liberation and preparation

Hubby is out of town. This is his annual hunting trip, and my annual decluttering week. Don’t know why it has worked out this way, but it has. I guess it’s becuase this week I am less concerned about getting real meals on the table (sorry about that, kids!), and I spend chunks of time doing what makes me happy – and that is decluttering. You wouldn’t know it by walking in to my house, but I have decluttered unreal amounts of “stuff”. I still have a long ways to go, and I need to bridle myself better when it comes to buying more “stuff” that I don’t need. My weakness are office suppies, books (of any kind!) and craft supplies (mostly beading stuff and pretty paper). I’m not a crazy spender, but I do have a ways to go. I’m getter better. I go from room to room and load up bags with throw aways and give aways. It’s SO liberating! My middle son’s room is a really tough one, though, because he is severely sentimental, like his daddy. He can’t part with anything, including that whiffle ball with a chunk broken out of it or those collections of rubber bands and soda can tabs. I’m not quite sure how to tackle this. And don’t even get me started on the garage. I don’t ever step foot in there. One CAN’T step foot in there, actually. It mostly belongs to hubby, and it needs lots of TLC that we need to spend some serious time on. And time is what hubby does not have much of.

I spent one whole day this week updating our Emergency Go-Bags. One back pack for each family member, packed with emergency essentials that can be taken with us if we need to leave the house immediately for some reason. (hurricane, fire, bomb, etc) It’s all scary and sad stuff to think about – especially the idea of family members being separated from each other. I compiled a list of the things that I put in each family members’ bags. I don’t have infants, so I don’t have to think about those things any more. Here’s the list:

Emergency Go-Bag

Backpack (pretty good sized – doesn’t have to be fancy or pricey)
Change of Clothing (closed toes shoes, socks, underwear, pants/shorts, shirt, hoodie, cap)
“Okay” and “Help” Sign (one word on each side, laminated)
House Key and Vehicle Keys
$100-$200 in $1 bills (cards and checks may be temporarily un-usable)
Permanent Marker, Pencil, and Notepad
Emergency Phone List and Out-of-area Contact Numbers
Individual Photos of Family Members with Labeled Names (laminate)
Copies of Important Documents: Insurance, ID Card, Bank Numbers, Immunizations, Birth Certificate, Passport, Social Security Card, Credit Card, etc.
List of Allergies and Disabilities (** Put all photos and papers together in a zip-up bag/baggie)
First Aid Kit, including over-the-counter Pain Killers, such as Tylenol and Aspirin
Extra pair of Prescription Glasses, if possible
Medications for at least a week
Wet wipes (little travel pouch)
Toiletries: comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth, shampoo, lotion, razor, lip balm, emery board, nail clipper, tweezers, sanitary products, sun screen, deodorant, antibacterial foam, mirror, hair bands, toilet paper, contacts, contact solution, etc. (use travel size items, as much as possible, to save space!)
If you have a baby, don’t forget his/her essentials (diapers, cream, formula, bottle, etc.)
Sewing Kit (basic and compact)
Extra Alcohol Swabs (for cleaning and sterilizing skin and other surfaces)
Shake and Go Flashlight or Flashlight with Batteries or a few Glow Sticks
Crank-style Radio or Portable Radio with Batteries
Whistle (can call for help if trapped)
Dust Mask and Goggles (if air is contaminated)
Utility Knife/ Multipurpose Knife (good quality one)
Compass and Area Map
Duct tape (because duct tape can fix anything! – and hang up a note if you need to leave one for someone)
Work Gloves (to move rubble), Several pairs of Latex Gloves
Plastic Garbage Bags (for ground cover, rain, shelter, etc.)
Instant Heat packs and/or Thin Solar Blanket
Rope (small is fine)
Small Mirror (reflector, emergency signal, vanity)
Lighter (matches might get wet)
Bug Repellant (compact size or lotion type)
Food: canned fruit, tuna and chicken pouches, vienna sausages, crackers, beef jerkey, trail mix, cookies, fruit snacks, granola bars, peanut butter, MRFs, etc.
Water (as much as you can fit and/or carry)
Water Purification Tablets
A good book and/or compact-sized BofM
A Favorite Game or Toy

I’m about to fall asleep as I’m typing this, so I think I’ll close for now. I don’t very often take a power nap, but my body is screaming for one right now. I think I’ll listen to it.


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