simplify 101
Creative Organizing Blog

« Is Perfectionism Preventing You from Getting Organized? | Main | It’s Time to Get Organized for the Weekend! »

September 29, 2011

Create a Sick Stash - Organize Supplies Before You Need Them

We all do our part to avoid getting sick, but how can you be prepared for the inevitable during cold and flu season? Jennifer shares her ideas on creating a "Sick Stash" to help get her and her family through the sick days.


Cold and flu season, you are so not welcome! We have already had our first big bout of illnesses at my house, and nearly everyone I talk to seems to be coming down with, or just getting over, something. Ideally these things would strike at a more convenient time, right? But you know how it really works. In our case last week, I reached down to detect a feverish forehead just as my husband was packing for business travel. There we were – the children and me - virtually homebound for 4 days. And it’s always the way it goes, isn’t it? You are also sick, or your partner is sick, or everyone is wildly contagious and ought to be quarantined for three weeks… Ah, but I suppose there’s never truly a good time for illness, no matter what.


I did have a bright spot in the week of sickies, though. I didn’t have to text a friend to ask them to please pick up children’s ibuprofen. That seems to be the thing we never have when we need it, which is odd because it’s a medicine chest staple! I’m not the kind of person who can’t ask for help, but it was a relief to feel prepared for the illness at hand. That sense of relief got me thinking about the other things we seem to not have but really, really need when illness strikes. And then… AHA! Why did I never think of this before? If I create a stash of supplies to keep on hand, I’ll be a lot more prepared for sickness even if I am also sick/have a sick or travelling spouse/am required to wear a hazmat suit.



I made a quick list of things we seem to need or need extra of, scrounged up an unused canvas bin, and (as soon as we were well enough to get the store) put it all together. Here’s what I included:

  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Applesauce
  • White soda
  • Gatorade
  • Children’s ibuprofen
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Cough drops
  • Disinfectant wipes



Honestly, this is all stuff that we usually have on hand (unless someone is ill and we actually really, really need it), except for the disinfectant wipes. I generally make my own cleaners and try to avoid commercial stuff. But when I’m up against something like strep or norovirus, it’s chemical warfare time. I also find it easier to grab one of those wipes and swipe over everything my sweet little germ-spreaders touch.


I am certainly not inviting illnesses to visit us again anytime soon, but I do wonder if my Sick Stash will be as handy as I expect it to be. What else would you include? What would you leave out?


Wishing you wellness,



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


We have a sick stash too but it's not as pretty as yours. I do occasionally run out of applesauce b/c we just don't go through it that fast. I will sheepishly admit that I can't figure out why there''s toilet paper in the stash (other than the fact that you don't want to go to the store to buy some!).


@Emily, I'm curious to know what all is in your stash! As for the toilet paper, right -- you can't always get to the store. And if it's a tummy bug... Well, you just plain need more. ;-) ~Jen


I would add a bin of coke and pretzel sticks which I found are the best remedy in case of trots

Kris Van Allen

a few years ago I was helping a friend get organized. We separated all of this into a number of baskets, and labelled them: "mom, my tummy doesn't feel so good" for Pepto, etc. Another was "ow! ow!" for Bandaids/gauze, etc. The last was "mom, my XYZ hurts" for throat medicine.


Love this idea! I would add an unopened package of crackers & a heating pad (for tummy aches or cramps).


Late commenting but wanted to add a bag of soup crackers, the small size makes it more appealing for my little one, and a small container of vasaline - why? applying a little bit around the edges of my nose helps to relive the discomfort from all the wiping, and it is good for chapped lips.


Great idea! I had the same thought when I saw the wipes: I make my own cleaners as well but realized being sick would be the one time I would want to use commercial!


@Kerri, it's so true, isn't it? And then between all the extra hand-washing and the harsher cleaners, my hands get to be an absolute wreck. Hey, maybe I should add some intense hand lotion to the stash, too! ;-)


Lots of vitamin C, for sure! A doctor told me to take 2000mg 3 time a day when I am getting sick.


Chocolate...for Mommy!!! I will definitely be putting one together; my child was one of 60 plus students that came home sick today with a nasty stomach bug; about 125 kids never came to school today because they got sick overnight. Oh, and 10 teachers out...and 2 in front office...:(


Pepto, Imodium, Nyquil, maybe Chlorasptic spray, hand sanitizer, Vicks vapo-rub or Mentholatum.

I divide my stash into 4 smaller bins, 1) pain killers 2) cold/allergy 3) flu/stomach/diarrhea 4) First Aid.

Also having some empty plastic buckets (ice cream buckets work well) for "throw up buckets" that the kids can carry around with them and keep by their bed/couch can be a life saver! Not to mention a sanity saver for Mom!


Whoa, Liz, that is one nasty stomach bug to take down that many people. Yikes! I hope you have some chocolate on hand, Momma. ;-) Shannon, great suggestions. I especially love the ice cream bucket idea!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Powered by Typepad