Maintaining Your Household in the Post-SHTF World- Part 2, by S.T.

Wood Stove Cooking

The same recipes that you use in the summer with a wonder oven you can also cook in the winter on a wood stove.

The Ice House Keeping Food Cold or Frozen in the Hot Summer

I do not have ponds or horses and buggies to move large blocks of ice during the winter, so I must improvise.

During summer, when cutting and splitting firewood, this will be done over a tarp so that the sawdust can be collected and saved in buckets.

When winter is full force, I have 10 each of the 20-gallon Rubbermade totes that I can set outside. If these totes are filled at approximately 1/2” with water every couple of days until the the rubber totes are filled to approximately 3/4 full, they will then provide blocks of ice that can provide the cold needed to keep food cold during the warm fall through the hot summers and through the next winter, if placed in an ice house and insulated with sawdust.

An existing shed on my property will become the ice house.

Indoor Plumbing

Outhouses and bucket toilets I feel will be the hardest part for people to adapt to. As a young child I lived for two years with no indoor plumbing. We had an outhouse, chamber pots under the bed for night time use, and a large wash tub for indoor baths once a week. We are all now so used to indoor plumbing, and this will be the biggest adjustment.

Toilets will put large amounts of “stuff” into your septic system, especially if you take in any additional family members. There will be no company to pump out your septic system and place it into the public waste treatment plant.


Yes, I know that most places now outlaw outhouses. However, if you build an outhouse that is larger that normal, it could be disguised as a small storage shed now and then placed in use when it is needed. There are many building plans on the Internet available for free. Depending on the size of your family, you may need two outhouses– one for males and one for females.

I live in an area with severe winter weather, so I plan on having bucket toilets in the house for use during the winter and at night, and then we’ll use the outhouse during the rest of the time.

My plan is to have two bucket toilets in the bathroom– one for solids and one for liquids. Then we will be able to dump them in the outhouse as needed.

WARNING: Make sure that your outhouse is away from your water well or stream.


Trash wil be a big problem because trash smells, and trash lets your neighbors know that you have supplies. Furthermore, trash attracts animals and bugs. When you are purchasing and stocking your supplies, remove all excess packaging and dispose of it now, while you still have trash service available.

You can build a long-lasting burn box by obtaining concrete blocks and building a box made up of two blocks on all four sides and three to five blocks high. Then cover it with a fine wire mesh.

Staying Clean

Staying clean in a post-SHTF world will no longer be as available as it was in the pre-SHTF world. Staying clean in a post-SHTF environment is dependent upon your water supply, your water management, and also your pre-planning. If you are on city water service with no plan for a water catchment system, you are out of luck. If you are on just a well with electric power or just a water catchment, you must manage your limited water supply. The persons who plan ahead and have a water catchment system and a way to extract water from a well when there is no electricity will be in the best position because you have two ways to get water.

There will no longer be showers or washing your hair every day. For hair, consider stocking some baby powder, as it can be added to your hair and combed through to reduce oily hair. Teen girls will have a real problem adjusting to this.

There is a concern with keeping as much water out of your septic system and drain field as possible. Solar showers used in the house during the winter and used outside during the spring, summer, and fall.

This could reduce the amount of liquids in your septic system by 75%.

A Clean Home

If you are someone, or know someone, whose home is always looks like a model home from a magazine with a place for everything and everything in its place, well in a SHTF situation these people are in for a very big shock. We will have pots and buckets and jugs of strained and boiled water waiting to be added to storage containers or heating to wash today’s dishes and cook dinner. We will have piles of laundry and sewing repairs waiting for us every day.

We will have lots of things that a person would normally put in the trash hanging around waiting for a new use. Examples might include toilet paper rolls that will be used for starting seeds or making fire starters, bits of leftover candles waiting to be melted down into new candles, pieces of cardboard that will be used for fire starting, empty glass jars waiting for a new use as who knows what, empty plastic bottles waiting to be filled for clean water storage, and gourds drying out for use next year.

A Clean Kitchen

A clean kitchen in a post-SHTF world is imperative to keep your family healthy. You will be forced to boil water to wash and rinse your dishes everyday. A spray bottle filled with bleach water or rubbing alcohol will provide excellent sanitation to counter tops when there are no more commercial cleaners.

Bugs & Rodents

Bugs and rodents (a.k.a. mice and rates) will need to be controlled during SHTF. Those that make their own laundry soap have a large stockpile of borax. Borax put in disposable pie pans obtained from the dollar store and placed in empty rooms (rooms empty of pets and small children and the doors closed) will assist in keeping the rodents in check.

Furthermore, you can make homemade flypaper. This is a good reason to save and reuse paper grocery bags.


Depending on the apocalypse level, do not count on any electricity. That means there will be no vacuum cleaners and no carpet shampooers. This means dirt and germs and bugs in your carpets and no one to install a new wood or tile floor. If you can not afford to replace all of the carpets with tile or wood flooring now, please consider getting some 5-gallon buckets of primer and paint so that after the carpets must be removed, you can prime and paint the subfloors.

A Trial Run

Summer is almost upon us. Consider a trial run during the summer school break. For just one week, turn off all of the house breakers except the one that controls your refrigerator and freezer. Try living just like they did during the times of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

A trial run is an important part of your preparations to practice your skills and to bring out any deficiencies in your preparations now, so that you can remedy them before SHTF.

If you have children, this would make for a great homeschool project and a way for the children to become involved in the preparations and make suggestions. I could just see their written reports about how hard the work was and maybe a few suggestions on how to do things better or a new easier ways to do things or a new design for something.

After the summer trial run, a winter trial run should also be undertaken. In order to make sure that you have enough time to do all of your household chores, you must go back to the pioneer times. Spring, summer, and fall were devoted to growing, harvesting, and preserving food. Winter was devoted to making and mending clothing, soap making, candle making, making homemade remedies for use during all of the rest of the year.

P.S. If you have children and they attend public schools, any such activity like this should be kept quiet outside of the home.