CREATING INVENTORY LISTS
Using programs such as Excel and Google docs makes creating an inventory easy, and with the calculation functions of those programs, adding up figures will be accurate every time.
There are several ways to create an inventory list, depending on how you have decided to store your equipment. However, we’ve narrowed it down to two: box and list methods (consider using a combination of the two or both simultaneously). Because the sole purpose of an inventory is to know what you have and where it is located, it makes sense to use a list based on the gear’s location.
Of course, always print out a hard copy or two of your inventories to make sure you have them (keep a copy in your cache), even when the power goes out or your computer has been compromised.
Box Method: This inventory list is as simple as creating a spreadsheet for each box and customizing the spreadsheet to fit the contents of the box. Each box of gear will demand its own page of the spreadsheet, and everything on that spreadsheet will be in that one box. Columns to the right of each item can be used for any number of things, from date of purchase, condition, a cross-reference with other items, expiration date, quantity and even some additional notes.
The upside to the box method of inventorying is that each box can hold the list for that box. The downside is that you’ll have as many lists as you do boxes, and perhaps some items won’t be stored in a box. What then?
List Method: Unlike the box method, the list method of inventory is more centralized, because it is a single list of all your gear in one place (regardless of location). One column, of course, should be its location or box number. However, it can be grouped into categories to make it easier to see your entire collection of emergency supplies at a glance.
A pro of the list method is that you will only have a single list in one place that contains all your gear in your entire stockpile. The con is that the list could be cumbersome and long, depending on how much gear you have.