How to organize all this stuff we're buying.... Help! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

ok folks. Time for a practical, hands-on thread. Help! Our basement floweth over! Disorganization reigns. Have run out of room on the shelf for the canned beans. My fear is that we'll never be able to find the stuff we bought when we need it. (That is, if we remember what we have.) Is anyone else experiencing being "organizationally challenged"? Anybody have any tips for dealing with this mess?

-- Libby Alexander (, February 24, 1999


Organize a months worth of different items into one group,box,container. Then organize by months. Much easier to find items that way.

-- Paladin (, February 24, 1999.

By nature I hate bean counting, however THIS is the time. As everything comes in the door write on the can contents and date.

Make list of all foods stored and quantity by each. Go back and estimate dates on the stuff you have- restock new to back, old to front. Buy more shelves or make really sturdy units out of pallets.

Write down on inventory everything as it comes in the door. Put a column next to what you have that shows your goal- what you think you need. If you are using some of these items adjust your inventory- post on fridge or something.

It was our excuse to finally clean onnd organize the basement after 5 years. Also consider putting on your calender times to check your food supplies to ensure their quality. Every few months I completely update because all the pencil markings get pretty unreadable.

Feel free to e-mail direct if I may be of more service.


-- EC (, February 24, 1999.

With respect to canned good, Mrs. Rimmer and I use a magic marker to write the month and year of purchase on top of every single can we buy. This helps with easy stock rotation. We also use write a 2-3 letter contents code on it as well in case the label falls off (as many labels will do).

For example:

"VS 07-98" is vegetable soup purchased last July.

"GB 09-98" are green beans purchased in September of last year.

This takes some extra time but it is important to rotate stock (as well as to know what the contents are).

-- Arnie Rimmer (, February 24, 1999.

I box one weeks worth of food, number and date the box. I store it with the earliest date first so I know that is where to begin using the food. Boxed separately are powdered beverages and comfort foods. Hope this helps..think variety and balance when storing your food. If you have just all beans, think how fast you'll get tired of that.

-- bardou (, February 24, 1999.

We use storage shelving. Each shelf is designated to a particular item ie.fruits/veg./chili etc. Each can is immediately dated when purchased then stocked on shelves according to date.

I track ALL items used in our house on the computer via a spreadsheet I set up. I know exactly how much we have on hand at all times and how much I need to purchase to meet my goal. Once food is stocked I take the receipt to the computer and add to the appropriate item. When I take something from by reserve I delete whatever quantity I have taken.

Once a month I do a physical inventory, just in case a family member has taken something without letting me know. Has happened, most recently when I brought home candy. Even though I was very explicit with them NOT to take anything from storage area without approval first. They all know I have stashed goodies. Guess I have to hide better. Also kitchen pantry items are not included in my inventory spreadsheet. I already know the pantry holds 2 months when full. The reason for this is due to hubby being paid only once a month. This allows for those unexpected expenses. I can cut food purchases and know we'll be ok!

-- just me (, February 24, 1999.

One way we helped organize ourselves was to use the buckets & boxes as shelf supports.

Two buckets next to a wall, place a 1x8x4 (four feet long) atop and stack another two buckets, etc. Then you have a bunch of shelves to place other loose supplies.


-- Jollyprez (, February 24, 1999.

The best time to organize is after Y2K starts. Nobody will have a job and you will be home getting bored. Turn on your propane light and start organizing then!

-- Freddie the Freeloader (, February 24, 1999.

Libby; I have found an article in "WORKBENCH" Sept 98 issue that is really valuable for storing stuff. It uses the underside of floor joists as storage places, using plywood forms that hindge down. these plywwod forms hold plastic storage containers (2). The magazine has an email address: You could ask for the article on page 60. Named, Stow-Away Storage . It's a place few people think of to store stuff, like food items and small can stuff. Ammo, matches, pasta stuff. It does keep alot of things dry and out of sight. Perhaps this will help others reading this forum. Furie...

-- Furie (, February 24, 1999.

My .02 worth! I have begun the process of final organization (less self-defense and evac items) as such: 1. 72 hour kit-all items in case the polyannas are right and it is a 3 day brownout with minor inconveniences. Cash is still kept safe and sound in a secure location. All other items are easy to access from within the home. 2. 30 day kit-All items organized by expiration date. Cash to be placed on my person and my better half. Battery powered alarm systems, solar power panels, water purification kits, etc. located here. This is in a secure location, more difficult to access, but I am setting this up with appropriate labels. 3. 6 month-TEOTOWAKI kit- The kit of last resort. Agricultural supplies, additional self-defense measures, and a 'bug-out' kit are there.I place this kit as the kit of last resort and only if the deterioration of our society hits the survey level of "10" that some fear. I'm still at a 7.5 so put me in the 30-45 day category. Not quite a TEOTOWAKI, but enough where I feel that my family's safety is an issue. We live in an area in Central Florida that is close to a major population center, but only if they can travel for one hour. Fortunately Miami is 2-2.5 hours away. This gives me some security, but I am prepared for the worst case scenario. Our state is offering no information or education about potential problems, thus my 7.5 opinion. Make your organizational and preperation plans based not on your state "government's" opinion, but on your personal experiences within the closest major city.

-- John Galt (, February 24, 1999.

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