Organize + Energize: Get Organized for Summer Fun!
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalWorcester Organizing Expert
Who’s ready for a stress-free summer? Plan and prepare and you’ll be halfway there! How many times have you forgotten to pack something, whether you were packing for an overnight trip to grandmas, a weekend getaway, or a day trip to the beach? Nobody is perfect, there are times when we are going to forget things, but having a list to follow will help with the process.
Initially, this may seem time-consuming and tedious, but you will benefit from being prepared in the long run. Being prepared will save you time, money, energy and you will be less stressed in the end.
Here are 6 tips to get organized for summer fun!
Prep bags. Think of places you take your children (or yourself) where you frequently need a packed bag. Do you take them to camp, sports lessons, beach, overnight stays or day trips?
Make a list. Make a list of everything you would pack according to each trip you take on a regular basis. Write everything down. That item that you think you will remember and don’t jot down is the item you will end up forgetting.
Put the list in the bag. Attach the list to the bag or place the list in the bag that you normally take with you on the trip. Seal the list in plastic or laminate for future reference. Next time you need to pack, grab the bag and the attached list and pack from the list. This shouldn’t take you long because you are referring to your list instead of trying to remember what you need to pack. This is a great task to get the kids involved. Teach them how to pack from the list! Give them the responsibility to grab the items.
Tackle it once. You only have to write the list once and forget about it. Add to it as need be. Initially, it will take about 15 minutes to generate the list, but going forward you will just grab the list. Check everything off the list as you go through it. You never have to wonder if you left something behind.
Prep snacks. Prepare snacks at the beginning of the week for day or beach trips. Divide snacks into Ziploc bags or containers. Grab and go.
Have your bags ready to go. Keep towels, sunscreen, toys, and other necessary items for the summer packed in a beach bag. After you do laundry, place the towels back in the bag.
Take the time now and make your lists! If you make the lists last minute, you may forget items. Make the list out when you have a few minutes. Having these lists in place will save you time, energy, money, and will reduce stress. This is a perfect time to write your lists for summer occasions since you have what you need to take fresh in your mind.
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE.
Paper in any form
This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.
To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.
When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.
This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.
The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization. Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.
Office at work
Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.
If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.
Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.
When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.
This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.