Thursday, July 1, 2010

Operation Organization, Take 10. Ode to my sister, the summer organizational guru.

Are you familiar with summertime-fun-everyone’s-waiting-for-you-mad-scramble-hide-n-seek-get-where-you’re-going-only-to-discover-you-forgot-something-itis?  It’s an incurable disease at our house.  
As organized as I try to be, I simply cannot keep everything where it’s meant to live.  Shoes wander off only to be lost to the cold, dark basement - or eaten by the monsters under the bed.  Clean diapers have a habit of partying way too hard and dropping, exhausted, wherever they may end up - which is usually all over the living room floor.   The sunscreen and bug spray have often run off together for secret little trysts under bags in random closets.  Clean swim diapers get lonely during the long winter months and are usually found sulking in a corner somewhere.  Sunglasses escape, flip-flops are always breaking up and making up, and where are the bags to put all these things IN anyway?  
To say nothing of gathering up snacks - the baby must have puffs and the emergency formula + bottle with water just in case we’re gone for too long or she gets extra hungry.  bug must have a sippy and some sort of snack so he won’t inhale all of the baby’s puffs.  I need water... and maybe a little something to tide me over, too, so I won’t be tempted to run through taco bell for a caramel apple empanada.  
And, of course we need to find shoes, hat, diaper bag, purse, keys, wallet.  All of which I have left the house without on one occasion or another (yes, even my shoes.  I know, ok?)
Once you're in the car, you then have to make the last minute trip back inside for __________  (insert random forgettable object here) and the towels - in case it’s warm at the park and you end up swimming.  Once back in the car you have to make ANOTHER last minute trip back inside for bug's bun-bun, which he just can’t live without for another second, let alone all day.
Day trips - anywhere (even just to the park or someone’s backyard) - get a little overwhelming this time of year.  There are too many variables.  In the winter, at least here in the frozen tundra, you get where you’re going and you stay there.  No unnecessary trips outside.  No hopping in the car for some spontaneous park trip or pool play.  No extending the day just a little longer (because it gets dark at 5:30).  But in the summertime, when there’s no school and everyone’s a bit more relaxed?  Play date at sister’s turns into park turns into picnic lunch turns into quick shopping trip turns into meeting Daddy after work at the pool turns into outdoor movie back at sister’s.  It’s crazy.  There’s no way you’re running back and forth to your house for items you didn’t realize you’d need... bug usually just runs around in K’s pink shorts after he gets his clothes wet.
I’m simply not organized enough.
one of my favorite pics of Lise

My sister is amazing.  (for lots of reasons, but I'm only going to talk about one.)
Do you know what she does?  She gathers everything she needs for certain summery activities and keeps them - all bagged up and ready to go - in a designated area.  Then, when she thinks she may need it, she just grabs it and goes.  No hunting around for the lost swim diaper or trying to locate the sunblock.
She has a “pool” bag.  Swimsuit, swim diaper, towel, sunblock.  The sunblock stays in this bag and never leaves.  She also has a separate area where she keeps pool stuff for the little kiddie pool in her backyard.  That way, both spots - the bag to take on the go and the items she may need at her house - are ALWAYS stocked and she never has to check anywhere else for what she needs.  (This is my downfall.  I pack a bag with what we need, and then I have to take stuff out to use around the house.  As soon as it’s out of the bag or closet, it’s anyone’s guess what happens to it.)
On top of this, she has a small basket stocked with extra pull ups, sunblock, a towel, a water bottle, an extra summer outfit, etc, etc.  This basket stays by the front door and she grabs it WHENEVER SHE LEAVES THE HOUSE (without plans for a specific destination).  This way, she not only has the normal stuff in the diaper bag or purse, but all the extra “we might need” kind of stuff sitting on the floor in the back seat of the car.  Amazing, I tell you.
She has her summer snacks in separate bags in a basket on her counter.  When she’s walking out the door, she grabs two or three bags and tosses them into her purse.  
She’s inspired me to get myself into shape for summer.  (organizationally speaking, of course.  I’m not taking up jogging or anything.)  And summer’s only half over, so I’m only a little late!
Of course, I realized that even if I make different bags and stock them, it won’t do any good because mr won’t realize what each bag is for, nor would he really care as he races to grab one and run out the door.  So I whipped up some “tassel” labels - using a super cheap shower curtain and vinyl table cloth I bought for 2 bucks (which will be used for something else to come...) because I wanted them to be waterproof.  


Now I can say, “Grab the pool bag!” as mr runs after me.  (You know, if we have a fire or something and need to run out of the house.  Because honestly, when else would we “run” for the car?)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some bags to pack.  (But I’ll have to make some lists first, obviously.)


MaggieK said...

Thanks for stopping by...I am your newest follower.

Happy Friday :)

Erin Wallace said...

Hi! New follower from Friendly Friday - love your blog! I hope to see you at Dropped Stitches!

xo Erin

Show Me Mama said...

I am your new follower. Great blog you have here. Come visit me at

Happy Friday!

Lanie Ree said...

Aw, your sister sounds great. Mine drive me crazy, but I wouldn't trade 'em, you know?

Stopping by from New Friend Friday.

Mama to 3 Blessings said...


the lovely paper blog said...

haha! yes i have that -itis sometimes! thanks for all the great ideas:) darling blog... i am your newest follower!

Annette said...

the tassle idea is great and adds to the bags as well. following from new friend fridays.

Lauren said...

found you at friday follow!

Santa's Gift Shoppe and Ideas said...

I’m Barb….I am from Friday Follow. I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @ & get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will take a peek and follow me as well. Nice to meet ya new friend!!!Plus I have a great Italian Stone Giveaway going on right now..We'd love to have you join us.

Erin Honestly said...

Your sister sounds amazing AND smart! I'm so unorganized. If it weren't for my boyfriend, I'd be screwed.

I think your sister just inspired me, as well!

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