Seeing shelves emptied of toilet paper and sanitizer quickly shows where people’s first thoughts turn when it comes to a containment. Most households think to stock up on groceries, too, but here are some other goods to think about having on hand during the extra time at home.
Outdoor Cooking Necessities
Firing up the grill is a good way to seize some outdoor time and shake up your cooking routine. Make sure you have propane, charcoal, lighter fluid and any other favorite grilling goods stocked and ready. Chances are you have enough extra time to do a complete grill tune-up, too.
Detergents and Cleaning Supplies
Did you remember to stock up on laundry and dishwashing detergents? Don’t forget window and other household cleaners, for regular or deep cleans. Now’s also your chance to finally learn how to make your own homemade cleaners, which also means stocking up on basic pantry supplies like vinegar, baking soda and borax, as well as handy containers in which to store them.
Writing letters or creating art for others fills time and connects, which is especially important for loved ones feeling sick or isolated. It’s a great educational activity for kids, too. Stock a variety of envelopes, so you don’t have to fold those full-page masterpieces. Keep in mind, you can also order stamps and look up postage rates online.
Distilled Water and Filters
Even if you’re connected to city water services, you might want bottled water for a range of needs unique to your household. Nasal rinses for allergies or colds, watering household plants and filling up fish tanks are just a few ways distilled water can be useful. Stock extra water filters for faucets and pitchers to make drinking water readily accessible for you and for mixing baby formula.
Potting Soil and Seeds
Gardening and digging in the dirt is great therapy for worry and stress, both of which can spike during quarantine. Grab potting soil, planters and other necessities to re-pot overcrowded houseplants, start new ones, or start flower, vegetable and herb seeds indoors. Home improvement stores such as The Home Depot sell a variety of seed-starting kits for spring planting. Consider options such as AeroGardens for year-round herbs and lettuce or a patio-garden kit with automatic watering.
Batteries and Light bulbs
Have enough batteries on hand to keep your ramped-up indoor and outdoor activities running, including remote controls, your computer mouse, baby monitors, hearing aids, flashlights, sump pumps or anything else that requires a boost of power. Also check that your go-to light bulb supply has a few extras given the higher-than-usual need, to ensure your home stays well-lit during containment.
Stock up on paper, pens, yarn, glue, clay, beads, embroidery floss — really any preferred materials designed to spark creativity in both kids and adults. You can stick to the basics, such as coloring and doodling, great all-ages stress relievers, or take this as an opportunity to explore new interests. YouTube tutorials and online classes at sites such as CreativeBug can school you in anything from knitting to making your own fragrant home spray or soaps.
Make sure you have prescriptions on hand, as well as staples such as vitamins, immunity boosters, bandages, antibiotic cream, cough and cold medicine, pain reliever and antacids. Remember Pedialyte or other drinks to replace electrolytes or Ensure Clear and broths to offer nourishment while recovering from illness or an upset stomach. For young children, stock up on diapers or disposable underwear (especially if change in routine triggers potty-training regression), diaper cream, sunscreen and pediatric medicine.
Start with the basics, such as kitty litter, food and enough waste pickup bags to stock the extra walks you may be taking. Think about dry alternatives for any pets who may be used to fresh food, such as reptiles that eat live crickets, too. Sites such as Chewy specialize in delivering what you need, including medicine that protects against fleas and ticks. And consider investing in a few new toys to keep them entertained during the extra together time.
Stock up on good books, games and puzzles so you have lots of engaging options. While digital books, rented through your local library, and online games are great, it’s a good idea to take screen breaks, too. Order books from your local bookstore. Consider crosswords, Sudoku and card games, too. Even better: Grab a field guide and head outdoors to look for birds, plants and signs of wildlife.