Organizing and Storage Ideas

to Help You Spend More Time Enjoying Summer (article featured in The Heart of Texas Corners magazine)

With summer days getting shorter, now is a great time to prepare for all the outdoor fun that you don’t want to miss before the season ends. Our community and our beautiful state of Michigan has so much outdoor fun to offer! There is something for everyone from backyard barbecues and boat excursions to camping, days at the beach, and biking or hiking some of our scenic trail ways. Some of the best summer fun is found during impromptu outings and gatherings with family and friends. Getting organized now will help you and your family be ready at a moment’s notice to enjoy the many summer adventures to come.

Before you get started, choose your favorite ways to store groups of items for your activities. You can choose from tote bags, backpacks, baskets or bins. You could dedicate a cabinet or closet for your activity storage or even use everyday storage solutions as simple as large zippered plastic bags. Grouping Items for Favorite Activities Our family loves to have friends over to cookout and often end the evening sitting around a fire in our backyard. We keep everything we need in one convenient location. Going into summer we stock up on paper plates, napkins, firewood and supplies for making s’mores. The items are kept together with cooking utensils and our marshmallow roasting forks so that we don’t have to search for them every time we cookout. Camping is another one of our favorite family activities. So as soon as we are done using our camping gear, we clean it and store it all in one place which cuts our packing time in half on the next trip. Keeping all of the items together that you’ll need for your summer activities will save you time on every outing.

Pack A “Go Bag” Now – Play More Later Get inspired by envisioning the fun activities you and your family will be participating in this year. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take a trip to the beach and not have to take the time to pack a bag? Keeping the items needed for your excursions stored together will get you there faster and give you more fun in the sun! It’s kind of like the “Go Bag” that expectant parents pack to be ready for the big day. The list below will give you a starting point for your own “Go Bag” or activity storage. Be creative with your storage and the items you include. If You Love This… Pack This… The Beach or Boating Sunscreen, towels, blanket, toys, bathing suits, sunglasses, change of clothes, flip flops, snacks

Sporting Events Blanket, sunglasses, sunscreen, refillable water bottles, folding chairs

Cookouts/Bonfires Disposable tableware, cooking utensils, seasonings, s’mores supplies

Biking/Hiking Refillable waters bottles, snacks, helmets/hats, and specialized gear

Camping Tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear, folding chairs, disposable tableware

Be Ready for the Unexpected It helps to be prepared for life’s little messes and minor injuries. Pack some non-alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer and tissues for quick and easy clean ups. Plus, you should always include a home-made first aid kit in your Go Bag that includes bandages, antibiotic ointment and anti-septic wipes. If you need medication, include an extra dose in your kit. It’s a good idea to also carry portable phone charger/battery pack. Nothing worse than a dead phone when you want it to take a picture of your kids buried in the sand!

You’re Ready – Let’s Go! Summer is calling so take the time to get out and explore! If you’ve lived here all your life like I have or just recently moved to Michigan, you might find yourself missing out on all the fun that our great state has to offer because you can’t find the time to go to the beach or to camp for the weekend. Right here in Kalamazoo or just a short drive away, there are wonderful Michigan treasures to be discovered in the Summer and every season of the year. Now that you’re prepared for any fun opportunity that comes your way, GO ENJOY SUMMER!

Jeannie & Terry Henderson are the owners of Jeannie Cleaning. Offering residential house cleaning services in the Kalamazoo County area.

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Jeannie Henderson