29 April 2009

WFMW: The Back Up Box

I like free things. I especially like free things that come in the mail. Occasionally, I get wicket insomnia and sit in my computer into the wee hours strolling through the interwebs looking for freebies I can sign up for instead of staring at my ceiling not falling asleep anyway. I only go for the completely free deals ... no "sign up for 2 offers" or whatever nonsense going on here. Sometimes its a foil packet of a new shampoo or conditioner. Other times its a fancy schmancy granola bar I'd never pay full price for. Some weeks the mailman doesn't bring us any free goodies. Other weeks you'd think it was my birthday everday when I go out to get the mail.

Now, my love of free things does not override my love of organized, neat, tidy looking spaces. The stack of freebies almost immediately (and we're talking years ago now ...) outgrew the mail spot, the shelf in the bathroom, the kitchen counter, etc. We were living in a much smaller house at the time, and although I loved getting free goodness in the mail, I did not love having to move it, find it, organize it, search for it, or any other time consuming, sweat inducing, irritation creating endeavor. Alas, the Back Up Box was born.

It started as an empty case of Pepsi with the top pieces of cardboard torn off. It's what happened to be on the floor in my kitchen the day I nearly had a stroke about my freebie abundance and its plan to overtake my house with its foil packets and sticky glue dots. I simply tossed everything in the box, labeled it "Back Up" and started referring people to it (my family, not so many strangers wander in and ask if we have an extra dryer sheet ...) when they needed something we were out of. The Back Up Box predates the coupon stockpile in this house, so when we were out of shampoo on only the 3rd of 5 showers, we were simply out. There was no trip to the basement to find a new bottle on a well appointed shelf like here is now.

The Back Up Box to the rescue!

You could easily root around in the samples for a minute, find a tiny bottle or packet of shampoo, and be back on schedule. This happened when we ran out of bath products, snacks, and sippy cups (thank you, Juicy Juice and your free sippy cup sending). We once happened to have a formula sample (how, I have no idea ... I stay up late ... who knows how these things happen ...) when one of our friends came by with his kiddo and not enough powdered gold (yuck, fyi) for the kid and its enormous appetite. When Be had to hit the laundromat because our washer tried to die, we didn't have to worry about hauling our 1876 lb industrial laundry detergent along (ok, not really, but it is reaaaaaallly heeeeaavvvvy). I dug into the Back Up Box and out came a handful of detergent samples ... easy, breezy, lemon squeezy.

I love my Back Up Box, and time and time again, it works for me.



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