The Survival Mom » Organization http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 12 Days of Back-to-School Giveaways: Day 6, Post-It Swag Bag! http://thesurvivalmom.com/12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-6-post-it-swag-bag/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-6-post-it-swag-bag http://thesurvivalmom.com/12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-6-post-it-swag-bag/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 17:13:13 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12282 This very popular giveaway has ended and Cheryl was the happy winner. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm! I’ve always wanted a real swag bag. You know. Those bags of incredibly expensive luxury items that celebrities get when they attend Read More

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This very popular giveaway has ended and Cheryl was the happy winner. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!

I’ve always wanted a real swag bag. You know. Those bags of incredibly expensive luxury items that celebrities get when they attend the Oscars.

IMG_20130805_211740_355A whole lot more practical for my needs was this great swag bag I received from Post-It Notes. Chock full of a huge variety of Post-It note products, I was the instant envy of my kids.

Now, I have to admit that when I go to Staples, I always look the other way when passing by the Post-It Notes aisle because their products are so darn alluring! If it’s not the bright colors, then it’s the ingenious shapes and the fact that there’s a Post-It for virtually every imaginable use.

So, just in time for busy moms and students going back to school, I present as today’s giveaway, a colorful Post-It swag bag!

To enter to win, simply leave a comment telling how you use Post-Its in your home. That’s it!

This giveaway ends at midnight on Saturday, August 10. The winner will be selected at random and notified the following day.

Good luck!

Click here to read the true story of how Post-It Notes were invented!

 

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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12 Days of Back-to-School Giveaways: Day 5, Finder Codes kit http://thesurvivalmom.com/12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-5-finder-codes-kit/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-5-finder-codes-kit http://thesurvivalmom.com/12-days-of-back-to-school-giveaways-day-5-finder-codes-kit/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:40:21 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12277 This giveaway has ended, and Mari was the winner of the Finder Codes kit. I just started noticing a new product, Finder Codes, in various stores and immediately thought of all the little things busy families often lose, from small Read More

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findercodesLogo

This giveaway has ended, and Mari was the winner of the Finder Codes kit.

I just started noticing a new product, Finder Codes, in various stores and immediately thought of all the little things busy families often lose, from small electronics to winter coats, expensive textbooks, and pets. Kids who have to lug an assortment of supplies and books to school are particularly susceptible!

Finder Codes is a way to electronically tag anything and everything you don’t want to use and register each item’s code online. If your prized possession is found, the finder can use the electronic code to return your item.

fiinder codesA few of the items that I would tag are:

  • My daughter’s $85 sign language textbook
  • My kids’ backpacks (Finder Codes comes with stickers that attach to fabric.)
  • During snow season, their winter jackets and expensive ski gloves
  • Our pets’ name tags
  • All of our electronics: cell phones, Kindles, cameras, iPods
  • Our laptop computers
  • Keychains
  • My BirkSun solar backpack!

Today’s giveaway is a free Finder Codes kit for one lucky winner! To enter this fun giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me what you have recently lost! And yes, 10 lbs. counts!!

This giveaway ends in 5 days,  at midnight on Friday, August 9. The winner will be selected at random and notified the next day.

Good luck!

Need ideas for your Finder Codes tags?

The 15 Most Commonly Lost Items

Top 10 List of Most Misplaced Items

Lost & Found: Top 10 items left behind in hotel rooms

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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A Moveable Feast: Organizing Your Food Storage For Portability and Cleanliness http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-moveable-feast-organizing-your-food-storage-for-portability-and-cleanliness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-moveable-feast-organizing-your-food-storage-for-portability-and-cleanliness http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-moveable-feast-organizing-your-food-storage-for-portability-and-cleanliness/#comments Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:03:16 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12190 Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do, and moving with a full food storage and all of the emergency preparations that go with it can be super-stressful. It’s heavy, often fairly awkward (lots of glass jars Read More

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Moving is one of the most stressful things you can do, and moving with a full food storage and all of the emergency preparations that go with it can be super-stressful. It’s heavy, often fairly awkward (lots of glass jars in my case), and well, there’s just so much of it.

moveablefoodstorageAn organized pantry makes cooking out of it easy and fun. We can all agree on that – but what if you have to move it all one day? I recently did, and I was glad I started off my food storage on moveable racks. And even though I’m staying put for a while now, I can see how having my food storage set up this way will make life easier in the long run – whether I move or not. Here’s why:

If you set up your moveable feast correctly, you’ll be able to clean properly.

