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DIY Chilly Storage and Frugal Root Cellar Concepts

Are you on the lookout for a spot to retailer all your winter produce however your private home just isn’t geared up with the right root cellar? Right here’s how you can create DIY Chilly Storage it doesn’t matter what kind of house you reside in!

Are you looking for a place to store all of your winter produce but your home is not equipped with the perfect root cellar? Here's how to create DIY Cold Storage no matter what type of home you live in! #rootcellar #coldstorage #frugalliving #seasonalliving

DIY Chilly Storage

As a lot as I really like canning I additionally love having contemporary produce within the winter. Up right here within the north, it’s exhausting to come back by, not less than for a good worth! That’s why once I develop issues in my backyard or once I’m capable of finding produce and different bargains at a cheaper price, I want my very own root cellar or frugal chilly storage space to maintain it contemporary so long as potential.

That’s the place chilly storage is available in.

Do you image an underground room with filth partitions and veggies hanging from the ceiling?

I did too, at first.

Or perhaps even one thing just a little extra trendy like my grandma’s chilly storage room in her basement. Concrete partitions and cabinets lined with canned items. Sure, we’ve been fortunate sufficient to have that too as soon as. But when a complete chilly storage room isn’t an choice for you, you in all probability nonetheless need the storage choices whereas making do with what you could have.

And let me inform you, what I began with was an icky moist crawlspace. After I first began interested by constructing some chilly storage into our first house I turned to the crawlspace. However irrespective of what number of trenches we dug round the home, what number of followers we stick down there, or what number of instances we’ve to sub-pump it out, it’s at all times kinda icky, too moist, and never very dependable.

After I crossed the crawlspace off my guidelines I researched another strategies of chilly storage. Listed here are some concepts on how I’ve arrange a DIY chilly storage within the properties that we’ve lived in over time. Perhaps one in every of them will give you some inspiration on how you can also have chilly storage in your house.

Our first house was a foreclosures and earlier than we purchased it and whereas it sat empty somebody broke into the door pictured above. It was a multitude and chilly air blew in proper into the lounge. I don’t imagine you’ll be able to reside in rural South Dakota (not less than not nicely!) and never have an entryway so I instructed that we flip this hallway into one. This room has no heating vents and is totally blocked from the remainder of the home so it stays cooler (or hotter in the summertime). It make an important little mudroom.

It additionally made an important bulk storage space. Right here you’ll be able to see my buckets with Gamma lids that I exploit for bulk merchandise in my entire meals stockpile reminiscent of rice, flours, beans, grains, ect. The opposite half of the closet was for coats.

Here’s a image of the entire little room. Do you see my chilly storage?

I didn’t have a lot but on the time I took this image, just some potatoes and winter squash however my subsequent co-op order introduced apples and bulk onions that additionally shared the realm. As soon as I added extra produce I put a small wire shelf proper right here so I might stack the produce higher and never take up any extra room within the entryway.

For some time, I saved my produce in easy outdated crocks. I purchased these for round $5 every at vintage shops. These will not be the flamboyant Crimson Wing crocks, they’re easy, no design, no model crocks that often have cracks or chips. They labored nice for storage. You don’t want to make use of crocks should you don’t have them or don’t have entry to them. You should use 5 gallon buckets, outdated ice cream pails, or anything that may maintain meals, relying on what you might be storing.

If you’re like me and have to put one thing in chilly storage now, with out having a particular basement space, this selection offers you respectable storage till you could have time to construct one thing higher. (Since you won’t need to retailer your pantyhose onions in your entryway!)

However who is aware of, perhaps this can even give you the results you want all winter lengthy!

DIY Cold Storage

In one other house we lived in, I truly had that tremendous concrete room that was simply excellent to create DIY chilly storage. We constructed bins and cabinets to retailer all the produce in single layers. It was wonderful!

This space was in an unfinished basement and it labored great for storing produce and canned items. Though it was just a little hotter than what you’ll need typical chilly storage to be, I used to be in a position to retailer every kind of produce on this room together with winter squash for a lot of months earlier than it might begin to go unhealthy. We simply might retailer veggies up till January or February.

Root Cellar in the Snow

Now my chilly storage seems just a little completely different. After nearly 15 years of married life we lastly determined to make the leap and construct a real root cellar on our homestead. You’ll be able to learn all about this mission right here.

Fearful a few pest drawback? Learn my article on Preserve Pests Out of Meals Storage. And for all issues chilly storage, I extremely suggest the e book Root Cellaring.

Uses for Squash Seeds

Meals to Put in Chilly Storage

Every year, I get busy recently placing up contemporary produce for our winter stockpile. There are a lot of winters that I can get to January with out having to pay full grocery retailer out-of-season worth.

That is the place chilly storage is available in. We are able to refill on bulk and low cost in-season and end-of-season produce and retailer it the place we can get pleasure from it for a lot of months to come back. In the remainder of this text, I’m going to be speaking about varied produce and the way lengthy it can final in your chilly storage. I’ll additionally share the way it’s finest to maintain it, and what varieties it is best to search for to final the longest.

