10 Non-Food Items for Home Storage
When you think about storing items and saving them for emergencies, you’re likely focusing solely on food, including canned goods, non-perishable snacks, and water. However, there are some non-food items for home storage that are just as important. If you’re not sure which items to start stockpiling, use this list of 10 non-food items to help you get moving forward.
Alan reminded me that rummage and garage sales have a lot of these items! And don’t forget the dollar stores near you! If we can save money on the items we need, it’s a win-win!
10 Non-Food Items for Home Storage
1. Toilet Paper
It’s always good to have plenty of toilet paper stocked up in storage space inside the home. While this doesn’t mean you need to rush out and buy it all at once right now, it does mean that you should start looking for great deals. So grab the toilet paper while it’s on sale. There have been periods when this critical family storage item has been unavailable, so plan to buy and store it now.
The best thing about it is that it doesn’t hurt to have a bunch of it stored away because it doesn’t go bad. You don’t know when you might need more of it!
2. Reusable Towels
Sure, you can always start stocking up on paper towels, just like you would with toilet paper. However, reusable towels are far more convenient. You can wash them and use them over and over again. If you’re in a situation where you need to clean something, or even wash your body, you’ll have more than enough reusable towels to do so.
Mark and I have actually been using cotton baby diapers for a few years now in place of paper towels. I’m sure we’ve saved a bunch of money doing so.
3. Different Types of Batteries
Always store different sizes of batteries at home. You can use them in flashlights and other devices, especially during emergencies. You can buy them while they’re on sale to get the best deals possible. Most batteries tend to last a long time as listed on the battery case.
Be sure to get Double-A, Triple-A, and other sizes for different products. It’s also a good idea to purchase high-quality battery brands to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth.
4. Comfortable Blankets
Store several blankets and continue collecting them as the weeks and months pass. If you’re in a situation where you don’t have heat, these blankets could be one of the things that help you and your loved ones stay warm. For example, look at what the people of Texas were dealing with in the winter of 2021. Residents didn’t expect to see or experience snow, freezing rain, broken water pipes, and loss of power from downed powerlines.
It was so bad that many people went without power for weeks! Because you can’t predict the future, your best bet is to make sure you have enough blankets for everyone in the household.
Don’t forget that you can also use these blankets to provide sleeping comfort if you’re all staying in a single room in the house due to an emergency.
5. First-Aid Kit Supplies
You can’t go wrong with collecting and storing first-aid kit supplies. You can keep a large container full of these essential supplies to use when someone needs them. Some of the items worth buying and adding to storage include rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, bandages, gauze pads, pain relievers, antibiotic ointments, burn creams, and more. In case you missed this post, First Aid Kits-What You Need To Survive
Think of anything that would come in handy if someone scraped their leg, sustained a burn, had menstrual cramps, broke an arm, and more.
6. Large Candles
If the electricity goes out and you can’t turn the lights on in your home, you’ll need to rely on candles to help you see where you’re going. You don’t need to buy and store the fanciest candles available. Instead, get them while they’re on sale and choose ones that will stay lit for a long period. You may want to pick some that put out a flavorful odor, but that isn’t the most important consideration.
The calming aroma from the candles can leave you feeling more at ease while you’re using them for light. Be sure to place the candles in a safe and secure spot to keep the glass candle holder from being knocked over and breaking, along with the risk of fire.
7. Feminine Hygiene Products
Make sure you have what you’ll need when dealing with your menstrual cycle. It’s even more important to store more feminine hygiene products when you have other women in the household, such as daughters who currently get their period.
You can collect pads, tampons, and pantyliners, placing them in a large plastic container with a lid to keep them stored until you need them. It’s great to get them while they’re on sale. You can even use coupons to get great deals on these much-needed products. In case you missed this post, How To Make Reusable Menstrual Pads
8. Different Types of Medicines
Always store some medicine that you can use, whether it’s an emergency or not. You should have allergy medication, pain relievers, cold medicine, antacids, and other products you may use throughout the year when experiencing pain or discomfort. Base your purchases and storage on your own family’s experience.
If you have children of different ages living in the household with you, be sure to buy age-appropriate medicine for them to have, too. You don’t know when someone will suddenly start to feel sick, but you can make sure you’re prepared for it.
9. Flashlights and Electric Lanterns
Not only do candles come in handy when the electricity goes out, but so do flashlights and electric lanterns. Collect flashlights in different sizes so that you can use them to see where you’re going inside the home. You should make sure each person in the house has at least one electric lantern for their bedroom too.
