How Organized is Your Car?

Here are six easy steps to cleaning out and organizing your car:

1. Empty your car

Take everything out of your car. Throw away any trash.

Determine what stays in your car and put all other items away where they belong in your home.

Sort and categorize remaining items.

  1. Console items (pens, paper, hand sanitizer, coupons, change etc.)
  2. Emergency items (first aid, jumper cables, flashlight etc.)
  3. Children’s items (toys, CD’s, books etc.)
  4. Work
  5. Sporting equipment

2.  Set up your command center

This area (usually your console) will include the things that you use each day such as notepads, change, coupons, and ponytail holders.

Consider using small plastic containers with lids, drawer organizers, or Ziploc bags to hold these items.

Use your glove compartment to store items that are used less frequently such as Band-Aids, napkins, and a set of plastic utensils.  Organize separately the mandatory items that stay in your car like your owner’s manual, registration and proof of insurance.

3. Create a mobile file box

If you don’t use a briefcase then consider purchasing a mobile file box to organize work papers, medical/emergency papers, school papers, or even vacation plans.

A mobile file box saves time and keeps important papers at your fingertips when moving from your car to office to home.

4. Contain children’s belongings

Use a bin, tote, or crate to store all items that you use to entertain your children in the car.

Set limits and use only one bin. Have your children decide what items will remain in the car.

Put items away into the bin when you get home from the last trip of the day.

Car organization

5. Organize the trunk

Use bins or trunk organizers to categorize and separate sports equipment, roadside emergency equipment and supplies.

Add another bin or two for groceries or other shopping items. This bin can be used for returns, dry cleaning or even for gathering items from the car to take inside to put away each day.

Trunk organization

6. Maintenance.

The key to staying organized is daily/weekly maintenance.

Before everyone exits the car, remind them to do a sweep and pick up trash and their other belongings (backpacks, gym bags, games).

Spend 5 to 15 minutes every Sunday prepping your car for the week by removing items that don’t belong and putting things that stay in the car in their appropriate bin.

Car organization

ENJOY!

It is a great feeling to have a place for everything and everything in its place. Get creative and have fun with it. Play some music! Remember that there are many items you can use for car organization around your home as well as in stores. Depending on your family’s needs try out some different things to see what works best for you.  Plastic caddies, folding totes, or hanging storage for the back of car seats are great items to add to keep your car tidy and functional on a daily basis.

 


Packing for Camp

PACKING FOR SLEEP-AWAY CAMP

Summer-Camp

When it comes to packing for camp, it’s best to start preparing a few weeks ahead of time so you avoid feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Work together with your child so they know exactly what they have and where to locate it. Here are 10 tips guaranteed to take the anxiety out of packing for camp:

1)     READ THE PACKING LIST PROVIDED BY THE CAMP – It will contain important details regarding not only what to pack, but also what to leave at home. If they have a special dress-up event or activity they will tell you what to include.

2)     TALK TO VETERAN PARENTS – Typically parents who have sent a child to camp in previous years can offer helpful tips that may not be included on the list.

3)     SHOP FOR CLOTHING AT SECOND-HAND STORES – Camp can be messy. Only send clothing with your child that you don’t mind tossing out. You can even instruct them to throw items away at camp if it is extremely dirty, wet or stained.

4)     LABEL, LABEL, LABEL – For items that do need to make it home then be sure it has their name in it. Use a Sharpie, masking tape or label tape to clearly label everything.

5)     PACK OUTFITS IN GALLON SLIDE LOCK BAGS – For younger children it can be especially helpful to pack entire outfits (shirt, shorts, underwear, shocks) in individual bags. Label them for each day they will be there. The air can be pressed out allowing for more compact packing. The bags can be reused to return wet bathing suits, shoes, or other soiled items.

6)      DRAWSTRING KITCHEN TRASH BAGS HAVE MANY USES – Pack your child’s bedding in one and label it with their name. Include another one to be used as a laundry bag.

7)     SHOWER SHOES AND A TOTE FOR TOILETRIES – Plastic flip-flops will do the trick and a small tote will make it easy for them to travel to and from the showers.

8)     DISPOSABLE CAMERA – Since electronics are typically not permitted, consider including a disposable camera so your child can capture memories from their time at camp.

9)     DRAWSTRING TOTE OR SMALL BACKPACK –   These are perfect for carrying water bottles, bug spray, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and other necessities they may need during the day.

10)  NOTES FROM HOME – Include a few surprises for your child to discover when they arrive. Some camps will provide instruction regarding where to send notes, cards, or treats ahead of time so they are waiting for them when they arrive.

Finally, if there are certain items like bedding, towels or bags that are only used once a year for camp, consider storing them all together in a lidded and labeled container so they are easy to locate every year.

Camp can feel both exciting and scary for parents and children alike. Being prepared will help everyone to relax and kids to make the most of their experience!