Chilly storage isn’t a spot for issues like bananas and avocados that ripen shortly and will actually be saved in your counter. However there are various issues that you may retailer in your DIY chilly space for storing that may final all winter lengthy!

–Discover extra Methods to Make Produce Final Longer right here.


Apples will final from 2 to 7 months in chilly storage relying on what selection you select. It’s finest if apples are individually wrapped in newspaper, though you may as well simply retailer in a cardboard field or wood crate. Tart apples will maintain longer and higher than candy varieties so search for Fuiji, Pink Woman, Cameo, or Honey Crisp.

–Right here’s how you can make Apple Syrup with apple peelings!


Carrots are at all times an important merchandise to maintain in your chilly storage as they will final all winter lengthy (even when they develop a little bit of hair!). The easiest way to retailer them is in damp sand in a field, however I’ve discovered that they nonetheless final a very long time simply on the shelf with every little thing else.

–Make your carrots into dessert with this.Easy and Simple Carrot Cake Recipe.


Pears will final 2 to three months if correctly saved. Wrap particular person pears in newspaper and guarantee they keep saved round 30 levels. Search for Bosc and D’Anjou.

–Click on right here for a easy Pear Tart Recipe.


Potatoes will final for 4 to six months. They shouldn’t be saved close to apples or another ethylene-releasing produce. Search for Kennebec or Yukon gold.

Previous Original Scalloped Potatoes within the sluggish cooker.

Candy Potatoes

Candy Potatoes ought to be saved just like potatoes and can final 4 to six months when saved correctly. Search for Centennial and Jewell varieties.

–Want a meal concept? Right here’s a Hen, Beans, and Candy Potatoes Sheet Pan Supper.


Onions ought to be dry on the surface earlier than they’re saved. They’ll final for five to eight months. You’ll be able to wrap these with newspaper or use the Pantyhose Onion Storage methodology. Onions ought to be saved in a really dry setting and ought to be allowed to breath in what they’re saved in (no plastic). Search for Stuttgarter, Brunswick, Yellow Glove, or Crimson Burgandy. (No candy varieties.)

–We like to make use of contemporary onions in Home made Taverns!


Pumpkins will final for five to six months when saved with a small portion or their stem nonetheless on. Winter Luxurious is an effective selection to search for.

–Listed here are 11 Methods to Use Pumpkin Seeds.


Celery will retailer for just a few months if saved in a pleasant cool temp. It’s at all times a very good veggie to have in your chilly storage as a result of it’s used for thus many soups and stews within the winter!

–Considered one of our favourite winter soups is that this Bean with Bacon Soup Recipe.


Winter Squash will final for 4 to six months in chilly storage. Search for Delicata, Hubbard, and Butternut varieties. Don’t clear the squash earlier than storing.

–Study Cook dinner Winter Squash.

These are actually simply primary winter storage produce varieties however if you’re new to chilly storage, these are a very good place to begin. When you get the cling of it and get an important system arrange you may as well study to retailer different produce reminiscent of radishes, rutabagas, turnips, and extra.

Different Meals to Retailer in Your Chilly Storage

In case your chilly storage will get no decrease than 50 levels, you may additionally retailer your private home canned items in there as nicely. Your jams, preserves, canned tomatoes, soup, and all of these good jars!

You would additionally retailer extra dry items in chilly storage as nicely so long as you recognize it’s a spot that rodents can’t get into! Pasta, legumes, bulk spices, additional grains, and many others.

Another be aware…don’t be afraid to attempt to retailer different issues in your chilly storage in addition to what’s listed right here. This previous winter we saved pineapples for over 2 months with out them getting overripe and we’ve saved issues like cabbage and citrus as nicely!

For all issues chilly storage, I extremely suggest the e book Root Cellaring. It incorporates so many alternative concepts on how you can have correct chilly storage and it makes it really easy to lookup the produce that you’re making an attempt to retailer and discover out what to do with it.

Extra DIY Chilly Storage Concepts

Right here was an image of our last chilly storage in our first house. It consisted of a easy wire shelf unit and outdated crocks. I left the apples in apple bins with layers of paper between them. Sorry for the sideways pic…undecided why it insists on being that method!

I’ve a room arrange in probably the most underground a part of my basement. It stays cool in right here year-round. – Carlye Ann H. (Little Home Dwelling Reader)

Right here’s the place I retailer my canned items in our basement! Potatoes and onions are saved in one other room additional below the home. – Hannah M. (Little Home Dwelling Reader)

I’ve a chilly room constructed into my basement. It stays about 5C all 12 months. It’s about 8ftx12ft, with cabinets constructed on the wall and a standing rack within the center. Storing my potatoes in there for the primary time. – Kristina G. (Little Home Dwelling Reader)

Our root cellar right here within the Smokies. – Judith H. (Little Home Dwelling Reader)


Do you do chilly storage? What are your strategies?

This weblog put up on DIY Chilly Storage was initially revealed on Little Home Dwelling in October 2010. It has been up to date with new data in July 2022.

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