Are you organizing the wrong things?

Don’t get me wrong – having labeled food bins, color-coded closets, and a clutter-free living room is definitely nice. I have a giant soft spot for pretty, organized spaces. But I also have lived long enough to know that, even if your house looks organized but you don’t have a basic plan for dealing with emergencies, well, you’re not really organized.

Since September is National Preparedness Month, now is the time to get one together if you’ve been putting it off.

Why are you avoiding emergency planning?

Nobody likes to think of what would happen in the case of a natural disaster like an earthquake, flood, or hurricane – and the thought of something bad happening to our loved ones is often too disturbing to consider. It’s also hard to be sure of what exactly is needed in any worst-case scenario, or how to put it all together. That’s the recipe for “organizational inertia.”

If You’ve Been Procrastinating – Here Are 5 Tips for Getting Yourself to Take Action

Give Yourself a Carrot.
Make a commitment to family members, a good friend, or just yourself – that if you get your emergency planning organized by Friday, you can have a double scoop ice cream cone as a reward. If you’re lactose intolerant or watching your calories, reward yourself with a manicure, new fun iPhone app, or an iTunes download.

Play a Game.
Most of the items you need to put in an emergency kit you will already have. You’ll have your kit together in no time if you set up a scavenger hunt for emergency kit items and involve the entire family. The items to hunt for are: water, canned food, cash and first aid items like band-aids, neosporin, thermometer, tweezers, aspirin, gauze pads, facecloth for compresses, scissors. The one who collects the most items wins!

Get Your Own Coach.
Find a buddy” you can work with who will keep you on track.

Enlist a Little Mom-o-vation.
Call your mother or mother in-law and have them promise to be your faithful nag this week until you get the job done.

Post It!
There’s nothing like committing to all of your Facebook friends that you’ll get your emergency plan organized by the end of the week…and encouraging them to hold you accountable to get you off the dime.

Getting Started

Being prepared doesn’t have to involve backbreaking work. To get started, use this free emergency preparedness checklist here.

This list is purposefully not exhaustive. Since long, laundry lists can be discouraging this list is designed to focus you on the most important things to get organized now. And remember – there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ plan. Unless you are a psychic and already know in advance every eventuality for which you must prepare, your plan won’t be ‘perfect.’ But given the choice to be 70%, 80% or 90% prepared versus not at all prepared, you can and should choose the former.