Most of us do not have an unlimited budget when it comes to organization and storage. Yet, organizing our home will be a benefit in a SHTF situation. If something happens and there is a need to evacuate, you do not want to spend an extra hour finding stuff. It would be easier to pull a storage bin and go. Even if you sequester in place or a weather related incident, being organized is one important aspect of being prepared.
Living in an apartment or on a budget makes things tight. Tight space. Tight on funds. Organization may actually be a little easier since apartment dwellers and those on a budget do not have the space or the funds to accumulate stuff.
Get rid of the unnecessary stuff
If you have not worn those teal jeans in the last year, chances are that you will not miss them. Sell them. Have a yard sale. Use eBay or even Craigslist. The pro side: cleaning out will give you more room. The con side: shipping or pricing can be cumbersome if you have a lot of stuff. You could combine a yard sale and donating the unsold stuff. The Salvation Army in Lancaster has a collection truck that sits daily at the side parking lot at AC Moore off Oregon Pike. Drop your stuff off and get a receipt for your taxes. Have nieces and nephews? See if younger family members would use hand me downs.
Facing the Closet
Shirts with shirts. Skirts with skirts. Slacks with slacks, and so on. Use your space wisely. The space above your clothes is a great space for a shelf or two. Place things you have to keep but do not often need to get into on the top shelf. Shoes should be kept neatly in boxes or on a shoe rack, not just thrown wherever you take them off.
Tackle the junk drawer
We all have one. It is a catch-all drawer. It is that drawer where all the odds and ends end up: the spare pens, old take out menus, paper clips and extra screws, batteries, and anything else that might fit.
The pantry is probably the space that requires the most attention. Buy non perishables and paper products when they are on sale and stock up. Check expiration dates and rotate your canned goods. The items that expire first should be closer to the front. Expiration dates are always a source of contention but that is a whole other issue than storage. Stock up on bottled water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends having one gallon per person per day and keeping a minimum of a three day supply on hand at all times. So, a family of four should have 12 gallons of water on hand at all times for drinking and sanitation.
Most families have a basic first aid kit. There are some band-aids and some wipes or cream. There may even be a small pair of scissors and gauze. That is great – for the day to day boo-boo. However, get a storage bin (Target or Kmart normally have a decent size tub for under $10) and stock it with medical supplies. It should include: sterile gloves, sterile dressings, antibiotic towelettes (they do not expire but over enough time they do dry out), antibiotic ointment, burn ointment, eye wash solutions, a thermometer, pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, scissors, and tweezers. In an actual emergency, you will also need to have your prescription medications on hand as well.
Being better organized is vital in being prepared for emergencies, severe weather or SHTF events.