I don’t know about you but I like making lists. Being a planner with a bad memory I like to make sure I have a checklist that I can tick off whilst I am doing a task and I can make sure I don’t forget anything. I also list keeping lists on the contents of things plus what I need to pick up. For example my work away bag has a checklist that says No of shirts x No of nights away + 1, razor, charger, neckties, shoes, bathroom kit, etc. Just to make sure I don’t forget to take anything. In the past I’ve been 250 miles away just before an important meeting and looking for a shop that sells ties. Lists are good.
Prepping needs lists. It is the only way you know what you have in each location, what you need to purchase and what needs to be rotated out and replaced. They helps you find things and identify what needs replacement after something has been used.
The only problem is that most people don’t like lists. They have cupboards full of tins but no idea how many of each item nor when they were purchased or are due for replacement. For preppers that is unforgivable and you could end up living on beans because you bought so many and forgot the buy replacements like spaghetti and ran out. More importantly is making sure that your calories, vitamins and addatives are balanced. You don’t want to come down with rickets or something or have all your teeth fall out. If you don’t have any lists empty your cupboards and caches, put everything back checking them for damage and make a note of what you have. Check that list against your requirements and make sure you start to keep track of your stores as you buy them and use them. It is much easier. Every few months go through and ensure you use items coming to end of life and replace them. Consider throwing away some items that are end of life like medicines. Some medicine are dangerous if out of date. Check and verify. If in doubt dispose of.
Lists are good for tool kits, grab bags and first aid kits. Keep a laminated copy of what is in each one and check them after each use. No point putting them back after use with the idea to check them later. That check may never happen and the first thing you know you are bugging out with missing items. Check and replace before you put back into position. You should also regularly if they have perishables in them. If something is missing, broken or needs replacement that you can’t replace immediately then tie a highly visible red label to the bag with the missing item written on and make replacement your top priority. Don’t forget these things because you don’t go near them frequently.
Myself, when you open the cupboard I have a list of items in there. Attached to each grab bag, first aid kit or tool kit by a zip lock is a laminated sheet of its contents. Each box in storage is either already labelled or has a list of items written attached in a clear plastic folder. I have a map of my storage areas with a general list of contents, some stores are food only, others water, some tools, medicines, books and so on. So the map is a starting point to the boxes. Medicines are over there, when you get there the list on the box says it contains antiseptic and that is what I am looking for.
Much easier than doing a search through every box to find something you need quickly.