July 10, 2009

Summer Organizing Tips

Summer is the season to have fun in the sun - barbecues on the back patio, swimming at the beach, and cooling off with a refreshing drink on the front porch. Awww... life is good!

Summer is also the season to take care of those necessary outdoor chores - mowing the lawn, washing the car, weeding the garden, and washing outside windows. Getting organized will help you have more time to enjoy the fun stuff, while still getting the chores done, too.

Chores
Start by making a list of all outdoor chores. Then enlist your family to help. Create a schedule by assigning each family member to a task. Post the schedule on the kitchen refrigerator. Follow up to make sure it gets done. No children at home? Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Hire people to help, if necessary.

To make chores run smoothly, gather all supplies and put them in one location. Use a large bucket to store car washing supplies - soap, sponges, soft clothes for drying, a squeegee for the windows, and spare plastic grocery bags for putting wet clothes/sponges afterwards. Do the same with gardening tools.

Barbecues
To prepare for barbecues make sure to give your outdoor furniture a good wipe down (if you haven't already) and do some general outdoor de-cluttering (if needed). The goal is to create a relaxing outdoor oasis for you to enjoy.

Does your grill need cleaning? Cream of tartar mixed with hydrogen peroxide or water will do wonders. Word has it coca cola (yes, coca cola!) will do the job, too.

Keep a large cooler in your barbecue zone that can easily be stocked with drinks and ice at a moments notice. No cooler? Use a small kiddie/wading pool to store your cold drinks for large parties. Keep all your barbecue utensils and accessories (apron & hot pads) handy, too. For quick clean up always have a trash can and tub of soapy water nearby.

Check your condiment supply, cups, napkins, and disposable eating utensils. Stock up on necessary items to get you through the season. A condiment refrigerator tote keeps everything organized and easy to retrieve. Use a basket or tray to carry napkins, cups, and utensils from indoors to outdoors, saving time from running back and forth.

Beach Outings
Get organized for beach outings. Pack a bag specifically used for going to the beach. Fill it with things like: sunscreen, reading material, beach towel(s), sunglasses, and toys for the kids. Store the bag in a designated location all season long for quick grab & go.

Picnics
If picnicking is your passion, find your picnic basket and dust off the cobwebs. Make sure it's stocked with non-food essentials and ready to go for last minute picnic plans.

Kid's Toys
To control kid chaos in the backyard, use a large lidded bin to store outdoor toys. Insisting on a daily clean-up effort at the beginning of the season will get everyone off to a good start.

Take it Outside!
Use your back patio as an extension of your home. There are a ton of things you can do out there. Pay your bills, read your mail, make phone calls, write a letter, polish the silverware, peel potatoes, balance your checkbook, the list is endless.

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