I recommend that your food storage be completely – top to bottom – cleaned and sanitized at least once a year (I do mine twice a year, when we change our clocks).

Making your food storage moveable means you can easily reconfigure it when your needs change.

You can store more because racks can be tightly stacked next to each other, and moved when the time comes to rotate your stock. (Uline, a commercial packaging company, has a fabulous sliding shelving system).

Moveable food storage makes it easy to set up a garage or spare room without building in a lot of fixed-position shelving. If you ever want to change the purpose of the room, your racks can be moved out easily.

Many of these shelving units look exactly the same, so it’s difficult to assess which one is right for your needs. There are some granular differences across different manufacturer’s shelving, and even within a manufacturer’s line, so here are some areas to consider when choosing a moveable shelving system:

  • Check the load specifications before you buy. Make sure your shelves are heavy-duty enough to handle the weight you’ll be putting on them. Remember how heavy water is (a gallon is about 8 ½ pounds), and cans are also very heavy.
  • Check to make sure the wheels are heavy-duty. Many shelf systems look great and are heavy-duty, but they cheap out on the wheels. So check unbiased reviews and if you’re very serious, call the manufacturer. The last thing you want is a broken wheel – it’s a hard thing to fix on a fully-loaded shelving unit.
  • Make sure that the wheels are actually included  –  sometimes they aren’t.
  • Some units (especially very inexpensive or smaller) are not meant to be moved when loaded – check with the manufacturer if in doubt.
  • Mix inexpensive lighter-duty shelves with heavier duty shelves for maximum economy.

Moving your food storage doesn’t have to be a nightmare

If you move with these shelves, I have some tips for you (I’m fresh off the moving truck as I write this!):

  • Make sure the moving truck is tall enough to accommodate your shelving – including the wheels. Very important: in addition to checking the height of the inside of the truck, check the door height as well. I had some shelves that fit within the truck but were 2 inches taller than the door. Not a happy discovery!
  • Wrap your shelves with stretch wrap to keep everything from sliding off.
  • If you want to keep the contents private, get black pallet stretch wrap. Remember, movers will see the contents of your bins, and they know where you live.
  • Your moving truck should have a ramp so you can slide your shelves in easily.
  • Know where your racks are going to live in your new location, and create a plan using grid paper. Then, label each shelving unit so when you arrive, the movers can put each rack in the right place. This will save you a lot of time and effort.

Useful clear bins

I also recommend keeping your food storage in clear bins (assuming your storage area is not full of sunlight). Boxes are skidded around warehouses on floors and dirty equipment. Rats and mice may have crawled over them, for all you know.

Some things to consider when choosing bins:

  • Make sure your bins will fit in an optimized way on the shelves you have (or are planning to purchase).  Check the front-to-back dimension as well as side-to-side.
  • Use gasket bins for things critters can get into. There’s a new bin by Sterilite that has a gasket on it. It’s not 100% water/air proof, but it’s a tighter seal than I’ve seen on any bin before – and I’m a bin connoisseur.
  • Use less-expensive bins for cans – the gasket bins are a little pricey, so get cheaper bins for cans of things (since these don’t attract critters).
  • For your home-canned goods, consider a sturdy, more permanent box instead of letting your precious jars go free-range (a slight earthquake, and you could lose it all). I really love these pantry storage boxes from Pantry in a Box. She sends them with a white-board label, so you can re-label easily.

So if you’re just starting out on building a substantial food storage, or considering re-organizing what you already have, please consider using moveable shelves. A well-organized food store is a pleasure to cook out of and makes being prepared a happy choice.

Guest post by Nancy Smith who blogs at Prep Happy. Visit her blog to read more and sign up for her email prepping course.

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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A sure-fire strategy for keeping an organized pantry inventory http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-sure-fire-strategy-for-keeping-an-organized-pantry-inventory/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-sure-fire-strategy-for-keeping-an-organized-pantry-inventory http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-sure-fire-strategy-for-keeping-an-organized-pantry-inventory/#comments Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:45:11 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11293 My husband has told me many times over the years, “Lisa, you always manage to make things more complicated than they need to be.” When we have friends over for dinner, I want to make ALL NEW recipes for multiple Read More

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My husband has told me many times over the years, “Lisa, you always manage to make things more complicated than they need to be.”

