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16 Reusable Practical Items You Should Always Have In Your Home and In Your Preps

Being a prepper and being way more interested in self-reliance, I have become a lot more interested in items that can be reused time and time again. I would not have bought most of these things fifteen years ago, but now? I couldn't imagine life without them.

These things I think are important for home and possibly your survival. They are things that should stand the test of time, but we all know that can't always be true. You should be able to use these things over and over again. They are the most basic things that I think should be in every home, but I have found out that they are not.

16 Reusable Practical Items You Should Always Have:

1. Hand Tools. While I love my battery powered drill, hand tools can be used anytime and anywhere. If you keep them clean and in good condition, they will last you a very long time. Besides that, can you think a time when you will not be fixing or building something? I can't.

2. Clothespins. Clothespins are just handy to have. Besides hanging up clothes inside and outside, you can use them to hang items in the house, keep bags closed, and keep papers together when you don't have staples or paperclips. I find them to be indispensable.

3. Rope, Paracord, and Twine. Many people only use these items once and throw them away. What a travesty! Roll it back up and reuse it again. Cut off the frayed ends and reuse some more! For strapping down items, keeping boxes closed, keeping hay bales together, temporarily fixing items, and more, these things are essential to have in your preps and home.

4. Plungers. Plungers? You bet. They are not just for unclogging toilets! They can be used to unclog drains also which is a lot easier on your plumbing than liquid drain cleaner. A clean one can be used for agitating water and soap together and used for washing laundry by hand.

5. Canning Jars. Canning jars should be standard in every home. Besides the high amount of canning I do, I use this for storage of all sorts of food and non-food items. I like to also purchase the plastic lids that can be used for storage purposes to save on canning lids. I have canning jars of all sizes (4 ounces to 1 gallon) and use them every day.

6. Candle Holders. I really like to burn candles and use them for a gentle light in the evenings. However, unless you use jar candles, candles are hard to burn and stay upright without candle holders. I have them for candlesticks as well as a few for pillar candles. They will protect your surfaces from hot wax and burn marks as well as keep the candles upright.

7. Cast Iron Cookware. While I do love my stainless steel cookware, my cast iron cookware is my real favorite to cook with. You can use in on a stovetop, in an oven, on a grill (side burner and grate), on a camp stove, and over a fire. With a little bit of care and maintenance, cast iron cookware can be passed on in your will.

8. Towels and Rags. We don't ever throw out towels in our house. If they smell too sour for human use, we use them for cleaning and other not-for-nice towel uses. Sometimes we leave the towels whole and sometimes we cut them up for a more user-friendly experience. Whatever you use them for, they can just be washed and used again.

9. Oil Lamps. With proper care and the right oil, these lamps can be used forever. You may have to stock up on wicks or learn to make them yourself. You can also look up alternatives to use for oil in them, but the light they give is wonderful. They certainly light up a room better than candles and also help provide a little warmth to the room also.

10. Tie Down Ratchet Straps. We have these in the shops, house, and every vehicle we own. They are used to keep totes closed, keep things in vehicles, keep things close, keep things together to fix them, and more. I couldn't imagine not having them around to help make life easier and safer.

11. Knives. A good sharp knife cannot be underestimated. It is essential for so much. I am not just talking about a good pocketknife which is very important. A straight blade, cooking knives, and straight edges are all very important too. You can use a pocketknife for almost anything, but I think having a variety is good too.

12. Tarps. You should have a good supply of tarps too. They can provide ground cover, keep items dry outside, protect plants from weather, keep things hidden, and more. With a little care, they can be reused over and over again.

13. Shovels, Rakes, and Hoes. These three tools can make any job a little easier. You will be able to plant trees and bushes, keep a garden, shovel snow, bury a body, and more with them. Take the time to keep them clean and rust free and they will last a long time. Learn to use a file or stone to keep the edges sharp. I also keep a few handles on hand to replace any broken handles.

14. Wheelbarrow and Utility Cart. These two things are important. They will literally save your back and help prevent injuries because they can carry the heavy stuff for you. Again, with some care, these two items can last you many years. Have a tire or two for spares may be wise, but you can always patch the tires too.

15. Brooms. I have gone to a few homes now, spilled or broken something, and they don't have brooms. They just use the vacuum to keep all their floors clean. Don't get me wrong. Vacuums have their place, but a broom is very handy to have. We have a small utility hand broom, a regular house broom, and a big shop broom. I couldn't imagine not having all three. Just don't forget to get a dustpan!

16. Ladders. Step stools and ladders just make life a little easier to reach items. Every home should have at least a six-foot ladder for fixing and maintaining the home. For someone a little shorter like me, they make reaching the upper cabinets in the kitchen easy as well as changing the light bulb in the garage.

Like I said, these items are very practical and probably not what you were expecting when you saw the title. However, many preppers and many homes do not have these items. In an emergency, you will need these items to make fixing things and clean up a lot easier. They will also help you ride out a power outage for a few days, make a bad storm bearable, and make life easier for you.

What else would you include?

Thanks for reading,

Related Posts:
Have You Considered Spare Parts For Your Preps? 
Sewing and Mending Kit Essential for Preppers (And Everyone Else)!


  1. As for using old towels, etc, I purchased several packs of 12 inexpensive washcloths. I cut them into quarters, zigzagged the rough edges on my sewing machine while I have electricity, and repacked most of them for later use for women in our household to wipe only liquid after a bathroom run. I'm using them already to get in the habit. They are always washed with the bleached whites load. I know... I have saved a lot on TP already.


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