8 comments on “Locking the Storage Buckets

  1. Just a note to inform you that zip ties do NOT need to be cut. Take the point of your knife and lift the small tab from the zip face of the tie and pull the tie out from the fastener hole. It only takes seconds and saves the tie. If someone other than you wants in, a zip tie is easier to cut than the tote, but not much. At least you don’t lose the tote if they remove what’s inside. Likely, they will take tote and all.

    The hard plastic interlocking lid totes in which large stores receive merchandise most often have a hole already in them for a lock or zip tie — your choice.

    I only store items in the commercial totes that can freeze, as I have no tempered storage space available — and there are literally hundreds of food items that can freeze and re-freeze without damage. I do number each tote, and keep a list of the contents. I make a table on my computer and list quantity, size, item, purchase date, and a remarks section. In the remarks section I may list, ‘add water only,’ or the brand name of the item, or other remark that would help the one who is managing the stock to know exactly what is in it, and be able to go to the exact box for the item/product. I make two copies, one I lay on top, immediately under the lid, and one to go in the book of foods. I keep a third electronic copy for use as well. I can also know how much of what item I have, and what I need to focus on purchasing, and what item(s) I have enough of. I never stack these over three high, as the sides are not structurally sufficient to take too much weight. This means one must build a sturdy shelf to stack another three totes upon, which takes it near the top of an eight foot ceiling.

    Though I don’t recommend it, I’ve had many commercially canned food items that have frozen in my camper, and they do not burst. They are still usable, and I have used them later during the summer — all edible and equally tasty.

    Hope this helps, Blessings!

    • You’re right, Son, they don’t need to be cut. I’ve used zip ties for decades and we did once use the “pry it open” trick, many years ago. At the time, we didn’t consider the price of them to warrant the effort. lol

      I love your comment about the “freeze safe” quality of the canned foods! I really hadn’t thought about that because mine are all in the basement. When it’s literally freezing outside, it’s warmer in the basement. When it’s 90 degrees outside, it’s MUCH cooler in the basement. IF the time came to bug out AND I had the time to load up the trailer with all this Stuff, I would have to take that into consideration during the winter. Although thanks to your information, I won’t worry so much in the winter as I will in the summer.

      Thanks so much for your feedback!

  2. You might try turning the tub upside down and drilling through the lip into and through the lid. A piece of scrap wood prevents drilling onto…the floor, bench, etc.

  3. This may be a great idea for safely transporting your goods in the locked totes, but it just screams that something of value is inside, which may not be good op sec, if you can’t hide what you’re transporting. One good knife can defeat this system by cutting a hole into the soft side of the tote and removing what’s inside. You can accomplish the same safety protection by using zip ties to lock down the lid for safe transport which are way cheaper than locks. Still, for grab n go convenience, its a good system, so long as you can get where you’re going quickly. I use free or low-cost #5 and #6 food grade buckets and load them with foods and materials. Being a middle-aged gal can’t carry much, but the handles on the buckets make it easier. I also load up old popcorn tins with food for safe keeping from vermin, who can chew through soft plastic. If tote size is what you need, then you might consider acquiring the harder-plastic cargo boxes most commonly used in delivering to big stores. These boxes are very hard plastic with hinged inter-locking lids. You could drill 2 holes – one on each side of the lid near the edge where they meet, and insert one lock. These kind of totes are more expensive but a knife can’t defeat them nearly as fast. Plus, you don’t need to use as many locks.

    • Thanks for your input! Yes, a knife could easily defeat these buckets. Zip ties could be defeated just as easily with a knife. I use mine all that time to do just that. My “justification for the padlocks is they’re reusable. While the buckets are still in storage, I can add to or subtract from them while maintaining a level of security. Zip ties would have to be cut and replaced. In the long run, in this scenario, the padlocks would eventually pay for themselves, depending on how much opening and closing would be done.
      Yeah, I get that having locks on them could scream “VALUABLE” but the scenario I’m looking at isn’t driving around town and parking at the grocery store either. I see a time of GOOD (Get Out of Dodge) when I load up the trailer, hook it up and GO!
      I like these totes because they are designed to carry. Pretty decent handles on the sides and I can use my rather healthy belly to support them going up the stairs and into the trailer. I do have five gallon buckets with bail handles for my food storage. One of these days I’ll make a practice run to carry it all upstairs and load the trailer. I may end up rethinking what goes in which. 🙂
      Thanks very much for your feedback!

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