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PREP question for retired (older) folks that prep
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  1. #1
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    question for retired (older) folks that prep

    Its really hard for me throw away stuff that has any kind of use to it. I am drowning in stuff. This morning I ran across a laundry hamper full of odd socks. I want to get rid of things like this but just can't bring myself to do so. This is just one example. What do you think?

    Judy

  2. #2
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    This is so funny to me, because I had the same thought yesterday and thought about posting it, but didn't. I have several bags of odd socks that I go through once or twice a year and try to match up. I did finally bring myself to throw away one of the bags a few months ago, but kept a lot too. What brought this issue to my mind lately (again) is all the talk of a solar minimum. Whenever I think of throwing anything away that isn't absolute garbage, I think "but I might need that if times get really hard". I especially have trouble throwing away any clothing item.

    Edited to add: I even have kids clothing stored here.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by nomifyle View Post
    Its really hard for me throw away stuff that has any kind of use to it. I am drowning in stuff. This morning I ran across a laundry hamper full of odd socks. I want to get rid of things like this but just can't bring myself to do so. This is just one example. What do you think?

    Judy
    If you can't store it properly, or if it keeps you from storing more important things properly, then get rid of it.
    Depending on where you live, a box on the curb with a "Free" sign is an easy way to unload just about ANYTHING.

  4. #4
    In my own case I think there is a fine line between prepping and being one of those sicko hoarders. If my stuff was organized maybe it would still fall under the prepping category. But lately I have started noticing a mess everywhere I go. I finally started throwing out seeds from 2000 when we we moved up here. And this was over DH's stringent protests. He is worse than I am even. Soooooo here we are. Buried under stuff. If there actually was an emergency I havn't a clue where he put most of my survival gear. Between his RV garage and office, the garage 2 houses and three sheds the only thing I am positive of its location is the tent, sleeping bags, food and my knife and don't want to say collection.

  5. #5
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    Most things have multiple uses or can have multiple uses if direly needed. If a person has the space many things can be kept as long as it doesn't get out of hand.

  6. #6
    I do the same thing and my whole place is just awful. But every one of these things has a potential use in a world where there may be nothing but what we can provide for ourselves.

    Socks, in particular can be cut into rings which are then woven on a little square loom into potholder size squares. These squares might then be joined into little doormat rugs.

    My only solution has been to instruct my sister, when she takes care of my will, to call a family in our area of three generations, who will go through everything and take what they want and then my sister will just turn the rest over to our local auctioneers.

    I would simply GIVE this my place, as is, mess and all, to a young family who wanted to live a simple lifestyle, but I've come to believe that there is no such thing any longer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomifyle View Post
    Its really hard for me throw away stuff that has any kind of use to it. I am drowning in stuff. This morning I ran across a laundry hamper full of odd socks. I want to get rid of things like this but just can't bring myself to do so. This is just one example. What do you think?

    Judy
    Have you considered buried caches? You can "get rid" without getting rid permanently.

  8. #8
    The irony is that as soon as you discard something that you haven't used in years, sure enough you'll need it next week. Happens ALL THE TIME to me.

  9. #9
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    We're living in a two-bedroom, one bath apartment in a "retirement community". We do have a full size kitchen. We're primarily stockpiling dried foods and medical supplies. I just pitched 4 worn-out sport-shirts which I've replaced with new ones. The old ones got the buttons snipped off for the sewing basket and are converted into rags.
    If at first you don't secede, try, try again!

  10. #10
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    Old socks filled with powdered Comet (the stuff in a can) with bleach in it, is an excellent way to absorb/decon chemical agents....... Just slap it around the exposed area until it's absorbed. It's pretty close to milspec, but not.
    From a fireball we came, crossed sea and mountain
    We were drinking beauty with our eyes
    We were given all to make our own, let us be left alone

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  11. #11
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    The key is to adopt the "6 month Rule". If you haven't needed it or touched in in 6 months, out it goes.
    ...Rubbin' is Racin'......

  12. #12
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    Push comes to shove, NO ONE will care if socks don't match. As long as they are whole and fit properly ...