It’s great to have flashlights and electric lanterns at night when you’ve put the candles out. This helps to avoid the risk of a fire when dealing with an emergency in your home. As long as you have batteries, you can expect your flashlights and electric lanterns to work. Flashlights or Lanterns
10. Protective Gear
Because you don’t know what to expect, especially in an emergency, make sure you’re stocking up on emergency gear. It would be best to have rain jackets, rain boots, warm gloves, hats, and other accessories that can come in handy in any weather.
You don’t know if you’d need to leave home and deal with harsh weather conditions. If you stock up on these items, you can put them to good use.
10 Non-Food Items for Home Storage
Along with storing different foods for emergencies, make sure you’re collecting some essential non-food items for home storage that you can store and hold on to until you need them. Specific items can come in handy, including flashlights, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products. If you’d like to make sure you’re fully prepared for any emergency that comes your way, these are some of the items you need to start collecting and putting into storage for safekeeping. May God Bless this world, Linda.
Copyright Images: Black Front Doof of White House AdobeStock_298602917 by denisismagilov
44 thoughts on “10 Non-Food Items for Home Storage”
Good morning Linda,
Another thing related to batteries is battery size adapters. I have some that allow you to use C batteries in place of D batteries and also a few that allow you to snap in three AA batteries and use that in place of a D battery. So, if I run out of D batteries for my large flashlights, I can use two C batteries in place of the two D batteries. I also can use the AA adapters and use six AA batteries to power the flashlights that take two D batteries. Of course, they will not last quite as long as the D batteries, but in a pinch I can still use my large flashlights sparingly. Have a great weekend and try to stay cool. We have been having monsoon season here in the Texas Hill Country. Monday afternoon, we had a storm that dropped 2½ inches of rain in just under an hour. Thank goodness we are on a hill. LOL!!
Hi Harry, oh my gosh, I have never heard of battery adaptors that will make this possible. Thank goodness you live on a hill. That’s a lot of rain in an hour!! Yikes! Great tip! We had some flooding north of us but it’s about 45 minutes away from us from torrential rains. We just have an air conditioner that we pray will keep working. People around us have A/C’ that have given out. We had a temperature of 115 yesterday, the weather guy is predicting 116 today. Needless to say, we stay indoors! LOL! Glad your home was safe. Linda
That’s a lot in hill country. That rock doesn’t drain well. Stay safe
Well, believe it or not, even with the myriad rocks we have, the soil between is more porous than most people imagine. On our 1½ acres, we never landscaped and have numerous low spots that collect water during heavy rain. Within a couple hours of the rain stopping, it soaks in. That’s great for our oak trees that fight to get enough water away from the mountain juniper. LOL!!
That’s a good deal. I was at Ft Hood a minute and helped a friend carve out his slice of heaven in that bedrock
In addition to battery size adapters (which i have), it’s a good idea to have a decent stock of rechargeable batteries and a charger. I use Sanyo Eneloop (AA and AAA) and Tenergy Centura (oV) rechargeables, but it’s always good to have regular batteries on hand as well. Here’s are some links.
Hi Ray, thanks for the links, these are awesome! Linda
Great list, Linda! You are so smart! And to think you share your knowledge. That is so awesome! I’m so lucky that I have all of these things.
Hi Deborah, it’s funny sometimes we just need a friendly reminder or a nudge to stock up on things we may have forgotten. Happy Saturday! Linda
This is so true. I stocked up before and during the shut down on a lot of things. I’m still doing it. I have a lot of kitchen hand towels as well as the bathroom ones. Not bath towels, although I have plenty of them as well. I have also stocked up on dish soap. I have plenty of what I need to make laundry soap. I just bought some Ivory soap for laundry too. I use about a quarter of a cup, if that per large load.
HI Deborah, I will keep writing posts about different things to stock up on. So many people are still learning we need to stock more than the ONE bottle of dish soap below the sink. When in doubt buy two or three or ten if the price is a clearance $$$!! Linda
That is so good Linda! Every one needs to know what to stock up on. I have 3 large bottles and a small one that I refill from the bigger ones. I’ll keep stocking up on what we use as long as I’m alive and can. I do love your posts. All of them even if I don’t post something. I do try to help in any way possible. Thank you so much for helping us be prepared for anything that comes up.
Hi Deborah, thank you, my friend, I love knowing you are prepared. Linda
Tools and hardware like screws, bolts and nails. Things will break or get broken or broken into and need fixing and reforcing
HI Matt, I agree, we need the supplies to take care of the things we have. And the tools! Linda
I have a store nearby called Ollie’s that often gets buyouts from places. Only non-perishable food items but I’ve been able to stock up on things sometimes. Cereal, baking supplies, coffee, tea, chicken broth, etc. it’s a bit different all the time but it’s been hugely helpful. I go check them out every paycheck to see if there’s anything worthwhile. Even if I don’t find anything every time, when I do it’s very worth it. Check out unusual stores like that around you cause you can find great options!!
