Apparently the entire content of the post didn’t come through, so here is the rest. Sorry!
Air removal can be a tricky thing without the proper tools. When my kids were young, you removed the air by sucking it out of bags with a straw or squishing it out. Air space was filled with wadded up wax paper or left over saran wrap. Now, you can remove air more efficiently with a vacuum sealer or with oxygen absorber packets. For hard sided barriers, you can can-preserve the product to get the air out, vacuum seal it or again, use oxygen packets. Here are some of my recommendations:
Bags: use only heavy duty freezer bags, vacuum bags or Mylar bags. The reason for this is that air will penetrate the thinner bags like zip lock. A complete and reliable seal must be made the entire way around. If you simply can’t afford a vacuum sealer or Mylar, then the best bet is to double wrap product in heavy duty freezer bags twice.
Jars: You can put many items in a jar. If you are not canning, the quality of the jar is less important. That means that you could save the pasta sauce jar and lid. Put your item (such as rice) in the jar and warm the lid up in hot water and then vacuum seal the jar OR toss a 100cc oxygen absorber in with the product. Do not use plastic jars as I have been told that oxygen with eventually penetrate them. Canning jars, of course, are fine for this. The only drawback that I can see is that you are then using expensive canning jars that could go towards your wet food storage through regular canning.
***All bought dry goods should be removed from the original packaging and repackaged if you are going to take more than a couple of months to use them. This is for several reasons: a cardboard type box will disintegrate over time, it has a tendency to absorb moisture from the air AND it is literally food for bugs. There are several bugs that live off the glue used in this packaging.
A quick note: many people recommend that you “wax” your regular tin-type cans. I have found that this is expensive, time consuming and messy. I do not recommend it, but if you have an exceptionally damp storage space, go ahead as it will keep the outside from rusting.
If you use bags of any type (Mylar, vacuum or double Ziploc) then you will need to put them in a tub or bucket. By tub, I mean a Rubbermaid type. This will protect the bags from punctures, but it also makes it much easy to store, since bags are slippery and tend to not stack all that well. I use any tub that was on sale and has at least an indent for a handle, and that can be stacked on top of another tub. I usually am pretty good about labeling these. Please, also don’t forget to label your bag! I also tend to use a lot of bags (which can be reused many times) as I feel that it makes more sense to package things in sizes that will work for my family, so I make meal sized portions of rice and make small packages instead of having 10 pounds of rice open.
I also use 5 gallon buckets that I get from Tractor Supply (you can often find these free from bakeries and restraints). Make sure that the lid you use has a rubber gasket on the inside, as this keeps air out better. I can stack either of these hard containers up to 3 high.
Where can I keep it? The obvious place is of course, a basement or spare room that you can turn into a storage space. However, for real dry goods, like pasta, there is no reason that a garage or storage shed can’t be used. I wouldn’t put my flour or sugar or anything susceptible to damp and moisture or that can freeze, like canned goods, out in an unheated or uncoiled space.
Spare closets are also good hiding spots, as the buckets can be squeezed into any corner and the tubs are something you would normally find in a closet. A couple of under-bed storage tubs are good for canned goods also. They are shallow, but a can will fit perfectly in it. If you are like most people, you can put several of these under a bed and you will have more than one bed to do this with. That is a lot of canned good storage! Closet shelves can be used as can an empty drawer. If you are going out to get storage containers, you can measure your closets and find the ones that fit best.
At one time, I used two tubs as end tables, with a table cloth over them! A trunk as a coffee table will also hold food. Think outside the box!
One thing that most people do is look around and say that there is no space…but do they really need all the other stuff? Will it help feed the family? Better yet, a yard sale for that “stuff” can pay for food preps and containers. I have a friend who doesn’t prep because she doesn’t want to have to clean out her closets…when her kids are hungry, she will dearly regret that decision!
Option of last resort: a nice storage facility. You will want one where you can get in at any time, and this should be close enough for you to walk to, if at all possible. You can haul stuff home in a wagon or on a bike if something were to happen. But, this is an expensive option and I’d rather have less “stuff” in my home than have my valuable food preps in another place.
By judicial use of space, you can certainly find places for your food.
Another ways to maximize the food amount and minimize the space is to dehydrate. Dehydrating food is safe, cheap and efficient. A pound of veggies will reduce down to a half pint!
It takes work and dedication to build, create and maintain your food storage, but it is so very worth it! Food isn’t getting any cheaper, you know?