It is easy to be overwhelmed when you think about large scale prepping. Trying to think about enough space to store it all, or not having enough stockpiled can be frustrating. You want to do what is best and not have too much, but you don’t want to be under prepared, either. You can still prep without being a hoarder, and you can still prep with a minimal amount of items, too. When you find yourself stressing over the task, remember one thing: get back to the basics. Here are three things to focus on stocking up.
You can’t survive without water. Preparation experts say that you should have enough water on hand to last every person in your home at least 72-96 hours, and if you have the means and space, enough stored to last a year (or more). Most people try to find a some middle ground and have enough for several months. If you don’t have a large place to store that much bottled water, you can focus on having plenty of storage containers and a way to collect water (a rain barrel, for example), and plenty of water purification supplies. If you have water on site, like a pond or pool, then that is half the preparation right there. You can focus on storing water for drinking and cooking, and rely on your larger storage for long term use.
This is one prep category that can easily overwhelm, especially if you have a small living space. When you think about trying to store enough food to last your family for up to a year, you probably imagine meal after meal of canned beans and potted meat, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, you can store lots of canned goods, but you can also take into account fresh food items like those that come from a garden, fresh eggs and milk from farm animals, fish from the pond, and meat that you hunt for yourself. If you do decide to stock a lot of pre-packaged items, choose things rice, dried beans, or things you can stack like cans. The easier they are to store the easier it will be to not get overrun with them. They also will store well in rubber totes, which will store well in a basement or under a bed, so they won’t take up much extra room.
This category would include things like first aid items, other emergency supplies like candles, batteries, and blankets, and miscellaneous items like extra clothes. Some of these items can be easily stored in the attic, like out of season clothing or extra blankets. You can store first aid items in a tote under the bathroom sink, or in the back of the linen closet. Keep a large box in the basement with extra batteries, flashlights, and a radio. Another thing you can try is stocking items that are multipurpose. If you can use something for more than one job, then you can actually purchase less, which will save space. This is especially helpful for those who live in small spaces or for your bug out bag. Don’t forget about storing copies of passports, insurance info, and any important paperwork that you might need.
Another tip: don’t hang on to things you aren’t using. If you kids have outgrown clothes that cannot be passed onto a sibling, then give them away or consign them to make room for clothes that we can wear. While it is important to hang on to things in some cases, if you are trying to make room for preps, you might need to let go of items that are just taking up space. This would include broken items, things you want to put in a garage sale, or just things that have accumulated over time with no real usefulness.
As you can see, by focusing on the basics, it is easy to successfully prep while not over accumulating stuff. When you have a good basic stockpile of items and supplies, you can be prepared for most situations.