We have come to the point in summer where we go through a lot of sunscreen.
Theoretically, we could just keep a giant spray bottle and tube in the mudroom, since that’s where we generally exit the house. But over the years, I have learned that the sunscreen is more likely to make it out of the bottle and onto bodies if it is ridiculously convenient. And so, we now have a stash by the backdoor, ready for anyone going into the back yard. We also have a bottle on the back porch, in case anyone made it out the backdoor without noticing the stash. We have bottles in the cars. Kids going to camp? They get tubes in their bags. A little extra means we’re not hunting around. We’re not moving the sunscreen from place to place. And so it gets used.
Same with other things. A booster seat or two in each car (even if children rarely travel in it) means we’re not scrambling on the way out the door. The baby likes white noise while he sleeps. He moves back and forth between the bassinet in my room and the crib in another bedroom. I had been moving the white noise machine back and forth when I realized this was quite the headache with a sleepy fussy baby. I bought a second machine. Problem solved.
Of course, I realize this may be obvious to some people. I’m a chronic under-buyer. I have a strong tendency to make do. Sometimes this reaches the point of ridiculousness. One of our kids went through a massive overuse-of-toilet-paper phase, continually plugging our toilets, and my husband and I were squabbling over where exactly the plunger had gone in the house, and was it upstairs or downstairs, and someone else who walked in on this situation said “um, can you go to Target and get another plunger?” Oh yeah. Turns out they sell them.
There’s a point of diminishing returns here. A plunger near each bathroom might be helpful. More plungers than bathrooms, not so much. But sometimes buying an extra of something can actually cut down on clutter. We bought an extra laundry hamper to put on the first floor of the house. Now, people are marginally less inclined to leave dirty laundry lying all over the place when they’re too lazy to carry it up to the second floor laundry room.
In any case, if you find yourself carrying something from room to room, or car to car, or from home to your office, or if you’re constantly saying “hey, where’s the…?” consider buying an extra. A little bit of money might save a lot of hassle.