Why Food Storage and the like

FOOD STORAGE BASICS AND BEYOND!

This blog comes to help us all deal with FS questions and to build up from a starting place & build a more complete and full FS & how to be more Self Reliant. Let us all get Prepared & ready for anything that may come our way. You never know when Mother Nature, Man Made Disaster or Money Problems may come and you would need your FS to get you through! I will talk about Emergency Preparedness also!

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness, Other tips and Ideas. Let me help you get ready for what ever may come!

I started Food Storage over 15 years ago. I have taught many classes and been a speaker and helped many people over the years. This is a place where I can state things or address issues I want to cover.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Physical Fitness Idea




We all know that we need to work out weekly if not daily. We all know to eat right, but sometimes these are the hardest things to do.

Try this for a week Choose an activity to do, like walking, dancing, weights, etc. No matter what activity you choose, you can do it all at once, or divide it into two or three parts during the day. If you divide it up, each part should be at least 10 minutes long. 

Just pick something you like to do.  
Pick something that YOU WILL DO! 

Every little thing you do to eat better, to exercise, will make your life better! 


Random Idea Sept



This is something to remember: Be sure to wash all fresh fruit and vegetables before eating. This includes melons, salad, carrots and potatoes. 

I know this is a pretty basic idea but you just never know who has touched or exactly where your fresh furits and vegetables have come from. People touch the produce before they buy, and you may not see them touching it, but where has their hands been? I personally have seen produce dropped on the floor at stores and customers have just put it back on the shelves; The floors are dirty, people walk on them. Fruits and vegetables come from farms, and are transported. It is just good common sense to wash things before you prepare them to eat.

Random Idea Wash your food before you eat it.


Family Time Sept



Make dinner as a family:
Everyone can vote on what to have for dinner. Have everyone do or help with some part of the dinner. Set the table, cook together , eat and clean up together as a family.

Even just making a dessert as a family and spending time together is all that matters. 



Saturday, September 24, 2011

FS Goal Setting and Making a Plan


When it comes to Food Storage most people do not know where to start, how to start or even do not know why to start. Food Storage is just a larger pantry and it can help you save money in the long run. Here is something I wrote in 2008 on this topic and a few more current ideas added in as well.

Goal setting and making a plan can be hard for some and really easy for others. Start by writing down what you want to do. For example you want to get through until pay day with out running to the store every few days. Make a list of everything you will need for 2 weeks. This not only includes food, but toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, laundry soap, dog/cat food as examples. Make a general meal plan/menu. Right down what you need for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.

Know what your family uses in 2 weeks/or even a month for different items. Buy enough to get you through for 2 weeks for starters, then go out a month. I have learned over the years to go shopping once a month and what my family needs to get through that month. How much toilet paper does you family go through in a week? For my family it is a 24 pack for a month. Now that is as long as school is in and people are only
home for a few hours in the morning and evening. When it is vacation time (summer or winter break) we use 36-48 rolls a month.So take things like that in to consideration.

How much milk does your family go through in a day? My house it is about a gallon every two weeks. We are not big milk drinkers. So I only need to 2 gallons for a month. But we do go through a lot of cheese, a 2lb loaf a week very easily.

You can start to make a list, write things on the calendar, use your day planner if you have one. In my house if we write it on the calendar, it gets done. For starters to see how much milk you go through, write down on the calendar, or where ever Monday used 1 gallon up, Wednesday used 1 gallon, Friday used up 2 gallons. Well I think you get the picture. Add up what you use in a week. Easy math a gallon a day is 14 gallons in 2 weeks. A gallon every other day is 7 gallons. Of course it is hard to have 14 gallons of milk in the fridge at one time, but you can buy 3-4 gallons at a time. You can even mix dry milk and mix your regular milk to stretch it so you will have to go to the store less. (if you do this at night while no one is watching, they will never know!) You can also freeze milk, just pour some milk out in to a pitcher or another milk jug, put the lid back on, date and store in the freezer. You then can remove the milk the night before you need it and put it in the fridge. (again no one would know). These are some ideas to help you store some milk, so you would then have to go to the store less, just for milk.

