Yeoldfurt and I are 'list people' in just about every aspect of our lives. We have Grocery lists, To Do lists, and Wish lists so something as important as food storage, of course, had to have a list too. Yeoldfurt set up our original inventory list on a spreadsheet almost two years ago. He gave every item its own row with five columns. The first column gives a detailed description of the item and units of measure (i.e., pinto beans / lbs or tea bags / total). The second column is the amount of that item we estimate we would use in one year's time. The third column is the quantity we have on-hand of that item, and the fourth column is the difference between the two. The fourth column is the one we refer to most when we make our shopping list. The last column is the date that item was updated. He alphabetized the whole list by the first column. Alphabetized by item has worked okay. But since I'm usually the shopper and almost always the cook, I thought it would be more user-friendly for me if I categorized the items similar to the way a grocery store is set up and Yeoldfurt let me do my thing. So I revamped his spreadsheet, putting each item into a category ...similar to the way the aisles are categorized in a grocery store ...then alphabetized the items within that category. I like this set up much better.
Since our food storage is in a separate building on our property and I'm usually making my grocery list late at night or in the pre-dawn hours, it's important to me that I can trust our inventory list. So when we moved all of our food storage to the new location a few weeks ago, I did a complete count after everything was set up and now am totally confident that our inventory list is accurate. It's a great feeling to really know what you have and what you still need to get more of.
This weekend, we are going to make a run to Sam's and complete our inventory ...or try. Hopefully we won't break the bank. We are up to goal on more than half of the items on the list and not too far short on others. So I'm hopeful. Knowing a twelve month supply of food and all essentials are safely in storage would sure be a great way to start the new year.
They say the devil is in the details, so if you have food stored, I urge you to keep it well organized and maintain an accurate, up to date inventory. Once the crisis is upon you, it's too late to get organized. You can try ...you probably would try ...but you won't be clear-headed and you won't make decisions as well as you would if you weren't under stress. Whether you're faced with a personal set back like the loss of an income or a much bigger crisis like regional interruptions of goods and services, the better you are organized and prepared, the better you will fare.