There are many (sometimes seemingly contradictory) principles to take into consideration when prepping: be self-sufficient, learn self-defense, be independent, work with others, have a secret escape place, learn to homestead, be ready before you need it. All of these are excellent to consider and keep in mind as you plan and execute your plans to get and stay prepared for a disaster situation. But there is one prepper principle that no one seems to be talking about (at least not explicitly) that you should keep in mind while doing all of this preparation: Minimalism.
A good first question to ask is: What is minimalism? While you may have seen more and more about this idea in media outlets, you may not know any more about minimalism than the word and few websites like Zen Habits, Becoming Minimalist, and The Minimalists. The definition isn’t clear to most people.
“It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”
If you are seriously concerned about the possibility of disaster hitting near your home and affecting your life and family, then being intentional about prepping should be on your list of things to focus upon. Having a minimalist attitude about life will help you to eliminate distractions so that you can focus on doing what you have said is important to you. Remember, the most important thing about focus is saying “no” to the things that keep you from what you should be doing.
With minimalism in mind, Gaye Levy gives some suggestions for how to simplify your life, along with my commentary, so that you can prepare and so that you are better prepared:
- Downsize your living quarters: This won’t be a priority for every prepper, but the thinking behind it could be useful to keep in mind. The less space you have, chances are that the less stuff that you will be holding on to or find necessary to take with you when you bug out. Also, having less space (and less stuff) can mean having more time to prepare.
- Go paperless: This is just useful to organize your life. It’s also useful to have your personal paperwork stored electronically where you can access it but it doesn’t take up space at your home (or doesn’t need to be physically carried with you).
- Get your finances in order: Seriously, if you can’t live on what you’re bringing in now, do you really think that you’ll easily survive when you have less money or when your money is worthless? Learn how to put restraints on your consumption so that you can focus on the necessities and the few non-necessities that are really important to you.
- Get rid of stuff in your house weekly: Just a good idea to counteract all the stuff coming into your house. Again, less stuff equals more time to focus on important things.
- Say no to commitments that don’t interest you: Rule your own time instead of letting other people dictate your schedule. This may be a good reason to start your own business, too, so that you can control your schedule.
- Clean up your email: Mental clutter is as debilitating as physical clutter because it distracts you and keeps you from focusing.
- Recognize that good enough is good enough: This comes down to the fight between productivity versus perfectionism. There is a place for excellence in what you do, but perfection is often born out of the fear of criticism from others. Your survival in a disaster isn’t based upon someone else’s approval of your methods or of your work. If what you’ve done will do the job, go with it unless you have a practical reason to change it
How are you simplifying your life to become better prepared for a disaster situation? Tell us below.