When we have friends over for dinner, I want to make ALL NEW recipes for multiple dishes. Before we go on a vacation, I want everyone in the family to have ALL NEW outfits! If we need to make a major purchase, I will research it to death until I’m so confused that I don’t care what we buy!

image by Suus Wansink

image by Suus Wansink

When I decided to create an inventory of my food pantry, I tied myself up in knots just trying to figure out how to organize it. What categories should I use? Should it be a paper/hard copy inventory or should I use Excel? (I am NOT proficient in Excel. At all.)

After much, much thought, I decided to not re-invent the wheel and I used the same categories found on Shelf Reliance for their food products. I figured that the people at Shelf Reliance must have spent a lot of time determining these categories, and if they work for Shelf Reliance, they’ll certainly work for me and my humble inventory.

I also decided to use Excel. I created a separate page for each category (see below) and then entered the name of the food, the size of the container, and how many I had on hand.

Boy, was I surprised to find out that we have 15 #10 cans of freeze-dried bananas.

See what happens when you don’t keep an ongoing inventory? You will almost certainly end up with too much of one thing and not nearly enough of another.

You might like to check out the categories used by Shelf Reliance* or another food storage company as an assist when setting up your own inventory or reorganizing what you have.

Yes, it’s  important to know what you have so you don’t repeat my banana mistake. I’m not working on making sure that I have a bigger variety of fruits and plenty of recipes that call for bananas!

By the way, I saved my Excel inventory and have it stored in Dropbox as well as a printed hard copy here at home. There are issues with saving documents in Dropbox, but I can’t tell you how many times Dropbox has saved my bacon.

Categories

  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Meats
  • Dairy
  • Beans (I separated beans from meat.)
  • Desserts
  • Drinks
  • Basics
  • Entrees
  • Survival supplies (candles, matches, etc.)

Am I missing any categories? What organization system are you using?

* I am an  independent consultant with Shelf Reliance and earn a percentage from any sales derived from my Shelf Reliance website.

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Step-by-Step: A Survival Mom Binder for TEOTWAWKI http://thesurvivalmom.com/step-by-step-a-survival-mom-binder-for-teotwawki/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=step-by-step-a-survival-mom-binder-for-teotwawki http://thesurvivalmom.com/step-by-step-a-survival-mom-binder-for-teotwawki/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 10:49:49 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=10137 Guest post by Jackie K. In 2003 I became a mother for the first time.  Over the years I became a mom 2 more times.  With each new addition, came more things I needed to have on hand.  I did Read More

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Guest post by Jackie K.

In 2003 I became a mother for the first time.  Over the years I became a mom 2 more times.  With each new addition, came more things I needed to have on hand.  I did not know it then, but I was already on my way to becoming a Survival MOM.

Just a little over a year ago, I was enlightened that there was such a blog.  As I read the blog, and now have the book, I have pulled my favorite things all together and put them in my Survival Mom/TEOTWAKI binder.  For those of you that have been following the Survival Mom’s site, you know what this is.  It is a key back up plan to the many other lists and plans we have as moms.

I want to share with you exactly how I have set up my own binder.

Start with organization

My binder has several different parts.  Everything I’ve used for organization are items you can purchase at back-to-school sales and stores like Walgreen’s, WalMart and CVS.  With school beginning again, now is the time to stock up on stuff for yourself and your kids for school.  My husband tells me all the time that I go overboard.  However, he later realizes that it made fiscal sense for me to go overboard when I come home with more than a 50% savings.  Ladies, we all know that is why we are Survival Moms.  It is our job to think of the things our spouses can’t!

Now back to my TEOTWAKI binder.  I use dividers, page protectors and pocket dividers.  Those 3 items make up the main parts of my binder.  In the remainder of this article, I will show you examples of how I use them.  Each mom will have her own unique way to set up her binder.  This is what works for the way my brain functions.  I have included pictures for those of you that need visuals like I do.

Re-purpose, recycle to save money

Some of you may have an even bigger binder than I.  Next to my binder, in the above photo, are some of my favorite books right now.  Of course we have Survival Mom.  Without her book, I would not think of so many areas of planning.  Every mom should have this book, in my personal opinion.

