Is your home always stocked with the cushiest brand of tissues, toilet paper, paper towels and napkins? Good, stop reading. Everyone else: This is a remedial course in how to fill your home with paper hygiene products like an adult. I realised the importance of this course when discovering that several of my younger friends don't buy tissues. Before you send another guest to the bathroom to blow their nose, please read.
Photo: Mike Mozart
If a guest comes over, sneezes, and cannot immediately find a tissue box in the room, you have failed as a host. Always keep a box in the living room; ideally keep one in every bedroom too, for when you're clogged up late at night and you need to pick your nose without getting out of bed.
Spring for a good brand such as Kleenex; they're easier on your nose. If you like to clean your glasses with tissues, get at least one box without lotion.
If you have a guest and you've run out of tissues, hand them an entire clean roll of toilet paper, and apologise.
Working in an office, with merely functional one-ply, I've come to accept that maybe you can cheap out on toilet paper. (Just don't get the "eco" brands that feel like newspaper.)
Just never ever ever run out. Growing up, my family occasionally ran out, and substituted napkins, and it was disgusting and shameful. It comes in 24-packs for a reason. If you use a nice brand, keep one cheap single-roll in a closet, just in case. (It's a cheap roll so you don't use it til an emergency.)
If you're under 30, you don't need napkins. To be honest, all but the fanciest paper napkins are poorly made, which is why millennials are killing them. Paper towels work better. If you disagree, or if you're 30 or older, buy napkins. Consider splurging for fancy napkins. This is mostly for your guests, who might not want every meal to feel like a high school pizza party.
Paper towels are cool as hell. And now they come in reasonable, "select-a-size" portions, so you're not burning down a fresh rainforest for every spill, or tearing off measly little corners like you're in the Great Depression. (Well, you still might use a corner to wipe up a single drop of milk, but that's fine.)
Napkins make mediocre replacements for paper towels. Tissues and toilet paper get shredded too easily. Just get paper towels! In the US they're named after the concept of bounty! Bring that joy into your life!
Paper Hand Towels in the Bathroom
Last year I wrote about the necessity of hand towels and several commenters insisted they keep out paper towels in their home bathrooms. You do you I guess, but that feels like overkill. A normal cotton hand towel is plenty.
Great! Now never run out of these four things for the rest of your life. Set a location reminder for the supermarket. Stash extras in every spare closet and cupboard. It isn't as though they go bad.