Non-Doomsday Prepping 7: Some Sundries


Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of

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  1. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    It occurred to us during our Big Stock-Up Shopping Trip to get extra tubs of trash bags and dishwasher soap; things we don’t think about much because there’s always just a big bag of them under the sink, but it’s been nice not to have to count individual squirts or re-use trash bags…Report

    • I have found that with foods, you can usually make do even without true staples, but not having garbage sacks, dish soap, Tylenol, etc creates a problem that is really disruptive to your life. So if anything some of these things are even more necessary.Report

  2. I moved to cutting my own hair about 11 years ago and haven’t looked back. Of course, it’s a lot easier to give oneself a buzz cut than it is to do something more stylish, and so maybe it doesn’t work for women, who are expected to have different hair styles. But for me, I’ve saved hundreds of dollars, hours of waiting at Great Clips, and the pressure of having to engage with an awkward conversation with a hair stylist.

    I’ve just started Xylitol about a couple months ago (about the time the quarantines started, but not because of the quarantines). I had read that it helps (and my teeth are bad), and I hope it does. I guess I’ll find out if/when I actually get to the dentist/hygienist again.

    I’ve gotten very mixed messages about Listerine. Some people point out that it’s great at killing bad bacteria. Others point out that it kills too much of the “good” bacteria. I actually haven’t asked my dentist yet about it.Report

    • I get around this problem by just refusing to ever get my hair cut. I broke my own rules and tried getting a haircut a few years ago and it made me look 15 years older and so I’ve sworn them off permanently.

      Keep me posted on the Xylitol! I am supposed to use it religiously due to my illness making my mouth dry, but I often run out and don’t buy more since it’s expensive. But I’m also just not that convinced it will really help.

      The Listerine is most beneficial in cases of having a cut in your mouth. For a lot of people this is not a problem (I hope anyway) but my kids seem like they’re always getting bashed in the gums or lip and it really is very handy for that.Report

  3. One addition I didn’t know I needed until the quarantining was a drying rack for clothes. As I’ve said in other threads, I live in an apartment with no laundry machine and I don’t feel comfortable going to the laundrymats, even though they’re still open. It’s really, really helpful to have a drying rack as my wife and I hand wash our clothes now.

    True, there are hacks one can do to dry clothes indoors, but the rack, I find, is very helpful. I found mine on Amazon and it cost about $20. That was very early in the covid crisis. I’m not sure what they cost now.Report

    • Seconded, I’ll add that to the second part of this.

      I have a washer and dryer but with solar power I don’t always have the power available to use them. I dry all our big stuff by flinging it over the bannister, doors, and chair backs, then in the summer I dry the small stuff (socks, undies, dish towels) in the dryer. In the winter I use the rack by the wood stove. Works great!Report

    • Yes. I have one because I have several dresses that won’t fare well in a dryer. The folding wooden kind are not very much money and when they’re folded up they take up very little space. They are an excellent, useful thing to have.

      I also use them to dry my handknit wool socks, most of which are kinda okay to go in the dryer but last better if you air dry them flat.Report

  4. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Feminine hygiene products, if you’re a woman even remotely of childbearing age. Even if you’ve stopped having regular cycles and think you’re done. Ask me how I know….

    I am also told by some prepper types that menstrual pads are good wound dressings in a major emergency. Make of that what you will.

    Yes, I know Ma Ingalls managed without them but….life would be a lot less nice if you’re used to having pads or tampons and suddenly have to figure out how to manage with cotton towels that must be washed.Report

    • That’s gonna be in the next one but you are absolutely right, those are a necessity.

      It’s a complete mystery how women managed in the past with their cycles. To anyone’s knowledge that I’m aware (and I’ve done a lot of reading about female medical history) no one recorded it. We actually know more about how the Native Americans managed menstruation than European women say in the Dark Ages, or the Puritans.Report

      • Have you tried looking at old medical treatises, say from the early 1900s to earlier, from America or England? I assume that many have been digitized and are at Google books or project Gutenberg. I have no idea whether you’d find information there (or if you’ve checked already), but there could be information about past practices.

        (I know you didn’t ask for advice, but the trained historian in me couldn’t resist offering it.)Report

  5. I have just updated this piece as the next installment was too long. Moved a few things from that one to this one.Report