By Christina Katz
I have not used diaper wipes boxes for their originally intended purpose in many years, but I still go through plenty. Maybe because the natural, unscented types of wipes are useful in so many ways—as makeup removers, hand wipes, and even, in a pinch, for a quick sponge bath for older kids, tweens and teens. Here are 10 best uses for diaper wipes boxes I have found for today’s busy families:
Trash can liner dispenser. Nobody likes to look at a roll of naked trashcan liners. Perfect for the nursery, the pet room or the laundry room. You can even keep one in the car or garage for quickly backseat cleanups. If you prefer, use up plastic bags from the grocery store instead of store-bought bags or give yourself a choice by keeping a box for each.
Battery storage. The clean and dry interior of your old diaper wipes box is just the right size for the number and variety of unused batteries you have floating around the house. If you don’t have an opportunity to recycle often, you can create a disposal box for used batteries and recycle them annually. This concept also works well with new and used printer ink cartridges.
Tiny toy box. You know the types of toys kids want to mix with other types of toys, when they play, but which need to be stored by themselves at the end of the day? Diaper wipes boxes are the perfect solution for sorting tiny toys. Each time your child receives or buys a new collection, make them a new “home.” These are perfect to store Polly Pockets, Squinkies, even Matchbox cars. You’ll waste less time trying to put the complete set back together down the road.
Yarn or twine dispenser. A skein of yarn fits in a diaper wipe box perfectly and will stack nicely on a shelf for easy locating. Cut off the yarn label with washing instructions and tape it to the end of the box using clear packing tape. If you have several balls of twine that will fit in one box for the garage or the shed, you can keep the strings from tangling by taping a couple of flat twist ties across the opening. They will ensure that the twine pulls out without getting tangled every time.
Crayon box. The reason a diaper wipe box is so perfect for crayons is that it’s portable. If you are like most families, your home is swimming in crayons, so why not pull together several crayon boxes and store them around the house? Do the same with sidewalk chalk and say good-bye to melted puddles where chalk got left out in the rain. This concept also works for pencils and markers.
Doll clothes trunk. Your child will be more motivated to keep doll clothes sorted and tidy when they can be divided up into custom trunks. Take the time to help your child decorate each trunk to suit the period and style of each doll. You can cover the box with fabric, colored paper, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, even wallpaper scraps or drawer lining paper. Finish the box with clear packing tape and your decorations will withstand a lot of handling.
Travel snacks box. Next time you have to leave the house in a rush, and everyone is hungry; your travel snacks box will save the day. When you notice nuts, seeds, crackers, and fruit leather on sale at the store, stock up. Take them home and divide items up into snack bags, then pack your box and it’s ready to grab next time you are on your way out the door. Restocking the travel snacks makes a fun chore for older kids. Use a second box to store juice boxes or juice bags, ready to roll, right in the fridge.
Emergency car kits. Every family is different, so customize your kit to your family’s unique needs and keep out of reach of small children. Consider including wet wipes packets, tissues, hand sanitizer, band aids, first aid ointment, bandages, aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, heartburn medicine, indigestion medicine, lip balm, breath mints, pet waste bags and pet treats. Or create one box for first aid, one for bored kids and one for pets. Fill the bored kids’ box with decks of cards, finger puppets, and cars. Or have each child grab a tiny toy box for the trip.
Pretend diaper wipes toy. Clean, used hankies and bandanas can often be picked up cheaply at a secondhand store. Launder them one more time with hypoallergenic soap and softener and then cram a bunch into an empty diaper wipes box so baby can enjoy the process of pulling them out one at a time and then putting them back in and starting all over. Makes a fun baby shower gift, too.
Sports bag kit. Every child’s sport comes with many accessories, have you noticed? Your soccer player might need extra cleat laces, heat rub and a variety of sports drink packets. Your dancer may need bobby pins, hair nets, gel and a brush and comb to create a tight bun. Whatever your child’s sports bag needs, you can use leftover diaper wipes boxes (personalized with duct tape, of course) to gather and carry each child’s accessories.