Recently, my cousin and I took her three small children to the beach. This was the first time they had ever seen the ocean, and to say the excitement was high is an understatement. But soon, they wanted to build a sand castle, at which point we realized our mistake: we had forgotten to bring the necessary equipment for one to make a sand castle.
No worries — Auntie Emily to the rescue. I had tossed my Rainy Day Pouch into my beach bag, and it contained a small pair of scissors. Since we had water bottles, I used the scissors and cut the bottles in half. It was terrible sand castle building equipment, but it kept the toddlers entertained and also held the shells they found.
Now, my cousin did wonder why I had scissors — something along the lines of “why the hell do you have these?” It was just a stroke of luck, but I felt what I often feel when I’m prepared and others are not: smug pride.
You’d think my purse weighs a ton, but not as much as others. These 10 essentials are double-duty. They have multiple purposes, and they’re lightweight. They’re things we don’t necessarily think to carry, but when you need them, you NEED them. And since they are small, you can toss them all into a pouch, toss it in your bag, and forget about it.
Open a package. Cut a tag off clothes. Create beach toys when you forgot to bring the shovel and bucket to build a sand castle.
#2 Safety pin
Bra strap breaks? Pin it. Pants too big? Pin ’em. Splinter? You have a surgical tool at your hands.
Even if you don’t smoke, lighters can come in handy in all sorts of situations. Light birthday candles. Sterilize the safety pin before getting that splinter out. Burn loose threads. If the apocoplyse occurs, you’ll also be able to start a fire.
#4 A little screwdriver
Fix your sunglasses. Tighten a loose screw in your filing cabinet. Use a flathead to pry something open.
#5 Plastic store bag
These come in handy for all sorts of situations — rain protection, trash collection, cleaning up after your dog, a barf bag if the kids get sick. Click here for a video on how to fold them.
#6 Alcohol or Purell wipes
I’ve said this before, but I am a germaphobe. When COVID struck, I was dismayed at how many people weren’t already carrying hand sanitizer with them. Now, you should have hand sanitizer with you at all times. So, in addition to hand sanitizer, carry some Purell wipes. I use these for everything to wiping down my phone, impromptu headphone cleaning, attacking that shopping cart handle, sterilizing a boo-boo, etc.
#7 A permanent marker
Create an impromptu sign. Fix a sign that needs an update. Label leftovers.
And #8 — A mask
This is your emergency mask. You probably keep your mask in your purse. And maybe another in your car. This is for those times you forget to have one in your purse (maybe you took it out to wash it). And you’re not in your own car. Because there is NO reason to go into any public place without a damn mask on. Pass it on.