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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Organize your Preps so you don't have to look around for them.

When it comes to be organized it can be hit or miss. Some do quite well while other lack either the means of being organized or the knowhow as they have never learned it.

The best way for most people to organize is to use labels. When it comes to prepping this could be a lifesaver as you may have a “Hectic” moment and forget what is where. The first step is using plastic bins with labels. This is very simple actually and doesn’t take much time at all if you have a communal effort with your family.

Figure out how you would like to “Bin” items. It can be whatever your heart desires in these bins. My method is pretty simple and makes like easy. I have a bin(s) for summer camping cloths, winter clothing, 3 for fishing (one fresh water, one salt water and one is gear but I think I may need to make a 4th bin for clothing), two for hunting (clothes in one and the other has all my hunting stuff), 2 for trapping (one small one for my lines and such the other is for my small traps), and I could go on and on. I do this with quite a bit of the items I own so I can grab and go and also so I know it is always in a good place that is dry and will last.

Then you have a food prepping bin. This can be more complicated. I have multiple bins for food stuff. A 5 gallon for flour only (don’t forget to put bay leaves in the flour), a 5 gallon for rice, a 5 gallon for spices and so on and I buy new buckets for this stuff and I have found reusing 5 gallon buckets can at time contaminate the food you put in it. When it comes to food, cans are heavy so I usually do not put them in a bin and besides rotating the canned food is always a good idea. But I do use the bins for dried good. I have a bin for pasta items. I have a bin for dehydrated food stuffs. I have a bin for fun food (brownies, mac and cheese). But I also have a bin for the wet storage food stuff like canola oil, olive oil, syrup etc. The reason I put those in a bin is if I ever have an earthquake I do not have to worry about it spilling and contaminating the rest of my food.

So while I put everything in the bins, I grab a notebook and write what I put into each bin. Some people do lists (which I think is awesome) on their computer. But the notebook paper does fine for me as I take things out and put new stuff in it, so it is easier to just scribble out what was taken out and replaced. Besides, there are times where a pen and paper is cheaper than a new ink cartridge. It is also a good idea (if you are inclined) to put the expiration date on most food stuffs to rotate them out. It makes life easy for you in the long run.

I also have a cheap label maker with a few extra label heads. The labels should be simple and easy. Such as… Food: Pasta. You know you have a list in your bin and just by glancing at the label you know what bin it is.

You can also make or buy (your choice this is your project) shelves that will fit your bins so you know where everything is at one given time. I put dehydrated on top as it is the lightest in most cases. And then work down. My canned food is separate from my binned food.

Lists for your bins should be simple. What is the item, how much do you have (4 bx *boxes* or 3 ea *each*) and do not forget expiration dates. In most cases prepped food can last well past the expiration dates. But I found out that if you buy those awesome prepped food stuff with a fruit (like raspberry bars) that they do go bad.

You should also make lists for your B.O.B.’ and if you have a Vehicles and what you have in them, especially if you are like me and have more than one. It will make life easier in the long run.

Here are some easy organizational links to look at. Some are fun organizational website, some are more informative on how best to help your prep.

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