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Organizing Your Prepper Pantry: How to Stock And Store Your Prepper Pantry

If you’re keeping ready for a civil emergency or natural catastrophe, you certainly spend time thinking about your food stocks. But having dried foods, canned goods, and other survival nutrition stashed in your house isn’t necessarily all the preparation you need.

To be fully ready, you should keep your prepper pantry well organized. Read on for help in organizing prepper pantry items.

Organizing Prepper Pantry

Getting Started in Organizing Your Prepper Pantry

There are some basic rules for organizing a prepper pantry. Continue reading for an initial look at how to put your pantry together.

Start with Basic Supplies


Water supplies will be the easiest part of organizing prepper pantry items. Simply going to the grocery store and stocking up on bottled water is all the advanced strategy you’ll need.

As a backup, though, you should have some emergency water storage containers on hand. As long as a domestic water supply is available, you’ll be in good shape.

But to be sure you’re prepared for an absolute worst-case scenario, you should have some water purification tablets on hand. That way, you’ll be ready in case you have to get water from a questionable source.


Milk is a nutritional basic packed with protein and vitamins. But in an emergency, you may not have refrigeration available. So, in organizing prepper pantry items, include plenty of powdered milk.

Canned goods

Canned goods obviously will be fundamental to organizing prepper pantry items. From various meats to fruits and vegetables, canned goods will provide a significant amount of daily food intake in an emergency.

Dried beans

Dried beans can be an important element of your survival food stores. They should be included in organizing prepper pantry items, in particular, because they can last for years when properly stored.

Be aware, though, that you’ll need water to use dried beans effectively.

Non-food items

In addition to food, don’t forget your prepper pantry should include cookware and cooking and eating utensils. Your prepper pantry will also be a great place to store over-the-counter medication, first aid supplies, and personal hygiene items.


Ideally, your prepper pantry can be located in a spare bedroom or other little-used space in your home, such as a seldom-used dining room. One place it should never be located, however, is in your garage or carport, where temperature and humidity fluctuations can wreak havoc with stored food.

If you don’t have an unused space in your house, think about adapting some existing space. Any place you can install shelving is a good location, even if it means your pantry items are spread around your house.

Also, think about reorganizing closets to free up space for pantry shelving. And don’t forget about opening up space under staircases for shelving.


One of the challenges in organizing prepper pantry items is storing bulk items like rice, beans, sugar, and flour. To keep those items usable for maximum time, use food-grade airtight containers and oxygen absorbers.

Organizing Prepper Pantry

Maintaining Your Prepper Pantry

One of the most important things to know about organizing prepper pantry items is that it isn’t a “set it and forget it” proposition. You’ll need to keep an eye on your pantry stocks to ensure things aren’t kept beyond their “use by” dates.

Keeping Track of Expiration Dates

As anyone who has ever checked for expiration dates on packaged food items can attest, it’s sometimes difficult to find them. And when you do find them, they’re often too small or faded to read easily.

As you’re organizing your prepper pantry items, use an indelible marker to more clearly note expiration dates and keep your food items in good order.

Tips for Rotating Prepper Pantry Stock

As part of organizing your prepper pantry, you should make sure that the items with the closest expiration dates are at the front of your shelves. In turn, items with longer-term expiration dates should be placed at the back of your shelves.

That way, it will be easy to know when pantry items may need to be thrown out. Replacing them is then as simple as moving newer items to the front of your shelves.

Organizing Your Prepper Pantry Frequently Asked Questions

After seeing the tips reviewed here, you’ve probably come up with some questions. Read on for answers to some frequent queries on organizing prepper pantry supplies.

How long should a prepper pantry be able to support food needs?

As you set about organizing prepper pantry items, you should calculate how long your stock should be able to support you and your family. If you’re just starting with your prepper pantry, aim to have two to four weeks of sustenance in storage. Later, try to extend your time horizon to at least three months.

As you stretch toward a 3- to 6-month food supply, plan on at least 300 pounds of cereals and other grains for a family of four. Also, plan to have 100 pounds of peas and beans. Finally, you should have at least 200 cans of meat and other proteins and the same in canned fruits and vegetables.

What can be added to a prepper pantry to bring special touches to meals?

If you’re forced to rely on your prepper stocks for a long term, you’ll appreciate any special touches in pantry items.

So be sure your prepper pantry includes some dried herbs and spices — basil, rosemary, and paprika are popular — to add variety to your food. Also, don’t forget condiments like ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce.

Dried fruits and nuts, and even chocolate chips, are other items to add a bit of flair to your prepper pantry options. Plus, they can serve as special snacks and treats.

What food options have the longest shelf life for prepper pantry use?

As you set out organizing prepper pantry items, you’ll find many options come with years-long shelf lives. For instance, dried pasta can last up to 30 years when stored in an airtight container.

White and brown rice can also last for 30 years when sealed and kept cool and dry. Dried beans can also last for as long as three decades if they’re kept in a cool, dry place.

Commercially canned goods won’t last as long as rice, beans, or pasta. However, they routinely can be safely consumed for two to five years after purchase.

Organizing Prepper Pantry

Wrapping up Organizing Your Prepper Pantry

For more on organizing prepper pantry items, read the Survival World post on the best prepper food. Also, check out the 10 best canned foods for your survival stock and vegan survival food options.

Survival World also answers questions on survival food kits and provides many survival food recipes.