27 October 2008


Since my transition from full-time student to full-time stay-at-home almost-mom, I've become obsessed with creating functionality in my home. My previous roommates will think I was already like this, but they don't know the extent things have gotten to at this point. A few of my functional innovations (which you may want to try for yourself):

  • Physical "In," "Pending," and "Out" boxes - One thing that used to drive me crazy at home was the piles of paper sitting around in various places. Now whenever I check the mail, receive coupons, receipts, invitations, or find a cool article to read later, I make sure it isn't urgent and then stick it in the inbox. Anything I need to file or mail goes in the outbox. Pending is for projects I'm not doing right now or things I have to wait for a response on. On Mondays, I go through and deal with everything in all three at once, as well as updating our financial information on Quicken. This may sound like the most basic organizing technique, but do you actually have one?
  • Date idea folder - Speaking of the outbox, it also contains the date idea folder where I stash any fliers about local events.
  • Pantry checklist - I've created a list of all the food and non-food items we need to buy on a regular basis organized by area, stuck it in a sheet protector, and placed a dry erase marker next to it. It's like the old "pad on the fridge" shopping list approach, except that when I go to make my list, I can quickly go over the list to make sure I'm not missing anything that's just about to run out. Plus I like having a list of all the stuff we need to live.
  • Cord organization - The plague of modern technology is a little thing called cords. Every device you have comes with a whole plethora of cables, most of which you won't use frequently but which you have to keep somewhere just in case you ever want to plug your digital camera into the TV. Solution: wrap cords with elastic to prevent tangling, then sort according to what they input into. I have three boxes: power cords, USB cords, and A/V cords. The A/V cords are by the TV, where we might actually remember to use them.
And that's just the more creative stuff. I don't know how a household would really survive without a dedicated homemaker. The more I stay at home, the more necessary I think it is to do so. Sure, I kept on my feet pretty well as a student, but there was always a little chaos in the areas of keeping myself running. With one person per household dedicated to do these tasks full-time, the rest of your life becomes completely free. Anyway, I like it, even if I don't particularly like housework.

And no, I haven't had the baby yet.


Courtney said...

I love the in/out/pending boxes! This is always a problem for me. I am going to steal your idea.

Also, good luck on finishing up the pregnancy. If I remember correctly, the looming due date is simultaneously too close and too far. Such an exciting time!

Lisa Miller said...

Great post. I like the boxes. I can't stand my piles either. With 3 kids in tow life gets pretty chaotic and I don't have time to keep up with some things. I still have the pad on the fridge. At least it's some sort of list I guess.