Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pictures of My Food Storage Room

Some of you may be interested to see what my Food Storage Room looks like. I know it has more food than some of you and less than others, but it works for us. I hope to someday paint this room a lovely buttery yellow and put some cute vinyl lettering on the walls, but for now just imagine it that way. My room may disappoint some of you, because you won't see beautiful jars of bottled fruits and vegetables lining the shelves. I'm semi-homemade, so that would not be true to myself. But I'm sure some of your food storage looks like that.

My Food Storage Room has an outer room and an inner room. When you enter you walk into what I call The Food Storage Closet which is about 5.5 ft. wide by 5.5 ft. deep. Perfect! It looks just like a pantry. There is another door on the far wall that leads to The Fruit Room which is about 5.5 ft. wide x 3.5 ft. deep. Come join me for a tour.


The Food Storage Closet
This outer room has shelves on the right wall and the left wall, and a door rack. This room is carpeted which is great for our winters here. 

The Commercial Shelves

On the right side we have a chrome commercial shelf on wheels. You see them all the time in Costco or Sam's Club. I like the adjustable shelves, but boy, I only like to change it once in a blue moon. There are 6 shelves. I store these items on the commercial shelf from top to bottom:
  1. Extra buckets and lids
  2. #10 sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar (Note: I keep my un-canned white sugar and white flour in a couple of 5-gallon buckets in the kitchen).
  3. Pasta in #10 cans and in plastic totes
  4. Large spice containers, jam, honey, peanut butter
  5. Roaster pan, oils
  6. Glass vases and jars, canning supplies and lids. (Someday I will use them). I like to keep glass items in boxes on the bottom shelf in case of earthquakes.
The Door Rack

This metal door rack hangs on the door that leads to The Fruit Room. It has adjustable shelves too. Here is what I keep on the door rack from top to bottom:
  1. Dough enhancer, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla
  2. Salt, cornstarch
  3. Soy sauce, BBQ sauce
  4. Ketchup, steak sauce
  5. Salad dressings

Also on the door, I have some scissors which I use to cut the thick plastic on cases of canned food, and a permanent marker to write dates on cans or boxes when I need to.

The Wooden Shelves

My husband built these shelves for me on the left side of the room, but suggests that you don't use 1/2 inch particle board as it is not very sturdy. You can see some of shelves are sagging. However, they have worked just fine for me. I seriously need to reorganize. 

There is a large open space on the bottom for me to stack boxes with long-term #10 cans from the LDS Home Storage Center. Then above those are 4 shelves for loose #10 cans. The boxes hold six #10 cans each. I can stack up to 25 boxes in rows of 5 high each to have as many as 150 #10 cans. It saves the most space when you keep them in the boxes.. He measured carefully so they would fit this way and put 2x4's on the carpet so the boxes are off the floor. I'm not interested in spending the money on an expensive rotation shelf. I would rather put that money into food storage.

I buy very few #10 cans from commercial food storage companies as it is too costly for me. I buy most of my #10 cans are from the LDS Home Storage Center. I only store what we will eat right now whether it is a small canned food or a long-term storage item. The Chocolate Morning Moo's is an exception because I have an 8-year old, but we have never opened it. I keep powdered whole eggs on hand for emergencies, but don't use them regularly. Boxed items like breakfast cereal, jello, pudding, and cake mix are in my kitchen.

If you have challenges with moisture in your room, there is a product called Damp Rid Disposable Moisture Absorber that helps prevent mold and mildew. The little beads in the container soak up the extra moisture in the air, and then you flush it down the toilet.

Here are the items I store in #10 cans on the wooden shelves:
  1. Regular oats, quick oats, powdered eggs, cornmeal, baking cocoa, white flour, red wheat, white wheat, pinto beans, Chocolate Morning Moo's, dry milk, instant potatoes, and white rice.

The Fruit Room

When we first moved into our home six years ago, I had no idea what a real fruit room was. I'm not a canner. Standing in the kitchen for long periods of time is painful on my back and feet, so I purchase most of my small canned foods at case lot sales and can my own long-term food at the LDS Home Storage Center.

My basement fruit room already had shelves built by the previous owners. It is on the north side of the house under the porch steps. I have a 2-step stool in here so I can reach items on the top shelf. It has a pull string on the hanging light bulb, and sticky spider traps hiding under the bottom shelf. A bit creepy and not a place I want to spend too much time in.

It's about 70 degrees in the summer and 50 degrees in the winter. There is a vent on the wall of the top shelf that leads to the outside. I keep it covered with a large plastic foam-thingy that was there when I moved in. This prevent too much cold or warm air from entering in. 

I have a thermometer hanging up which helps me know what the temperature is at different times of the year in case I need to adjust the foam-thingy. I would like to add a rug on top of the vinyl flooring in this room as it gets super cold in here during the winter. And put shelf paper on the shelves. Anything to spiff it up. Got to write those ideas down.

I learned early on not to store my peanut butter in The Fruit Room because it gets too stiff. It does better in My Food Storage Closet. Because it gets very cold in The Fruit Room, I put weather stripping on the bottom of the door to keep the cold air in so the outer room keeps a steady temperature of 70 - 75 degrees. Potatoes do well in the fruit room.