    Socks make useful emergency mittens, bath mitts (inside out) and all sorts of other things.
    The wonder of our time isnít how angry we are at politics and politicians; itís how little weíve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by OldCraftsman View Post
    The irony is that as soon as you discard something that you haven't used in years, sure enough you'll need it next week. Happens ALL THE TIME to me.
    Absolutely. ...and BF is worse than I am about keeping stuff. He will keep old rusty wire. To be fair, when he pulled some junk out of the trash bins loaded for the last dump run, a couple weeks ago, I ended up needing and using some of that junk the very next day. But, we have way too much junk, that really should just go to the dump, but I have trouble throwing it out too.

    I keep the hoarded supplies in labeled boxes. It is fairly organized, and most importantly, when we purchased Connex type storage containers a few years ago, I moved the vast majority of it OUT of the house. I couldn't live with it anymore. If it weren't for the containers, most of it would HAVE to go. I'm not living like that again.

  14. #14
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    Toss stuff, or give it to Goodwill or the shelters. Just keep what you need and will use. Old mismatched socks don't qualify. Even too many preps drag you down. That's why over the years, I've gone to LTS for staples in the food category. Sure, take care of the basics, but when I remember what my Grandparents actually NEEDED to live and prosper on the farm during the Depression with no electricity - well, that's what I use as my guide. They didn't have a lot of earthly possessions - just the RIGHT ones.

    It gets to a point where you couldn't find something you have even if you needed it or wanted it. I'm lucky to have access to a real dump (rare these days) where recycling Nazi's don't hassle you about every little item you show up with. The place lets you throw garbage bags of crap away with no questions asked. LOVE going to the dump - getting rid of "stuff" is better for the soul than taking a yoga class.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacknarwhal View Post
    Have you considered buried caches? You can "get rid" without getting rid permanently.
    my state is a swamp, so nothing can be buried if I wanted to use it at some point. My house is a mess, and so is my school bus that I bought for storage, and two sheds, and no DH's enclosed trailer. Each room in our house is exploding with stuff, I'm sick of it.

    Judy

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deena in GA View Post
    This is so funny to me, because I had the same thought yesterday and thought about posting it, but didn't. I have several bags of odd socks that I go through once or twice a year and try to match up. I did finally bring myself to throw away one of the bags a few months ago, but kept a lot too. What brought this issue to my mind lately (again) is all the talk of a solar minimum. Whenever I think of throwing anything away that isn't absolute garbage, I think "but I might need that if times get really hard". I especially have trouble throwing away any clothing item.

    Edited to add: I even have kids clothing stored here.
    That's so funny, I could have written exactly what you wrote! We are slowly going through things. We are thinning books but keeping every single one that is a 'how to' and we've been collecting these for decades (livestock, homesteading, gardening, fixing things, etc.). We're finally donating some clothes, but keeping every single blanket and comforter thanks to the solar minimum. We're also going through our food storage. Some stuff we've lost our taste for, some bought on sale just because it was inexpensive, all the usual reasons. We're streamlining it to how we eat now that we're older and retired.

    The rest is simply getting better organized. That really does help with 'clutter!'

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomifyle View Post
    my state is a swamp, so nothing can be buried if I wanted to use it at some point. My house is a mess, and so is my school bus that I bought for storage, and two sheds, and no DH's enclosed trailer. Each room in our house is exploding with stuff, I'm sick of it.

    Judy
    ...I did not notice the "Louisiana" part of your location. I wouldn't have even suggested it otherwise.

    Then in that case it really may be time to gear down. You'll have plenty of suggestions on how to do that right here, so I won't get any more redundant.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Faroe View Post
    I keep the hoarded supplies in labeled boxes. It is fairly organized, and most importantly, when we purchased Conex type storage containers a few years ago, I moved the vast majority of it OUT of the house. I couldn't live with it anymore. If it weren't for the containers, most of it would HAVE to go. I'm not living like that again.
    Just be careful...those containers breed like rabbits!


  19. #19
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    I've reached a point where I am starting to get ready d of stuff.

    It's one thing to collect things for prepping.

    It is another to be diligent and disciplined enough to have discipline and maintain things properly.

    I realized my canned goods where years past there expiration date, which might still be good, but that is just one example.

    My water storage container is several years past the five years advertise for the preservative in it.

    I had several boxes of supplies that rats or mice got into and some that started getting moldy.

    I know, all this was preventable with proper procedures, rotation, checking, etc., but I didn't do it.

