*Reorganizing BOBs, Gear and Preps by CountryLady*
By: CountryLady
08 September 2005

Getting the TIME to unpack, write down, and re-pack our preps and gear is difficult for the most organized of us. Its awkward to do both, and 'Helpers' seem to get so impatient. Here is a suggestion to make this important task go faster and easier.

If you have a video camera, set it up on a tripod or nestle it in a bean bag on a table or counter near where you'll be working, preferably where your 'stuff' is located.

Turn it on, focus it, and let it run as you begin unpacking, or removing items from the shelf, tote, or what have you. There is audio on the video recorder so say the brand & name of the item, note anything you'd like to remember, such as expiration dates, condition, etc. Perhaps you'd prefer to dump the tote or bag in a pile at your feet, and call out the items as they are being RE-PACKED. Whatever works best for you is fine.

There are two hours worth of time per tape. You can go through lots of things in two hours. Make sure you set a clock or timer, so you don't get caught in the middle of a tote or shelf when the tape ends.

Later, you can sit in the house at your computer and type things into your spreadsheet or inventory list as you watch the video. OR you can make notes on paper while watching the kids, etc. You can always pause the tape to take breaks or to come back to it later. You can even plug in ear phones and make notes while the tape is playing in the camera while riding to work, or doing some other mundane task.

Redoing your BOBs and Preps this way, you'll get the job done and over with much easier. You'll also have a video inventory of everything you have in that part of the house in the event of a house fire or other casualty loss. Plenty of folks who survived Hurricane Katrina had preps that they have no way of documenting for insurance purposes. What Insurance Claims Agent is gonna believe you had THAT much 'STUFF'? LOL

Things to keep in mind...
~ Avoid having a window or light fixture visible in the viewer of the video recorder. It will make everything else dark as midnight.

~ Get kinda close to the camera. 5 feet is probably the maximum distance that small items can be seen properly. You can bring things up even closer than that but watch the focus.

~ Have a white board and a black board about 2'x3' handy to hold small items up in front of. Much easier to SEE details. A spotlight on a stand pointing to the area of your hands might help illuminate things, too.

-- All the Best,

All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright 1996 - 2005 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.