Continuing with my theme of organization and purging, I feel like I should share with you my approach to preparedness. Do I consider myself a “prepper?” The answer is no. However, I do consider myself a prepared person. I try to think ahead, be ready for every situation, and hold true to the mindset, “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” Now, in some instances, this mindset has probably added to my disorganization and clutter issue. However, when I examine our home, needs, and my shortcomings, I can alter and apply this mindset, which works and is functional.
Does my child need five hundred pairs of pants? The answer is no. However, having a selection of pants that fit and perhaps a pair or two of the next size up for when she hits a growth spurt is smart and necessary. Do I need several large totes of seasonal décor for every holiday? The answer is no. However, pairing down my décor to meaningful and sentimental items makes me happy and brings back good memories. Do I need dozens of kitchen gadgets with nowhere to keep them? The answer is also no. However, delegating what is useful and creating a space to store it makes me feel satisfied and prepared.
There are items I feel necessary to have on hand. I have shopped in bulk for years. Even when I was single, living alone in my little cottage by the library with three cats, I shopped in bulk for particular items. I keep a four to six-month supply of things I deem necessary for life on hand at all times. Items like dog food, laundry supplies, paper products, and pantry staples. I began doing this in earnest when I first became a fan of The Walking Dead. At the time, Eric was working away from home more than he was home. With just myself and a toddler, I had a lot of time to over-think. Eric still references our phone conversation to this day. I told him, “We are not prepared! If a zombie apocalypse happens, we are zombie sh@#!”
I then went on a preparedness shopping spree. I made sure we had canned goods, paper supplies, medical supplies, pet food, and personal hygiene products, and batteries to last us for a year or so. At the time, we lived in a larger home with abundant storage. I have since calmed down a bit but continue to be prepared for six months or so. When the pandemic hit, I did not rush out to buy toilet paper. I was ready, prepared, and organized. I closed our doors, and we sheltered in place without much disruption to our routine. When the supply chain became a bit more stable, I merely replaced what we used. It is a good feeling to know that one’s family and loved ones are taken care of should such a situation arise.
Having daily necessities on hand is a way of life for us. I make a calculated list of items I deem necessary, make sure I have a place to store them and purchase what we need for several months. It is also a matter of convenience. We live in a rural setting, and all “good shopping” is at least an hour away. I often shop alone, and I hate carrying heavy items such as dog food, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies to the car and the house. It is much easier and more simplified to have them delivered to my door several at a time. By doing this, I never run out of necessities, don’t have to make impromptu trips to town, and don’t disrupt my daily routine with unexpected shortages of necessary products.
Is my approach a bit anal-retentive? Perhaps. However, I have created a system that works for us. We are prepared, we are organized, and we have peace of mind. Being prepared and organized has served us well. Will my approach work for everyone? The answer is probably not. However, I feel like it is within everyone’s wheelhouse to create a system that works for you and your family. A little organization and preparedness go a long way when it comes to peace of mind. It also saves on a ton of heavy lifting.
I hope, dear reader, you have enjoyed this peek into my sometimes neurotic, often over-thinking mind. Although I don’t recommend basing your lifestyle on a pop-culture apocalyptic television series, I do recommend meeting your basic needs for more than just a day or week. As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, take steps to be prepared, and of course, wash your hands.