I know that some of you are probably going to look this list over and think, “she didn’t mention pots & pans, toilet paper or functioning appliances” and you would be right! But I put those things firmly in the “HELLO SUNRISE IT’S MORNING” column of common sense purchases if you don’t live in a cave with the last remaining hermit bachelor. But even if you do, and it’s made from a bear skull, he has a pot, so I didn’t mention pots. No, these are the items that I think every household needs in addition to that other stuff. Most you probably already have, some you may not agree are needed and there may even be one or two that cause you to roll your eyes……but bear with me all the way to the end. WARNING: Although they are listed in no particular order, some more than others may be peppered with my sarcastic wit.
My 15 Things
A Sense of Humor – So, you own or rent a house. Better find a sense of humor really fast because I’m telling you right now, it’s essential. At some point your lights may flash every time you turn on a mixer, or the shower goes to 10 below when a toilet flushes, or the oven will decide to die a smokey death 30 minutes before your annual Super Bowl Party with all the uncooked food still in it. Then the AC unit could decide in the middle of the worst heat wave ever that it needs some beauty sleep. And to top it all off, these things will happen in three’s and all on a weekend or major holiday……one week BEFORE your next payday. If you don’t have a highly tuned sense of humor, things will get ugly really fast.
Padded Mattress Cover – I don’t think you’re going to let me get away with, “cause I said so” so here goes. A mattress cover helps to reduce the wear & tear of your very expensive mattress. It puts a barrier between your over active sweat glands, plus that major dead skin exodus and your mattress. AND, if you have a 2 year old with hinky bladder control skills that likes to jump in bed with you at 5 am….it’s a God send! Then too the added padding allows us to bask in snuggly plushness.
5 Gallon Bucket – They are tremendously useful! For; soaking, cleaning, leaks and the occasional roadside “pick your own” vineyards! And in cases of emergency, you might need the bucket to flush a toilet or to bathe a mud soaked 6 year before she paints the house with it.
Clothes Drying Rack – Personally I use these all the time in the winter when there’s no way in hell I’m going outside to hang my laundry. But even in the average household that doesn’t dry-line, these are useful. Bath mats with skid free rubber backing shouldn’t be sent through the dryer, neither should jeans and sweaters. I also use them to dry herbs and hang small items that I’ve painted to dry.
First Aid Kit – Accidents can and do happen especially during my projects, so why not be prepared? According to the American Red Cross you should have the following: Compresses, bandages, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, aspirin (do not give to children under 18, keep tylenol instead), gloves, hydrocortisone packets, scissors, gauze, thermometer, tweezers, and to this I have added: eyewash, benadryl, a turkey baster to flush wounds, hydro peroxide in a small spray bottle and an elastic bandage for sprains. What can I say, I’m clumsy. Now you could just throw all this in a box, but I keep mine in a small wicker picnic basket because I think it’s prettier. I’m OCDD (Obsessive Compulsive Decorating Disorder) that way.
Baking Soda – This might be considered a no-brainer, but I’m going over the reasons anyway. Cooking, baking, cleaning, fire control, removing stuck on food from your pots (see!!! I mentioned pots!), odor control, bath soaks, teeth cleaning and spills. I think that covers it.
Wood Hangers – Yes, these are more expensive and I’m not suggesting that you totally change your closet over to wood hangers but, you should definitely have some. The shoulders on good wood hangers are much wider than plastic, they are stronger and if you get the clamp bars for the pants section, they will extend the life of your clothes.
Hot Glue Gun – If you don’t have one already, how do you survive? Glue guns aren’t just for crafters, I use mine to fix hems when I don’t want to pull out my sewing machine, repairs, to ensure that mirrors don’t move in the frame, and well lots of other things.
Kitchen Shears – You can use them to cut fresh herbs, meat (especially bacon!), and even open those stupid bags of frozen veggies that seem to require a nuclear blast if you don’t have some kind of scissors.
Recycling Center – If you recycle it is so much easier to have some kind of receptacle in the house instead of constantly going out into the garage. Mine is a vintage clothes hamper I keep in the kitchen. OCDD again.
Vodka – Other than in times of stress, I use this to clean and as a carrier for my homemade air fresheners. It is also a handy disinfectant in emergencies, will ease tooth pain (DUH), and can be used as a hair rinse!
Kitchen Music – I can’t imagine cooking without music. I have a Stereo with a CD player in the cabinet above my stove. This allows me to clean, cook and dine with music. Music makes everything so much sweeter!
Budget Planner – What can I say, every Diva should know where the family money is and what it’s doing. Even if you don’t handle the family fiances, make sure you are in the loop! Know what bills are being paid, when they are paid and if they were paid. Know how much debt you are in and have a plan in place to deal with it. Being a Diva isn’t always glamorous, but all that hard work pays off in the end…..not only your Capitol One credit card, but in piece of mind.
Family Calendar – Do you know where your kids are? Have you ever had to make a mad dash to pick up one of your kids 30 minutes late at Gym class because you thought that your husband was picking her up, but he was actually taking the other one to Girl Scouts? No, me either. But just to save yourself the HUGE guilt trip this may cause, have a Family Calendar prominently displayed in the kitchen where everyone can see it. Or if you’re inventive and handy, you could keep it on a spring board that is activated and drops down when you open the front door. What? It works!
Tools & Basic Home Maintenance Skills – Yes, you do need to know how to change a light bulb. You should also know how to install a kitchen faucet, repair a minor leak, unclog a toilet, caulk windows & doors, clear a jammed garbage disposal, replace a light switch, patch drywall and possibly flush your hot water heater. These things will save you tons of money down the road. If you have some basic knowledge and keep to a maintenance schedule you can stop a lot of problems before they lead to a bank loan application.
That is my list, but I do have some honorable mentions: Duct tape, a lint roller, flashlight, fire extinguisher & a list of recommended repair companies.
What do you think? What would you add to my list?
Happy Home Ownership!