Since the kerfuffle in July, I have been staying with Dad and Jean. They have been wonderful enough to open their home to me and the 140 lbs (and growing) of dogs that come with me. Where I had been living in what amounted to a large one-bedroom apartment, I am now in a small bedroom, and a guest bedroom at that. My experience in July taught me the value of being prepared for emergencies, but it is hard when you are living in a guest room/motel/on someone’s cough/in a shared apartment/dorm room/barracks room.
Document, Document, Document!
- When I was packing, the one thing that I was most worried about was leaving vital paperwork behind. I had most of my documents in one place, but there were a few papers I had to search for. Since then, I bought an $8 zipper binder and I am filling it with all of my important documents. Any piece of paper that identifies me, proves that important things belong to me, or give me access to my finances live in this binder.
- I am still working on it. I plan to include things like inventories, my contact lists, and copies of my favorite pictures.
- If you want help creating your own binder, Misty over at Your Own Home Store has a great explanation. It’s what I started out with.
Get It In The Bag
- You can call it a Bug Out Bag (BOB), a 72 hour kit, or -my personal favorite- a vacation ready bag, but you really should have one. I have an old black backpack stuffed with a few days of clean clothes (old clothes that won’t be missed), a travel hygiene kit (the kind you can take on airplanes), a pair of sturdy and comfortable shoes, some snacks and water bottles, a phone charger, flash light, a knitting kit (never know when you’ll get bored), enough cash for a full tank of gas, and a couple plastic grocery bags (I tend to use these for trash). When I put my bag together, I imagined what I would need for an 3 day road trip.
- Speaking of, this sort of bag is great for surprise trips too. I ended up driving by myself from Chicago to upstate New York in March with about 12 hours notice. Those 12 hours included work and sleep. I had an early version of this bag ready to go, so I only had to grab a few snacks. Packing for a weekend trip in 15 minutes? Awesome.
Keep the Car Running
- If you have a car, make sure it’s in good working order. Tires filled up, oil changed, all that jazz. Some other things to keep in the car are a phone charger, first aid kit, snacks, water, change for tolls and parking, a map of your area, enough cash to fill up the tank, and a pair of pants and normal shoes (trust me, you don’t want to try to change a tire in heels and a skirt).
- When you’re REALLY short on space, your car’s trunk makes a great pace to store things that aren’t temperature sensitive. Clothes, bedding, books, non-essential paperwork, and extra paper goods are options. Just please use common sense. Don’t keep sensitive documents in the car, and if you live in an area where break-ins are fairly common, find another place to keep things.
Help Stock Your Hosts’ Pantry
- I help out with the cooking and shopping. Dad doesn’t usually go shopping until the pantry is bare, so I go once a week and buy staples. I make sure that they are all things that Dad and Jean use, but I’ll buy in bulk and make sure I keep restocking. I am also contributing at least half of my preserves to their pantry, and I keep the cookie jar full.
- I keep the house stocked with my prefered cleaning supplies, since I try to do a good bit of cleaning and I have some chemical sensitivities to “normal” cleaning solutions.
I know that being prepared in a small space can seem daunting, and if you are living in a place with the storage capacity of a locket it might just seem impossible. I’m working at it though, and you can too.
Do you have any suggestions for prepping in a teeny tiny place?