Apartment Prepping – A Creativity Challenge

It comes up alot in my emergency preparedness meetup group. We all know that being prepared takes planning, it takes a bit of commitment, and above all else it takes space to store the things you think you will need. For those living in apartments, this opens up another facet of preparedness – creativity.And let’s face it… you may need to be willing to display a larger amount of dedication to your task than someone with a 4 car garage.

I am not inventing the wheel here. There are ALOT of blog posts out there on how to prep in limited space. But truthfully, if you look creatively for the empty space in your apartment, I bet you can find alot of nooks and crannies for storage.

Things that first come to mind are.

Steamer truck  or storage tables

You can use them as either coffee tables, end tables, night stands, etc.

Here’s a google image search on ways to decorate with steamer trunks. They go everywhere.

Under Bed Storage

IMG_6228You can buy a fancy storage bed with lots of money and they look great. However, the best idea I have seen is to just use a piece of plywood and some 5 gallon buckets of long term storage food or gear.

This way, you can save money on buying a new bed, and the buckets are easily hidden behind a bed-skirt. Attractive and functional.


There are so many bookshelves out there, pick whatever you want and use them to store extra canned goods, or whatever you want to store. There are even bookshelves with doors, if you want to cover up your goodies when company comes over. Another way is to hang tapestries over the front of your shelving units as well. This also helps protect your books from dust. You can also set your shelves library style if you have more floor space than wall space.

I once saw a picture of someone who used buckets with boards laid across them as shelves, he use buckets as the uprights and boards going across.

Growing plants

Gutter-planted garden greens in the windowMother Earth News has some interesting articles, one of which is about growing greens in gutters in a window. This is definitely apartment friendly provided you have a sunny window.

You know me, I can’t hardly talk preparedness without talking about sustainable living. You need to be able to grow at least SOME fresh foods.

Here’s another article on small space gardening with LOTS of suggestions.

Kitchen Cabinets

You know that space that usually sits empty above your kitchen cabinets? That is a great place to store smaller items like shoe boxes with seasonal gear, candles in Rubbermaid bins, Bug Out Bags, etc. You can even fit FIFO can rollers up there.

There are so many more options out there for apartment dwelling preppers/homesteaders. Take a tour around the intranet and see what you can find. Remember that being prepared is a lifestyle, not a hobby. You may need to adjust your thinking a bit, and go with practical prepping vs trendy living.


I was talking with a friend from my meetup group that lives in an apartment (and basically inspired me to write this post…) and she recently purchased some security items that she can “install” in her apartment without making any permanent damage and losing her security deposit.

She installed a security light in her window that faces her exterior entry hall. She was able to secure the battery run motion sensor LED light to a CD case already near the window. When someone nears her door, it lights up exposing any nefarious goings on.

She also purchased smaller battery LED lights for use during power outages, rather than gas lanterns or candles.

Another lovely battery operated item is this burglar alarm set. It’s wireless, so can set up anywhere you feel is a likely entryway. It can be set for when you are home or away, and some models have a security code to turn them off. You don’t have to feel vulnerable just because you can’t install a permanent security system.

Let me know if you have any other tips or tricks for our spatially challenged.


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