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June is filled with activities and it is difficult to think about organizing. The best approach is to work in the areas that are already requiring time. Since it is the end of the school year and the children or grandchildren will be around, one subject to consider is their spaces and the keepsakes you have been saving for them. Of course travel is on the mind of most of us, too.
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 saved items. 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. Of course there are items they have made that you will store with your keepsakes, but be selective.
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. If you are storing them for younger siblings, remember to label them as to sex, size and season.
Children need limits on everything except love and affection. They should not be allowed to collect an unlimited amount of matchbox cars, Barbie clothes, t-shirts, flip-flops or anything else. Let the space determine how much can be easily organized in the given space and draw the line there. You will be teaching them good organizing habits and a lesson that there are limits in life. Should they want a new item, remind them something they already have must go. This is the “one in—one out” rule that we all should follow.
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 other family members or donate or sell them to anyone else who will appreciate them and has room for them. Storing keepsakes out of site does not honor or respect the memories that go with them. Put those that you choose to keep in a place where they can be enjoyed and given the honor and respect they deserve.
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 in creative formats. I am not a scrapbooker, but I do admire the projects and products available from Creative Memories and other sources.
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: Click here.
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 for the local newspaper:
Enjoy this month of weddings, graduations, flowers and outdoor opportunities. June is special in many ways.