Be Prepared Challenge – Organise #1

So, here we all are, waiting with baited breath for the first challenge for Organise.

Here is the event that happened to me.  A work accident occurred resulting in a nasty back injury, and I was fully incapacitated for two months.  This meant limited movement, flat on my back most of the time, I could not drive or ride, and my wife did not drive (unless there were a gaggle of zombies chasing her).  So we were kind of stuck up the creek without a paddle.  Sure we could have logged onto home shopping and ordered our groceries and the like, but those services come with a premium attached, and as my pay was cut by 66%, we struggled just to pay the mortgage.  So what did we do?  We used our stockpile and emergency supplies to tide us over through this difficult period and came through it well fed and happy in the knowledge that we survived intact.  This scenario was not the only time we have utilised our ‘be prepared’ skills which will become evident during the course of the challenge.

So I hope this simple experience will help throughout this challenge having used the skills I built up in anger so to speak.  Now this type of scenario is not the only one that requires forethought and planning.  Natural disasters, political unrest, and resource scarcity could occur anywhere and any time to anyone. 

So on with the challenge.  As I said in the intro post for the challenge, these tasks are not going to be difficult, and will be step by step actions that everyone can take without too much fuss.

What I would like you all to do over the next couple of days is to set aside a place in your home that will become your designated place for your stockpile and emergency supplies.  It can be a cupboard that is currently cluttered with stuff that you may no longer need, and if that is the case either reuse or hand it in to your local charity shop or Freecycle it.  You may have to reorganise your entire kitchen, which is what we first did to make enough space that we thought was necessary.

What ever you choose to do, just make some space.  It needs to be relatively cool in summer so food stuffs do not prematurely age, like preserves and the like and it needs to be readily accessible, and not in some out of the way part of the house unless that is all you have.   We get to put stuff in your stockpile space in week two, so really you have all of week one to complete this task.

Just for reference, my stockpile cupboard is directly as you come in the front door, a) so it is easy to unload bulk items from the shops, and b) it is directly across from our pantry which makes it easy to restock it from stockpile.  The stockpile is in your face so to speak and easily accessible by all family members.

Once you have your space assigned, let me know via a comment or if you already have a space already allocated, share your story with everyone.  I dare say we will all learn a lot from each other during the 4 weeks of the challenge.

Enjoy task number 1!


  1. Anonymous says

    Just reading this today and it has motivated me to get started. We live in cyclone country so we are always ready..but it has got a little unorganised lately. Think I’ll reorganise the whole house while I’m at it. An OCs dream. 😉

  2. says

    Hello Gavin, I haven’t been reading your blog for a really long time but and enjoying catching up on it and all the great info you have! I will be participating in this challenge also. I don’t normally do these group things, even though I’ve been blogging for some time, but think this is a very good one to do.

  3. says

    I already had a stockpile cupboard and like you I have dipped into it to help through hard times of no work. I am currently adding to this again and building it up again. i feel that the information is helping me decide what and how much. My husband and I live in a house that is only 10m x 6m and does not have built incupboards. We do have a large shed but I will not store things in there as it gets to hot.I have large storage tubs that slide under the bed. I have a largish extra pantry cupboard in one of the spare rooms. Thanks so much for the info so far. Cheers, Wendy

  4. mistyh. says

    I have a walk in pantry that we use for day to day stuff then all my “extras” I have made space for in my linen cupboard which is huge and then bought a smaller pantry to go at the end of the hallway a couple of months ago when I couldn’t fit it all in the allocated shelves in the linen cupboard. We are fortunate in that we built our house ourselves with a private builder and I was able to have huge storage cupboards put in.

  5. says

    We have a closet-type pantry in the kitchen. Canned goods and food that is already opened go here. We have ordinary book shelves in the dining room which we refer to as our ‘general store’. This is where we put paper products and containers of food that have not yet been opened. I’m constantly reorganizing the pantry spaces for maximum use. Homes are barely designed with enough day-to-day storage, let alone enough for a proper pantry. We all have to be creative and educate ourselves as to how to keep the food safe (edible).

  6. says

    I’ve been planning on turning the cupboard under the stairs into a stockpile come storage area for ages. Thanks for the gentle shove, now I’ll get started!

  7. says

    At the moment, our stockpile is in the basement – hand dug so it stays cool though humidity tends to be a challenge; the dehumidifier tends to run most of the time.

  8. says

    Well done everyone. It looks like lots of people are getting in to the spirit of the challenge. The next task will be posted on Wednesday.

    I hope everyone is having fun with task 1.

    Gav x

  9. says

    I have had a stockpile cupboard for the last few years and like you Gavin it helped when my DH was out of work for a while.

    I have always used two shelves in my linen cupboard as well as one shelf in my kitchen for day to day extra stuffs. We are currently living my mum and we have replicated this here.

    I did spend this morning reorganising her pantry though :-)

    As for chfg – we had serious space issues in our first house so I used to store extra food like cereal under our beds.

  10. says

    chfg, we will no doubt cover this when we get to that stage, but some things to think about are:

    * dehydrated meals (no, they don’t have to be MRE’s (Meal, Ready to Eat) but perhaps your own dehydrated ‘soup mixes’… just add boiling water!
    * sprouts & basic sprouting jar
    * yoghurt sachets & an easiyo container
    * hiding baked beans & tinned ready-meals under the bed, on the top shelf of your cupboard or in your suitcases
    * work with a family/ friends who do have space, contributing to their stockpile, knowing you could go there in am emergency???

    Something is better than nothing, maybe just need to think outside the box!!

  11. says

    I’ve transfered my food storage containers over to an empty cupboard in my kitchen from my pantry, so I have 2 shelves now for stockpile (I do stockpile a little bit already) When we moved into our home 2 1/2 years ago, the kitchen had lots of little poky cupboards, but wasn’t really practical to store food all over the kitchen, so we bought a pantry from Ikea, but also stored some kitchen appliances, recipe books, and food storage containers in there. We renovated our kitchen last easter with the help of my dad, so it is much more functional, but we had a cupboard that took a while to get the shelf put into, and meanwhile our 2 little girls took it over to hide in. It was claimed back today, so now I have more space for stockpile. We don’t have much storage in this old house, I must make the most of what I have!

  12. says

    Gavin, I have to admit while I completely agree with ‘being prepared’ and think the posts that you and Dixiebelle are doing are great, I also wince a little each time you mention stock piling food. Just not possible for us to stock pile much at all due to lack of space. In an emergency, in the middle of the city, not being able to grow any of our own food, and not being able to stock pile…yep we would be up the creek that’s for sure. A rather daunting thought! (I like to think I can be prepared in other areas though, so will be interested to see your next coming posts.)

  13. says

    This has really motivated me to get into our storeroom and work out what really does need to be kept. I really love that you are taking it slowly, one week at a time. It really makes it so much more ‘do-able’.

  14. Anonymous says

    by the way every thing that is opened is transfered into glass jars too so no bugs can get to it and also i wiped out the space with a damp cloth and tea tree oil just to help keep the critters out
    Love Mum

  15. Anonymous says

    Hi Gav I have a spare linen cupboard full of junk so I have transfered it all to bags and boxes for the recycle places in our town next time we go shopping and so have transfered all our storage things into it and as we buy more stuff it will be placed at the back and so nothing will get stale Great Idea thanks
    Love Mum

  16. says

    I didn’t get a chance to mention it on your last post, but I am doing your challenge. I am still a newbie at all of this, and your blog has OCEANS of information. Thanks so much!

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