The key is finding a way to get organized and find a way to make a plan on how much of what to buy.
All families are different and all families work differently. What works for me and my family may not work for yours.

Set your goals but do not go over board because you will become over whelmed and not  complete it. Start small, master that and work on from there. You can always learn from the small things and succeed at that and build on to more challenging and more harder things. One thing you do not want to do is say I want my 1 year storage this year but you have no idea where to start or have never really done food storage. It is a Great goal! But start smaller. I want one months worth of food storage. Even that for some is way over board. Then start even smaller. I want one weeks worth of food storage.

Start with your lists, see how much of what you use, then you will know how much you need to buy for one week, a month, to even a year. You do not have to buy it all at once, who really has the money to do that. Most people have to budget out money not only for regular food shopping, but food storage items too. Start small even one can of something extra is better than nothing at all. Set a goal and make a plan!

Right now with the cost of food and everything else going up, people being out of work, and budgets are tight. It is really important to know where every last penny is going. when you make a list and go shopping for groceries every two weeks, to even once a month; If you can to this, you will save money. how many times have you or a family member ran to the store for something and ended up buying other items? Did you forget the one item you went to the store for? A lot of people do. You can end up impulse buying, every time you enter the store. If you say well it is only a few dollars, all those dollars add up. Make a menu, make a list, make a plan, and save money. Good luck!

Food Storage Recipes Sept Oats

Today is a day to share Food Storage Recipes. Now Food Storage is anything you have have in your pantry, cupboards, etc on a regular basis. Sometime we buy things that we know we need to have but really do not know how to use that ingredient. Today I will post some Oatmeal recipes. A really good source is the companies that make and sell oatmeal. Here is a link www.quakeroats.com . Now just go to your favorite producer of the Oats you purchase and see what recipes they have. Of course there are generally recipes on the packages to try also.

This is a great time of year to buy and use Apples. Here is arecipe using both:

OATMEAL APPLE CRISP
3 C. sliced apples, (Yellow Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp)
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. water
1/2 C. rolled oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. butter
1/3 C. brown sugar
Combine apples, flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. salt and water. Place in a greased casserole dish (I doubled the recipe to fill the 9 x 13 pan).
Cut the remaining ingredients together with a pastry blender and sprinkle over the top of the apple mixture in pan. Bake 35 minutes in 375 degree oven.

Oatmeal Bread - By Hand
Ingredients: 5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2-1/2 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked) 1/4 cup granulated sugar, Two 1/4-ounce packages (about 4- 1/2 teaspoons) quick-rising
yeast, 2-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1-1/2 cups water, 1-1/4 low-fat milk, 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine or butter. Preparation Steps: In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, oats, sugar, yeast and salt; mix well. In small saucepan, heat water, milk and margarine until very warm (120ºF to 130ºF).

Add to flour mixture. Blend on low speed of electric mixer until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed; beat 3 minutes. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape dough into ball; place in greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled
in size. Punch down dough. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape to form loaves. Place in two greased 8 x 4 or 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise in warm place 15 minutes or until nearly doubled in
size. Heat oven to 375ºF. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from pans to wire
rack. Cool completely before slicing. Cook Tips and Variations: If desired, brush tops of loaves lightly with melted margarine or butter and sprinkle with additional oats after placing in pans. 2 Loaves


Chewy Chocolate No-Bakes
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips, 5 tablespoons margarine or butter, 16 large marshmallows, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked).1 cup (any combination of) raisins, diced dried mixed fruit, shredded coconut, miniature marshmallows or chopped nuts.
In large saucepan melt chocolate chips, margarine and large marshmallows over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in vanilla. Stir in oats and remaining ingredients.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. 3 dozen

So here are a few Recipes i use all the time for using my Oats in my food Storage. A simple way to use Oatmeal is use it and it is not just a breakfast food. by a few key strokes you can be find great recipes on the net and using Oatmeal, Oats, and the like in your daily cooking.