I like to keep my cans in the cardboard trays they come in from the case lot sales because it saves space. Sometimes I reuse the trays if I buy a smaller number of cans. You can see that I seriously need to add some food from the upcoming case lot sales. 

There are 6 wooden shelves on three walls in this closet. I store the following items in The Fruit Room from top to bottom:
  1. Canned fruit
  2. Canned soup, Spaghettio's, evaporated milk and broth
  3. Canned tomatoes and salsa
  4. Canned vegetables and olives
  5. Canned beans, chili and stew
  6. Canned meat
Well, that's about it. I hope you enjoyed the tour of my Food Storage Room! Have fun working on yours.

For more pictures of food storage rooms, check out my Pinterest Food Storage & Pantry Organization board.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fall 2013 Prepared LDS Family Food Storage Classes

This fall I can teach my food storage class to a few wards, stakes or other congregations in Northern Utah. I live in Farmington and can only travel between Ogden and North Salt Lake.

Food Storage Class: "You Can Do It" 
Beginning a food storage and emergency preparedness program can be overwhelming. Let me reassure you that everyone can do this their own way. You don't have to do it like grandma did either. In this 1 hour class, I will talk about the 4-Step Approach to Home Storage from the LDS "All Is Safely Gathered In" pamphlet, help you decide what to store based on the current needs of your family, show you how to gather your supplies year-round week-by-week, and share other tips on preparedness. Come away from this class knowing you CAN begin!
  • Cost: No charge
  • Handouts: Will be emailed to the ward representative to preview and copy for class members. Sample Class Outline.pdf 
  • Dates: Click here for current calendar
  • Audience: For Relief Societies or combined groups of men and women
  • Teacher: Valerie Albrechtsen, author of PreparedLDSFamily. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Contact: Valerie at my Contact Me page.
Do I know it all? No. Do you have to know it all? No. But I am passionate about helping you make preparedness a natural part of their current existence. I do not represent any food storage companies and I do not sell gadgets and gizmos a-plenty or whozits and whatzits galore. What a relief! Review my blog and you will know what I believe.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Video: The Tender Mercies of the Lord

Bountiful Temple, lds.org
Friday, I was able to attend the Bountiful Temple with my husband. It was a beautiful, inspirational experience for me. As I sat there in the endowment session, I thanked my Heavenly Father many times for allowing me to be in the temple. It's not that I haven't been there before, but this time I felt so much gratitude in my heart.

As we drove home on the freeway, we could see a fire on the hills in Farmington about 4 miles from our home.

Farmington, Utah fire on hills behind Lagoon, Deseret News
I was alarmed thinking about our two daughters one with a babysitter and the other in Salt Lake, but the fire was not very close. When we arrived home I was anxious and quickly thought about which items we would take if we needed to evacuate. Then a feeling of peace and assurance came over me and I felt all would be well. Thankfully no homes were destroyed. Feeling peace so quickly was a tender mercy for me. I was able to sleep through the night.

The following video talks about the tender mercies of the Lord. Elder David A. Bednar, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, teaches so beautifully how the Savior wants to bless us with personal strength, loving kindness, guidance and many other spiritual gifts.

"But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." 1 Nephi 1:20

As we pause to ponder, we will recognize the many times we've felt the Savior's helping hand in our lives. These are not mere coincidences. We cannot help but feel gratitude for him. I am so thankful for his patience and love for me and my family. I hope you enjoy this Mormon Messages video.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Photo Tour of Farmington, Utah

It was exciting to see that Farmington, Utah ranks number 14 in Money Magazine's top places to live in the U.S. But for many of us living here, we would move it to number 1. So, I thought I would share pictures of our beautiful city. We love our small town nestled beneath the Wasatch Mountains, but we can easily hop on the freeway and be in Salt Lake in 20 minutes.

We love our pioneer heritage as well as our trails, parks and schools. We love our close proximity to ski slopes, lakes and streams. We love the pumpkin patches and farms, but also enjoy our new Station Park shopping mall. We are definitely a blend of old homes and new homes, old timers and new timers.

Yes, the windstorms can be fierce, the winters long, and the heat of the summer makes us glad for our pools and water parks. But nature's contrasts remind us that life with its trials does refine and define us. As Anne Shirley once said, “It's not what the world holds for you. It's what you bring to it.” And each of us who live here has certainly brought our own kind of wonderful to contribute to our hometown Farmington. So, if you have time to "set a spell," relax and enjoy my favorite photos of Farmington in the summer and fall.

Downtown in the Fall
State Street
Our new city hall.
Our old city hall that is now the Farmington Historical museum.
Farmington Rock Church, one of the oldest still in use in Utah.
Looking towards Farmington Canyon.
The firehouse.
Historical homes.

View of Lagoon from Farmington Pond.

The west side.

Summer gardens.

View from the hills looking west.
Looking North-West.
Looking towards Salt Lake
Our hills in the Fall.

Sunset after the end of a busy day.