In this tumultuous time of COVID-19 quarantine, we have all modified our lives by keeping safe distance, staying home, eliminating contact with all others—and wearing masks in all public spaces. And most of us are eating out less and visiting grocery stores in greater frequency. This is where shopping lists and recipes on phones or photos of your pantry can come in handy!
After realizing stores couldn’t keep up with the demand, despite stellar efforts of all members of supply chain from farmers to truckers, to grocery stockers, so we ultimately recognized the rationing of certain supplies and took heed to stock up on the essentials: toilet paper, cleaning products and wipes, coffee, food, and beverages, plus the ever-necessary dishwasher and laundry detergents! For better or worse, we have all been privileged with access to ‘just in time’ inventory: translation, if you need something, you swing by your grocer of choice and buy it.
I spent a couple years in a very small north side Chicago efficiency apartment by Lake Michigan near Loyola University where I trained myself to only buy what I could carry several blocks and pray the tiny four passenger elevator would be working that day to get up seven floors to my humble abode! There was virtually zero refrigerator and cabinet storage space and if the elevator was out of service—I got to the fourth floor stairway landing and realized I had purchased entirely too much that day! Getting back
to the basics is kind of refreshing to recognize how little you really NEED—and if you can’t get it, you manage to do without or Google an alternate ingredient or option.
This bodes the question: how much is enough? It depends who you ask, and of course, it’s all relative! For larger families, putting out three meals a day on average is no small task! Grant it, without any school activities there’s probably fewer fast food drive through stops that may not be the healthiest options and thankfully, many people are supporting restaurants’ carry-out and delivery options.
Unfortunately, with furloughs, layoffs and 20 million people claiming unemployment, dining in is less of a budget buster. I’m a big fan of Costco’s rotisserie chicken for $4.99 in the St. Louis area and can usually get at least three meals making homemade soup, chicken salad, tetrazzini, pasta salad, the list goes on—but the lines to get into their stores, shop at safe distance and checkout can be a deterrent especially if I just need the chicken! So far, I have only managed to get in and out of Costco with JUST a chicken once in my life after getting gas right before they closed! The staff were laughing that I may have been their only single item purchase all year!
Storage for surplus items requiring refrigeration or freezing can also be a challenge. For any homemade soups, bulk meat purchases, the zip-locked freezer bags with individual portions are a Godsend to flatten out the air and freeze them flat to maximize freezer space and eliminate the packaging. Interestingly, as a Professional Organizer helping clients to better organize their spaces, find things more readily and streamline belongings based on usage frequency, the COVID lock-down has opened an
entirely new perspective. With people taking advantage of the stay at home order, they now have time to really look around their living spaces to determine if their house is functioning well or has merely become a storage facility for ‘too much stuff’!
It’s been enlightening to see all of the social media posts of people selling items, showcasing reorganized closets, basements, garden tools, garages, cars, cabinets and junk drawers! Sometimes life happens and projects get started, but after peeling the onion’s top layer, they may explode into more than you can finish alone. Never fear, help is only a click away! Visit www.organizationalconceptsanddesign.com for tips and tricks on streamlining your process, requesting a virtual video consultation, or scheduling a COVID compliant session with full PPE to finish what you started!