Organizing Supplies

Imagine that an unexpected disaster strikes and you just can’t find what you need in a crucial moment. You know you have it, but where is t?! Don’t let this happen to you. Get all of your preparedness gear in order now, so it’s all right at hand when you need it the most.

Not only do you have to worry about getting at something when seconds count, you can end up wasting vital funds buying repeats of things that you already have but lost track of. That’s not smart prepping either. Now is the time to get all your preparedness gear in order.

Know What you Have

Your first step in getting your supplies and equipment organized is to take a full inventory. And be detailed about it. Writing down that you have “cans of beans” isn’t enough. Count them and write it down how many there are. When you use any items from your storage (you do use and rotate your stored food, right?), adjust your totals so that your have a relatively current tally of what’s on hand.

It might be handy to keep a document with your inventory on your phone, so you can check your supplies quickly before accidentally buying something you don’t need (or miss out getting something you DO need).

Know Where It Is

This is the second half of the organizing equation, and the one that will make a difference in a crunch. Technically, if you’ve memorized 214 different locations around your house where you have stuff, then you can say you know where all your preps are. But is that really the smartest and most efficient approach? What if someone else in your family really need to find that extra box of fire-starters and you’re not there to hold their hand? It makes more sense to have a planned-out storage system so that everything is in a sane place, and that anyone can locate what they need.

Keep similar items together, and label containers. Plastic tote containers are super easy to come by these days, and are ideal for organizing your prepper stuff. Related items should be stored together just because it makes sense for navigating your supplies. Keep stove fuel near the camp stove, matches and candles should be in the same container, blankets and extra warm clothing should be side-by-side. You get the idea.

Things that are more perishable should also be kept together and easy to reach so you are more likely to replace and rotate when you need to. Any items that really don’t need to be checked on can be stored in more out-of-the-way places.

On that inventory list we were just talking about, maybe it would make sense to mark on your list where things are stored. It might not matter if you’re lucky enough to have a big space to keep all of your supplies together. Otherwise, you might lose track of whether the tote of extra clothes is in the attic, garage or out in the shed. Is your camp stove under the guest room bed or on that back shelf in the kitchen? If you have your goods scattered all over the house, it would be a good idea to list everything’s location or even draw yourself a little map. Keep everything clearly labelled too so you don’t miss it when searching.

Know How Old It Is

You’re already on your way to getting much more organized, but there is one more aspect of your prepper stash that you can manage better (if you don’t already). That’s age and expiry dates. Obviously, this applies mainly to food though many other supplies that will start to lose their value as they get too old. It’s great if you know you have a certain number of hand-warmer packets, and you know exactly where to find them. But how old are they?

When you have any preps (food or otherwise) that may be considered somewhat perishable, write on the package when they were purchased. Don’t worry about calculating expiry dates, just mark the date you bought it. As you periodically check on your supplies (like during an inventory), figure out which items are getting too old and need to be replaced or rotated out.