Posts Tagged ‘Organizational Goodness’

When we moved, the easiest thing to pack up was the garage. That’s because we had spent the time to go through the garage, so everything was already in nice labeled boxes: Christmas ornaments, Halloween decorations, baking stuff, etc. The room that took the longest to pack? The office closet. I never did finish organizing it. Since we’re planning on moving again in the spring, I intend to make that move as easy as possible. That means, organizing, organizing, and more organizing!

Domingo did a fabulous job with the outside storage unit. I did an okay job with Nicki’s closet. It’s that office closet that still needs so much work! (That and the entrance way, and our master bedroom closet, and the TV/media area, and… well you get the idea.)

Today’s organizational goal: two brown bags full of a tangled mess of cables.

In that mess was apparently coax cables, some still in the box, a slew of unmarked non-generic non-labeled cables, an antenna extender even though we no longer own a radio, as well as a cell phone power cord for a phone circa 2008. At least I assume the phone power cord was from 2008, as it was a different brand then the cell phones we’ve had since then.

Since coax cables are pretty dated, they all went in the trash, as did the cell phone cord. I typed the serial numbers of the non-generic cables into google to see what came up. Most of the time I still couldn’t tell what they were for, but found stores happy to sell me a new one, so I assumed it wouldn’t be any great loss if they disappeared as well.

Also on the chopping block:
– 7 Ethernet cables (leaving 6 – 2 short, 3 medium, and 1 long)
– Way too many land line phone cables (we kept 1)
– 2 printer cables (we kept 2)

Even though the world is increasingly becoming wireless, and all three – Ethernet cables, land line cables, and printer cables – are not needed at present, I can envision wanting one in the future. When my computer was having troubles printing my thesis on the day of the defense I ended up hooking the computer directly to the printer. Some hotels don’t have wireless, so having a short Ethernet cable is nice. A long one is great if your house is big (or at least has a sub optimal layout, and the wireless router can’t reach everywhere.) As for the land line, well phone service comes free with our cable bundle so having the capability to hook up a phone is nice.

The numbers of cables we kept correspond to our experience with their failure rates. I had Domingo verify that the Ethernet cables we were keeping the fasted of our cable collection. If I had been really diligent, I would have tested them out to ensure they are still working. Oh well. It’ll be one of next year’s spring cleaning tasks.

Next the cables were individually tied (to make it easier to pull one out) and sorted into two tins: one for generic extension cords and one for specialized cables.

organized cables
Much better
June 14, 2012

More Time To Prepare

I guess I will have more time to do maternity photos and set up Zippy’s nursery after all. Our midwife was still reluctant to guess when Baby was going to make her appearance, but doesn’t think Zippy will be early. In fact, our next appointment is in two weeks, on her due date!

I realized I never update about the crib. There were more cosmetic defects to the crib than we originally noticed, but I’m trying not to let that bother me. (It’s hard, I’m a perfectionist.) It looks really nice overall, and is sturdy. It’s safe and that’s the most important thing. It took us five hours – spread out over the weekend – to get it together. I just didn’t have much energy, and moving around to get to all the screws wore me out. Putting together a crib at over 37 weeks pregnant was probably not the smartest idea I’ve ever had!

After we finished the assembly, I decided we needed to buy outlet covers before Zippy arrives. Sounds crazy, I know, but the crib is right near the back wall and the mattress will literally be 2 inches for a 6 plug outlet, even at the highest setting! Not good. While Zippy isn’t going to have the manual dexterity to roll over and stick her little hand through the bars yet, I don’t want to wake up one morning and learn she’s discovered a new trick. Baby could learn to roll over by four months, and flailing arms and fingers could reach the outlet. Since we don’t have the mattress yet, I have easy access to the outlet anyway. I’m also thinking about it now, whereas in six months I could forget the outlet’s there. I decided to just cover it and easy my mind.

See how close it is?! Crazy! I think the previous owner had the outlet installed so high (and with so many plugs) so the room could be a media center of some sort. There’s also a cable and Ethernet port near by, and a bookshelf/DVD shelf installed in the closet. Right now we have a lamp plugged into the outlet, which we’ll move, so we can finish covering all the plugs.

By the way, need a place to store extra outlet covers? Try a travel soap case!

What we didn’t end up doing last weekend was purchasing was the crib mattress. I need to check my coupons more often, because my 20% off coupon isn’t valid until tomorrow! Given the price of mattresses, that’s a pretty substantial savings. So now it’s on the agenda for this weekend. Apparently we still have lots of time.

The conventional wisdom on the internet seems to be that those baby health and grooming kits are not really worth the cost. They usually only have a few items you’ll actually use and te quality of some of the items, especially in the low end cheaper kits, is suspect. Many of my friends told me they replaced everything in the kit in a matter of months. As for that nice organizer? The new stuff didn’t always fit! Still, I wanted to stay organized, so I decided to create my own health and grooming ‘kit’.

The basket comes from JoAnns. It was on sale, 50% off through this weekend, but I have a feeling it’s a pretty common sale. We picked up a comb and brush set, rectal thermometer to fill the basket along with, Vaseline, cotton balls and q-tips. The q-tips are being stored in a votive candle holder, which ended up being the perfect height for them and the cotton ball holder is actually a small sugar bowl. Vaseline, cotton balls and q-tips were all recommended at our newborn care class.

We’re still missing too things: something for Zippy’s nails and nose. I found out our hospital will give us the bulb syringe that they use to clear her nose and mouth when she’s born. If the bulb syringe doesn’t work for us, we’ll get a nasal aspirator. I also haven’t been able to find a set of baby nail clippers that I like yet. I didn’t intend for the hair brush and comb to match the thermometer, but now that I notice they match I kind of want a white and blue nail clipper! The bulb syringe the hospital uses is also a nice blue. Isn’t it nice when everything comes together?

Votive Candle Holder: $1.49
Basket: $3.99 (on sale from $7.99)
Sugar Holder: $2.97
Hair Brush and Comb Set: $4.19
Thermometer: $10.94

Total cost: $23.58

Not too shabby, given that most kits with the organizational bag start at $20 and go up from there, and we got the brands/items we were interested in.

I do wish the sugar holder was a thick acrylic plastic, rather than glass. (I’d prefer the votive candle holder to be plastic as well, but than it wouldn’t be a very good candle holder!) The baby room is carpeted, but I don’t want to run the risk of accidently dropping something and having it shatter. I’m clumsy and already dropped the sugar bowl lid once! The other potential problem that I see is the q-tips may collect lint since they’re not covered. If it becomes a problem I can switch the votive candle out for something else.

I didn’t include the cotton balls, Vaseline or q-tips in the total cost, since they’re not normally included in the health and grooming kits. We also had cotton balls and q-tips already, so the only thing that needed to be purchased was the Vaseline, and we bought a generic brand. If I include the Vaseline, our total costs come to $25.90. Still not too bad.

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