Be preparedYesterday morning I spent over two hours searching for my only set of keys. Thankfully, I found them tucked behind my 5-year-old's booster seat in our car.

Trust me, I've spent the last 24 hours trying to figure out how in the world they got there.

After cleaning up the mess I made attempting to find them (oh yes, I went through the garbage), I wanted to kick myself for not having spares. And that got me thinking about how ill-prepared I am for a lot of things, not just lost keys.

As a busy mom, it's way too easy to get wrapped up in the goings-on of the present day madness. Getting the kids out the door in the morning seems like an amazing achievement, let alone getting them fed, bathed, and in bed after school, all without yelling. 

Okay, mostly. On a good day.

So thinking ahead, you know, about the future, isn't something I often get to do. But it something that I really need to do, particularly given the situation today.

The thing is, I'm not even talking about the big stuff, like a will or college savings.

I've actually got that stuff covered.

I'm talking about the little things that pile up because we're too busy wiping butts and faces that just get put aside until you're in a tight spot and you say to yourself, "Why didn't I do that sooner?"

I will not tell you how many times I ran out of diapers and did the mad car-slash-baby doll search.

It's times like these that force me to pause and take inventory about action items that will really help me avoid days like today where I wasted a ridiculous amount of time search for something. As a parent, I really don't have a lot of wiggle room in terms of emergency situations.

Here are five things I'm going to take care of this week that I know will come in handy when I'm in a pinch:

1. Spare keys: Well, that's a "duh" moment all things considered, but I'm making a few copies that I'll be giving to neighbors as well as strategically placing them in my house.

2. Stash of cash: I depend way too much on credit and debit cards, and you just never know when you'll need a spare $20. I'm heading to the ATM today and popping some extra cash in my sock drawer.

3. Medicine cabinet refresh: With cold and flu seasons around the corner (or here, if you're in my house today), the last thing I want to do is be caught without medicine for my kids. Today, I'm stocking up.

4. Candles, flashlights, and batteries, oh my: I'm tired of the power going out and wandering around like an idiot trying to find a lighter and a candle. And batteries? I always need batteries. Well, not any more. 

5. Cleaning products: I don't know about you, but I tend to buy the bare minimum and then get stuck without garbage bags, dish soap, and the worst, dishwasher detergent. There's just no reason to be without it. That's all about to change.

What other little things to you let slide that you need to take care of?

 

Image via JakeLiefer/Flickr