Weekly assignment: Shelf lives

We often talk about rotating your food supplies to ensure freshness. But we preppers store a lot of stuff that isn’t food as well, such as perhaps bleach, vinegar, and toiletries. Knowing how long these items are supposed to last before they start to go bad is an important components of an overall pantry storage plan.

For example, many people stock up on bleach for cleaning and water purification. A lot of those folks probably aren’t aware that bleach lasts about six months, unopened, before it begins to degrade. Opened, it lasts even less. Once it begins to degrade, it loses effectiveness for purifying water. This could have dire results if you aren’t aware of it.

Your assignment this week is to find out the shelf lives for the household products you have in storage and adjust your rotation plans if need be.

One source for these shelf lives is found on the Organize Your Life website.

While most of the items we tend to stockpile won’t kill you if you use them past their expiration dates, the quality can be dramatically effected. Also keep in mind that these shelf lives are figured for optimum storage conditions. Heat and sometimes light can have a significant impact.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

One thought on “Weekly assignment: Shelf lives”

  1. This sounds like a perfect opportunity to track your supply expiration dates using a system of your choice such as an Excel file or even by hand. Sure it’s more work but likely well worth the effort should the need arise to use your supplies.

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