So far I've caulked and put plastic on a few windows. I still need to finish caulking the windows, plastic the rest of the windows, insulate the rim joists, put trim on two of the basement windows so I can plastic them, use Great Stuff foam on any holes or gaps, and put foil tape on the ductowrk. I should probably make the basement windows my priority, but my drill battery was dead today. I did get the front rim joist insulated today during naptime (it was an early out day so I didn't have as much time as usual). That's super boring, but you're getting a picture anyway.
I will use spray foam in the cracks and gaps, but I want to do all the foaming at once. Technically the preferred way to do this is with rigid foam insulation, which you spray foam in place then cover with glued-in-place drywall. You need the drywall as a firebreak since rigid foam releases toxic fumes when it burns. I decided to do it this way because of money and time. A huge roll of fiberglass insulation costs $8. Doing it the other way will cost a lot more. That's not to say I won't add rigid foam and drywall later. Just not any time soon.
This is the wrong way to insulate your rim joists.
This is how the previous owners did it. They might as well have done nothing; in fact I would have preferred it if they'd done nothing because then I wouldn't have to take this stuff out before I can do it right. I don't know if they didn't understand why they were putting insulation up there or if they were just lazy. The point of insulating these spaces is to block cold air from the foundation from coming in. If your insulation is laid flat like this, it's not going to be stopping a lot of air.
It's supposed to snow today. I don't think I'm ready for it yet. Guess I better get on those windows.