Fall is nature’s way of reminding us that winter is coming (cold wind sound, here). In winter, being prepared is the difference between life and death.
Just like the animals of the woods, we humans should look for the lowest lying fruits to help replenish our inventory (have I taken this simile too far yet?). By now you clearly know that I am talking about foraging in your local dollar store.
Here are the top 10 things you need to stockpile from the dollar store in order to keep your house organized and your life a little less stressful.
An instant organizer at the front door, in the office, for the top of kitchen shelving, and even inside your cupboards. Our lives are made up of stuff that doesn’t look like the Pottery Barn catalogue: children’s toys, half-used sunscreen tubes, mittens with holes, remote controls, back issues of Today’s Parent. Stuff we need. It’s not pretty. I rely on baskets of every kind in every room of my house in order to make order.
Stationery is the best non-perishable item in your home. You use it, you need it, and you are always paying way too much for it. There is rarely a dollar store that doesn’t have a great stationery section (believe me, because I have been to more than a few). I know we just did the whole back to school thing, but this is one supply you should absolutely stock up on when you have the opportunity. (That, and you don’t have to be knocking over the other back-to-schooling parents for the last sad little bag of pencils).
3. Seasonal Accessories
I love the fun of changing seasonal accessories. A new wreath, some fun napkins, or a severed mannequin limb are just a few of the great things you can get at the dollar store. In truth, their items can be more than a dollar. But they’re a heck of a lot cheaper than anywhere else.
4. Gift Wrap
Do not ignore this advice, I beg you. Throw out everything else I have said before this and everything that comes after, if you must: Please do not buy expensive gift wrap at the last minute because you didn’t stockpile this crucial stuff. We have all overpaid for expensive bags and bows. End this insanity now. Go to your local dollar store and fill your cart just as you will your dinner plate come Thanksgiving.
5. Dusting Clots
When you aren’t using the single socks that come out of the dryer then these bad boys do just fine. Depending on pickiness and brand loyalty, some of their other cleaning supplies may also deserve to go into the stockpile.
6. Guest Toiletries
Toothbrushes, hand soap, little shampoos — the dollar store has everything you need to make your home feel like a hotel to your guests. So, if you actually like the people coming to stay over at your house (and you support their oral hygiene), be ready with an easy supply of great guest toiletries.
7. Emergency Preparedness Kit
The Canadian Government has this handy checklist for what should be in your home emergency preparedness kit. While the list overlooks the items one needs during the zombie apocalypse, these are actually some of the most important items to have in your home — especially with winter fast approaching. You can find 90% of these items in the dollar store.
8. Coloured Napkins
It’s very first-world-problems to have (*gasp) only white napkins in your pantry or to (*GASP) give your guests a paper towel to dab their lips with! I get that. But, for fun and special occasions sometimes the heart wants what it wants – and for me that want is a coloured napkin. The fact that they cost a dollar is a bonus.
Toys and games that go through batteries like Lady Gaga goes through costume changes. Let’s avert an unnecessary trip to the store just for a package of batteries. It's a waste of your time and precious resources. Grab some while you’re stockpiling.
10. Foil Baking Pans
First, I’d like to apologize to Mother Earth for this suggestion. However, she IS a mother, and so she understands that sometimes you really don’t want to do the dishes. On special occasions, you just want to slide the blackened (if you bake like I do) pan into the garbage and be done with it. There. I said it. Now, in retribution to the environment, I’m turning off this computer and sitting in the dark for a while to think about what I’ve done.
Winter is coming, so get out there and grab your nuts, er — I mean your stockpile supplies!