*So You Think you Have "Nothing"*
By: Marylou
15 September 2004

You've toyed with the idea of starting preps, but think you have nothing. Running out and buying a ton a stuff isn't necessarily what prepping is all about.

1. Stop and take inventory of what you really have. Start in one room of your home and make your way through the rest of the house. For example; Kitchen list your appliances and how much storage space you have. A seperate inventory for food would be a good idea.

2. Go over your list. Are you interested in dehydrating, but don't have one? Or your old one is not working? Make a note of what needs to be replaced or updated. Highlight these items. WIth a different color highlighter, mark which items you haven't used in the past year. Also highlight things for which you have duplicates .

3. Decide of how you'll get rid of these items you no longer need. Some people do yard sales, others could choose to barter. A consignment shop might work for you. Charity organizations take donations, as well. If you sell them or receive money for this stuff, put the money away where you can use it for preps that you have to buy. Now is the time to get rid it. Do it. Get it out. We need the space, and the money.

4. Now is also the time to get organized. Did you find stuff in the hall closet that really belongs in the bathroom? Move it. Did you forget about the Christmas wrap you stuck under your bed last year? Get it out and put it where you know you have it when you need it. Make lists for the inside of cabinets and closets telling you what's in there if you need to. Make sure everything you have is treated like exactly what it is...an asset.

5. Look at your highlighted list for each room on what you need to replace or purchase and start the hunt. Yard sales, consignment shops, the newspaper, thrift stores, auctions, dollar stores, and retail stores are all outlets for what we need. Depending on your budget, you make the decision on where you'll get what you need. Just remember...the more you save, the more money you'll have to reach your goal.

6. Store what you use and use what you store. There is no need to follow a generic list if half the stuff on there is stuff you don't use. Start collecting food and household/personal need items as you find them on sale or can trade a friend some of the stuff you don't use for some of the stuff he/she can't use.

7. Acquire a library. Either use the county or town library near you or purchase books on information you need. Ask questions at the vegetable market about your local growing trends. Talk to the butcher at how-to. Find out what the local hospitals, schools, and fire departments offer for free information. Get everything you can that will strengthen your knowledge of applicable subjects.

8. Stay busy and stay focused. Remember...everything you have is an asset. Take care of it. Treat it like it's valuable, because it is. Keep everything in good repair/working order. Organization will help you find things you never realized.

9. Learn about what you can do that doesn't cost anything. Water storage is an inexpensive, but potentally life saving prep. Find out how to do it and how much you need. The internet is an excellent resources, but remember...just because you read it on the 'net doesn't make it accurate. Follow USDA recommended practices for food storage and follow it carefully. The quality of what you get out of food storage will only be as good as what you put in it.

10. Practice, practice, practice. It's a constant exercise to get rid of what you don't need and fixing what you have. Maintain your home as you maintain the rest of your life. It needs love and attention just like the rest of the important things in your life.

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