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It doesn’t take long to realize, once you’ve started to prepare, that you need to go about this in an organized fashion, or you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by what you have, what you still need, what you’ve got to store, and what you actually have stored and where it is. Once you start losing food because you’ve stored it incorrectly and it’s gone bad, or you need more bandages that you could have sworn you purchased but can’t find, you’ll realize it’s time for a planner.
I am not a person who loves having an online inventory of anything. I don’t like being tied down to a device, especially since my device is always in need of a charge (but that’s another story). I am a paper/pencil kind of girl, and I like my lists. Lots of them. Sometimes so much that I have more lists than I know what to do with and get myself lost.
The Preparedness Planner & Record Keeper by Jennifer from Self-Reliant School takes the regular emergency binder quite a few steps forward. Not only are you putting together emergency information that you just might need, you’re planning and preparing your food storage, your medical supplies, your bug out bags, your pets preparedness, your water storage, your gardening supplies, and your gear!
Plan YOUR Storage with the Preparedness Planner
In the book, you’ll find worksheets to track your inventory, to build your supplies, to collect your important papers and information, plus pages for helping you build inventory for particular parts of your food storage, not just everything in general. This is not based off someone else’s list, but the one you create that is unique to your family and your family situation.
Then Jennifer gives you checklists of medical supplies, bug out / 72 hr kits, water supplies, pet supplies and more.
Printing out just the pages you need is easy, which allows you to build your binder in the manner which fits your life. For me, I keep each of the pages in a plastic pocket to make flipping through a little easier. I use Index Tab dividers for each section, plus paper 8×11 envelopes to store whatever papers I want to keep handy – receipts for appliances, important documents, and small items. A 3-hole punch comes in handy to make everything fit into the binder smoothly. I also keep old inventory sheets in a separate page protector to have handy, but not necessarily in the way.
I’ve also been able to integrate the pages into our Family Emergency Binder to keep everything in one place – easy to use, easy to store, and easy to plan with!
Track Your Goals with the Preparedness Planner
It becomes very important to track your supplies and your goals, especially if you find yourself overwhelmed with all you have, or with all you have to do. If you’ve go so much that it goes bad, you’re not preparing well enough and wasting money that could be spent on other things you need. If you are overwhelmed, you need a marker to allow yourself to come to terms what you’ve already accomplished, and make reasonable goals about what you still need to accomplish, and it’s so much easier to do that if you can see where you’ve come from, instead of only looking to see how far you have to go. Having the checklists to mark off what you’ve already done gives you a great visual to help encourage you farther!
How I Use the Preparedness Planner
I’m going to take one of the pages from my planner and create it for you here. For Milk & Dairy, this is all I stock at the moment. We’re not huge milk users in our family, so I’m not concentrating on a ton of milk for our pantry. I store dry milk to be reconstituted, and that’s it. The ready-off-the-shelf stuff doesn’t appeal to any of us, so we don’t bother with it.
I also make my own ghee to store butter that is shelf stable, as well as storing about twelve pounds at a time in the freezer.
So I keep track of my goals with this inventory list. I keep a little clipboard on the pantry to mark down anything we use each month. Then I transfer it here as I do my inventory. This is also where I can then make my sheets for shopping that you’ll see here. It may seem like an extra step to you, but for me, it works well with the way my brain works. I mark the items that need replenishing as I hit the replenish mark, and having it follow me until it’s done is a great visual to remind me to get this stuff finished. I know, that by looking at my sheet, I need to make up a batch of ghee. I won’t necessarily do it if I just need one jar, I just transfer the need to the next month to make the effort worth doing. So this month, it’s time, especially because I’m looking at the jar mostly empty on my counter. You’ll also see that my 1 QT Ghee is listed with nothing there. That’s another goal of mine – to keep larger quantities in stock. However, I’m concentrating on keeping my smaller quantities full before jumping to a big goal, especially if I have other needs. Having this sheet with the goals in place lets me see, at a quick glance, how my plans are working out.
What I love about the Preparedness Planner
Convenience: One convenience that I do love is that my husband can call from the grocery store or box store and say, “I see ___ on sale – do we need any?” I can pull the book out quickly and look to see where we are on our goal. If we don’t need it, we can pass the sale to put that money towards something we need, and it keeps us from overbuying and overstocking (which then goes to waste if we don’t use it quickly enough).
Printable Checklists: I also loved having the printable checklist for our emergency bags because I could quickly print it out, inventory our packs, and make notations on what we need next at the same time I was rotating stock. I then hand off that sheet to my husband, and it’s his responsibility to stock or restock as needed. That’s his area.
Adaptable: I can adapt the Preparedness Planner to be exactly what I need. I don’t have to print out all of the pages, and can print more of the ones I use most. This way I don’t waste paper on things I won’t use, nor do I have to find a way to pull a page out to make more copies.
Available Preparedness Planner Additions
- Firearms Planner – for tracking ammo, purchases, range tracking and more.
- Essential Oils Planner – for tracking essential oil purchases, uses, recipe cards and more.
- Food Storage Planner – if you want a planner specifically for food storage.
- Homeschool Planner and Record Keeper – if you’re homeschooling your kids and are required to keep records of student progress, need help planning your days and want a physical record of everything you’re doing, this is a must-have!
- Gardening Planner – new this year and it’s a fabulous resource to help you plan your garden, record your successes and failures, and plan for the next year. Integrate it with your Food Storage Planner and you can fill your pantry in a year!
Here is a video of Jennifer explaining more about what the Planner is, what it contains and how you can use it for you!
So, give it a try. You can purchase the planner here from Self-Reliant School.com and get an instant download of the .pdf, then use it as best fits your family.