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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.