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Sizzling Summer Goals
by Sandy Reavey

Summer often includes vacations from work and school, and more outdoor playtime. The extra daylight savings hours and the sunlight tend to lighten our meal preparation time, increase our lemonade and iced tea intake, and provide us more with more energy. So why not capitalize on a less-hectic schedule to find some time to organize around the home!

As we crawl out from winter’s hibernation, we can find numerous home organizing projects to tackle, both indoor and outdoors. For one, some of our summer activity equipment and wardrobes may also be in need of some organization, or need to be discarded. Most garages can also use a bit tidying up. And, summer is perfect for the yard tag sale, or donating unused items to charity. As our interests change and our children grow, and leave the nest, a yearly, or seasonal assessment of our ‘stuff’ keeps it from becoming an overwhelming task later on.

Also, summer is a good time to inventory your outdoor hobby equipment, lawn supplies, emergency preparedness supplies, sporting equipment, and to see what you need later on in year. Maybe some of it has become worn out, discolored, or outgrown. Perhaps there are better ways to store your items whether they are kept in your garage or basement. Consider the temperature fluctuations in your storage area, like it is probably not a good idea to store candles where the heat will melt them.

How about a summer field trip to the container store to discover the myriad of new organizing products and shelving now available from hooks to bins. Have you considered color-coding your items for easy retrieval? Like a blue bin for swim gear, green for gardening supplies, and red for emergency kits. If you frequent the pool, or beach, consider keeping a pool tote bag with towel, flip flops, goggles, and suit ready to go (maybe one for each family member with name embroidered, or in a different color).

Speaking of trips, summer is a busy time for travel. Take stock of your luggage, and consider storing smaller pieces inside the bigger ones to save space. Check for identification tags, wear and tear, and make sure each family member has a bag. Be sure to make your reservations, and plan the itineraries well in advance to make the time more relaxing, and to be properly prepared for the trip. If you camp, or travel by car, schedule vehicle maintenance, hotel or park reservations, check supplies, and emergency kits well before your trip. Children can learn valuable skills by helping you make lists, and helping to pack the luggage, and car for vacation.

How will you reminisce about those fun summer days? It is likely you will have some memorabilia and photographs. You might choose to make a summer project of organizing old photos and putting them in books, boxes, or creating digital files. Many hobby stores carry great products for scrap booking, and it can be a fun, creative and memorable time for families to do together.