    I have since downsized and in the move got rid of about 80% of what I had collected for prepping and I don't have the energy or money to pursue it.

    Now my biggest prep item is to try and regain some semblance of health, without which, all the supplies in the world will not do me any good.

    I still applaud people for trying to prepare for the unknown and hope you are more disciplined than I was.
    Would someone please let me know how we have spun out of control?
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  20. #20
    Huge problem for us. We have way too many outbuildings for stuff to hide in and hubby is horrible about organization and putting stuff away.

    As an example I bet we have 5 circular saws and a dozen hammers.. If I am doing something and can't find what I need I get fed up and run to Lowe's and buy another. One day the husband will get fed up and organize stuff. I can dream, right?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxGal View Post
    We're streamlining it to how we eat now that we're older and retired.
    This is actually more a thing than I think some people understand. I go out with my mom and dad once a month for burgers; we have a couple places we frequent. They no longer eat an entire burger at a sitting. Half of it invariably goes home for lunch the next day.

    I used to puzzle at this until I saw even my own appetite start to diminish, and me just pushing 40.

  22. #22
    Old socks make excellent dust cloths. Add a rock for a last-ditch weapon. They are good "containers" for things like string; doesn't everyone still save string? If the socks are clean... you can even filter water through them.

    LOTS of things I'm still getting rid of... but socks wouldn't be the top of my list. Nor old towels & bedding. I make all kinds of cushions from old towels (and they're good rags too). Old blankets are the innards of new quilts... or if wool, hooked rugs; and old sheets have a ton of uses - bandages, covers, curtains...

  23. #23
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    I can understand the holding on to things. Partly, that's because I might need it one day and the other is pure laziness in going in a cupboard/closet/attic and clean it out.

    As a child of a depression mom, I was brought up saving every scrap of usable paper for scribbling/notes, rubber bands, bobby pins, twist ties, etc. You name it I ask myself if I can reuse it and save it. (Such as paper towels that only got water on it. Yup, I fold it and save that too!)

    My suggestion is to go on Pinterest (old mismatched socks) and check them out.

    I just went on a cursory cruise and found there are a number of uses for socks. Most ideas are silly but some were pretty ingenious such as a rug.

    If there is nothing you can see, just bag them up, head out to Goodwill and don't look back. (Or go inside afterwards to see what else you can buy to fill in that now empty space. )

  24. #24
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    There is nothing like moving, and doing it yourself, to find out what you really need to keep, and what you need to get rid of.

  25. #25
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    Old seeds, take a walk in the woods and plant them here n there.

    Worst case, you had a walk in the woods.


    Look at those big vacuum storage bags for fabric type stuff
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  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by nomifyle View Post
    Its really hard for me throw away stuff that has any kind of use to it. I am drowning in stuff. This morning I ran across a laundry hamper full of odd socks. I want to get rid of things like this but just can't bring myself to do so. This is just one example. What do you think?

    Judy
    That's not prepping, it's hoarding. If it's at the point of disrupting your daily life then you need to let some of it go. Prioritize your stuff and if it is building up and in your way and it's at the bottom of the list, then let it go

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racing22 View Post
    The key is to adopt the "6 month Rule". If you haven't needed it or touched in in 6 months, out it goes.
    Who has that kind of money here?

    Besides, no prepper in his/her right mind would ever do that.
    Ring the bells that still can ring
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    That's how the light gets in.

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  28. #28
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    Yes, I can relate!

    What has helped me:

    1. Make a realistic assessment of the space available.

    2. Make a realistic assessment of what is being stored and why. Be brutal. If you can't find your emergency gear in less than two minutes, there's a problem.

    3. Assign priorities: stored water has a higher priority than a box of socks. You are creative and can find multiple uses for things, so you don't need as much "stuff."

    4. Start moving things out. This will be painful for some, but keep at it. Once you reclaim your space, it'll get easier.

    5. As you move stuff out, set limits. For example, I have shelves in my basement for the camping gear. If the gear grows to exceed the shelf space, stuff will get moved out. It is also not realistic for me to have tents for all four seasons. I have moved out three of them.

    I live where there are tornadoes and blizzards, so there's no argument that I need some emergency gear to meet those challenges, and that gear is stored where I can see it, maintain it, and get to it quickly. My on-going task is to make sure that I don't acquire too much, and setting limits really does help.

