Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with answers to your questions, an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.
This week I return to your questions, with the query this week having to do with organizing your preps. Here is the specific question that was asked:
Can you tell us more about organizational techniques? Inventories and the like… I swear, I might have enough to survive in my apartment for six months, but that’s only if I can FIND all the stuff!
This is a timely question since, at the moment, I am attempting to minimalize my surroundings by finding a new home for for the excess accumulation at my Washington State home. It is not easy.
As I see it, here are the issues that a preparedness minded household faces:
Food and water storage take up a lot of space.
Food storage, because it is heat, light, and humidity sensitive, needs to be stored in a prime-time location, preferably in the main living quarters rather than a garage or outbuilding (if you have one).
Rotating supplies is tedious at best, especially if they are tucked away out of sight and out of mind.
If rotating supplies is tedious, inventorying is a nightmare. If you are lucky enough to have started from the get go and have kept your inventory up to date, you are in the minority. Most of us are too busy living life to get around to it, even though our intentions are good.
Emergency and survival gear often does double duty as recreation and camping gear. Upon arriving home from an adventure, it gets thrown in a pile until the next time. It gets lost in the shuffle.
You save every half filled bottle of shampoo, cleaner, medication, and everything else you can think of because even though you no longer want or need it, it will be good for bartering. Or, as Shelly and I like to say: “let’s save this for SHTF”.
Have I stuck a chord with some or all of these issues?
I know that many of you consider me an expert but honestly, I am as human as the rest of you and find my household inventory techniques to be lousy. I am always making a purchase, whether on Amazon or at Costco, only to find that I already have a two year supply of whatever it is I purchased. Not that a two year supply is bad, but my house is only 1500 square feet and the cupboards and closets are full!
On the other hand, my organizational skills are good. Everything is organized but I don’t know what I have. That may sound odd but it is what it is.
So, in answer to the question, I will share some of my organizational tips then let you fill in with your tips in the comments.
5 Tips for Organizing Your Preps
1. The first step is to make room for your preps by getting rid of stuff you do not use or need. As simple as this sounds, it is difficult to do. I find that it makes it easier to part with treasures by either donating them to a local thrift store or giving them away for free to someone in need. These days most communities have a Facebook page where you can buy, sell, and trade items. Put an ad up giving something away for free and it will be gone before you know it. If you do not want someone coming to your home (a personal choice), agree to meet in a parking lot or some other neutral location.
2. Once your make room for your preps, acquire storage boxes that are sized so that you can store like-sized items together. I favor shoe box sized plastic boxes and banker-style boxes. For me, it is a lot easier to store items under the bed or in your bedroom closet when the sizes are consistent. These two sizes work best for me.
3. Create individual boxes for various categories of items. I have separate boxes for light sources (flashlights lanterns, glow sticks, candles), fire starting equipment (including pre-made cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly), knives, cordage, solar items, barter toiletries, and even a box for “survival junk”. In this latter box are oddball items that can not be classified.
4. Label your boxes. About six months ago I stopped using labels and began using painters tape instead. This has become a real game-changer in that the labels do not fall off. Not only that, they are easily removed and replaced as the contents of the boxes change.
5. To the extent you can afford to do so, keep your preps separate from your day to day supplies. I realize this is difficult from both a financial and a storage point of view, but do the best you can. It really does help.
Let me reiterate that this is the organization system that works for me. I try not to spend more than a dollar for my plastic shoe boxes (try Target for the best prices) and I watch for coupon sales at Staples for the bankers-style boxes.
For those of you that struggle with space, here is an article I wrote that might help: 16 Food Storage Tips for the Space Challenged Prepper.
Heare Me On the Radio
Want to hear a replay of the radio show I did with Knoxville NewTalk Radio 98.7? Here is a link: Survival Prepping on Howell and Yarborough. The show was an hour but the replay has been condensed to thirty minutes.
Enjoy the show! And try to ignore that I still had a remnant of last week’s cold.
What Did I Do to Prep This Week?
As I mentioned last week, my focus has turned to skills rather then stuff. That said, in addition to clearing away unused clutter from my home and garage, this week I added three items to my preps: Quake Hold (I was almost out), Dentek Lost Filling & Loose Cap Repair, and Open Fire Roasting Sticks.
Coming Soon: Free Online Class Teaching 13 Ways to Harness the SUN’S POWER to Save Money & Be Prepared!
As of Friday morning, over 400 have registered for this class. I so want to let you know that this class will be recorded and available for replay for a limited time after the fact. That said, everyone who registers will get a free, 600 recipe cookbook so for that reason alone. it is worth registering.
Note: The cookbook will be send to you via email on Wednesday, after the event.
This is an all-new class that has only been given once. I have previewed the class myself and can assure you that you will learn something useful if not for now, for when the SHTF.
The Final Word
There are undoubtedly as many ways to organize your preps as there are preppers. One thing we all can agree on, however, is that knowing where our stuff is located will be important if we are ever called about to survive using our carefully stashed supplies.
And as far as the survival supply inventory? I don’t know about you, but for me that is still a work in progress.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Bargain Bin: Here are a few of the items mentioned in this article.
Quake Hold: This is great stuff for securing items on shelves and against the wall. If you live in an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane area, the time to secure your stuff is now.
Dentek Temparin Max Lost Filling & Loose Cap Repair: Who would have guessed that this type of product would be only $5.00. After writing this article I ordered some because, like many in my age group, I have a number of fillings and crowns.
Open Fire Roasting Sticks: These “marshmallow” sticks will be useful if I have to cook items over an open fire without the benefit of a pot or grill. They come in a pouch and take up very little storage space.
Staples Economy Storage Boxes: This is my preferred brand of “bankers boxes”. To me, they are sturdier than the Bankers Box brand.
Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Box: This is the type of “shoe box” I mentioned in the article.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: FAVORITE! This is a great knife that is currently priced at under $9.00 with free shipping. Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller at Amazon in both the camping and hunting knives categories. The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it. See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.
Note: the price can vary by color so if you are not particular, scroll through the colors and safe a couple of bucks.
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