Creating a Life Free From Chaos

25 MORE Uses for Baby Wipes Containers

babywipesUpdate: This post is so popular, I came up with even more ideas for reusing these awesome little boxes. Check out 101 Ways to Reuse Baby Wipes Containers!

I wrote this post on 50 Uses for Those Rectangular Baby Wipes Containers over a year ago, and it’s been one of my most popular entries. In response to reader feedback, here are 25 more uses for baby wipes containers (that’s 75 uses I’ve given you — there’s no excuse to throw them away)!

  1. Storing toddler dental supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, timer)
  2. Storing cassette tapes or mini-DV tapes for your video camera
  3. Organizing garage sale stuff like pricing labels, batteries, small extension cord for testing appliances
  4. A cash box for your garage sale or Girl Scout cookie sale
  5. Holding condiments, utensils, napkins and other small dining supplies in your desk drawer at work
  6. Holding reusable cleaning rags
  7. Storing kids’ puzzles after the box breaks
  8. Storing pieces for board games
  9. Closet emergency kit — fill with a small sewing kit, double-sided tape, safety pins, a lint brush and static spray for wardrobe mishaps
  10. Shoe-polishing kit — fill with shoe polish, rags and brushes, leather wipes and deodorizing spray for keeping your shoes fresh
  11. Storing office supplies such as paper clips, binder clips, extra staples, erasers, you name it
  12. Touch-up paint kit — keep small jars of touch-up wall paint and small paint brushes for easy wall upkeep
  13. Home repair kit — keep a screwdriver, screws and nails, a small hammer, picture hangers, and other small items for doing minor home repairs on the fly
  14. Store your iPhone, iPod, cell phone or other mp3 player supplies — extra cases, charging cords, earphones
  15. Child’s treasure box — kids like to collect little treasures everywhere they go — let them store in something small so the collection doesn’t get out of hand
  16. Organize notepads, Post-its, and pens for your message center
  17. Store extra keys — but label them first!
  18. Store extra votive and tea light candles
  19. Storing baby socks
  20. Organizing scrapbooking supplies — keep pens, glue, stickers, tape wheels, precut lettering and decor, scissors, die-cuts, etc.
  21. Storing baby’s supplies — petroleum jelly, diaper cream, lotion
  22. Holding all those extra business cards
  23. Storing stuff for your gym locker — padlock, deodorant, comb, hair bands, extra socks
  24. Collecting bottle tops until you can finally enter all those Coke codes
  25. You can corral 2 Wii nun-chucks or 2 Wii remotes with sleeves in one box. Other game system components work too, but Wii is what I know.

Clearing the Way In: Decluttering the Entryway or Mudroom

Do you have an entryway or mudroom that you enter your home through? We do, and it often becomes the dumping ground for backpacks, shoes, mail, and keys. It’s the first thing you and your guests see when you walk into your home.

If your home is like mine, this may mean you have TWO entry areas — the area around the front door where guests enter, and the doorway from the garage where you enter. If possible, try to make time this week to work on both. If you’re strapped for time, choose the area that needs the most help, and work there first.

Lots of clutter can be dropped off on your way in and out of the house — it’s so easy to just drop your purse or book bag, kick off your shoes, and dump your keys on the closest available surface. But this is also the spot where you can lose valuable time on your way out the door when you realize that your keys have gotten buried, you can’t find those papers you needed, and one mitten has gone AWOL.

This is the first place guests see when they visit, so it’s important to keep the area tidy and organized. If you have a coat closet, chances are it’s the dumping ground for anything and everything that wanders into the house without a home.

  • Gather everything that doesn’t belong in this area and get them to their appropriate homes.
  • Take the rugs outside and beat the dirt out of them, then launder them if they’re washable. Replace them if they are too far gone. Entry rugs are the first defense from dirt and grime entering your home, and if you can keep the gunk out at the rug, it’ll save you valuable cleaning time in the house.
  • Place a basket or bin at the door for collecting shoes.
  • If you have a coat closet in this area, sort out the non-coat items. Remove everything that doesn’t belong and put it where it goes. Any items you don’t use or need should be sold, donated or tossed.
  • Sort out your coats and make sure everything there is clean, in good repair and actually fits. Donate, sell or toss items that don’t meet your needs.
  • Organize hats, scarves, and mittens in a basket or labeled box. Or try an over-door shoe organizer to keep items neat and easy to find. Label the organizer pockets with each family member’s name if needed. Gloves and mittens can be clipped together using binder clips so they don’t get separated.
  • If you don’t have a coat closet in this area, hang a hook for each family member to hang their coat, or consider a coat tree.
  • Make a home for your keys — a set of hooks on the wall is convenient and keeps keys out of kid-reach, or place a basket, dish or box near the door where you can drop your keys.
  • A bench or chair in the entry is ideal if you have room — it’s a comfy spot for people to stop and sit to put on their shoes. Look for seating that has storage built-in if possible.
  • Arrange storage for wet umbrellas — a decorative pail or tray works well.
  • Set up a place for your purse, briefcase, kids’ book bags and diaper bags.

The entryway sets the tone for your home, so make it a positive, well-organized one.

Clean As You Go

I’m a huge fan of cleaning as you go…not just picking up your trash and putting your dishes in the sink, but actually “cleaning” as you go. Like when you’re brushing your teeth in the morning and you notice that there are toothpaste bloches on the mirror and a ring of dust around the tissue box. Instead of just thinking, “hmm, I should clean that later,” I prefer to grab a washcloth and wipe it all up right then. Not later. Now. And then I don’t have to remember to do it later.

When there’s a chunk of cat fur on the carpet from the latest kitten brawl, pick it up.

When the kids are heading to bed and their toys are all over the living room, help them pick up their toys properly.

When there’s dirty laundry, don’t just chuck it on the floor “near” the laundry room. Put it in the basket.

Wipe off the counters and the stove after dinner before the crud hardens. Ditto the table.

Clean up your coffee drips while they’re fresh.

Take out the trash or recycling when you notice it’s full.

When the baby or the cat grabs the soil out of the plants and it scatters on the floor, sweep it up. It’s easier to do it right away than wait until everyone has tracked it all over the house.