100 Prepping Tasks You Can Do In 5 Minutes or Less

by Karen Morris


We are all busy people.  Despite all of our time-saving gadgets, our days fill to overflowing so quickly.  We all want to keep up with our prepping tasks, but there are aspects to preparedness that just take time, and there’s no way around them.

If you are going to pressure can meat, you’re going to have to have at least a two-hour chunk of time that you can be in or near enough to your kitchen to keep an eye on the weight of your pressure canner. If you want to install a clothesline, it’s going to take several hours of hard work digging holes for the posts, mixing and pouring the concrete, setting up the lines once the concrete has hardened. If you want to start a garden, you either have to build raised beds or fill the ground.  Both of those take TIME.

I think that is where preppers sometimes get hung up.  They think that any and all preparedness activities take that much time, but they don’t.  Today, I’m giving you a list of 100 prepping tasks that you can do in 5 minutes or less (or maybe just SLIGHTLY more, but not much).

Print out the list.  Cross off the one time items that you’ve already done, like teaching your children their phone number – if you have done that.  Then use this list to do at least ONE thing toward your preparedness efforts every day.  Then on those days that you do have more time, head out and tackle some of those more time-consuming items off your list.

Prepping in the Kitchen

  • Print out CPR Directions and post them inside a cupboard.
  • Plan a meal from your pantry.
  • Find a new food storage recipe.
  • Declutter one shelf in your pantry.
  • Jot down an inventory of your pantry.
  • Create a menu using mostly items already in your pantry.
  • Write down as many breakfast ideas as you can come up with.  Involve your family.  If you need suggestions you could find some here and here.
  • Write down as many lunch ideas as you can come up with.  Need some suggestions?  I have some here.
  • Write down as many dinner ideas as you can come up with.   You can find dinner suggestions here.
  • On each list, put a star by the meals that make good food storage meals.
  • Copy these onto another piece of paper.  This is the basis for your short-term food storage.
  • List out the ingredients for one meal at a time in five-minute segments.
  • Once you list out the ingredients for each meal, in five minutes at a time, compile the ingredients into one list.
  •  Add one flat of ONE of the compiled ingredients to your cart each time you go to the store.  For example, if one ingredient you need 36 cans of black beans for ALL of your menu items, make sure you pick up at least one flat or 12 cans one time you go to the grocery store.  The next time, either pick up 12 more cans of black beans or maybe pick up a flat of chunked pineapple for another meal you plan to make.
  • Organize your pantry.
  • Declutter your spices.
  • Declutter your kitchen gadget drawer.
  • Make your own shelf stable whipped cream.
  • Choose a second new food storage recipe.
  • Swap a planned meal for a food storage meal.

Prepping in the House

  • Declutter 1 shelf in your garage.
  • Declutter 1 movie from your stash.
  • Declutter 1 stained, soiled, or torn outfit to the trash.
  • List one item that you no longer wear for sale on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist.
  • List one video game that you no longer wear for sale on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist.
  • Distribute any preparedness items you’ve purchased, but haven’t put them in their place yet.
  • Organize your tools.
  • Declutter your bookshelves.

With the Family

  • Print out family phone numbers for kids.  Post them inside a cupboard.
  • Help your young child learn their phone number.
  • Help your young child learn their address.
  • Help your young child learn their mom’s name.
  • Help your young child learn their dad’s name.
  • Run a fire drill with your kids.
  • Run a tornado drill with your kids.
  • Plan for a bug-out drill.  Make a list of items that HAVE to come with you if you need to bug out.
  • As much as possible, put these items into easily grabbed totes.
  • Assign each item to a child(ren) as appropriate.
  • Assign buddies for the bug out drill.  Each buddy must make sure that their buddy is in the vehicle.
  • Run the bug-out drill.
  • Run it again.  Try to improve your time.
  • Take pictures of each of your children and print them out.  Keep them in your Preparedness binder.
  • On the back of the printed pictures of your children tape a strand of their hair and write any identifying marks they have.
  • Write out a series of questions to ask an older family member or friend who has lived through a time without today’s modern conveniences.

In the Garden

Physical Fitness Prepping

  • Take a short walk.
  • Do 20 jumping jacks.
  • Do 20 squats.
  • Do 10 push-ups, modified push-ups, or wall push-ups.

Preparedness Planning

  • Determine how much water your family would need for three days, a week, and Month.  Here’s a worksheet to help you figure your water plan out.
  • Decide how you’ll provide your family with three days of water.
  • …a week of water.
  • …a month of water (attach family water plan worksheet).

Educational Prepping

Prepping the Cell Phone

  • Download the pl@ntnet app to your phone.  It’s a plant identification app.
  • Download the Useful Knots app to your phone.
  • Download the Red Cross First Aid app to your phone.
  • Download the MyNature Tracks Lite app to your phone.
  • Download the US Army Survival Guide to your phone.
  • Take 5 minutes to peruse each app to know for what all they can be used.

Prepping Activities

  • Save broken crayons to make fire starters.
  • Peel the paper off broken crayons to make fire starters.
  • Save dryer lint to make fire starters
  • Make your own fire starters.
  • Find a route out of town which doesn’t involve using a highway or a road from which you can enter/exit a highway.
  • Pull up your home on Google Maps and look for the nearest river or body of water.  It might be closer than you think!
  • Search for a preparedness book in your local library’s online card catalog.
  • Do an online search for period homes/towns/plantations that you can visit and learn how people used to live hundreds of years ago.
  • Start a fire using steel wool and a 9-volt battery.
  • Start a fire using a magnifying glass.
  • Start a fire using a baggie and water.
  • Learn how to tie two basic knots and why you would use them.
  • Practice hand sewing a button.
  • Practice hand sewing a seam.
  • Walk through your house and find two ways out of each room.  If one of those ways is a second story window, make sure that you purchase a ladder for that specific purpose.
  • Check and/or change the batteries in a smoke detector.
  • Declutter your vehicle.
  • Inventory the preparedness items that you keep in your car.  Keep a list of their locations in your vehicle in an app on your phone.  I use the list feature on my Cozi app.
  • Create a wish list of items for preparedness.
  • Order your wish list in order of most important to least important.
  • Discuss the list with your significant other and get their input.
  • Create a plan for purchasing the items on your wish list.

What About You?


What other five-minute preparedness activities do you do?  Can you think of other items that should be added to this list?  What do you think should be removed?  I’d love to hear!  Leave a comment section below.

Karen Morris

About the Author

Karen Morris

Karen Morris has survived some life-changing events, like the Ferguson riots, an armed standoff with a knife-wielding man during my family’s time at a local homeschool chess club, and an F-4 tornado, Each of these events taught her a new level of self-sufficiency and preparedness. From there, her journey to self-sufficiency started with food storage and grew beyond her wildest imaginings. Find out more about Karen Morris: Her books:  A Year Without the Grocery Store and A Year Without the Grocery Store Companion Workbook Her website: AYearWithouttheGroceryStore.com

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