    I'm also careful about not keeping things for others: that box of children's clothing would get moved out at my house. I think it's up to the parents to stock their own inventories.

    Once again, the process of getting to this point can be brutal, with tears and arguments, but it's really worth it to get to a point where the "stuff" is not overflowing into the living space. I'm not a minimalist, but having fewer things around makes for much easier housekeeping!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbuddy View Post
    Who has that kind of money here?

    Besides, no prepper in his/her right mind would ever do that.
    I know, right?

    Feel free to send me any year old ammo.
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  30. #30
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    We were in the shed this weekend looking for yard tools. We closed the door after fall cleanup and hadn't opened it since. I wanted to close the door and run away. We are going to have to set a weekend aside to weed through all the stuff inside, what a mess.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbuddy View Post
    Who has that kind of money here?

    Besides, no prepper in his/her right mind would ever do that.
    Indeed - case in point, reloading stuff, tyvek suits, gas masks, half face masks, "camping" gear, hunting gear, etc...etc...etc...
    From a fireball we came, crossed sea and mountain
    We were drinking beauty with our eyes
    We were given all to make our own, let us be left alone

    III

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faroe View Post
    If you can't store it properly, or if it keeps you from storing more important things properly, then get rid of it.
    Depending on where you live, a box on the curb with a "Free" sign is an easy way to unload just about ANYTHING.
    Heck, around these parts we put a sign on things like $200 or Best Offer, put it on the curb (out of sight from the house) and it's gone before the news paper arrives...
    ďDonít pick a fight, but if you find yourself in one, I suggest you make damn sure you win.Ē - John Wayne

  33. #33
    I've started wearing the odd socks!

  34. #34
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    After our last move, 3 years ago, I'm still sorting through "stuff" and thinning down. Don't need triplicates of preps. Redundant redundancy etc. Much of our bulk foods are now freeze dried. All the kids are up, off and on their own doing their own thing so there's no need to double/triple/quadruple down etc., on "stuff" anymore. Just too much stuff, so now everything is getting streamlined, minimized and simplified. Extras given to the grown kids, friends and charity. What they do with it is up to them.
    We have done so much, with so little, for so long....We can now do anything, with nothing, forever.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racing22 View Post
    The key is to adopt the "6 month Rule". If you haven't needed it or touched in in 6 months, out it goes.

    I don't belive in this rule here's why, many years ago I baught a bunch of heavy duty carheart type coats heavy ones I only paid twenty dollars on a close out give away sale, so I braught them home and put them in a air tight barrel, this winter the one I have been wearing for about 13 years messed up so you know what I went the the barrel and pulled out a brand new winter coat.
    So see why I do not follow the six month rule.

    The six month rule is not a way to live and think about prepping.
    I have stuff in my preps that I baught 20/30 years ago that is still good and new, why would I get ride of it just because I have not used it in the last six months.
    JUST A FEW OF MY SIMPLE THOUGHTS
    LAY LOW WAIT LIKE A WOLF IN THE WILD UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCraftsman View Post
    Just be careful...those containers breed like rabbits!

    Steel quilts!
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Razor sharpening while you wait - Occam
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  37. #37
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    Some body who follows the six month rule is not a prepper IMHO.
    JUST A FEW OF MY SIMPLE THOUGHTS
    LAY LOW WAIT LIKE A WOLF IN THE WILD UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT
    Never Pick A Fight With An Old Man He Will Just Shoot You He Can't Afford To Get Hurt

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racing22 View Post
    The key is to adopt the "6 month Rule". If you haven't needed it or touched in in 6 months, out it goes.
    Well there goes my hurricane bug out bag. ..... lol

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCraftsman View Post
    The irony is that as soon as you discard something that you haven't used in years, sure enough you'll need it next week. Happens ALL THE TIME to me.
    Ditto...happens every time.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by goosebeans View Post
    I've started wearing the odd socks!
    As long as you wear a right and a left, what does it matter?
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Razor sharpening while you wait - Occam
    If it works, it doesn't have enough features. - Windows 10 design philosophy.
    Forget the beer, I'm just here for the doom!
    Humans, just a tool for amino acids to make Swiss watches.

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