The Ultimate Survival Guide For New Widows

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Sorry widowers, this one’s for the ladies.

When Peter died, I had to face the practical aspects of living alone. I had to change light bulbs, hang pictures and open jars by myself. So I devised a list of key items for widows to keep on hand to make their lives easier.

1. A secure step ladder: A woman who lives alone surely needs a secure step ladder. Invest wisely and use your coupons at Bed Bath & Beyond to get the top-of-the-line ladder. Be honest. How many times have you stepped on a chair instead of a step ladder and almost taken a nose dive? More than one I bet! Be safe please!

2.  Tap lights: I live in Los Angeles where earthquakes are common so I always keep a tap light in every room of the house in case of a power outage. They also double as great toddler toys.

3. A screw driver: This item is a must for every household but particularly helpful for single women. Color me so proud. I just put my new license plates on my car by myself with this nifty little sucker.

4. EZ Moves Furniture Moving System: When you have to move heavy furniture, simply lift, place, and slide the item. It’s a dolly that doesn’t take up space and can be used for a variety of household chores. OK, it doesn’t help with my bad back, but just think how you can keep your chiropractor in business? (In the interest of truth, I have never used it, but it does look great in my garage).

5. A rubber jar opener: I love the rubber disc jar openers which work easily to not only open jars but to hold on to tools tightly when doing chores.

6. Powerful flashlights: Tap on lights work well but you will surely need a powerful flashlight in power outages.

7. An easy corkscrew: Invest in a self-pulling corkscrew, designed to glide smoothly through corks, with arms that extract the cork when pulled down. We have to have our vino ladies!

8. Spinner suitcases: These suitcases are the easiest way to whip through an airport without breaking a sweat! There are deals to be had at Costco and Target on some lightweight ones. I wish I could do carry-on but I just can’t. I live by the slogan “an item left at home is not a worthy item.” At least I invested in a medium-sized lightweight spinner.

9. Hide-a-key: If you forget your keys, always keep one available in a very, very, well-hidden place. BTW, those hide-a-key holders that look like a mound of dirt make robbers laugh!

10. Camera surveillance system: It’s costly but I like the safety features. I have an app that tells me when a package is in front of my door. I can text my neighbor to take it in for me, making my house more secure. Here are a few other safety tips and ideas:

  • If you have an IPhone, there is a health app that comes with the phone that gives you information on your heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar and all that data. It also has a medical ID where you fill in your medications, your emergency contact, your blood type, your weight, and your height. If you are in an accident an EMT knows to go to your locked screen, swipe, and hit emergency. You have to set it up as “view in locked screen” but this is a fantastic safety measure!
  • I also just learned about kitestring which I signed up for on my computer. You don’t have to walk alone anymore. Now that you are without a significant other to stay on the phone with you while you walk down a sketchy street at night, you can use kitestring. You simply punch in your emergency contacts, let it know when you’re somewhere dangerous and Kitestring will text you a little later to see if you’re OK. If you don’t respond, it alerts your contact or your bestie that something may be wrong.
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