Moving on, for my binder I wanted to make it fun.  So, I used an old binder from college way back when.  I admit I saved this binder when I graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2000.  I just could not part with it.  This binder and I have been good friends for a long time.  I always knew it would find a way to keep me organized again.  You can laugh at me, I laugh at myself all the time.

You can’t fault a mom who likes to re-use and re-purpose can you?  My favorite kind of binder is the one you can place a photo in and use a visual.  Because I have young children, having visuals for them while they are learning to read is important.  So, since one of my big things is to show them what I do as I do it, they will know where this binder is if they need to get it for me.

More helpful supplies

In this photo you see my two favorite note pads.  I use the composition books to help me be a little more portable when I go shopping.  I love the 3-hole punched note books for use in journaling ideas I get on whim a while sitting at my computer reading articles on my favorite blogs and websites.  Another item I love to use with my prepping logs is the Post-It divider tabs.  I LOVE those tabs.  They come in handy for so many things.  I also love that they don’t tear any pages off and you can move them as you need to.

In the third photo you can see that I do love these plastic sheet protectors that allow you to change your mind when it comes to categories and how you want to organize your thoughts and material.  This particular design also acts as a sort of table of contents for my numbered tabs.

Sheet protectors are great for lists or anything you don’t want to have to open the binder for over and over again.  It protects your pages, holds more than one copy of a list you use often and so much more.

Also in my binder are pocket dividers that hold clippings, articles, coupons, blank inventory sheets, maps and more.  Can you tell I let my 9 year-old help me label my dividers with my label maker?  I could not change the spelling of my 1st Things 1sttab because my daughter took such pride in her

1st THINS 1st

work.  So for now, I will keep the typo, and when I look at this tab, I smile

Getting the whole family prepared

My binder also helps me pull together information to help my kids be better prepared. This photo is of one of my “1st Things 1st”, plan items.

I also keep a copy of this list on my refrigerator for my kids and husband.  In case they needed to call 911, my kids would use this tool for emergency crews that would arrive.   I thought of this when I heard about all the children that got separated from their parents after Katrina.  I made sure to teach my kids how to say our first name and last name clearly as soon as they could talk.  This way, if at age 3 my child was separated from me at a store and asked what Mommy’s name is, she or he could tell the store personnel what my name is.

This came in handy when my middle child wandered off in Cabela’s once.  As a Mom, realizing your child is lost is a horrible feeling.  But what made me feel better was when I went to the clerk and she told me, “Oh, we found her; she is at the front desk”.  I showed up and my daughter was telling the clerk at the front desk our last name.  I cried and laughed all at once.

In each section: divider, must-have information, pocket divider

This photo is an example of my divider tab with my pocket divider behind it.  Anything that will relate to my tab for Inventory is placed behind my numbered divider and before the pocket divider, which holds anything that I can’t use the 3-hole punch with. Magazine articles or pamphlets are examples of what I might keep in the pockets.

In my Inventory section I might have inventories of first aid supplies, food storage, lists of what each emergency kit or Bug Out Bag holds, etc.

I love to use the dividers that allow you to write a little list of what you have in the section.  I use pencil here to write things.  As I have learned, change is constant. Never use ink!

Here is a sample of my “Helpful Hints” tab.  This was one of my first articles printed out and I refer to it often.  So I keep it right in the front of my “Helpful Hints”. As you can see, it’s in a page protector since it’s used mostly for reference and I want to keep it in good shape.

Some of the other dividers I have and a few of the informational pieces I’ve collected so far:

  • 1st Things 1st
    • Our plans for both bugging out and bugging in (shelter in place).
    • Maps
    • Emergency contacts
  • Helpful Hints
    • Recipes using food storage ingredients
  • Fun Stuff
  • Family Training
  • Mental Guides
    • Motivational quotes, prayers
    • Tips for staying calm and helping others stay calm
  • Physical Needs
    • How far can each member of our family hike?
    • How many calories do we need to stay healthy?
  • Safety/Medical Needs
  • Rest Needs
    • How to conserve our physical energy if we ever have to hike from a dangerous situation
    • Sleep needs for each age level

You could also use the main sections in Lisa’s book for categories:

  • To Do, To Learn, To Buy
  • Water storage & purification
  • Sanitation & laundry
  • Food storage
  • Power’s out tips and information
  • Organization
  • Personal and home defense
  • Finances
  • Skills to learn
  • Evacuation plans, routes, and supplies

I have these dividers to help me gather and track our progress as a family preparing for a moment that changes our life as we know it to be.  You don’t have to be focused on doom.  This binder works great for camping and family adventures as well.  Having things ready in advance is a must to surviving even a long delay due to traffic.  A Survival Mom tries to be ready for anything, and when she’s not, she learns from the experience and does better the next time!

