Please simplify me, Pam! I feel like an UBER driver for my family, the car is a disaster, and it seems like we never have that one handy thing we need.
Spring has sprung, summer’s come, the hills are green, the flowers are blooming, baseball, soccer, dance and karate classes are in full throttle, and you’re in the car — a lot! There are a few things you’ll need to keep your car tidy, well equipped with snacks and supplies, and ready to zoom off to a board meeting at a moment’s notice!
- Pick up an envelope-sized plastic zipper case (or gallon-sized Ziploc bag) for coupons (fast-food, grocery store, big box stores, museums), food-related gift cards, and stash it in your glove box.
- Repurpose a makeup bag for first-aid items, a travel-size sunscreen and baby powder (for sand removal).
- Place a pop-top, tight-sealed plastic juice dispenser in the backseat for daily trash bits, along with a roll of paper towels.
- Buy a few plastic desk caddies in the dollar section as a laptop snack and drink holder.
- Stash bottles of hand sanitizer in the front and back door pockets.
- Store nail clippers, a tiny Swiss Army knife, rubber bands, safety pins and paperclips in the ashtray.
- Slip a reusable grocery bag over the back of the headrest to store snacks, pens, pencils, little toys, activity and joke books, and mints.
- Slip a handful of magazine articles folded up and binder clipped in the door pocket for a quick read while waiting for practice to wrap up.
- Have lightweight nylon stuff sacks for each person so that they can contain their stuff and tote it inside when the trip is over.
- And always, always, have reusable water bottles filled and ready to go.
Curios, Tchotchkes, Multiples Of Things
Please simplify me, Pam! We have bits and piles of all kinds of stuff throughout the house, on shelves, counters, desks, and I can’t seem to ever find what I need, when I need it.
Organizing usually means editing first, but not always. Sometimes, it starts with sorting and storing, and as time goes on, then editing. This works for the little and more functional items, but not necessarily for the big stuff, like unused furniture and toys, seasonal decor, and items that you really don’t want to look at and only use infrequently.
If you’re not ready to edit your belongings, or there are things you’ll use from time to time, consider creating a well-organized display that doesn’t require dusting. It works for kids, students, collector enthusiasts, and cooks. You’re likely already corralling your cooking utensils in your kitchen, so expand on that concept throughout the home.
Designate a space for your display area, repurpose empty (glass and plastic) jars of varying sizes for an attractive grouping, gather up all the random items, and sort. Crayons, coins, sewing kits and buttons, shells and rocks and marbles, decks of cards and dice, ribbons, corks, batteries, travel bars of soap, Pez dispensers, business cards. “Like” things like to be together! Easy to do, easy to maintain, appealing to look at because there is uniformity and order.
For larger jars, scan the bulk snack food aisle for industrial-sized dill pickles and bright-orange Cheetos. The cost of the product is nearly the same as if you bought the jar solo. For a sentimental turn, create a “joy jar” and drop in folded love notes, concert ticket stubs, lucky pennies and tightly rolled newspaper clippings for a future walk down memory lane. Tuck the lids out of sight for easy drop in.