Favorite Quarantine Quintessentials: What Can't You Live Without? - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Favorite Quarantine Quintessentials: What Can't You Live Without?

Notable folks share the creature comforts that are helping them feel more calm during quarantine.

Favorite Quarantine Quintessentials: What Can't You Live Without?

By Anna Davies


Because quarantine can feel more cozy with some creature comforts.

By Anna Davies

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are sure things in that they’re universal and unlikely to go away anytime soon. But can you say the same about your favorite things?

For some, spring 2020 will go down as the season of cleaning out closets and paring everything down to the essentials. But as we spend more time at home, there’s something to be said for learning how to appreciate what we already have.

After all, we don’t really collect stuff just to shove it into closets or under the bed. It’s meant to enhance our lives and, ultimately, deepen our connections to others. So a few of our friends are going to share the quirky, random and invaluable things that are helping them through an indisputably hard time.

Our Range

Saul Montiel, executive chef of Cantina Rooftop in New York City

Cooking with my daughters brings me back to my childhood. I remember always being in the kitchen with my mom. She used to make me try many different dishes. This is one of my favorite memories, and I realized how I haven’t had time yet to create this with my daughters. Working as a chef, basically we have to be at work all the time, and we don’t have much time to spend with our families. Now, with this time off, I am cooking with my two daughters, Ella and Elena. The upside is getting to know them more: I know their favorite cartoons now and their favorite songs, I try to make cooking as fun as I can, even though they do get a little scared when I turn on the heat. When we cook together, they eat the food with less complaining. I guess they appreciate the food more when they have to help me, and it’s worth the mess and the occasional back-and-forth bickering.

A Ladder

Tamyra Gray, actress and American Idol finalist 

I’ve been doing a lot of home improvement projects, and our ladder is getting a lot of love. My daughter was missing going to the bookstore, so I decided to make a book nook in the loft area above our kitchen. The only way to get there? Up the ladder.


Aliya LeeKong

Source Getty

Deliveries (Including Sweet Surprises)

Aliya LeeKong, chef and author, Exotic Table: Flavors, Inspiration, and Recipes From Around the World — to Your Kitchen

Of course, we cherish our Zoom and FaceTime connections, but what I’ve found extra special is the deliveries and surprises they inspire. I’ll “meet” my friends for a virtual get-together after my daughter is asleep, and then a few days later, a package with something I mentioned, like an ingredient, will land on my doorstep. It’s the little things that make a big difference.

My Keyboard

Paulina Chávez, star of Expanding the Universe of Ashley Garcia on Netflix

Music is a HUGE part of what’s keeping me sane. I have a keyboard that I never really used and decided to learn a couple songs. I labeled the keys with sticky notes so I wouldn’t be so lost! At first, they kept falling off, but I finally got some masking tape to keep them in the correct place — LOL — I think it’s going great! There is obviously room for improvement, but I’m learning as I go and just experimenting with music. I’m also practicing the ukulele, guitar and trying to refresh on the violin.


Paulina Chávez

Source Getty

My Laptop 

Anthony Carrino, HGTV Host 

My Chief Architect design software, and the planning of my next project, is keeping me sane. When I can get down a “design rabbit hole,” it will be hours before I climb back out, and that is just what I need right now!

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Erin Carlson, author, I’ll Have What She’s Having

I avoid cabin fever … by taking leisurely strolls around my neighborhood and the parks beyond. Now that I can’t go to the gym, I find that getting outdoors on a daily basis — which involves hiking up hills and through the forest — is just as challenging as a Barry’s Bootcamp workout.

My Guitar

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, best-selling author, Pop Star Goddesses

Honestly what’s keeping me on track is that I’ve been posting daily videos of myself playing pop covers on guitar. Truly no one asked for this, and they are very amateur. But it brings me joy even on the darkest days — and, more importantly, gets me to shower, get dressed and put on makeup. And I’ve gotten feedback that indicates that it’s bringing some joy to others’ afternoons at home as well! We’re all sharing and doing what we can.

A Dish Rack

Alisha Marie, Instagram influencer and co-host of the podcast Pretty Basic

The thing that’s really helped me survive quarantine is this new dish rack dryer that I’ve recently invested in. It’s kept me sane with all the dishes we’re using and gives me peace of mind.


JanLuis Castellanos

Source Getty

My Drum Set

JanLuis Castellanos, actor, 13 Reasons Why

I noticed I had all these instruments laying around that I never got the chance to play. I set up my drums recently and have been playing almost every day. I’m just waiting on noise complaints from the neighbors at this point.

So, bottom line?

Whether you’ve bought something new, are relying on something you had or discovered something old that’s now become a daily-routine essential, it’s important to take stock of what you have — and make sure your belongings have the right protection. Because home isn’t just where the heart is. It’s where all your stuff is too. And most prized possessions, from Grandma’s fine china to your teenage son’s laptop, are vulnerable to breakage, theft, fire and water damage.

Renters insurance covers your property in case of the unexpected. Make sure you get a policy that protects what matters most to you — from dish rack to drum set — and check with an expert, such as a local insurance agent, if you have questions about your limits or coverages. Then enjoy peace of mind knowing that if something were to happen, renters insurance can help you replace the essentials that keep you going through the tough times.

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