It can sometimes be difficult for preppers to resist the urge to hoard large quantities of survival gear and other useful items on the off chance that these might come in handy later on. After all, having the right materials at the right time can allow you to be more prepared for a greater variety of challenges. But what is the point of a home so filled to the brim with prepping equipment that it is impossible to find anything when you actually need it?
There is nothing wrong with stocking up on plenty of survival gear as long as everything is properly organized and easily accessible at a moment’s notice. Here are five useful tips on getting organized the prepper way. (h/t to LivingLifeInRuralIowa.com.)
Declutter your home
This is an endeavor that you should commit to entirely. Do a thorough sweep of your home and get rid of all unnecessary junk. Take the time to declutter your home to create more free space. This endeavor shouldn’t be rushed, so you should ideally devote around one to three months to sort out what should stay and what should go. There are many ways to give new life to items that have outlived their usefulness. You can sell them at a yard sale to make a small profit or you can simply donate them to people whom you think would still be able to make use of them. If you can think outside the box, you can even find other uses for items other than what they were originally intended for. (Related: Survival scavenging: 10 Items you can re-purpose when SHTF.)
Identify and prioritize your belongings
Go through all of your personal belongings and categorize them based on their practical use or what they personally mean to you. Your main priority should be survival gear and items that are beneficial to your health and well-being. Decorative and sentimental items can still have a place in your home, as long as they can justify the amount of space they take up. This means that if they really do have sentimental value for you, they shouldn’t just be tucked away in a corner gathering dust. Keepsakes can inspire you and keep memories alive, but you shouldn’t accumulate them to the point of hoarding. Follow the “Power of Three” by keeping only three of each type of item. For example, you can keep up to three motivational posters and get rid of any duplicates.
Have a system in place
In an emergency situation, every second counts. If you suddenly need to get your first aid kit, do you instinctively know where it is? You can’t waste precious time looking through your belongings when someone’s life could be on the line. Having an organized system in place can go a long way. Your critical survival gear should be in the most easily accessible areas of your home. Familiarize yourself with where you place everything, so that you can quickly grab your prepping items without even thinking. You can also keep better track of your supplies by having an inventory.
Buy storage containers
In order to keep your personal belongings out of sight and organized in a logical way, you should store them in convenient baskets, buckets, bins, or other storage containers. Your storage cases don’t even have to be brand new. Second-hand containers can do the job just as well as new ones. Use post-it notes to label your containers so that you know where everything is. Everything should be neatly tucked away and properly arranged when not in use. Storage containers can also be stacked on top of each other to maximize your free space.
Put together your kits and bug-out bags
If you haven’t prepared them already, take this chance to put together your family’s 72-hour survival kits, first aid kits, and bug-out bags (BOB). You can make an inventory list for the items in these kits as well. That way, while you’re organizing your home, you can already set aside items on the list as soon as you find them. Keep your BOB just as organized as your home by packing everything in an orderly and easily accessible manner.