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8 Things You Can Do When The Power Goes Out

8 Things You Can Do When The Power Goes Out

This post was updated on January 21, 2016.

If you live in a town that has its fair share of cold temperatures, it’s probably not unusual for you to experience snowstorms, even big Snowmageddon-type blizzards. And, with mega-storms, you also expect to have power outages.

So, with no Netflix, cable, Internet connection, and a low cell phone battery, you probably think that you’ll be bored out of your mind and that your productivity will plummet. While there’s no guarantee that those two things won’t happen, the good news is that you still have a bit of control over your situation.

8 Things You Can Do When The Power Goes Out

No electricity doesn’t necessarily mean no activity. There are several things you can do by sunlight or flashlight. Here are eight things you can do when the power goes out:

1.  Write

What better time could there be to write your to-do list? Maybe your firm grip on your pen and the movement of your hand will warm you up a bit. You can also write down a couple of long term goals, like say switching from electric heat to gas heat. How about menu ideas for the upcoming week or that big bash you’re planning? If you’re a blogger, fire up Evernote and get crackin’ on that post!

What’s that? Why, yes, you can use Evernote offline and all your content will sync once your WiFi returns. So, off you go.

2. Read

There’s lots you can read, right? Like Twitter updates. This one’s a bonus because you can also complain about not having power and read your followers’ replies.  Just be careful, though, because your phone might run out of juice while you’re reading updates.

An alternative would be doing crossword puzzles. They can be interesting and challenge your brain. Plus, they’re a good non-tech two-fer: you get a combination of reading and writing.

Let’s not forget about those business and productivity books you’ve been meaning to read, articles you’ve saved for offline reading, an actual newspaper (the kind that gets ink on your hands), the many, many e-mails that you still haven’t gotten to.

Or, even recipes for that menu planning that you’re planning on doing (see #1).

3. Clean

You definitely don’t need electricity to clean. Grab your battery-operated Swiffer and attack those floors. Do a bit of dusting, maybe wash the dishes (unless you’re on well water), clean the mirrors, scrub the bathroom … you get the picture.

4. Organize

You can’t really clean without organizing, can you? So, put away those files, shred those credit card offers, clear your desk and the kitchen table, take everything out of your closet and then put them back in neatly.
Remember, put like items together (all tops together, all pants together, all suits together, and so on). You can do it!

5. Make

You could make something, but if you’re dependent on electricity, you’ll run out of options fast. So, instead, make a quilt or craft of some kind. Finish your scrapbook page. Make your bed. Make a bowl of ice cream.

Well, you’re probably not really making it … you’re rescuing it from the freezer. But, you could say you’re making it disappear. 😉

6. Fold

There’ll always be laundry to fold. Always. Go check the dryer. You’ll probably find a few things in there to keep you busy.

Or, you could do something a bit more inspirational, like folding paper cranes. Check out the book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (affiliate link), and you’ll see what I mean. I read that book many moons ago when I was a teacher, and it still touches my heart.

7. Redesign

Who loves to rearrange their house so that it looks totally different? Ooh, me, me, me (frantically waving both arms in the air)!!

The best part about redesigning your space is that you don’t have to spend any money to redecorate. You simply use what you already have in a different way or in a different room. Of course, another bonus is that you won’t have to gas up your car and go shopping — a very good thing during a massive winter storm.

So, if you’re sick of bumping into that chair, move it. Chances are, you’ll have to move a few other things around as well, so go for it. Pick a room, make a plan (or wing it … it’s not like you have something else better to do), and re-design it. Move artwork and decorative items around. Get creative!

8. Nothing!

Kick it all to the curb (temporarily) and just be. Enjoy the time to do absolutely nothing. Or sleep. Put your feet up. Talk to your fish or your plants. You might not get the opportunity again to just do nothing.

Unless you live in the Washington, DC Metro area where the power goes out every time the wind blows.


Hey there, I’m Deb. I’m a Digital Productivity Coach and Consultant, Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker, and lover of all things tech. I’m also addicted to apps and love helping small business owners leverage technology so they can be more productive.

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