Monday, May 31, 2010

Organizing the Camping Trip

Every year we go camping.

Every year I am more or less organized. This year, I plan to be as organized as I can possibly be.

I thought it would be a good idea to make up a traveling binder/notebook with the following forms:

1) Before we leave checklist (from OH)
2) Itinerary (self generated)
3) First Aid Checklist (OH)
4) Camping Supplies checklist (self generated) (OH has some as well)
5) Camping clothing checklist (self-generated) (again, OH is an excellent resource.)
6) Menu plans for 10 days (last page of Motivated Moms housekeeping checklist: there's lots available on the web)
7) Pantry List (the list of groceries to pack according to the menu plan)
8) Pockets and page protectors with tourism information.

So where are we going?

Here, mostly:
photo coutesty of msnbc.

The last two weeks of June cannot come soon enough.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Organizing Project: Linen closet

Martha's people are geniuses.

Excluding the bedroom closets, this house has three. Three. A Coat closet (which also holds tote bags, the picnic basket, games and the mop, broom, dusters and vaccuum. The cleaning closet which holds cleaning supplies, household stuff, and serves as bathroom storage. It's a nightmare.

The third closet is upstairs.

This closet has to store a fair bit. We've two bedrooms and a powder room up here: the bedrooms have closets, but the powder room does not (it is 5 1/2 feet x 5 1/2 feet). So, this closet has to hold three categories of items: linens for the bedrooms (there's a third on the main floor), bathroom stuff and cleaning supplies.

We have two twin beds and a queen. I like to have three sets for each. Somehow, with the twin sheets (there should have been a total of four bottom sheets and four top sheets in the closet as all the laundry is done) I've lost control--there were six fitted bottom sheets and seven top sheets in the closet! So., I will weed out a few!

Also in that closet I like to keep

* cleaning supplies for the upstairs (we've a powder room up there with zero storage),
* light bulbs for the fixtures upstairs,
* a humidifier, (cool for summer, warm for winter, I keep the other in the basement and switch them out when I do clothing),
* travel totes,
* hair dryer,
* scatter rugs,
* pillow cases (two sizes, standard and Queen)
* pillow protectors (standard and queen. I haven't yet set a limit on the number of standard pillow cases and protectors I should have: any ideas?)

I have spent a total of 45 minutes on the closet so far.

Before: (Wednesday)

After 45 Minutes: (Friday)

I'd like to find room for

* towels and washcloths for the bathroom,
* toilet paper
* overflow supplies like soap and toothpaste
* blankets (though they're probably too bulky!)

Here's an idea, from Aby:

Of course, Apartment therapy featured it in an article, "The Many Uses of...". There were a lot of interesting ideas in the comments.

And here it is interpreted into a home sewn version by the folks at MSL, again.

And so, I shall have to see what I can do, now that I've some ideas!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Power of Fifteen Minutes

Once again, I am involved in a Simplify 101 course. This one is called, Organizing 101. The instructor, Aby Garvey, has challenged us to find something to de-clutter or organize every day for at least 15 minutes during the six weeks of the course. Yesterday, I finished my first project, which I did with my 12 year old son.

Before: (Sunday)

After: (Wednesday)

Note the dishpans on the bottom! Perfectly good storage containers (and at the right price point for us, too!). Note, too, how although I have different storage containers: they are grouped like with like. The whole thing is much more pleasing to the eye that way. It's one of Aby's great little tips.

Today, I went into his room and said, "Dude, your choice. We can spend 15 minutes on your desk top, or your dresser top," and then I wandered away to find the camera. When I got back, his desk top was neat and orderly.

I'm thrilled.

We have to clean off the bulletin board and the wall yet, obviously.

For the next few days, I will be working on the upstairs linen closet. More on that tomorrow.
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