(Excerpted from The Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book.)
Just because life is a bit more relaxed during the lazy days of summer doesn’t change the fact that we still need to know where things are and keep them handy. Here are some simple tips to keep your summertime activities and supplies running smoothly.
1) Keep like items grouped together in separate crates: BBQ supplies, pool maintenance supplies, etc.
2) Keep a basket of beach towels clean and rolled up in the laundry room near the outside door for easy pool, lake, beach, sprinkler, play.
3) Keep a handled bin in the back of your trunk or van for putting supplies, groceries, etc. and keeping them from rolling all over the car.
4) Have an insulated bag rolled up in the trunk, too, for keeping frozen foods cold on the trip home from the store on hot days.
5) Keep a folded blanket or sturdy tablecloth in the back of the car for impromptu picnics in the park, or to sit on during an outdoor theater or concert event.
6) Store all hand-held gardening and weeding tools in plastic bucket with a handle. Trowel, gloves, knee pad, etc.
7) Hang a shoe-bag organizer over the back of one of the car’s front seats for your kids to store their toys, books, games, maps, water bottle, and other car or travelling related supplies. If the bag’s too long, cut it to length and hem the bottom.
8) In your guest bathroom, keep a small bin or wooden box on the countertop for easy access with a collection of summertime ointments and lotions. Sunscreen (a variety of SPF levels), aloe, hand lotion, bug spray/lotion, antiseptic, anti-itch lotion for bug bites.
9) Store a small accordion file in your car with all essential car-related stuff. Registration, insurance information, maps, emergency contacts, receipts, and directions.
10) Store a “Before We Leave” checklist in luggage. Make a master list of chores, errands, and packing requirements you encounter before each out of town trip you make. You can even laminate the list and then check off complete items with a dry erase marker.
11) Before leaving on your summer road trip, make certain that your jumper cables, tire jack, and emergency kit are all actually in the car.
12) Keep all camping supplies in one place. Store camping cookware in a hamper that stays packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. A Camper’s Word to the Wise: If you’re going tent camping, double-check that your tent poles are actually packed with the rest of the tent before you find yourself attempting to set up camp in the mountains—miles and miles from civilization—without tent poles. Please don’t ask how I know this one. 😉