What’s on your summer to do list? Organizing for next year’s summer events

Summertime is perfect for catching up on outdoor chores, but having fun is probably what everyone (mostly) thinks about. For those of us in the United States, Labor Day (this year it falls on Sept. 3) gives us an opportunity for one final summer celebration before cooler temperatures are ushered in with the start of fall. Many people try their hand at being a grill master for the day and test out new recipes and grilling techniques. Some take road trips or one last visit to the beach.

No matter the activity, by putting things in order at the end of this season, you’ll find everything you need when warmer temperatures arrive next year. Focus on some basic rules of thumb so you can avoid hour-long searches to find your stuff, like …

Keep similar items together

You’ve heard this one before and there’s a reason you hear it so often. It’s perhaps the one rule that, if you stick to it, will help you save time so you can get on with the business of having fun. When everything you need for a specific activity (bike, helmet, knee pads, tire gauge, and pump together; grill cleaning brush, tongs, and skewers together) is in one location, you will find what you want quickly and see what things are broken and need fixing or replacing. Once you’ve gathered all your supplies together, they should be kept in the same location all the time (just like you always keep your keys, wallet, and mobile phone in the same spot). Labeling storage spaces can help, too.

Replace needed items immediately

Those broken items or the ones that just don’t work the way you would like them to? Replace them now if you regularly use the items. If you wait until next year, you’re likely to be suprised (not pleasantly) when it’s time to use them. Keep a running list of things you need to buy and take it with you on your next shopping trip. Stick to your list so you don’t overbuy. Try not to give in to the temptation of getting things that you’re not certain you’ll actually use (is it possible your plans just might change?). Wait on those items and come up with a game plan first. And, donate/recycle/trash the items that you no longer want.

Remember to replenish your first-aid kits as well. Not only will you need them year-round (in your car and in several rooms in your home), but you’ll also want to have a kit ready in the bags you use for your summer events (picnics, trips to the zoo, sporting events, etc.). Don’t forget to stock up on first-aid supplies for your pets, too.

Use checklists to help you remember

Create an “end of summer” list to remind you of all the things you need to do to wrap up the season and get ready for the next. Group your tasks by category (camping, gardening, marathon/race) so you can focus easily on each section before moving on to the next. For example, if hiking is on your list, it might include:

  • Clean hiking boots
  • Put boots with other hiking gear
  • Purchase new socks and liners
  • Create a communication plan
  • Start training routine to prepare for trip (add start date)

What you put on your checklist will be specific to you and the things you like doing. It should include all the gear you need (what’s a trip to the park without your favorite frisbee or a picnic with a half empty basket or a lawn concert without a comfy chair?) as well as any special requirements (season pass to the water park, parking pass for the football game). After creating your checklist, keep it with the items it belongs with or in a “summer activities” (paper or electronic) file so you can keep using it each year.

Put special events on your calendar now

Get ready for next year’s events by entering on your calendar those that you attend annually or new ones that you want to go to (or host). Doing this will help plan your activities and to narrow down the things you can realistically do based on your available time and budget. You’ll also see if you need to enlist the help of others.

Planning and organizing fun summer activities can give you something to look forward to next year without the hassle and pain of never-ending searches for the things you need. And, there’s still time to take care of many of this summer’s chores that you haven’t gotten to yet. Take a look at our tips on how to organize your:

4 Comments for “What’s on your summer to do list? Organizing for next year’s summer events”

  1. posted by infmom on

    Who has time for next summer? We’re throwing a party for our 40th anniversary and our daughter and her wife’s wedding celebration at the end of September. I don’t think we’ll have much time to think beyond that. 🙂

    At least I’ve made a list of what needs to be done. After we paint the kitchen, that is.

  2. posted by Ruth on

    Every year, usually in the spring, I open up my first-aid kits, checking the list to see what is missing and checking for expired dates on meds, then I get it up-to-date for another year. I do this not just for summer, but it seems to get the most use in summer.

  3. posted by James on

    Some great tips there Deb, but I think most of us live in the real world of chaos and un-organisation. My wife and I are so busy with work, kids etc, that creating a list to remind us to clean hiking boots is a task that we would never do.

  4. posted by catherine on

    While the idea of storing like with like makes sense, it conflicts with my desire to have minimal stuff (only one of things). If I keep my tongs with my grilling equipment either I need another pair for the kitchen or I have to inconveniently dig them out of the other location all the time. Keep my scissors with my sewing kit and they aren’t handy when I need them to cut labels off new purchases or trim threads as I get ready for work. Having things handy seems to mean having several of something, and that just results in more stuff and I don’t want more stuff, I want less. I wrestle with this a lot: wherever things are they are always in the wrong place when I need them. Result: frustration. Any tips on how to solve this?

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