First things first

prepper_bee_firstthingsfirstIn order to get super clear on what your want, you need to remove all that you don’t.

Before we’re able to make space for anything new, we need to know what we have, get rid of what we don’t want, and make space that which we do want. This goes for any area of your life from your physical home space to your mental state.

Declutter and tidy. It’s time to rid yourself of unnecessary, unwanted, or unused items in your house. To do this, you need to declutter. There’s a common misbelief or misunderstanding that prepper people are hoarders. We are not. Or maybe some who call themselves preppers are, in fact, hoarders as well. But by nature, to be effectively prepared, you need to be organized. Hoarders are not organized or prepared.

There are many different programs, books, and blogs on how to declutter and each has its own process and own worth. To keep it short, I’ll share what’s worked for me.

Go through every room and get rid of what you don’t use or love. Also, go through your fridge and dry goods and get rid of all expired food. If you don’t or won’t eat it and its still in a sealed packaging, donate it to your local food bank. I’ve picked up canned foods that I thought I’d eat, but haven’t in the past six months and yet, for some reason think I will eat in the following six months. I won’t. You won’t. Or if your significant other picked up the wrong type of crackers. Unless, you’re really strapped and someone will eat them, don’t wait until they’re expired to donate them. Get rid of what you won’t eat so you can fill the space with what you love to eat.

Hit your living room(s). What’s been in there forever that you don’t like, that you’ve never liked? Get rid of it. What about your books, CDs or DVDs? If you think you’re going to get around to reading, listening, or watching them one day, you’re not. More people use CDs and DVDs nowadays for coasters than content. Move your CDs and DVDs onto digital media and get rid of them.

Now the bedroom(s). Do you have clothes in your closet or other places in your home, attic, or basement that do not fit or are never worn? Go through all your closets, drawers, and dressers to pull out all of the clothes. Pile everything in three piles: sell, donate, and toss. Once you have these piles, get to work selling, donating, and tossing each respectively.

What about your basement, attic, or garage? Declutter, declutter, and declutter it. Then, clean and tidy it. You’re there anyway, it’s worth making the investment in time to make it how you want it. It’s your gift to you.

Make space for what you really want, need, or use.

Take inventory of everything. While decluttering, take a full inventory of what you keep. From a preparedness perspective, how much food do you have in the fridge and cabinets or pantry? How much water (or wine) do you have stored? What’s in your closets? What’s in your supply shed or garage.

Do you have enough warm clothing? Do you need a new pair of boots, gloves, or jeans? Take inventory of your stuff. Preppers don’t like being surprised they don’t have the right size batteries when they need them. Does anyone?

List your tools, your supplies, and your food. We need to know what we have before we know what we need.

Have a sale. Say goodbye to anything you do not need or use. You can donate to your favorite charities or sell them. Don’t get hung up on the price of your items. Most used or secondhand items will sell for about 10-15% of the original price, and this can include larger items like bicycles, lawn mowers, cameras as well as smaller items like books, DVDs, and sporting goods. Don’t worry about it. The space is more valuable than having that junk and clutter around the house. Let someone else actually use what you’re not.

Create a basic shopping list. This could be a blog post all on its own. For our purposes now, make sure you know what you need in the way of food and water (some suggest at least 72-hour supply for your whole family but I like a little more than that), clothing, consumables like toilet paper, toothpaste, paper towels, and other basic supplies like tools, work gloves, etc.

Congratulate yourself. Now that you’ve decluttered your house top to bottom, took an inventory of all your food, water, supplies, and belongings, and made a few bucks and some space for what’s to come, you should be feeling pretty good. We’ll make sure to tackle that basic shopping list in the next blog post.