Hi Jessica, when I lived up north we had a few stores like that. You can find some bargains that are cheaper than the dollar store sometimes. Of rouse, the products are different every time, but wow, can you save some money. Linda
If your tight on space, blankets and quilts can be stored between the mattress and box springs until you need them.
Hi Beth, that’s a great idea! So many of us are downsizing, great tip! Linda
Beth, my grandmother that. I need to do it, too. Plus, downsize some.
Linda,You mentioned reuseable towels what I use is cloth Calendars. They can be hard to find at times but they are so worth it. After I use them for the year I wash and put in a drawer and use for everything. I use them for drying dishes, they are great to cool cookies on, I use them to strain fruit like grapes or cherries to make the juice for jelly. I have
been lucky enough to go to a Amish store that is down the road from me and at the beginning of the next year they have leftover cloth calendars and on sale for like 50 cents or 25 cents. I buy 5 or 6 and keep them to use.
Hi June, oh I need to watch for those!! Wow, I had no idea we could buy cloth calendars. WOW!! LInda
Great list! I would add: Foil, zip lock bags (quart and gallon sizes), pet food and litter, seeds, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent.
Hi Anne, good idea! I need to write another one with those items!! Great reminder, Linda
One of the Non-food things I keep around is needles (of various sizes), thread, buttons and pins(safety and straight). Not too many people now a days keep a “sewing” or button box around. I also keep a travel sewing kit in my purse. Had to use it one day when one of the guys I worked with needed a repair to his tie before his client came in, surprised him as he was just going to go out and buy a new tie. Told him that was ridiculous, give it here and I fixed it for him.
Hi Kathy, oh you are my kind of woman! We don’t need a new tie, just repair it! I love this comment! Thanks for sharing this awesome story! Linda
Hi Linda. Super article as usual. Here’s a link to a page I put together listing cheap flashlights that run on just about any kind of battery you can name AND with an emphasis on lights requiring just ONE battery. Could prove very useful in a crises situation. To save you some brouhaha at the beginning, the actual listing starts at 2:16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv7Bx6usT-g
HI Ron, thank you, I love getting links like this! You rock, Linda
A great article as always! As I read it, I jumped up, went to my bathroom where I keep girl products…omg, there were None left. I’ve always tried to keep pads, tampons, girl wipes, on hand for guests. Um, nobody Told Me they’d used the last one? I guess I will need to put a note on the boxes to remind them to let me know if supply is low? And, this is done for everyday life, not a crisis. (Feels like a crisis if a person needs one.)
A wierd thing I do is save, cut up “cloth” products like old sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, terry cloth robes, t-shirts. I use these for cleaning up but during pandemic, used many of these rags for pee-pee towels so we wouldn’t use/run out of TP.
As to bedding: I cut, sewed, a king-size bedspread to make curtains for my patio door window. Left with me by my son’s friend who rented a room many yrs ago. It blocks out heat and cold but is easily washed and dried. Matches my decor, strangely enuf.
As to lighting with candles…I opted for oil lamps a long time ago. They are not expensive to buy, cheaper yet at thrift stores. One big lamp lights a small room. I keep 2/room, recently put all of mine above a kitchen cabinet as ‘decor’, with bottles of lamp oil and a cutesy box of extra wicks and wooden matches. I think lamps are more efficient, less costly than are candles.
Just some thoughts…
Hi Wendy, I know some people have candles, I only have 5 and they will never be lit, they are on my dining room table!! LOL! I have lanterns, and solar likes galore. The monthly girly supplies really are a crisis if someone comes and my cupboard is empty!! I totally understand that one! I like your idea about the king-size bedspread made into a curtain! I love it! I have a lot of family cloth, it’s critical we have them just in case. Great tips, Linda
Lanterns . . . the kind that use oil. I have candles as well but the lanterns provide more light. We have an Amish community here and was in Goodwill and they had stacks of lanterns for $3.99 some antique. I and an Amish man were busy putting them in our carts, lol. I have some gorgeous murano glass ones which I keep ready to go in the Living Room and the Bedroom. Something for every taste and they come in a variety of sizes.
Hi Anne, oh my gosh, what a great find! I love everything Amish! Thrift stores can be a great place to find things we least expect. Linda
Great information as always. Candles of all types scare me in any situation. Fire in the house can be
There are a number of lanterns that charge from a built in solar panel and/or a dynamo hand crank.
You can also use a AA battery. The lanterns are very bright and have three settings
Hi Chuck, I have to agree with you, I do not care for candles, I worry about fire as well. There are so many good lanterns if you watch for them on sale or in the clearance bin. Great comment, Linda
Everyone else had the same additional ideas I did!
