Make sure there’s toilet paper before you sit down.
If the roll is empty, carefully squeeze the ends of the plastic tube to release it from its housing. Be careful here—you don’t want the roller to spring on you. Squeeze gently but consistently and angle it out.
Set the cardboard tube aside to be recycled.
Grab a fresh roll of toilet paper from the spares container beside the toilet or from under the sink.
Thread the roller through the center of the new toilet paper roll. Don’t spend too much time on this step—there’s really no wrong way to do it. In one side, out the other, and let it balance nicely in the middle.
Squeeze the ends of the roller just enough to fit it back into its housing. At this point, you must ensure that you don’t lose grip of the whole thing and send the fresh roll tumbling to the floor.
Find the beginning of the roll. This step takes some mastery. You may get lucky and have the beginning of the roll clearly cut and easy to grab. In that case, carefully pull on the end just enough to get the roll started.
You may, however, find yourself in the unenviable situation where the end is completely glued to the roll, there’s no corner to grab ahold of, and the more you scratch at what appears to be the end, the more the whole thing starts to fall apart.
If you find yourself scratching like a cat at the roll, hoping for a miracle or some signal as to what to do next, stop, take a moment to breathe, calm down and focus. The scratch technique has never truly worked for anyone. Stay the course, hold to your vision of success and eventually you will find, and free, the beginning of the roll.
Make sure you only have one layer of paper when you start to pull. The worst misstep you can ever make with a roll of toilet paper is to have multiple layers being pulled at the same time while some sections remain unmoved. You may be inclined to just keep going—thinking that the messy roll will somehow work itself out. It won’t.
If you find yourself pulling at a small sliver of toilet paper as the larger roll goes around and around, for God’s sake, stop. Do us all a favor and just stop.
At this point, you may need to get some outside help. Or, if you’re committed to success, carefully run your finger horizontally across the roll, underneath a few layers, until you come to a section that hasn’t been destroyed by your scratching and uneven unrolling. You’ll have to sacrifice numerous squares, but, if you pull the feat off, you will have successfully, and masterfully, changed the toilet paper roll.
At which point I say: Well done.
Like many things in life, changing the toilet paper is a quiet victory, so take a moment to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Because of your focus and consideration, you and the next visitors to the bathroom will have plenty of toilet paper to work with.