Creating a Life Free From Chaos

Save the Memories with Minimal Time

Two easy ways to jot down those important memories — especially good for those with little ones hitting milestones every day!

  • Jot it on your calendar. Every year I make a photo calendar with my kids’ photos to give to family, as well as to use myself at home. Since I already keep these calendars from year to year for the cute photos and layouts, I’ve started jotting notes on it when milestones are hit. It gives my brain a place to save the info for later to transfer into the baby book, and since I keep the calendar in the kitchen, it’s always in sight so I don’t forget to record the moment. Baby’s first time crawling or Big Bro’s new somersault skill or Baby’s third tooth or Big Bro’s correct use of the word “asinine” — it’s all there.
  • Email yourself. Sometimes, it’s easier just to send yourself an email recording something funny that was said, a conversation you don’t want to forget, or a sentimental moment that happened at the grocery store this morning. My first note was a letter to my oldest son’s future wife, apologizing for the loud snoring beast I created. I just sent myself a note about my son’s first Santa requests. He’s not old enough to write it himself, but I don’t want to forget. These little notes are saved in their own email folder for posterity, or at least until I can get around to recording them in the appropriate baby book or scrapbook. Or I can just give the kids the folder of emails and wish them luck deciphering them all.

The Monthly Zone Technique

In addition to my weekly cleaning zones, I’ve often set up monthly zones to give myself a specific goal of organizing, decluttering or decorating a specific space. I did this when I was getting ready to list my previous house for sale, to get it ready to show and move. I also set up zones when I was pregnant to get the house ready and provide some sort of structure for my nesting.

It feels like time for me to again set up some monthly zones, because I’m feeling the urge to purge and redecorate a bit, and I need the help focusing on a goal. Otherwise, I’ll get scattered and randomly purge throughout the house, leaving a weird trail of homeless and to-get-rid-of items and half-hearted attempts at decorating in my wake.

I was supposed to be working in my home office for September, but due to some illness and mindlessness, I only got about 1/3 of the way through it. So the home office will be included in the list, at the, uh, top.

October: Home Office
November: Kitchen/Dine-in Area and Living Room
December: Playroom and Formal Dining Room, Christmas decor
January: Master Bedroom, Bath and Closet
February: Garage
March: Older Son’s Room plus Upstairs Bath
April: Younger Son’s Room

These zones aren’t for “cleaning” but for organizing, decluttering and decorating.

This technique works equally well for projects. I’ve designated months before for catching up on photos, making holiday gifts, etc.

My weekly cleaning zones remain the same as before:

  1. Master suite (bedroom, bath, closet) and upstairs bath
  2. Playroom and formal dining room
  3. Living room and stairs
  4. Kids’ rooms (2)
  5. Home office
  6. Guest room, downstairs bath, and laundry room
  7. Kitchen and eat-in dining area

50 Uses for Those Rectangular Baby Wipes Containers!

50 Uses for Those Rectangular Baby Wipes Containers!Update: 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!

Some of my friends and I recently scored a deal for super cheap baby wipes, and now several of us have an overload of those plastic baby wipes containers. Here are some ideas on how to reuse and recycle them so they don’t end up in the landfill.

  • Coupon storage box
  • Recipe organizer
  • Crayon catch-all (especially good for broken crayons)
  • Small kitchen utensils
  • Art supplies and clay
  • Small cars and trucks
  • Lego storage
  • Cosmetics organizer
  • Emergency sewing kit
  • Organizing gravy and sauce packets in the pantry
  • Treasure Chest project
  • Stacking blocks
  • Clothespin storage
  • First aid kit
  • Organizing hair bows, barrettes, and ponytail holders
  • Keeping track of those Bills To Pay
  • Storing baby and toddler spoons and utensils
  • Organizing small lids and containers
  • Holding travel-size shampoos and soaps
  • Pen and pencil case
  • Organizing baby’s grooming supplies — combs, clippers, nasal bulb thingys
  • Organizing charging cords for your small electronics
  • Travel toy/activity box for car trips
  • Holding baby washcloths
  • Storing your own DIY cleaning wipes
  • Manicure kit
  • Holding small tools or an emergency tool kit
  • Storing screws, nails, and fasteners
  • Storing pet grooming supplies — brushes, clippers, collars
  • Snack case for car trips
  • Organizing trading cards or baseball cards
  • Corraling random craft supplies
  • Using as a brick mold for making snow forts
  • Organizing seed packets for planting season
  • Tissue storage in the car
  • Pet food travel box
  • Dry storage boxes on boats
  • Dry storage boxes at the pool
  • Storing gift bows crush-free
  • School/daycare projects (ask your teachers!)
  • Storage for leftovers or lunch (clean well first!)
  • Dryer sheet storage — keeps that fresh aroma in until you’re ready to release it
  • Outlet covers — just add a couple of screw holes and mount over outlet
  • Yarn/skein holders for knitters — the yarn can be guided through the pop-up part
  • Recycling plastic bags — pull a bag out through the hole to reuse until you get your reusable bags
  • Seed starter pots
  • Piggy bank
  • Hermit crab hideaway — make sure to drill a few air holes
  • Photo box