Tips to Help You Organize Yourself

The summer will be here and gone before you know it. If you feel a bit in disarray try the tips below and be organized before and after your Fun in the Sun:

  1. PREPARATION:
    • Review your calendar from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend and ask yourself and your family, “What would we really like to do this summer?” Then write it on your calendar and make it happen.
    • Have one home for all your travel information. It doesn’t matter if you use a hanging file folder, a three-ring binder or an accordion folder, just stick to one place.
    • Plan as much as you can from the comfort and convenience of your own home. This includes: Internet searches, AAA Triptiks, restaurant/hotel reservations, tickets of any kind such as park passes, airline, train, bus etc.
    • Call ahead to your final destination to see what amenities they offer so you know exactly what to pack or not to pack.
    • Have a flexible, tentative schedule of what you would like to do on which days of your vacation.
    • Copy your itinerary for a responsible person back home and also leave him/her your house key.
    • Ensure your vital documents are up to date and know where they are too.
    • If you are driving, preset your GPS.
  2. SUITCASE:
    • Layout your wardrobe for the trip and then take only half. Wear an outfit twice and choose one color scheme. Remember less is more especially when traveling.
    • Compartmentalize with zipper baggies and pack a kitchen garbage liner for laundry to come home with. You may want to try asking your children to bag up an outfit a day.
    • Wear and dispose of your “not so good” underwear, socks and t-shirts along the way.
    • Under pack your t-shirts and buy new souvenirs shirts if you like to do that.
    • Absolutely use a packing list. Take it with you, edit it as you go through your trip and then repack according to the list on the way home.
    • Pack a collapsible duffle bag to store purchases for the way back.
    • Utilize a tote for travel day with all your goodies such as a bottle of water, book, and pocketbook items. Then switch to a smaller purse or fanny pack for bare essentials when you get settled.
  3. ON THE ROAD:
    • Pack your own snacks and beverages. It will healthier, cost-effective and you can put that insulated bag in your kitchen to good use.
    • Stop at the library and dollar store before leaving town for those new items for the kids, books, movies, tapes and travel games.
    • Have Road Rules. Give the family a budget, even a named envelope with a certain dollar amount in it and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Help your children and yourself choose activities over possessions such as going dolphin watching instead of acquiring a new Mickey Mouse watch. Also give a space boundary. No one is allowed to bring home souvenirs that are larger cannot fit into a shoebox.
    • Keep a roll of paper towels with a rubber band around it so it doesn’t unravel and stuff a few plastic bags inside for instant garbage cans. And wipes aren’t just for kids; the grown-ups can make quite a mess of their coffee spills too.
  4. THE WRAP-UP
    • Empty all suitcases within 12 hours of getting home.
    • Go through all your papers from your one home, purge what you don’t need anymore and make a reference file for the information you’d like to save for the next time.
    • Leave the house clean, beds made and laundry done so that your only chore returning home is unpacking. Schedule a grocery store order to be delivered on the day you return home to an empty refrigerator.