Monday, 2 February 2009

Make the Op Shop you best friend for effective Organizing

School is back today - Yippee - After 6 weeks with the kids home I'm in need of some uninterrupted time to Organize my Home, the business and my life! It helped that I got the kids to help me do some de-cluttering over the weekend and we got rid of 3 bags full for the ops shop and two bin fulls of paperwork. I never tire of how good it feels to organize myself to another level, free of 'Stuff'.

I just dropped the 'stuff' to the Op-shop, with my friends saying even for me that was Super-organized. A new 'Before School Job List' made this morning go extremely smoothly. It was an easy routine for the kids to follow that made such a difference! Camping with the kids over the School Holidays (and having to be really organized to actually enjoy the experience. It was instrumental in preparing the kids for a bit extra responsibility once back at home. I have written an article on these back to school organizing tips - along with getting your house organized after holidays.

Read on for more tips...

Organize for a relaxing Camping Trip”
By Claire McFee

My husband and two young children have just gone on our first camping trip together, and my first full stop, so it’s been an eye opening experience of why so many people are converts to living in the outdoors whenever they can. The benefits are many and there are of course pitfalls, With the right mindset and good preparation and organizing before during and after your trips can make the difference between a relaxing and enjoyable holiday for everyone involved or a stressful time that you never want to repeat again!! We had a ball I’m happy to say and met lovely like-minded people along the way which is part of the appeal! Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way and from more experienced campers as well.

Less is best
With very limited space taking as little as possible is obviously one of the most important rules of thumb. Even though it can cost a bit more to buy food once at your destination, within reason it can save a lot of angst about storing everything by buying as you go.

Worst case/best case Weather scenarios
We all hope to have good weather when camping, but the elements love to throw in a few surprises just to test our endurance. With this in mind be sure to pack thermal underwear for those frosty nights and hooded jackets and scarves for cold windy days.

Be wary of excess gadgets
If you go to any of the outdoor chain stores there is all manner of excess gadgets to supposedly make life easier. In some cases they do, but you need to be mindful of where all these gadgets will; live because the one thing that can make a camping holiday stressful it’s too much stuff to store, clean and maintain. You would be surprised at how inventive you can be if you have to be. The things I‘ve seen people do with a bit of string and some wire!!

Back up Easy meals
Having a couple of tins of baked beans for quick and easy meals is handy for those nights when you are spent from a day of high activity, so make sure you pack a few for these ‘emergencies’.

Card/board games
Camping is a great time to get back to basics and enjoy making your own fun –especially with young kids. So pack a few basics and make sure you get them out of a night time and of course on those unexpected cold and raining days.

Journaling/Paper and pencils
Keeping a diary of sorts of your trip - which can accompany the photos you take along the way for the kids to show their teachers is a great idea for some educational activity in amongst it all as well.

Camping Etiquette
Use your common sense when it comes to camping etiquette. Unfortunately alcohol can hinder reason, so before you get into the evening wind-down - usually involving a glass of wine or a beer, have your limits and stick to them. ‘Oh it’ll be fine’ roaring with laughter all night doesn’t cut it the next day living in close quarters.

Midnight Tinkles
If you are partial to needing the toilet during the night, the last thing you want to do is have to go to the toilet block on your own in the dark. Therefore having a bucket of sorts (filled with some water for dilution purposes) is a great idea. Cover with a tea towel or lid if possible and empty into the toilets along with the rest of the campers the next morning. Putting the toilet paper into a separate bag helps make this process a little less messy.

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author

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