Re. the candles–it’s sometimes possible to find holders with a glass chimney like an oil lamp. The old-fashioned candle holders were made to be stable, so look for those as well, rather than using fancy candlesticks. (Ours is an old house with lots of old stuff in it–for many decades we were at the very end of the electric line, so we’ve always kept all the tabletop oil lamps as well as the kerosene lanterns!)
On the basis that it’s easier to store fewer products–I’ve had very good luck with Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds. It’s now my laundry soap as well as dish soap (and fairly often gets used for hand soap too). Quite concentrated, so a gallon lasts many months!
Hi Rhonda, oh I like the chimney idea. Does the Dr. Bronners Sal Suds smell like PineSol? If it’s a faint smell that would work. I want to order some of that. My husband does not like the smell of Pinesol, LOL! It reminds him of the Army latrines. LOL! I love the smell!
For non-edible, but food adjacent items a few things to think about storing: zip-top bags and aluminum foil. I only get freezer grade bags (extra thick and better closures) in gallon and quart sizes. The bags are good for storing leftover (dry!) FD food, but can also be used to keep paper or other gear dry. Also, aluminum foil in various sizes is quite handy – useful in cooking to line pans or create cooking pouches, etc. I have both the regular size and the large one for full sheet pans or covering the grill. And the foil can come in handy if you want to prepare against EMP (wrapping items in paper then foil, then paper again before placing into a faraday cage dramatically increases the chances your equipment will survive an EMP event.) Or if you put it behind a candle or lantern it can be used to reflect the light to focus the light in a more useful direction. Actually my mother always put a ring of aluminum foil around the base of candles to catch any drips and make it easier to clean up the plates post event.
Definitely agree on the blankets, but consider getting a variety of types of blankets. Wool are great in case of rain, but unless you pay for super premium wool blankets they tend to be scratchy. I have a mix of wool blankets and synthetic blend blankets (primarily airline style) in addition to extra bed sized blankets and quilts. And don’t forget that most sleeping bags can be unzipped and used as a blanket too….
Thanks for keeping the articles coming and getting folks to think about things before an event happens!
Hi DMWalsh, oh the scratchy wool blankets are the worst!! LOL! I hear you on that one! I’m with you on the freezer bags, they are stronger and thicker and they don’t usually split! I will be writing more like this but foil is big on my list as well! Great comment. Linda
during ice storms, we also use extra blankets to close off sections of the house with no doors. This retained the heat better and allowed us to live in a smaller area with the only heat source we had (fireplace). Just tacked up a few nails at the openings and hung the blankets around the frame.
Hope this helps!
Hi Sandy, a great reminder on how to use blankets! So many people do not think about blocking off the cold in one room. I’m glad you have a fireplace. Linda
Linda, Thank you for the time and effort you invest daily to share useful info and provide a space for community input.
This past year I have attempted to cut down on paper towel usage. I invested in some “Bar Towels” from Walmart online. They are white so I can bleach as needed and are a good size for kitchen use.
I live on a dead end road on a mountain in a rural part of TN, so must be prepared for power outages. I have battery lanterns, solar lights on standby and candles. Wow, the price of candles is ridiculous now!
Keeping first aid supplies on hand is tricky to keep up with expiration dates. Ex: alcohol, peroxide, cold meds, sinus, etc. I want to be prepared, but hate to be wasteful. Anyone have a solution?
Love hearing everyone’s ideas.
Hi Grammy Chris, I hear you on keeping up with the expiration dates. This is how I view it, yes we must rotate, if we had used them we would be so grateful we had them. They are a lot like car insurance or home insurance. We have it if we need it, it is not wasteful to toss when expired. Buy smaller bottles even though the bigger ones are cheaper per ounce sometimes, they are more expensive if we don’t use them, right? This would depend on how many people live in your home of, course. I buy small bottles and rotate as needed. Stay well, Linda
Linda, you mentioned stocking up on these items when they come on sale, which is very good advice for everyone. But, for people who have the time to hit rummage/garage sales, and if they occur in one’s area, the cost can be a fraction what even the retail sale price is. Of the 8 items you have listed my wife and I have bought much of everything at r/g sales, except we don’t buy batteries and meds there. TP we buy at our local Dollar Tree store, four rolls of 240 2-ply sheets, 960 total for $1 . . . can’t beat that price anywhere.
Hi Alan, oh great reminder, I’m going to go add that to the post. I’m a big garage sale and rummage sale person. Plus, the dollar stores always have something useful and cheap!! I got out of the routine this last year. Thank you! Linda