At Home With Nature

Homekeeping: How to Get By Without Toilet Paper

I thought I would try to cover a few subjects of current interest to myself, and perhaps you, during this global health crisis we’re living through.

Don’t moments like this put things into perspective? I mean, I’m talking about priorities! Priorities like…

Toilet paper.

Yep, you’re not the only one, here on the healthy, happy, hippy, hicksy-hambliny homestead we’re down to our last three rolls.

And the shelves are empty at our two local grocery stores.

But I have a plan!

Chad and I discussed our strategy a couple of nights ago after even an online search for toilet paper brought up pretty meager results. Here’s what our plan is:

1. Make sure we save toilet paper for potty business only. In normal times, I will grab a square or two to do some quick bathroom clean up. No more. Bathroom cleaning will from now on be relegated to sponges and rags.

2. Conserve paper towels for back up potty use. We’re pretty low on those too so they aren’t going to get us very far. But the good news is – we already have a lifestyle where we don’t put any paper into our toilet bowl – not even TP.

We have a septic system and live in a very arid location – these two things are, apparently, not a good mix. So our used toilet paper all goes into a handy trashcan with a lid that is foot-operated.

So switching from toilet paper to paper towels when the time comes will be no biggy.

If you have paper towels you think could come in handy, save them for the bathroom, but make sure you don’t flush them.

3. Blow noses with handkerchiefs. I happen to have a stash of cloth handkerchiefs. We will now be using them for their intended purpose. If you are symptomatic, I don’t recommend more than one use per handkerchief. After use – wash in hot water.

If you don’t have handerchiefs already, you could buy some of those, or try making your own out of a no longer needed piece of clothing or bed linen.

4. Now here’s where things get interesting. I was talking to my sister in law about the toilet paper shortage and she told me that at some point my mother in law used pages from the phone book as a toilet paper replacement.

Since you’re not using it for anything else – why not? Just remember to put the pages in the trash and not the toilet bowl.

5. Newspaper. See above. Preferably the black and white pages – they are less toxic. Place used pieces in trash. Plumbing house calls won’t help an already stressful situation!

6. Those homemade handkerchiefs you made after reading suggestion number three? Designate some of them as reusable potty wipes. Prioritize use of these for going number 1 and hold on to the last of your TP for number 2. It’s all about strategy!

7. I hear leaves would work well too. Unfortunately, there are no plants in leaf where I live yet, so we’re going to have to stick to the above options.

If you have leaves – go for the soft ones (lambs ear or mullein, for instance). Wash them off first to make sure there are no bugs on them. And for pete’s sake, make sure your leaves aren’t poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac – that would make for a very unhappy situation! Place used leaves in the trash, not the toilet.

That’s our plan! Unless of course, I can find toilet paper online.

Anybody else have any brilliant ideas? If so, let’s hear em.

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