Friday, September 23, 2011

72 Hour Kit Idea Sept



Hopefully you already have your 72 hour kit ready to go! If so then this is the time of year to update the clothing in the kits. As the kids have gone back to school and new clothes have been bought, time to rotate the clothes in the kits as well. 

We all not only kids either grow, lose weight, gain weight.

Have everyone try on their clothes, and remove the ones that do not fit and add clothes that do fit. Shoes need to be looked at also. Do not forget the socks, jackets, and hats.



Financial Idea Sept


Switch to Online Bill Pay
Save yourself a stamp, and avoid late fees by paying your bills online. You can pay direct to your creditors, or set up automatic bill pay with your bank; and take yourself out of the equation entirely.
 
With online Bill pay you can schedule when your bills are paid, and you can even set up reminders for your monthly regular bills.  Use your smart phone or your calendar on your computer to set up reminders of when to pay bills. Use the technology that you have and put it to good use. So you remember to go in and pay them.

With on line bill pay you will have a record of when and how much you pay. (some banks now even total or having a running total for how much you have paid to that person).  Some banks will stand behind you for a payment that the company receiving it says you did not pay, when you did. No more,  the check is in the mail, no more waiting for the company to post your payment, no more wondering did they get it, no more forgetting to pay a bill, no more late fees. 




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Provident Living Idea Sept






Update your Resume.
You or your spouse may already have a job. Now is the time to update that resume. Update your contact information, add your current job with dates, job title etc.

As times change so do the looks of resumes. Get updated and when you need to look for another job, your updated resume will be easier to tailor make it for the jobs you are applying for.

Update your references and make sure their information is still current.

Your resume should be looked at at least yearly, even if you have the same job you have had. Email changes, phone number changes are just the start of things that need to updated regularly. Did anyone on your reference list send out an email saying they changed their email address, or phone number? Not only update your contact list but update your resume as well. 





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Canning Idea Sept


As September is coming to a close and Canning and harvest season is still going strong, but coming to an end. Here are a few things to keep in mind and remember while storing your home canned goods.

Avoid storing canned food near a furnace, water heater or hot water pipes. Jars need to be kept cool for longer storage life and to protect against spoilage. Be sure to store in a dry place. Rusting of the lid or band can cause seal to break.

To avoid freezing in extremely cold storage environments, wrap canned jars with newspaper and place in heavy cardboard boxes. Cover boxes with a heavy cloth of blanket if necessary.


Fiesta Salsa Small Batch

Makes 2 (16 oz) pints

When you only want to make a couple of jars of salsa, combine 2 pounds of tomatoes with 1/4 cup Ball® Fiesta Salsa Mix. Enjoy right away, or preserve with water bath canning.
You will need:
2 lbs fresh tomatoes (about 6 medium) to yield 4 1/2 cups finely diced
3 Tbsp white vinegar (5% acidity) 
1/4 cup Ball® Fiesta Salsa Mix
2 Ball® Pint (16 oz) Fresh Preserving Jars with lids and bands
Directions:
1. PREPARE canner, jars, and lids according to manufacturer's instructions.
2. COMBINE tomatoes, vinegar, and contents of pouch in a large saucepan.
3. HEAT to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
4. LADLE hot salsa into jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
5. PROCESS in boiling water canner for 35 minutes, adjusting for altitude

QUICK TIP: Make your salsa medium or hot by adding hot pepper sauce or hot pepper flakes to taste!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Childrens Corner Sept



September has come and the Children including Teens are  Back to school and we are all getting back into the routines of school life. Here are are few things to think about and prepare not only yourself but your children also in case something happens.

Do you know what your children's school escape routes are at the school? We all spend many after hours at the schools for plays, concerts, games, etc.

How about the schools emergency plans or what happens if they have a lock down? what do they do for fire drills? Do they do other "disaster type drills"?

Does your school run emergency bus routes on snow days for example?  In the event of a school evacuation for an emergency will they bus the kids to a pre-determined place for pick up? If so do you know where?

What if the Buses are not running, or they do not let the kids walk home, do you know what you and the children will do? What if your child misses the bus now what do they do even after school or before school and you are at work?

