I love organization and that’s why I love Pinterest!
The first time I used Pinterest I knew it was for me. It allows me to easily find and organize all my favorite prep ideas…from gardening tips and food storage to life hacks and recipes to try. It fits my personal need for organization perfectly. But what if there’s a power outage? Or my computer crashes? Just when I might need that information the most, it would be unavailable.
That’s why I’ve started creating a ring-binder full of hard copies of my pins.
Yeah, it may feel a bit redundant – but in the world of self-reliance, redundancy is key. And even though I have lots of books full of helpful information, I like the idea of having a handy binder with all the info I use the most, all in one place. No searching through books trying to find that one piece of information you need in an emergency.
It’s an inexpensive and easy project that you can work on a little each day. And the fun part is you can make it fit your needs and personality. Maybe you want several smaller binders instead of one big one. It can be as simple or complex as you want.
Here is a list of supplies you might find helpful. Again, you can customize this for your own needs:
- Ring Binder (or more than one)
- Tab Pages (colored) – or even post-it notes can work
- Printer Paper – you could even use colored stock for different categories
- Folders – you can find 3-hole folders that fit into a ring binder and will hold small pieces of paper or clipped out articles.
- Page Protectors – you may want these for often-used pages or recipes
- Removable Tabs – can be used for often referred to pages, but can be moved.
You’ll most likely want to organize your binder into sections so that you can quickly find the information you need. This is where you’ll want to follow your own family and personal needs, but to give you some ideas here are the tabbed sections I created for our binder. I’ve put notes for how I use them in parenthesis:
- Important Information (emergency contacts, financial info, maps)
- Gardening (tips for things I haven’t done before or don’t want to forget)
- Food Prep (includes recipes for emergency scenarios)
- Food Storage (info on canning, water bath and food dehydration, etc. in one place)
- Water (storage & safe treatment)
- Health Care (personal hygiene and home remedies)
- First Aid (how to instructions for emergencies)
- Cleaning (including laundry and emergency sanitation)
- Urban Survival (tips for emergency survival situations)
- Life Hacks (re-purposing common items for a different function)
You may decide to include sections for action steps to take, such as: To Do, To Buy, To Learn. Or if you have small children, you may want to include a section with projects, activities and games. You may even add a section for yourself with comforting quotes or inspirational meditations to refer to in times of distress. I’m currently adding pages to the Food Storage and First Aid sections that will allow me to keep a running inventory of what I have in storage.
The secret is to not let this project overwhelm you. Take baby steps…do a little each day, or week. As long as you are adding to it, you are moving forward and making progress. For me, having information I may need in an emergency all in one place helps me feel more prepared and less stressed.