This guest post is by JET and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .
What we can all do this week is inventory. It helps list making easier. We clutter our basements and lives with useless stuff. If we need to find shelter, bug out, what will you bring in the car? what could you carry from the car once out of gas? Cleaning the basement is a chore usually, but realistically weeding out the chaff is important and simplifies you life. Once your basement or shed is cleared from clutter you have room for that shelf of sugar, coffee or the 100 pack of TP. We may not need as much TP when the dollar is worth less and can be used to augment your toilet paper supply.
There are trucks canvassing my neighborhood for scrap metal let them take your trash away or better yet you take it to get scrap metal money. I bribed the guy in the trash truck recently( bribed is kind of harsh, I augmented his income lets say) He obliged me in taking large useless stuff from my curb. we usually need to pay the municipality to remove some items. I made a friend , one who comes weekly and takes my trash away. Not much gets wasted tho. food scraps go in the compost, paper gets burned and heats my home.
I love the word repurposing. Finally a way to describe my frugality. This week a bag once used for shipping a new mattress found its last life. It covered stuff I hauled to my retreat in the back or the truck It covered a pile of milk in the yard( I’ll get back to the milk) and now is a tent for my new raised beds. Hopefully I’ll get the courage up to put it in the recycle bin and let someone else reuse it in what ever they do with old plastic.
While buying food for a local food pantry a store owner offered me some milk. I agreed to take it to the local shelter for distribution to the needy. The proprietor of the food pantry said we don’t take food past the sell by date. It was 2 days past. What to do with a truck load of milk? My friends, neighbors and family got cases, we froze what we had room for and I piled it neatly under its mattress bag in the yard. 6 weeks later its still not sour smelling. Its organic cartons half gallon containers, usually pretty expensive. When I started dumping it in the yard My son said he knew a guy who grew giant pumpkins and used milk to help them grow. I googled it and sure enough its good for the garden. I now have a huge area of tall grass, very green and healthy. the rest went to my crock pot yogurt and the raised beds as well as all over my lawn. It was 100′s of gallons left over. It didn’t go to waste.
While we still have trash trucks taking away our leftovers load them up and go thru your treasures to see what’s useful. If I cant use it maybe someone else will. a lot of places online let you post stuff for sale or free stuff and someone will come pick it up. I mostly use those sites to gather free stuff. I’ll need to make more space in my shed tho. We live in a land of milk and honey I have had near hoarding tendencies, possibly from doing without as a kid. Its good to weed out the true trash.
The real inventory is what is within you your life lessons. its some thing no one can steal it cant be moth eaten or rust away. But knowledge without practical application is not a commodity unless you can put it to work. I heard it described as yup yup information. I can do this and I know how to do that, oh yup yup yup. But did you ever actually make a fire bow?
One of my dearest friends is a revolutionary war re-enactor. He was chided by an onlooker about the flint and steel he carried. The heckler said I got a bic lighter what can you do with your flint and steel? He produced a metal striker he forged and a piece of flint as well as char cloth he made. Before the lighter was produced from the other guys pocket my friend lit a pipe from a spark caught in the charr cloth. He told me after it doesn’t usually catch on the first try. That’s real practical skills.
Put some of your ideas to work this week see what is lacking in a plan of the day. do you really want to live on MRE’s or will you find out how to make jam over a fire and preserve your berries you find.? What do peanuts taste like mashed and mixed with honey? Practice mixing dough for bread bake it and make a PBJ from scratch. Meals I have prepared in my little retreat after hauling water, collecting wood and prepping the ingredients take a long time. But what reward you get from a quiet meal made from scratch is priceless.
That’s living, not just surviving. Keep on preppin…
This contest will end on June 5 2012 – prizes include:
Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.
Contest ends on June 5 2012.