Spring Cleaning for Preppers

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Whether you are just getting started to prepare for emergencies or a veteran prepper, you need to declutter in order to make room for emergency supplies.

Why you should de-clutter

To motivate you, think of all the advantages you gain by de-cluttering now:

    • Sell unwanted but usable items and get extra money for your emergency fund or for preparedness supplies.  Even kids get excited about getting rid of unwanted books and toys if you tell them they can maybe get a treat (some ice cream or small book) that they really want after you sell the items.
    • You’ll have room for new items that you really need, instead of holding on to junk
    • Donate the stuff and you can get a tax deduction, not to mention the satisfaction that you are helping others.
    • You may find items you thought you lost, which you now won’t need to replace.
    • You become more mindful of how much stuff you have, and will be more choosy about what you bring into your home.

Get rid of excess stuff the easy way

Once you decide to get rid of junk, don’t overthink it.  A lot of times, you’ll talk yourself out of it with a hundred reasons why you shouldn’t.  Move forward and do it.

1.  Start with the junk drawer or closet.  Everyone has one.  Empty it out, and you will find a lot of trash.

2.  Make 3 piles:  trash pile, “To keep” pile, “Sell or Donate”  Do not save anything for later, this is just an excuse to put off a decision.

3.  After you are done with one area, move to the next messiest area and tackle it.  Repeat the process in every room.

4.  At the end of the day, take the giveaway and trash piles out.  For the giveaway pile, head to the nearest Goodwill, Salvation Army or charity.   To deal with the trash pile, don’t hesitate:  just throw it out.  Put the “keep” pile in their rightful places, not back in the junk drawer.  Start listing the items you want to sell, or box them up and take them to Goodwill or other charity organization.

What to keep and what to toss

  1. Supply closet:  Check flashlights, lanterns and other battery powered items and remove old batteries before they leak and ruin your gear.  Use a battery tester to check if your batteries still work.  Pay attention to supplies that don’t last very long.
  2. Medicine cabinet:  Check expiration dates but don’t be so quick to toss – read this article before you decide.  Consolidate like items in a health supply bucket.  Save money on containers by getting them for free.
  3. Pantry:  Toss out any cans that are bulging, or rusted.  Look for signs of pest infestation.  Clean the area and remove any opened packages that may attract pests.  Avoid food storage problems by following these tips.


Getting rid of clutter is a chore that is a pain initially, but you’ll be glad you did it.  You’ll make room for new supplies and possibly even make some extra cash from unwanted items.

© Apartment Prepper 2017




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  1. Good article. I have to admit, this is what I’m worst at. The “Be Prepared” part of me from my scouting days wants to keep amassing and isn’t good at all at the cleaning, sorting, thinning out. Something I definitely need to keep working on…starting next spring maybe? Old habits die hard.

    1. Hi Shane, This is true, cleaning and decluttering the preps are not as exciting as getting new gear or practicing outdoor skills. Thanks for the comment!

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