 

 

© 2012 – 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Survival Survey & Giveaway! Share your tips for organizing the pantry! http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-giveaway-share-your-tips-for-organizing-the-pantry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survival-survey-giveaway-share-your-tips-for-organizing-the-pantry http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-survey-giveaway-share-your-tips-for-organizing-the-pantry/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 13:00:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=9609 This giveaway is now closed and the winners have been notified. However, there’s a wealth of great information in the comment section below. In my book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios, Read More

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This giveaway is now closed and the winners have been notified. However, there’s a wealth of great information in the comment section below.

In my book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios, I share several strategies for keeping your pantry organized.  Whether you have just enough food to last through the week or several months worth, it’s easy to lose track of what you have.

image by sleepyniko

One tip from my book is to group similar foods and supplies together.  In the past when I wanted to make a loaf of bread, it involved going on a wild goose chase, tracking down dried milk, then honey, then the wheat or flour, and digging through the fridge to find the jar of yeast.  No  more. Now all bread-baking products are organized and stored in one location.

Recently I re-organized the small pantry in my kitchen, and was a bit red-faced to discover a can of hominy almost as old as my son, two completely dried out bags of flaked coconut, and more than a dozen half-empty containers of various foods that had to be thrown out.  It was not a pretty picture, and I hate seeing food (and money!) go to waste.

What tip do you have for maintaining an organized pantry?  Share your tip here as a comment for the chance of being one of five winners of the mini edition of Organizing for Dummies by Eileen Roth.  Since the book is tiny and purse-sized, I guarantee it won’t add to the clutter in your home!

This giveaway ends on Friday, June 15, and the winners will be announced on Saturday, June 16.  Winners will be selected at random and will be notified by email.  Winners who do not respond within ten days will forfeit their prize.

© 2012, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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iPhone App: Prep & Pantry http://thesurvivalmom.com/iphone-app-prep-pantry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=iphone-app-prep-pantry http://thesurvivalmom.com/iphone-app-prep-pantry/#comments Mon, 23 Jan 2012 10:00:39 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=8421 Guest post by Liz Long.   Prep & Pantry is an iPhone app that lets you keep track of all your preps and everything in your pantry. It really is a great little app, and worth the money, but there Read More

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Guest post by Liz Long.

 

image by JD Hancock

Prep & Pantry is an iPhone app that lets you keep track of all your preps and everything in your pantry. It really is a great little app, and worth the money, but there is a free “lite” version if you want to try before you buy.

This app has a lot of good features.  It scans barcodes if your iPhone is new enough (mine isn’t) and downloads the information. However, because it automatically searches for information when you scan an item, if you are somewhere with no cell coverage, such as a basement, it doesn’t help.

When you start up the app, you get a Prep & Pantry title screen and it automatically continues to a prompt to enter a barcode. If you don’t want to enter a new item, such as a can of food, you can select a magnifying glass in the upper right corner to go to “Find Inventory Item” which has a search bar. If you select “List” from the bottom of the screen, you can list items alphabetically, by expiration, or by location. “List” will also warn you if you have expired items. While you are on the “Scan” page, you can swipe your finger to the left and the background will change from green (add item) to red (remove items) and you can remove items; there are also buttons to change between the two screens.

image by Tony Buser

If you go to “Find Inventory Item” from the remove items screen, it will remove items instead of adding them.  For example, if I go to the item Mandarin Oranges from “Remove items”, I can remove items by clicking a button but if I go there from add items, I can only add items. Every time you add to the quantity you have of an item, you need to enter the location, quantity, and expiration date. It took me a few minutes because the app allows you to put things in more than one place.