Does your school have a person in charge when things happen? Does your school have a phone tree to alert you? Is your contact information current?

To help prepare and get not only yourself ready, but your child or children as well. 
Make a mini 24 hr Kit to fit in your child’s back pack to have at all times. Take a gallon size plastic bag or pencil bags/ pouches, add what they need, remember phone numbers & coins, make a card with their address and name on it, water, food (granola bar, jerky, etc), add a band aid and something small to do. Small bottle of hand sanitizer, glow stick, pack of tissues, Place in bottom of back pack. You can also use a pocket to store these items. 

Have each child/teen decorate their "24 bag" to make it theirs. 

Of course you need to decide what each child, or teen needs to have in their backpacks. You also need to rotate the food items every few months. Teach the kids to carry a bottle of water each day also. Talk with your school officials and find out what they have for their plans, so you know as a parent what yo do ahead of time. 

Some schools are on the social media sites, almost all have websites, and many have email alerts to things. Depending on your town, city, many local news stations have alerts that you can get on your smart phone for school closings and emergency updates. As parents, grandparents, and guardians, we need to be informed and stay connected to each child's school. Yes that is hard when you have children in elementary, middle and high school. But EACH school even in the same district will have their own way to handle things. As they should, each school is built differently, have different staff and have different age groups. 

Preparation a head of time will keep you calm, keep your children calm and knowing what to do, what to expect and where to find and pick up your children is the most important thing in keeping them safe. 

As parents you need should have the schools phone number, transportation dept phone number teachers names, principles names, even the bus driver names and bus numbers.


Just for fun idea Sept


This is Saturday's Post. My wireless router went out on Friday. We had been fighting with it for most of the weekend. Finally we decided that we needed a new one, when we figured out that our router was older than we thought.. lol So new router installed, and we are back up and on the net! So here is Saturday's post


We all need something fun. So be sure to add a new fun item to your kit. Add a new deck of cards, add a new travel game, add a new book to read.

Learn a new game that is easy to learn and fun to play. Farkle is an easy game to learn, and all you need is 6 dice, paper and pen. You can look online to get the rule and how to score. Of course everyone has their own way to score and add the dice up, make up your own! You can pass a lot of time and be able to talk and have a good time with your family and friends.You do not need to buy a game, you just need six 6 sided dice, paper to keep score.  Just do a quick search for Farkle on the net and find what rules, and scoring options work best for you!

The Rules of Farkle
Ok, first things first. What are the OFFICIAL rules of Farkle? There are copyrighted© rules, and rules pertaining to trademarks™ and rules that are used in day-to-day play. There are the rules from Hoyle’s Standard Games. There are the rules your grandmother played by. There are even the rules from the Reign of Good Queen Bess. So which are the REAL rules?

Here at Farkle Rules - we’ve researched the various versions of the game now known as Farkle (or maybe Farkel) analyzing the differences so we could arrive at a core set of rules common to most versions of the game. We’ve also kept track of the different variations in scoring, determining how they effect game play.
To make things easy, we’ve documented the core rules here, followed by the most common scoring and play variations for you to incorporate into your own Farkle parties.
But when it comes right down to it, Farkle is what you make it. Different friends and different times may call for different versions. Our best advice to you is - whatever rules you do choose to use, WRITE THEM DOWN, so there’s no argument later.
Farkle
Getting Started
Farkle is a pretty casual game and can be played impromptu with a minimum of setup. All you need is six dice, some paper and pencils for scoring, a copy of the scoring rules, and a place to play.
The number of players for Farkle is flexible. Two or more can play (although a minimum of three, and a max of 8 is suggested.)
Each player rolls one die, the highest score going first. Ties are rerolled.
Game Overview
The players take turns rolling the dice, with the objective of having the highest score above 10,000 in the final round.
During each player’s turn, they initially roll six-dice trying to score points. As long as they score at last one point, they can remove the scoring dice from play, and either bank their points or continue rolling.
If the dice you roll do not score any points, you pass the dice and you get a Farkle, losing all points accumulated for that turn.
If the player manages to score on all six dice, they have “hot dice” and may choose to roll all six-dice again, or they can bank the points and pass the dice.
At the end of the players turn, they write down any points scored and pass the dice clockwise. 


