It is the end of the school year and the children or grandchildren will be around so now is the time to prepare for the summer months ahead. Don’t forget our resolution to remove a bag of items a week and to eliminate and hour of electronics a week. If you have not been diligent, don’t give up. Just pick up where you left off and start again.
This month we will tackle keepsakes, children’s rooms, travel and more.
Too many of anything means none of them are special. This includes collections such as china, dolls, salt and pepper shakers, stamps, etc. If space is limited and many of these items are stored in the attic or closets, consider saving only those that have special meaning and letting the remainder go to someone who will appreciate them and has room for them. Put those that you keep in a place where they can be enjoyed and given the honor and respect they deserve. If you cannot let any go, then consider rotating those on display.
Photographs are another source of keepsake clutter. Save only the best from each activity. No one needs 100 pictures of the beach vacation. A few special pictures are all that is needed to capture that special time. There are lots of ways to sort and save them in colorful scrapbooks and online. Each Christmas I receive a calendar with pictures of my grandchildren taken each month the year before. They are a mini scrapbook of 12 pages and all I need to remember those special occasions for that year.
An avalanche of school papers may be arriving for you to handle this month. My best advice is to let the child decide which to keep. Keepsake boxes or binders can be used for these. Give one to each child and let it be the only place for special items to save. If it gets too full, let the child decide what to keep and what can go. Resist the urge to get more or bigger boxes. Think about how many things you really need from your childhood to remember the good times. (We don’t want to relive those not so good times!)
Children now have time to go through their rooms and eliminate items they have not used or no longer want or like. Clothing that no longer fits can be sorted for sale or donation. Children grow quickly and by fall most of what they wore during the past year will not fit. Thankfully not much variety in clothing is need for the summer months
Make a point of enjoying the outdoors while the weather is nice. Keep outdoor umbrellas closed when not in use. It will extend their usefulness and prevent damage during high winds or thunderstorms. I have personal experience with this one.
And speaking of storms, this is the beginning of hurricane season. If you live in an area affected by hurricanes, high winds or rising waters, you should review the list of necessary emergency items and secure those now. Be sure to update your household inventory. More information on it can be found on a previous Blog I posted: http://organizingtipsfromorderlyplaces.blogspot.com/2009/06/pictures-for-inventory.html
If you will be traveling this summer, create a permanent travel kit with activities for yourself and family. If it is only used for travel, the items will appear to be almost new and more interesting.
If you travel often and if you have storage space, create a permanent supply box or bag with items you always need. Some of these may be duplicates of items you use everyday at home but you will not need to disturb those.
A permanent travel checklist that you keep on your computer or in a convenient notebook is a great strategy to prevent forgetting items you always need. I keep one just for quilt retreats, my favorite travel experience!
For information on organizing your suitcase, check out this article I posted recently:
The days will be hot and humid for the next few months but I am thankful. I was too cold for too long last winter and I vowed not to complain about the summer heat when it arrived. Even with the mosquitoes, I go outside everyday and appreciate seeing green trees and flowers. I also appreciate returning to air conditioning!