Have I told you about my collection of Vera Bradley blankets? I discovered these wildly colorful, plush blankets about 4 years ago when I was on a business trip and wanted to splurge on a little something just for me. Well, one blanket quickly turned into 2, 3 and now I believe we own a grand total of 6.
I love blankets and, if I am a hoarder of anything, it would be blankets.
For practical purposes, though, there is no need to buy anything expensive, not when there are always older, maybe even oddly colored, blankets at thrift stores and yard sales. Those cheap blankets can serve many purposes and can easily be tucked into corners until needed.
You should keep a small stockpile of several blankets on hand, for the following reasons:
- Let’s start with the obvious. Blankets keep us warm and in an emergency situation, sitting underneath and on top of blankets when there’s no or little heat can quite literally keep us alive. Having more than enough on hand means we can care for extra people as well – the elderly neighbor, extended family and friends who come to visit.
- Keeping a garden is an important part of the homesteading lifestyle and a late spring or early fall frost can destroy our plants quickly. Keep extra blankets in the garden shed or garage for frost protection. When the weather forecast looks ominous, toss the blankets over sensitive plants to protect them from the damaging effects of a light frost.
- Add a pocket to one edge of a quilt and hang it from a tension rod in windows, to add an extra layer of warmth during frigid cold spells. This helps keep the cold out from drafty windows or even just large windows that get cold from sheer size. These window quilts can help keep cold out and heat in, helping us use less wood or other forms of heat energy. Believe it or not, our first winter in Texas was freezing cold — Texas not being known for cold weather, I know. The only way we could keep the frigid January air out of our master bedroom was to hang a heavy, plush blanket over the sliding glass door.
- Use them as makeshift beds. A few blankets piled on a floor add padding and a slightly more comfortable sleeping space. It’s not as comfortable as a bed, but for extra guests in an emergency situation, it would be appreciated.
- Pets and livestock occasionally need bedding beyond just wood chips or straw, and your spare blankets can be a just as much a lifesaver for them as they are for humans. Keep a pile in the barn or outbuildings specifically for animal bedding. At worst, they get destroyed and can’t be used again, but most likely they can be washed and re-used multiple times.
- Receiving blankets and other thin cotton and wool blankets can make great scrap fabric. Hold onto these to repair thicker quilts that get torn or for piecing together larger quilts and throws. Depending on your sewing skill level, they can often be fashioned into coats, pants, pajamas, and more.
To keep your stockpiled blankets in the best possible shape, store them in plastic garbage sacks, space bags, or even plastic tubs to keep them from getting dirty between uses and to protect them from pests like insects or mice, especially when being kept outside. I’ve added cedar balls or small pieces of cedar planking to ward off insects.
Do you have any favorite uses for old blankets?
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34 thoughts on “6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets”
My husband and I have pet two pet rabbits and one dog. Blankets are not only cheaper as bedding and padding for our tiled floor but they actually help keep the house cleaner. We change them out about once a week, wash them and put them away for next time. It keeps the amount of hair around the area down and is much easier to clean and replace than dog or pet beds.
Also, when litter box training our rabbits, our fleece blankets were amazing. We would put them down under the other, regular ones and they worked great as a water resistant barrier.
I’ve also recycled old fleece blankets and worn out flannel sheets to make diapers.
You can also store them under your mattresses. They literally take up no room that way.
My husband thinks I am a crazy pack rat! I have totes of Unneeded blankets all over the house. He thinks they are wasted space. (He is also a minimalist) I keep because I know they will come in handy one day! I keep a couple in the back of my SUV as well. If you have car trouble and need to lay down under your vehicle or anywhere on the ground, It will keep you from getting dirty. How about a spontaneous picnic? Hauling feed or hay, blankets keep my truck a little cleaner. My daughter is cold in the car easily, she has one she snuggles in on the early commutes to my work with me. You can also pass them out if you see someone in need. One year an overnight trip had us sleeping on the side of the road, unexpectedly. TaDah! Momma has got you covered!
I keep a few in the truck in case I am stuck in the cold weather or need to pad something I just bought. The best use is a baby sitter. Letting the kids make tents.
You can than them like the curtains to divide a room. Especially if you have someone who’s a light sleeper, light sensitive or just for privacy.
My grandmother used light blankets instead of batting in quilts.
Such good ideas! As a quilter, however, if you want to keep handmade treasured quilt nice, please store them in old pillow cases. 🙂
We have aluminum single pane windows. In the Fall we put the storm windows in, seal the seams with rope caulk, close the inside window and seal it’s edges with rope caulk and then install plastic window film that you shrink w/a hair dryer. I use a fleece blanket (purchased at a thrift store!) as additional insulation over each window that we don’t need to see out of, like the bedrooms.
I have always saved blankets… thanks for giving me something to point to when my also prepper spouse asks me to thin my collection
Couldn’t agree with you more, after losing electricity for 5 days in the middle of winter in Canada I appreciate blankets to a whole new level!
Old, but clean, blankets can be used if you come across a car accident in the boonies. It will help the victims keep warm, just don`t move them, put the blanket ontop. Then when the ambulance finally comes ( I`ve waited over an hour at times ), the EMS folks can just keep patient covered up, and you won`t be out a favorite one. BTDT.
We plastic our windows every winter, but also cover them with blankets/sheets…we also keep at least one in each vehicle just in case…use them to insulate over our air matresses when we need to concentrate heat/energy…can insulate an emergency shelter outside or inside…in better weather, can be used for bandages, shelter, privacy, etc…can’t ever have enough blankets/sheets, IMHO!
