Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get ready for this

I think my best preparedness tip is this: don't fall behind on your housework.

I never would have thought of it if we hadn't have moved to the mountain house, where utilities (cell phone, electricity, clean water) have way more frequent outages (monthly) than I'd ever been used to. We only have trash pickup twice a month. And winter weather impacts our travel ability to the grocery store or even to the mailbox.

At my house I don't postpone chores, ever. There is never, "I know the dishes need to be done, but I'll just do them later." There is no laundry day, because every day is laundry day. We wash diapers daily and adult clothes as soon as there is a full load (which is daily). Sheets and towels are done weekly.  If we waited to do all the laundry whenever we were on our last pair of underpants, then that would inevitably be the day that one of the utilities failed.

Our pantry is fully stocked and we have a master grocery list that is used to replace items that we used during the week.  Unfortunately we don't typically eat meals together, since DH works a 12-hour swing shift and I work a day shift, so it's a little bit challenging to keep track of what DH used up grocery-wise.  But for the most part we never run out of eggs or milk because we stay on top of the grocery shopping.

I have been tested many times, with either bad weather or a utility failure, and it seems that every time it didn't cause a hitch in our schedule at all.  When the snow came, somewhat unexpectedly, I was glad I had NOT postponed the grocery trip.  When the power goes out or the water stops working, it seems like I always have the thought, "well, at least the diapers are caught up." "at least the dishes are clean" "at least I ran the vacuum, so I won't have dirty floors driving me crazy while we wait for the power to come back on!"  And conversely, I never have the thought, "Oh snap, this couldn't have happened at a worse time, I need to do (fill in the blank) and now I can't!"

I wonder if I would have become so organized if I lived someplace where I could take the power and water and phone and trash service for granted, where the grocery store was a mile away.  I'm not sure.  But I'm glad I don't.

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