Life is not just beans, bullets, and bandages. That's the beginning of what we need to survive but hopefully life will somewhat be able to resemble what we have now and we won't all be trampling off into the wilderness. Living my life as a survivalist, I figured the easiest thing to start off with in the house was to organize it. Not only that, but to really decide what was needed, and how much was needed. I decided to open a drawer or two at a time and take inventory. Make a list of what's in there. How many and what. Also make a prediction of how much you will use. You can't do this in a day or two or even a couple of weeks. It's really an overwhelming project if you do it right.
Once you have gone through everything, in another six months or year do it again. Were the decisions you made then the same you'll make now? How much of the inventory did you use? How many things haven't been touched during the past year?
Is everything in the drawer useful? What should get donated to the local charity? What will last "forever"? Do I have a 1 year, 5 year, 10 year supply? What is essential and we "can't live without"? These questions can only be answered by you. I'll just let you in on what I have stored away. Items have quickly disappeared in my supply now that grandchildren live here. They go through tremendous amounts of stuff during their "creative" periods.
In the laundry room I have what I call the office supplies. They are in one drawer and one cabinet. I just inventoried them.
Scotch tape 6 rolls – the kids got hold of this. I need 20 more at least.
Push pins and thumb tacks 2 boxes of 200 each but one box has only 50 left. Kids…
Dry erase markers of different colors – 10, could use some packages that are unopened
Sharpies 20 of different colors and sizes
Watercolors- wow, what happened to them? I used to have a couple dozen. Now there aren't any.
Colored pencils 100
Pencils 100 – need about 200 more
Pens 20 – could use more, right now the kids don't use pens except to draw on themselves
Staples – 2 boxes with 5000 in each
Paper Clips – 3 boxes of 100 regular, 1 box of large, 1 box of colored
Avery dots and color labels – many but could always use more labels of all sizes
Hole reinforcements – 200, not enough with kids around, could use 1000
Post-its – dozens of all sizes, enough if the kids stay out. They like the 1 inch size so not really an issue.
Index cards – about 1000 of both 3X5 and 4X6
Binder Clips – several dozen of all sizes. Love these, especially the largest size.
Correction Tape – a couple rolls. Rarely use this but will keep these.
Erasers – Two different kinds, 5 that twist out, 10 pink erasers. Not enough. Could use 50
Mechanical Pencils and leads – Plenty. I found the leads get brittle over time and are worthless
Scissors – 2 pair of regular, 8 pairs of scalloped edges and fun designs. (other pairs throughout the house)
Hole punch- hand held punches one hole. One should be plenty. Have a 3 hole punch elsewhere
Razor blades- not quite sure why they are in this drawer.
Glaringly missing – hand held pencil sharpeners. Where did they go? Kids…
We have an electric sharpener in other room. I want a sturdy pencil sharpener that bolts to the wall.
White computer paper – 15 – 500 sheet packages
Photo paper – 200 sheets
Packing tape – 5 rolls, could always use more of this
Pencil boxes – 3 out of cardboard, could use some that go into binders and some that are plastic
Construction paper – 200 sheets assorted colors
Colored paper – 200 sheets assorted colors – not enough. Could use about 1000 sheets of assorted colors
Spiral bound notebooks – 25 – went through 6 last year, expect to go through 6-10 each year
Notebook paper – 5 packages, I forgot to buy it this year at the beginning of school. We went through about 1000 sheets last year. Need lots more. Will try to wait for a good sale.
Binders – 10 - 1", 10 – 2", 5 – 3"
Peechee folders – 20
File Folders – 100
Accordion file folders – 20
Glue – 1 gallon
These items all get used. There are probably some other office supply items throughout the house, especially in kids rooms, but for the most part we have a good supply that can last for many years. Other than notebook paper, erasers, and a good pencil sharpener, if TEOTWAWKI was today, I think we'd be ok with our office supplies that are stored in the drawer and cabinet. After all, the kids that are here now wouldn't be using all this stuff up at school. Home school would be able to keep a better eye out for waste. Paper airplanes would not be made out of clean fresh unused paper! Paper clips don't have to be the latest necklace craze.