Scoring Farkle
Each 1 = 100 pts
Each 5 = 50 pts
Three 1’s = 1000 pts
Three 2’s = 200 pts
Three 3’s = 300 pts
Three 4’s = 400 pts
Three 5’s = 500 pts
Three 6’s = 600 pts
Straight (1-2-3-4-5-6) = 1000 pts
It is important to note you can combine different types of scoring.
(1-3-4-4-4-5) could be scored many ways. For example:
1) (1) could be kept for 100 points.
2) (1-5) could be kept for 150 points.
3) (4-4-4) Could be kept for 400 points.
4) (1-4-4-4) Could be kept for 500 points.
5) (1-4-4-4-5) Could be kept for 550 points.
In the case of scoring options 1-4 the player would typically throw the remaining dice (if they were to pass, why leave points on the table?) In the case of scoring option 5, they could either bank their point and pass the die, or throw the remaining die, with a 1 in 3 chance of scoring (getting a 1 or 5). If they were to score, they could bank their final score and pass the dice, or throw all six dice again, and further increase their score, since they have “Hot Dice”.
Each roll is scored separately. If you were to roll two 5’s for 100 points, if you rolled a 5 on the next roll, you would not get 500 points for 3 fives, you would get another 50 points for a total of 150 points.
Winning the Game
Players continue rolling until a player reaches 10,000 points. Once any player reaches 10,000 pts, the final round begins, and every other players gets one additional turn to score as many points as they can. The player with the most points at the end of the final round is the winner.


Game Play Variations:
Getting on the board (popular)
Until a player has a score written down (on the board) they are required to continue rolling until they score at least 500 points. (Alternatively 350 or 400).
Game Goal
The target game score to exceed may be something other than 10,000.
Hot-Dice Roll
Players who score using all six dice are required to roll at least one additional time.
Three Farkles
A player rolling three Farkles in a roll loses 1000 points
Piggybacking
A player can choose to begin their turn by rolling the dice remaining after the previous players turn. If they score on at least 1 die, they receive 1000 points in addition to the regular points they accumulate. (Alternatively, they receive the full amount of the previous players points)
Team Farkle
The game is played in teams, with teammates sitting opposite each other and combining their scores. Game play is usually to 20,000.


Here are the scoring rules we use: 
500 points to get on board
1’s = 100 points each
5’s = 50 points each
__________________
Three 1’s = 300 points
Three 2’s = 200 points
Three 3’s = 300 points
Three 4’s – 400 points
Three 5’s = 500 points
Three 6’s = 600 points
_________________________
4 of any kind = 1,000 points
5 of any kind = 2,000 points
6 of any kind = 3,000 points
_________________________
1-6 straight = 1,500 points
Three pairs= 1,500 points
Four of any kind with a pair = 1,500 points
Two triplets = 2,500 points

Friday, September 16, 2011

First-Aid Kit idea Sept


For this Months First-Aid Kit idea is is really easy and something we all need to do. Now that summer is over, kids are back in school this is the time of year to go through your first-aid kit. Most likely if you have kids, grandchildren, you will need new band-aids, all sizes. There is nothing worse than needing a band-aid and you do not have one. You may want to be sure you have a good ointment in your kit also.  


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Camping Idea Sept



Now that camping season is over for many people now that the weather is turning into fall, kids are back to school, Vacations are over and people are back to work, well if you have a job. 

This is the time of year to go through all your camping gear and see what needs to be replaced, mended. Look for sales for things going out of season for the best buys. Make a list of items you can not find and buy them in the spring when there are more sales before the season. A little planning and you can save money and buy what you need for you camping items.  

