Summer is here! Get your home and family organized for summertime activities. Whether you’re headed out of town, or just want to spend the long days outdoors, here are some tips for having a One Organized Summer:
Vacation and Travel Planning
Whether you’re packing for a local getaway, or jet-setting across the sea, a little organization will keep your packing and planning on track.
A list is your best friend. Make a list of every activity you’ll be participating in during your travels. Then jot down notes next to each activity for items you’ll need. I do this for every trip we take, and then place the items in a pile and stick my note on top to ensure I have remembered everything. For instance:
Beach- Sunscreen, sand toys, towels, hats…
Camping- Bug spray, light jackets, hiking boots…
Airline flights- Books/magazines, gum, sleep pillow …
This is a great system to implement about 1-2 weeks before you leave, as it provides enough time to shop for stuff you don’t have, and plenty of time to pack. After all, there’s nothing better than leaving with peace of mind before you travel.
On the Road Again
First things first. Now is the time to make sure that all car maintenance is up-to-date and completed to keep you safe on the roads. Also, it’s a good idea to check the weather a few days before you leave to prepare for possible inclement weather conditions.
A clean car is like a clean slate. It allows you to “zone” your car in preparation for your trip. I LOVE packing a car for a road trip, and am known in my family for being a stickler for keeping items where they belong. (I promise, I’m fun once we get on the road!) What are car zones? Here are a few essential:
Food wrappers, tissues, and trash alike in a plastic bag. Toss it at every stop and start a new one once you’re back in the car.
Clean Up Zone
Wet wipes, paper towels, hand soap/sanitizer, water jug. (I never feel like my hands are clean unless I use a little soap and water).
Avoid gas station junk food binges. With a little planning, it’s easy to take along healthy (semi-healthy) snacks — bag with cut veggies, fruit, trail mix, chips, and pretzels.
Road trip games, electronic devices, coloring books, and colored pencils — avoid crayons and markers — you’ll thank me later.
Each of these zones can be packed in individual small bags that will help you avoid having to dig into suitcases or continuously unpacking and repacking the car along the way.
Now a Quick Note on Collecting Vacation Mementos
Ticket stubs, a brochure of a newfound favorite destination, or a seashell from a sunset beach stroll all seem like a great idea at the time — until you get home. These items can quickly become clutter unless you have a place and a plan for them in your home. When unpacking these treasures, place them in a spot immediately. If you notice they’re just getting in the way or you have no idea what to do with them, it may be time to simply snap a quick photo for a memorable keepsake and let it go.
The Great Outdoors
The smell of barbeque, kids zooming by on bikes, and the joyful sounds of splashing and laughter in neighborhood pools confirm that summer has arrived.
Hopefully, you organized your garage when the weather was cooler and those outdoor toys are easy to reach.
It is worth spending a half-day organizing your home for summertime activities. Consider all the things you enjoy doing, and spend a few hours reorganizing so you spend less time searching for the sunscreen and more time enjoying the sunshine.
Coat Closet Makeover
Make this closet a “seasonal” space by storing off-season clothing and gear in the garage and rotating as the weather changes. For warm weather activities and gear, consider stocking your seasonal closet with:
Hats for sun protection
Outdoor play items for kids and kids at heart
Designate a drawer or cabinet in your kitchen to keep tools, utensils, foil, and seasonings together. Place them on a baking sheet to make the items portable, and use the baking sheet to prep food. After everything is cleaned up, place everything back on the baking sheet, slide into a cabinet, and you’re done!
Towel Drying Zone
Wet towels are a summertime drag. They take up laundry space, get smelly, and create unsightly piles. An easy remedy? Place some hooks or a drying rack outside for easy hanging. This will keep towels handy where they’re needed most, and reduce the amount of time you’ll spend doing laundry.
Another great trick to saving some time is to have a tote ready to go at a moment’s notice. This can be stored in your newly organized seasonal closet and contain: water bottles, towels, sunscreen, waterpark passes, sunglasses, hats, and anything you need for an outing. Just grab and go!
I hope these tips help you save some time so that you can enjoy your summer!
One Organized Mama