There is a fine line when it comes to being prepared and hoarding. At is a line that would be better not to cross. Yet for many, things will become overwhelming and a hoarding house will develop, and you will not know where to start, and it quickly becomes overwhelming.
Indeed there is a sense of urgency as of late for people to prep, for various reasons. Because of this urgency, it can become confusing on what we should keep and what is merely clutter. First things first, prioritize.
What is the most important thing to your well being? Medical? food? clothing? entertainment? We all have different views on what we should always have on hand. But it will be up to you alone to decide what is in the best interest of your family. If you have gotten to the point where you look at everything and think, I might need that someday, and then try to ferret it out of the way, it may be time to prioritize.
Let’s start with the smallest room in your home, the bathroom. What is it that you truly need? are there things in there past the expiration date? Are there items that you have held onto for yeas just in the off chance you might need them? Rethink these items. If you have a snake bite kit and do not live in an area where bites are common you need to discard it. Prepping is about being prepared for what may come, but not for unrealistic events. If you go hiking or camping then, remove those items from your bathroom and place them with camping gear.
un-cluttering can be difficult, there are so many what if’s. But t is important. Not only does hording effect you mental state, but it can also cause problems with Child welfare and fires.
Closets are he next stop. How many coats does each family member really need? We keep it at two. One for work and one for public. If no one has worn the coat over the past 2 winters, in is just in the way. Donate it. Keep thread and needles handy to repair your coats. A quick stitch is simple even for people like me with no talent in sewing. Many of us also keep family games in the closet. Discard the games that are missing pieces. I know there are good intentions in replacing those pieces, or adding from another game. But this is just another unnecessary clutter. Shoes also stay in many closets. How many do you need? Here we keep 2 pairs each, one for work and one for public. We keep a resoling kit and leather patching handy in case it is needed. There is one complication though. I have 3 growing boys. Shoes that are still in decent condition, that one of the older boys have out grown and the little one is still not able to wear get stored, together in water proof, mice resistant bags in my cellar. As does clothes and coats. Luckily my boys are close enough in sizes that those items do not stay stored for long. Clothing can be yet another problem for the prepper. How much clothing do we need? We try to keep work clothes and social cloths to a minimum. The problem is that are work clothing tends to wear quickly, thus we have a rotating system. If the clothes are un repairable, they will move to either our rag bag or to our quilting bag, to be used later. Social clothing that have been worn thin or stained, move into the place of our lost work clothes. We save Christmas for replacing social wear clothing. We keep only enough clothing to fit into our small closets and our dressers. No over flow.
The living room is simple. keep this room for entertainment purposes only. Work and prep doesn’t belong in this room. this is for the family. If you are placing boxes of “might someday need” you should sort through them, discard what you don’t see as need in the immediate future and put the other things in their proper place. Keep the living room simple and stress free. You will need it.
The kitchen becomes harder. How much food do you need? This varies from each prepper. If your freezer is bursting, go through and examine the items. Food that has been in there for a year or more, need to go. After that time, it no longer has any nutritional value. If something happens and you must eat the old items, you might feel full, but it will be a slow starvation. this isn’t good prepping. Rotate your pantry as well. Don’t just hoard your food, actually use it. We keep enough food for one year, but we eat that food, and replenish it during the next harvest season. Not everyone can do this, and must replenish more often through store bought items. 6 months is usually the longest I would suggest for your pantry goods from the store. Anything over that should be thrown out. After 3 months, canned goods start to lose their flavor, and 6 months to 1 year, their nutrients.
Pots and pans should be donated if you have used them in a full year. Chances are you will never use them if you haven’t yet.
That is the best advice I can give you. Try to keep things organize and prioritized. Be cautios with your prepping and trying not to fall over that line.