As we Preppers do our thing of planning, prioritizing and eventually acquiring supplies, skills and knowledge at some point you might need a hand organizing everything you have. There might be one or two of you out there with a set up like the have in the picture for this post, but the rest of us need some help. For most people this is simple and if you are really anal retentive, you have colored charts, lists, binders and 3 x 5 cards to keep all of your supplies organized. That isn’t me.
For some things it is simple to keep most prepping items in one place. Food storage for example, has a pantry to go into and as long as we have and keep an organized pantry or other system so we know what we have, everything is fine. If I am running low on supplies I can go to the pantry, check my inventory levels and adjust as necessary. Or like this evening, I saw that a few new cans of soup had not been put away correctly and needed to find the right spot for them. OK, really who’s anal now?
Water storage is another easy one because that rarely changes or moves. I have several places where water is stored, but outside of rotating the stored water for fresh water every six months, we don’t need to keep as close an eye on that. Long term fuel storage is another one that is fairly easy.
There are some survival items that will get used like duct tape, medical supplies and camping/backpacking gear but most of these items are used frequently enough that I am purchasing more on a frequent basis, so again, keeping track isn’t that urgent because anything I would need multiples of, I usually already have or routinely pickup when I am out shopping for anything related to prepping.
When it comes to items like food and ammunition, we are generally looking to stock up on as much as we need and knowing where we are in that process takes a little organizational skill. For ammunition you need for that survival firearm, the easiest way to do this for me was to write everything down on a list and track how much I have on hand, what my desired quantities were, how far to my goals and how much money I would be looking to outlay to reach those goals. Additionally, I wanted to keep track of all of this because unlike food in the pantry, I have ammo all over the place.
You can find inventory spreadsheets out on the internet, but I just quickly created my own one day after I got a wild hair and grabbed all of the ammo I had in various places and decided to count it. Up until that time, I would just buy a box or several hundred rounds of whatever calibers I had on hand, or had just purchased. I had a rough idea of how much I had, but nothing precise and I was worried that I might be buying the wrong things. It was time to track my ammo.
After I had a big pile of ammunition in various boxes and configurations weighing down my kitchen table, and sorting it into calibers (and smiling proudly) I started separating the handgun ammo into ball and hollow-point. Some spreadsheets go so far as to separate by manufacturer, but for me that wasn’t important. I simply wanted to know how much I needed to have and what was on hand. The Spreadsheet was pretty simple; I listed all of the caliber types I had, entered the quantity of each and created a column for what my goal was. For instance, my goal for each hand gun was to have 1000 rounds of ammo for each. I then created a simple formula to subtract the on hand count from the goal to give me a variance. When I did this for all my calibers, I could easily sort the spreadsheet on the variance column to see what I needed the most of. Now, when I go to the gun show, I know that I really need more .30-.06 ammo than 9 HP for example so I can make an informed purchase.
I also added some other fields like the average cost for a box so I would know how much cash (roughly) I was still looking to spend to meet my goals. The prices change all the time, so what is in the spreadsheet might not be accurate. Everything is open and you are free to change this as you see fit if you think this could help you.
The spreadsheet is on our Resources page in the “Downloads” section and if you have any lists you have created yourself and want to share, please let me know.