Now if you have a Camping trailer, Camper or Motor Home. Now is the time to check for leaks, winterize, clean, and put away for storage for the winter. Be sure to check the tires, buy new tires if needed. Be sure to check the battery and  even be sure to check the battery monthly.  Get things ready and prepared for next season now.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spiritual Idea of the month Sept


Spiritual idea: Now we all can be more Spiritual in our own ways. Everyone has the right to choose how they believe. I do not want to preach to anyone! So my Spiritual Ideas will be ways to be better people that can even fall in to the category of being a good human being and being a productive person in not only your own life, but the lives of other around you. 
Here is the Idea for this month: Meet a new neighbor. Do you know the people that live next door? Did someone new move into your neighborhood, apartment complex? Take them a plate of cookie and introduce yourself and meet your neighbors. 
 
Most people would ask why meet the neighbors? It is important to get to know people around you. You may need help, or they may need help, and it is nice to have a name to the people you may wave hello to every morning. In an event of a disaster this is really key. People come together in "bad" times, why not meet them before those times happen. Another good reason is to "know" who is in your neighborhood, who lives next door. By being an active person for the positive that will spread and your neighborhood will be a better place to live. People can make small positive changes just in their own neighborhood.

On the news here before the hurricane, the news was telling people to go and meet your neighbors, because you may need their help or they may need your help. Be a good force for you and your family, go and meet your neighbors. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Preparedness Question of the Month

With all the things that have happened in the last few weeks I thought we would ask these questions:

You are suddenly with out power

Do you know what you need to do? Do you know how to cook? Do you know what you need to do in your home to get ready for the power to come back on? Do you know how to drive with out traffic lights on? Do you have flashlights with fresh batteries? Do your children, if you have them, know what to do until you return home?

These are just a few questions to get you to think and to get prepared. The power can go off anytime.

I did a blog last month about power outage after the hurricane. You can check that out. Also check out FEMA and Red Cross for their information that have on power outages.

What is for Dinner Sept

Here is Saturdays What's for dinner post.

This Week I am Including the menu we had during Hurricane Irene for this Months Idea.

Friday I cooked a 10 pound Turkey, the day before the Hurricane was to hit. I also baked banana bread, blueberry loaf bread, and cornbread. Make Hard Cooked eggs. Browned up 4 pounds of Hamburger.

Saturday: Turkey, instant mashed potatoes, cornbread, and salad. (this was the day the hurricane hit) No Power!

Sunday: Cooked on the BBQ. Homemade Chili and hotdogs, bratwurst, and Blueberry muffins No Power! 


Monday: Cooked on the BBQ.  Turkey and Dumplings NO Power!

Tuesday: Pork chops, Real Mashed Potatoes, and deviled eggs, Green Beans. Power came on about 6pm

                      Wednesday: Make taco rice with some of hamburger I browned up on Friday

Thursday: Chicken, Chicken Noodles, Carrots

Friday: Spaghetti, corn, and bread

Saturday: Roast, potatoes, carrots, biscuits.

 With the weekend with out power we still ate well. We were able to make sandwiches for lunch from the Turkey, We of course had peanut butter and jam, and lunch meat and cheese for sandwiches. We had cereal, hard cooked eggs, for breakfast. We had one hot meal each day when we were with out power.




Friday, September 9, 2011

Storage Idea of the month

Storage Idea of the Month is pretty easy and can help a lot. Add an over the door hanger or hooks on the back of the doors in bedrooms, or bathrooms. The family members can hang in their bedrooms, their jackets, coats, bathrobes, towels, etc.

You can also add hooks to back of doors, or on the walls behind the doors for the smaller people in your house. Teach kids to hang up their jackets, backpacks, sweaters, etc on their hooks. This will help keep the clutter down and things in each persons room for easy location when things go missing.

You can also add towel bars, on doors, behind doors, or in the closets to hang up blankets, extra towels, or even sleeping bags. Towel bars are great to store belts, and scarves on, just hang over the bar.

Hooks do not cost a lot and can help hide, and keep things a bit more organized and you can fit quite a lot on hooks.

The hooks and bars can help you use space that is normally not usable.  Once you start using hooks, and bars in your closets, you will see how many things that can be put away, still being able to see what you have . Use the dead space and find more storage space.