The barcode is the entire code, including the smaller numbers on either side, just outside the actual bars. If you have cell coverage, it then scans for the information and downloads whatever it finds – IF you have that feature enabled. I disabled it while I was working with it in the basement to save on battery life, and then was annoyed when my Dole Mandarin Oranges wouldn’t come up when I entered them in an area with cell coverage. Oopsie! My bad. It worked just fine once I enabled it again by going into “Settings” with the button at the bottom of the screen. The only information it pulled in was the name, Mandarin Oranges, but it was still a help. If you don’t have coverage or it can’t find the item, it then prompts you to enter information, starting with the name.

Qm is essentially the quantity you want to have, your goal amount. There is also a grocery shopping list option. You can note items you have coupons for, email the shopping list to yourself, and even add a thumbnail. If you go into settings, there are even more choices, including a database backup.

Prep & Pantry sells for $4.99 and can be downloaded from your phone, of course, as well as the website, Prep & Pantry.

 

 

© 2012, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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One simple goal for your first month as a prepper http://thesurvivalmom.com/one-simple-goal-for-your-first-month-as-a-prepper/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=one-simple-goal-for-your-first-month-as-a-prepper http://thesurvivalmom.com/one-simple-goal-for-your-first-month-as-a-prepper/#comments Sun, 31 Jul 2011 10:26:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=7213 When someone asks me where to start when it comes to preparedness, I almost always say, “Start de-cluttering!”  I know they were expecting advice for buying buckets of wheat and bags of beans.  Neither of those are bad moves, but Read More

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When someone asks me where to start when it comes to preparedness, I almost always say, “Start de-cluttering!”  I know they were expecting advice for buying buckets of wheat and bags of beans.  Neither of those are bad moves, but start by eliminating what you don’t need.  Here’s why.

  1. Clearing out unused, unwanted, and even broken junk is a great way to lift your spirits.  Seeing those cleaned out drawers, cupboards, and closets is a boost to your morale.  You almost feel thinner!
  2. As you set aside everything you don’t want, you’ll almost certainly begin finding things you do want!  Things that would be on your survival check-list anyway.  These discoveries will save you from buying duplicates, and then someday discovering that you own eleven pocket knives and five hammers!
  3. Your stack of unwanted stuff will eventually be large enough for a garage sale.  This might bring in a few hundred dollars, depending on what you have to sell, which, in turn, can be used to purchase what you really need to be better prepared.
  4. Once your storage areas are cleared out, you now have extra space for storing extra food, water, supplies, necessary tools, etc.  If you live in a small space, de-cluttering is a prepper’s life-saver!

DO set a deadline for yourself.  De-cluttering isn’t much fun, and it’s easy to get side-tracked.  I know!  Schedule a date to be finished with a particular room or even the whole house, and if a garage sale is more effort than you care to make, call Goodwill or another charity and bless them with your unwanted goods.

De-cluttering should be one of your first goals as a prepper.

© 2011, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Those Buckets Aren’t Just For Wheat http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-those-buckets-arent-just-for-wheat/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=instant-survival-tip-those-buckets-arent-just-for-wheat http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-those-buckets-arent-just-for-wheat/#comments Sat, 30 Oct 2010 15:36:36 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=5394 It was my lucky day when I discovered the free buckets available just for the asking at my grocery store’s bakery.  “How many do you want?” were the words that nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes!  The buckets Read More

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It was my lucky day when I discovered the free buckets available just for the asking at my grocery store’s bakery.  “How many do you want?” were the words that nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes!  The buckets washed up nicely, along with the lids, but then I was in a quandary.  My wheat, rice, and oats had already been stored in other buckets and 2-liter bottles.  What was I going to do with twelve empty buckets?

Fortunately, a long-dormant organizing gene activated, and I realized those buckets aren’t just for wheat.  I started thinking outside the box bucket.  They are the perfect storage containers for so many purposes, whether they’re brand spanking new or gently used.  They’re great for organizing smaller items that you have in storage.  For example, a bucket is a great place to stash bars of soap, dental supplies, bottles of hand sanitizer, and boxes of Rice-a-Roni.  Anytime you have a collection of small, similar items, toss them in a bucket, pop on the lid, and mark the outside with a label.

