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by: Kimberly Bowman

Working or not, the person who is generally in charge of stocking the various shelves and cabinets in your house must have a good handle on what cannot be done without. The Fly Lady says, “Nothing says I love you like plenty of toilet paper.” This is true for all households but it must be amended to include the other items that make life worth living or at least bearable when someone vomits at 3 a.m. and you successfully reach for the Gatorade and a clean pillow case.

Normally the basics fall into the “cannot live without” category, but if you are operating at maximum capacity, things like another quart of half and half behind the one your absolutely fantastic husband just finished are the difference between starting the day off right, or, well, not. Making sure your necessities are stocked is part of a household running smoothly. This is especially important if both mom and dad are working, but is paramount for the future either way. As your kids grow, lots will get easier but the hard stuff is always traded in for new hard stuff. They may sleep all night but they will be begging for sleepovers, a wholly different nighttime animal. They can read and write but their backpack takes twenty minutes to fill in the morning and no one can lift it.

A smoothly running household is a fluid thing. What works in infancy must be updated for preschool and each new stage. You can identify your necessities by noticing what jams the cogs and wheels in its absence. What creates a domino effect when there isn’t any? Clean dish towels, saline spray, Motrin, and hand soap. Tortillas and eggs. Any kind of ground meat, at least partially thawed. Always one more can than you’re using of some tomato product. Coffee. Half and half. That was already mentioned, wasn’t it? Some necessities are more necessary than others.

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What are your necessaries?

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