A strange thing about quarantine is that the things I used to need daily now sit gathering dust. This applies to my purses, my more professional work outfits, my planner (RIP), shoes, my keys. On several occasions, I have forgotten my wallet for my weekly grocery run.
Instead, though, I’ve found a lot of never-used items in my closets, drawers, and storage areas that are suddenly getting more use than I ever envisioned. Listing some of the items I’d dug out of my closets on a work call, a colleague quipped “how large are your closets?” They are New York-sized, although one might be described my an ambitious real estate agent as a “walk-in,” but the truth is that they are well organized (not by me).
So here is an incomplete list of things I’ve found sudden uses for during this time:
- My crock pot. I have had this crock pot –an old hand-me-down from my grandmother–since I moved into this apartment. Last month, it was still bubble-wrapped. In four years, I had not once used it. I had an irrational fear of the electrical appliance burning down my apartment–and that was before This Is Us (I haven’t seen it, I just heard my fears were vindicated). Well, that has all changed. Now that I need to feed myself regularly and without a daily trip to the grocery store, I’ve begun making crock-pot meals that I then consume for days. I regret to inform you that after years of avoiding my crock pot, it is, in fact, extremely useful.
- Pyrex containers. Making six servings at a time in a crock pot has required something to store said servings in. I owned only corningware, which doesn’t keep food tightly sealed, so I had to purchase these containers from Amazon.
- My shopping cart. I have one of those rolling bags described by one friend as “for grandmothers.” Mine is in a houndstooth pattern from the Container Store; I always found it quite cute. I bought it thinking that I would make weekly runs to the grocery store and because I have weak arms, I thought I would need help carrying my bags. It turns out my grocery routine was sporadic at best (see above), but now I cannot imagine having to go to the store without my rolling bag.
- My cocktail shaker. I bought a beautiful cocktail shaker from Anthropologie (criminally marked down!) for my bar cart two years ago and had never once used it. If I wanted a cocktail, I went to a bar, where they had all the various liqueurs and bitters I did not want to buy. My cocktail repertoire has expanded dramatically.
- Slippers. I did not own slippers. I was not a slipper person! I love fuzzy socks and bare feet. But after considering those $95 ones from Birdies, my dad found this very reasonable pair on Amazon, which I ordered in burgundy. I love them. I especially love not having paid $95 for them.
- My indoor pants. So I have a pair of stretchy yoga pants, which are very long and pool at my feet. They are my “indoor pants” and are not allowed outside my apartment. They are not allowed in the building hallway. They are not allowed on the terrace. I wore them only occasionally because in my previous life, I enjoyed leaving my apartment on a whim and I did not want to be caught having to change. Well, now that I never leave the apartment, the pants are never far.
- A short-sleeved sweatshirt. I joke that the most LA thing about me is that I own a Marc Jacobs short-sleeved sweatshirt. I bought it roughly 15 years ago. What is the point of this? I honestly do not know. In LA, a short-sleeved sweatshirt seems kind of reasonable. In New York, it does not. But now that I am indoors all day, the short-sleeved sweatshirt is getting a lot of wear!
- A mask. I had some masks in my storage closet, left over from when I had work done on my apartment. I dream of the day I will no longer need to wear a mask.