May292012

13 Comments

Spring into summer preparedness

 

image by e pants

Each season brings with it its own optimal timing for certain aspects of preparedness. With summer a few weeks away, it’s time to take full advantage of the warm, sunny days ahead

Plant something!

A garden is the obvious choice, but what about shrubs and trees planted in strategic locations? The longest growing days are ahead, and now is the time to think ahead two or three years in your planning.

· Where do you need thorny bushes and other plants to create a natural barrier for a more secure home and property?

· Where might shade trees come in handy for helping to keep your home cool and power bills down during the summer?

· Which herbs do you use most often in your cooking? Plant them now and dehydrate your harvest throughout the summer for fresh-tasting home-grown herbs throughout the year.

De-clutter something!

I can’t over-emphasize the importance of de-cluttering your living space. We think that things bring us comfort, but the opposite is true. We can get easily overwhelmed by our belongings and their maintenance, and soon they own us! Have you ever wondered why a stay at a hotel or resort is always so relaxing? One reason is that we’re not surrounded by things we have to clean, dust, arrange, insure, secure, fix, and worry about.

Start with the room or part of the house you use the least. Even if it’s a closet or a set of cupboards, if you rarely access them, chances are their contents have little importance to your day-to-day life. Here’s a free preview of a great online book to get you going, The Get Organized Answer Book.

 

image by Lin Pernille Photography

Clean something!

Since it’s time for spring cleaning anyway, why not begin using all-natural, homemade cleaning products? It’s much safer, easier, and cheaper to stock up on ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice (or lemon powder), dish soap, and baking soda. A few essential oils, such as teatree oil or orange blossom, will make your new solutions fragrant and pleasant to use. Check out these websites for some great recipes:  How to make a non-toxic cleaning kit and Recipes for natural cleaning products.

Motivate someone!

Kids will soon be out of school with lots of spare time on their hands.  This is the best time of year, then, to introduce them to a new skill or hobby.  If it’s a practical skill that could become important to your family’s preparedness, so much the better.  Even little ones can have their own gardens, with each plant and herb labeled.  Older kids can help with canning, pickling, and jelly making.  (Pickling cucumbers are in season right about now.)  Think about all the skills you wish you knew.  Now, why can’t your family and friends learn them together?  If you need suggestions, check out my past Skill of the Month list.

Get outdoors!

image by paala

Nothing teaches the importance of self-reliance and outdoor skills quite like a camping trip, even if it’s just over-nighting it in the backyard!  Everyone quickly learns the importance of water, food, shelter, and how to solve problems creatively.  I also believe it’s important to get kids outside and away from constantly being inside.   A day hike through a park, a visit to a State or National Park, even a picnic where kids learn they have to pack everything they’ll need and then pack out all their trash, teach important concepts.

Unplug something!

I admit this next suggestion isn’t for the faint of heart, but what could your family accomplish if the TV and video games were unplugged for a week?  It’s a scary thought because parents have to set the example, but when my family did this for two weeks (the TV was turned off every night), we re-discovered Family Reading Night.  You’ll discover lost hours that can be used to organize, de-clutter, clean, play, plan, read, and have fun!

Update something!

This is the season to update all your emergency kits.  The Bug Out Bags, the 72 Hour Kits, the Get Home Kit…they all need to be updated twice a year, and now is the time to do it.  Check to make sure that food hasn’t spoiled and that liquids haven’t leaked.  Are all the shoes and clothes still the right size?  Can you reorganize anything to make the kit a little neater?  How about adding an inventory sheet to the Kit, or add to your Survival Mom binder, so you’ll always know what is supposed to be in each kit?

Summer will be over before you know it.  Hard to believe, but every year it seems to get shorter and shorter.  Jump into action this week and make the most of these long days that seem to never end.

 

 

 

 

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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© Copyright 2012 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(13) Readers Comments

  1. I am trying out my green thumb for the very first time, seeing if I can keep a tomatoe plant alive. Wish me luck.

  2. Don't forget about planting medicinal herbs!!! I really want to plant chamomile so I can make my own chamomile tea (to help with sleeping), but it's definitely an annual here.

    • I'm working on growing chamomile and mint.
      Combined they make terrific Tummy Mint tea…add a little raw local honey and your ready for upset stomachs.

      • If you have a yard (as opposed to a manicured lawn), check into the uses of wild-growing clover, plantain, and dandelions. You can explain to your neighbors that the reason you’re no longer cutting the grass is because it’s your new herb garden!

  3. first i like to reed your blog. I will try some more medicinal herbs.we will have a large garden' after who can bye all the food to feed a family any more.

  4. I bought basil plants yesterday-5 for $2.99. Repotted into bigger containers and we will have basil all summer and into the fall. I still have parsley from last spring.

  5. What does this "de-clut-ter" even mean? I don't understand. I am entirely unable to do this. Aaarrgg! Every time I take things out of the house, more comes in. Somehow. I'm not doing this– am I? Apparently, I am. I'm a hopeless case. LOL from the over-stuffed hamster nest.

    • I faithfully take things to Goodwill on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I’m more faithful about bringing home more than I took!

      • Yep, Goodwill can suck you right in if you’re not careful!

  6. Yeah, I just pulled half of my squash plants. We’ve got cutworms. The good Lord has blessed me so far with more than enough squashes from other peoples gardens, enough to sustain us for the year. And bonus I just canned 20 quarts of pickles. Actually about 40 I donated half to the local food pantry. Up next, visiting the local U pick to can quarts of tomatoes, salsa, and for the first time spaghetti sauce. My kitchen looks ridiculous. I have a string from a hook in the ceiling to the top of the cabinets. Its strung with lots of different herbs that are drying. Once canning season is over operation clean house will commence. My children’s rooms are so overrun they can’t be cleaned. I’ve got 2 heavy duty shelves on order for the office. These will hold long term food storage, camping supplies, my grandmothers lead crystal. Well, I’ve chatted long enough. My hubby worked all day and is right outside cutting grass. He’ll likely want dinner when he comes in. Is it terrible to be so busy canning/harvesting that there is no room to cook dinner? Sandwiches for the 5th night in a row is ok right? How did pioneer women do it? They cleaned, canned, worked in the yard…

  7. To “guest” who bought the basil – very nice buy! A good companion plant is rosemary. Such a lovely scent. You can season pork and chicken with it, or simply brush the bush with your hand for a lovely refreshing scent. It’s very hardy. And, a pinch of leaves crushed between your thumb and finger and rubbed across your skin will repel mosquitos for a short period.

  8. I am cleaning out sheds, garage and rooms in the house. If I want to be prepared for whatever happens in the futures, the extra stuff has to find a new home and not with me. We inherited items from several family members who passed away and our home is bulging at the seams. My sister and I are cleaning out our homes.

    No, I do not shop at Good Will, I would be temped to drag home stuff I really do not need.

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