I buy used fleece blankets at re sale stores for my dogs bedding, at 3-4 dollars each I can fold it into 4ths and put it on top of his dog bed, he gets a clean side each week for 4 weeks, then I take them to the laundromat and wash it up in the “Horse Bedding” washing machine (yes there is such a thing here!) If it gets too nasty I dont feel too bad throwing it out after a few months since I paid next to nothing for it
I use blankets for so many things! Every single use listed here, but also as makeshift rugs, on tile or unfinished floors, draft dodgers (roll up a small blanket and stuff along the bottom edge of a window or door to block drafts), covers for pet cages (like our bunny hutches!), we keep a couple in each vehicle for emergencies too, and to make “walls” for when our house s full- especially during the holidays- and people have to share bedrooms but want privacy too, or as padding when hauling furniture etc… just to name a few uses… and we give out blankets to people in need, such as fire victims and homeless people. I am always on the prowl for good blankets, yard sales are a great way to find them (or the facebook yard sale groups), and many people moving will outright give away older blankets to anyone who asks, and goodwill is another great place to find them. We aren’t worried about size or thickness, we are worried about where we’ll store the ones not in use lol… but we manage quite well and it never seems to fail that someone will be in need, just when our stash gets too cluttered to store nicely lol…
Receiving blankets also can make a “flat” cloth diaper in a pinch. I also cut some cheap ones that shrunk into little square to be used as cloth wipes.
I hadn’t thought of that.
A hole in the middle of an old blanket and you have a camping poncho, great for sitting around the fire. Blanket sewn into sleeping bag shape, then put regular sleeping bag inside for extra warmth that wont fall off slippery sleeping bag, under bottom sheet on bed they act as a mattress protector, old clothes can be sew together haphazardly and overlapping onto a sheet to make a blanket, use old blankets etc to make a ‘haybox’ cooker – heat up your stew or similar in pot on stove for 10 mins then remove from heat and wrap in blankets – it will continue to cook without using power,
Blankets between stored items such as furniture keep it from being scratched up. Also helpful when moving. My parents always cautioned me to keep extra blankets in car for a possible emergency, (we were living in Michigan at the time). I have kept this advice and find them handy for unexpected picnics on the ground or tablecloth on outdoor tables, lying on to read at the park, something to place under anyone needing to crawl under a car. Also seat covers to keep upholstery clean. I keep old sheets for this purpose as well.
Those pillow cases for quilts are a great idea, but nowadays, I prefer using the zippered Pillow Protectors for keeping folded quilts and blankets in. They can still breath, but by zipped shut, you don’t have to worry about any Moths, Spiders or other vermin getting inside. Also, by staying zipped, your blankets will stay cleaner longer, and no need to worry about Bed Bugs getting into them.
I had a wonderfully warm quilt when I was little. It was a patchwork one with heavy threads at each corner, tied up through all the layers. We couldn’t afford batting so we used two old woollen blankets between the cotton patchwork sides. It was heavy and warm, great for those cold mornings when I waited in bed for my grandfather to get the woodstove fired up.
You can also store them under your mattresses. They literally take up no room that way.
Slings. I have used so many throws as medical supports. Great for immobilization in a pinch.
A weirder use (one that is very hard on the blankets) if your vehicle is stuck and cannot gain any traction in sand, mud, or snow… lay folded blankets down in front of the tires. The tires can catch, the blanket helps displace a little bit of the load, and sometimes it is the tiny extra bit of traction needed to get you free.
When my car had little heat for 2 winters, I used old receiving blankets (and a hot water bottle) over my lap. They were small enough that they didn’t interfere with my feet. We’ve also used them for winter bedding for the barn cats. My mother-in-law used old blankets as batting for quilts, as someone mentioned above. We hang a heavy blanket over an unused outer door in the winter. It’s made a world of difference to the hallway that leads along that side of the house.
I grew up in a drafty house. Since getting married I have been collecting blankets. I will never be cold again is my reason for buying or making them.
I have for several years been buying the rather cheap seasonal fleece throws at Walmart, right after whichever seasonal holiday. They usually sell them for 2 for $5 or $6 and then half that right after the holidays. I know they have them for Halloween and Christmas, and i stock up. Use them for the pets and for plenty of other purposes. Used to volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter and we always used them with the puppies and kittens we got in, for bedding and just extra warmth, which the little ones would have normally gotten from their mamas. Kept many of them alive. They are very easy to wash and dry really quick as well.
Another good time to buy is right before school starts in the fall. Walmart and Amazon often have Back to College sales and offer linens and other supplies for dorm life at the best prices they will have them all year. You can pick up a lot of other things at that time also – small appliances, various furniture items, that are good for the home as well as college dorms, at rock bottom prices.
If someone is exposed to a bad chemical, they will need to be stripped, washed and covered with blankets. The clothes are disposed.
If someone leaves a burning house at night they will need a blanket.
I love wool blankets. I only buy them at thrift shops and have paid anywhere from 3$ to 10$ for each. Using cut off branches of cedar freshens your storage box and keeps the moths away the natural way, just like my grandma used to do :).
to sleep warmer put a blanket under you fitted bottom sheet.
Kathy Lapcevik, I am in NW Montana also. I am a bit of a blanket collector myself. And yes, my family thinks it is a little strange. Send me a note, if you care to. We could meet for lunch or a coffee and compare notes. Mary
I prefer a large heavy comforter for the beach or park because it provides some cushiion and stays put better than sheets.
The smaller fleece throw blankets can be pinned or sewed to make a cocoon jacket or bed jacket, giving you an extra wearable layer that keeps your hands free. You can also use them fabric and make hats, scarves, mittens, baby blankets, etc. Little hearts or penguins can be cheerful in an emergency when you need all of the cheer you can get.
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I have handmade blankets ,shop brought one , for winter for the home plus blankets for the car . Blankets the grandchildren ask for . Blankets ready to make for family and friends for when the go camping etc: . So yeah they come in handy for a lot of occasions .