Week 31 of 52: Inventory Management

Thank you for visiting Ready Nutrition and the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Free Web Series. Because of the popularity of the series and the tons of great feedback we have received over the years, we took your advice and turned it into a full-fledged book.

The original web series is still available for free and can be accessed via the chapter menu in the right sidebar (and by scrolling down this page), but if you're looking for the most updated version of this information and prefer to read it in the form of a physical book, then click here to order your copy today.

With the assistance of Daisy Luther, editor of The Organic Prepper, we set out  to add even more information to the original web series, organize and transform it into a book that encompassed all forms of disasters – both big and small. With all of the additional information added, the title even changed toThe Prepper’s Blueprint to help readers understand that preparedness isn’t just about having a plan, it requires drawing out a blueprint to set a preparedness foundation you can build upon and rely on when the time comes.

(If you entered this page looking for a particular chapter in the free 52 Weeks to Preparedness web series, please scroll down to access this information)

About the Prepper's Blueprint

The Prepper's BlueprintAcross the ages, in every survival story, a disaster of some sort plays a prominent role. Sometimes the part is played by the government, sometimes it is played by Mother Nature, and other times, the role is taken on by a random mishap. If we have learned one thing studying the history of disasters, it is this: those who are prepared have a better chance at survival than those who are not.

A crisis rarely stops with a triggering event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. Because of this, it's important to have a well-rounded approach to our preparedness efforts. Due to the overwhelming nature of preparedness, we have created the Prepper's Blueprint to help get you and your family ready for life's unexpected emergencies. To make a more comprehensive, easy-to-follow program, The Prepper's Blueprint has been simplified and divided up in a way to help you make sense of all the preparedness concepts and supply lists provided. We have divided the chapters into layers of preparedness.

  • Layer 1: Chapters 1-14, prepares you for those everyday disasters that have shorter-term effects: power outages, storms, injuries, and evacuations 
  • Layer 2: Chapters 15-31 help you to get ready for disasters that turn out to be much longer-lasting: economic collapse, long term power outages, and pandemics, to name a few 
  • Layer 3: Chapters 32-56 prepares you for the long haul and a complete change of lifestyle, the end of the world as we know it: providing food and water once supplies run out, security, retreat properties, and long-term plans
  • The goal of The Prepper's Blueprint is to help you find freedom through self-reliance, and ultimately, to get you and your family to a point where you can not only survive, but thrive, in a world that may be permanently altered.


    The following chapter is part of the free 52 Weeks to Preparedness web series

    Week 31 of 52: Inventory Management

    Keeping your preps organized can be very challenging to say the least. Most of us do not have ideal storage areas and are putting our preparedness and food supplies in every free nook and cranny that is available to us. If you’re not careful, this can lead to an unorganized mess. However, in order to know how much you have and how much more you need, you must to be able to account for it. The reality of this situation is if you are ever truly in an emergency, you want these preparedness items and equipment to be accessible and easy to find when you need it the most.

    There is no clear cut way to store preparedness supplies. Some store their like preparedness items in groups (i.e. stored foods, tools, equipment, tack and household items), while others store them according to need (baking needs, short-term food supply, long-term supply, etc.) Whichever way you choose to organize, ensure that the area chosen is free from natural elements and insects. This also helps reduce other pest issues. The best way to keep track of your preps is with a master inventory list. Here are some suggestions for organization and for creating a Master List.

    Organizing the Storage Area:

    • Take out all your preparedness items from the area they are being stored in.
    • Thoroughly clean the area you are storing your preparedness items and food.
    • Ensure that the area you are choosing to store your food is free of the enemies (natural elements and insects).
    • Label each container, bucket, tub or package with it’s contents, pack date/year and any necessary instructions.
    • Assign locations in storage area helps to keep items more organized (Med. Supplies, Baking, Sanitation, Breakfast, Canned Goods, etc.).
    • Grouping items that are used together can be convenient.  For example, keep baking needs such as flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, etc. next to one another for easy access.
    • Place goods with the longest expiration date in the back and work forward to the closest expiration date.
    • Systematically rotate and organize your storage.
    • Food storage inventory should be checked every 6 months to make sure that food items are properly rotated and are used within their expiration date.

    Creating a Master List:

    • Use Excel or a spreadsheet software program to better organize and categorize your preps.
    • List everything! Nothing should be exempt from your inventory list.
    • Add the location of where the prep items are stored.
    • Alphabetizing the list and including the location of where it is stored can be helpful when you’re in a pinch.
    • Store your Master List in your Emergency Binder.

    As you have found in the last 30 weeks, preparedness involves acquiring a lot of gear, tools and food. Knowing what you have, how much you have and where to find it is imperative in keeping track of your preparedness supplies.

    To learn more tips for organizing your emergency preps, click here.

    To find out how to better inventory your preparedness supplies, click here.

    Action Items:

    1. Take all of your preparedness items out of the storage area and thoroughly clean the area.
    2. Organize your preparedness supplies.
    3. Develop a master list of your inventory supplies.
    4. Store the master list in your Emergency Binder.

    Preps to Buy:

    • Three Ring Binder (the larger the better)
    • Dividers
    • Printer Paper
    • Highlighter Pen (optional)
    • Printed Out Information
    • Pens
    • Labels
    • Plastic containers or bins or under bed storage containers
    • Shelving units

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

    This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

    Originally published January 13th, 2012
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3 Responses to Week 31 of 52: Inventory Management

  1. Thanks for the great info.  Where can I find week 32 and on?   Debra O’Donnell

    • Hey Debra,

      I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying the 52 Weeks to Preparedness series. We are in the middle of the series, so week 32 is on its way. You can sign up for my newsletter and each week have the next series installment sent to your inbox.

      You can sign up on the home page:


      Thanks again,


  2. Linda says:

    Tess, I love you and thank you for all the work you are doing to help so many people. Especially your 52 week series is extremely helpful in getting your mind wrapped around this and make it doable.
     In this spirit, I would also like to recommend another site (SaltNPrepper.com), the lady has an inventory system based on your regular foods which leads you to have EXACTLY what you need for each meal including the amount of water.

     Putting these two inventory systems together, I have everything I need including spices, herbs and fixed holes in my inventory I wasn’t aware of.

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