A bucket is also useful for storing one or two days worth of food.  If you’re ever in an evacuation scenario, you can just grab these Evacuation Buckets and be gone.  With a supply of toilet paper, heavy duty trash bags, a bit of kitty litter, and a snap-on toilet seat, one of those buckets will double as an emergency toilet.  We’ve all heard about backpacks and duffel bags being used as Bug Out Bags or 72 Hour Kits, but if just one member of the family uses a bucket instead of a bag made of cloth, you’ll have something to carry water, firewood, and, again, have a toilet, if necessary.  Heck, you can flip the bucket upside down and use it as a semi-comfortable chair!

Why not use a bucket as a charitable gift for a needy person or family?  An inexpensive blanket, a few survival items, some water and food rations will go a long way toward helping out those who were unprepared for a crisis.  If you’ve been making your own dehydrated meals, they’re an excellent addition to a Gift Bucket.  Just be sure to include instructions for preparation.  For more ideas of what to include in a Gift Bucket, read this.

Finally, and I don’t really recommend this, I’ve used an empty bucket as a step-stool to reach the higher shelves in my pantry.  It gets pretty embarrassing to have to borrow brown sugar from the neighbor because you’re not tall enough to see all the sugar that’s stored on that top shelf!  (Especially when your neighbor knows you’re TheSurvivalMom!  True story.)

The nice part about these buckets is that once you have them, they’re good for many years.  They can be cleaned out and used over and over again.  Ask around at restaurants and bakeries because food supplies like cake icing and fillings come in these buckets and then have to be recycled or thrown out.  Even if you can’t get them for free, you can use buckets from home improvement centers for your non-food storage and save a bit of money that way.  The key, really, is to get your stuff organized, and these buckets are a great tool for making that happen.

© 2010, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Preparedness Essential: The Survival Mom Binder http://thesurvivalmom.com/preparedness-essential2-the-survival-mom-binder/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=preparedness-essential2-the-survival-mom-binder http://thesurvivalmom.com/preparedness-essential2-the-survival-mom-binder/#comments Sun, 10 Oct 2010 21:28:03 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=396 I’ve spent hours and hours online researching everything from how to make homemade laundry soap to making a homemade food dehydrator.  I even researched how to make homemade fire starters using dryer lint.  All these pages, and more, have been bookmarked Read More

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I’ve spent hours and hours online researching everything from how to make homemade laundry soap to making a homemade food dehydrator.  I even researched how to make homemade fire starters using dryer lint.  All these pages, and more, have been bookmarked so I’ll have them for future reference.  Bookmarking is a great plan, except we could lose our electricity and/or our internet connection for a lengthy period of time, and then what?  My solution: The Survival Mom Binder!binder

My printer has been smokin’ over the past several weeks as I’ve been printing out information I want to keep .  Electronic storage is great, but sometimes a hard copy is the only way to go.

Think about the topics you’ve researched related to preparedness.   Maybe you’ve checked into alternate routes from your house to another location.  Have you researched making your own First Aid Kit or how to use a fire striker?  Maybe you’ve looked into which types of vegetables and herbs grow best in your region.  Marking an internet page as a “Favorite”, may not be enough.  Create your own Survival Mom Binder, a personalized reference book.

Begin by printing out information you want to have on hand, “just in case.”  Soon, this information will fall into logical categories, unique to you and your family.  Here are a few general categories just to get you started and notes of a few things I’ve printed out for my own binder.

Water:  purification methods, sources of water containers

Food:  food storage temperature chart, records of my long-term storage foods, recipes, edible wild plants

Medical: age/weight chart for medications, medicinal herbs and plants, first aid instructions, natural remedies

Gardening:  what to plant in my zone, directions for sprouting

Preserving Foods:  canning instructions, food dehydration directions

Alternative Energy Sources: directions for making a solar still and a solar phone charger

Evacuation: maps showing various routes out of our metropolitan area, a copy of our Family Evacuation Plan, a checklist of my Vehicle 72 Hour Kit

Communication: directions for using our shortwave radio,  When Communication=Survival

To Do List:  books to buy, things to research

Miscellaneous: dosage chart for potassium iodide tablets!

A well-organized Survival Mom Binder is a must-have reference book tailored to your family.  Whether you grab it as you evacuate your home or just read it late at night in the comfort of your bed, it’s all yours with all the answers you were looking for!

© 2010, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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