need
Check all of your closets and clear out the unnecessary clutter. As you work through every room in the house and clean out everything you don’t need, you’ll be surprised at what you can throw out or give away. This will allow more room for extra grocery and household items that you would like to purchase or need.  

3. Stay Organized
Part of maintaining a stockpile is knowing what you have on hand and using it. Keep your stockpile organized. Keep a list of what you bought and how much you have on hand. It’s also important to know how long food stores and how to store it.

No matter when you buy your stockpile items, you need to have a plan to rotate it. You don’t want to invest your time and money into building a stockpile only to have it go bad sitting on your shelves. Always pull the older items to the front and put the newer items toward the back. When you plan your meals, consider your stockpile before you go on your weekly grocery run. Use what you can and replace older stockpile items with newer ones.

4. Be Creative
Now it’s time to be creative by using top shelves in closets, and filling the empty space under beds and couches. Here are some ideas:  


  • Place beds on cinder blocks, then purchase shallow plastic bins to place under the beds. Add skirting to conceal the items.
  • Store cans on their sides under a twin bed. Line them up in rows of their category (fruit, veggies, meat, etc…). When cans are purchased, place them under the left side of the bed. When a can is needed for meal preparation, pull it from the right side. This is an inexpensive rotating storage system under the beds.
  • Plastic bins, boxes, cans, food buckets, or milk crates can be stacked in the corner of a bedroom closet. 


  • Convert the coat closet into a little storage room by adding shelves to it. Keep coats in the bedroom closet. 
  • Place short bookshelves in closets and used them for food storage.
  • Clear everything out of the bottom of a closet. Fill that space with either #10 cans or a couple of cases of canned goods. Cut a piece of plywood to size and place on top of the cans. This creates a false bottom in your closet. 


  • Clean out and organize under the kitchen sink. With any leftover space, store cans of food or paper products.
  • Hang a pantry door shelf that hooks over the top of the pantry door and place all the spices in it.


  • The laundry/utility room often has extra space above the washer and dryer that can be used to store items such as toilet paper, dish soap, shampoos, etc.
  • Place boxes of food between the wall and the couches. 
  • Make a table with a board on top of a couple of cases of canned goods and cover it with a table cloth. 
  • Stack 2-liter bottles of water horizontally between the filing cabinet and the wall.

Hopfully this helps to give you new ideas. If you have additional tips about how to stockpile food when living in a small space, please share with everyone.

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  1. Cleaning out the what you don’t need is so important. There was a situation with my friend that involved food that he usually microwaves and if doesn’t finish it, he stores it in the fridge. Guess what? It stays in the fridge for soooo long. Clean up your spaces so you can place things you need. It’s good that you placed that advice on the top.

  2. I also lived in a small apartment and my great advantage is that i live near the grocery where food is just a walk away. I don’t usually fill my fridge with food but sometimes i do during rainy season.

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