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Five Summer Organization Strategies

Summer is not just a time of outdoor adventuring, vacationing and lazy days. For a Type A personality such as myself, it also means something else: organization.

I may have sounded a tad giddy when I said the “o” word, but with my kids being home during summer, I often feel buried by toys, summer crafts and tornado-like bedrooms. Not to mention the overload of school artwork and papers that have accumulated from the previous year.


So, over the years, I’ve treated summer much like my “spring cleaning.” It’s also the perfect time to get organized before the busy school year starts again.

But where to start?

1. Pick one area to organize at a time. For most of us, the thought of tackling an area that is in dire need of organization is a daunting task. Thus, we procrastinate even more. Redondo Beach-based professional organizer Kristi Rose suggests the “Five-Minute” organization strategy, which has helped many of her clients. “Spend just five minutes in one section, or area at a time every day, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish,” she suggests


2. Teach children to organize and clean. My oldest daughter loves to organize her room. But she has not always been that motivated. Over the years, I’ve learned that the best motivator for a child is to work together with an adult. I have also tried to let her take the lead to share ideas in how to improve areas of her room. This in turn builds self confidence and creativity.

3. Follow through failure. According to Rose, one of the biggest mistakes her clients makes is not following through after they’ve determined the keep, donate and toss categories. “Put that giveaway bag in the back of your car right away, and drop it off the next time you’re out running errands,” she advises.


4. Boxes, baskets and carts are key. Store the week’s newspapers in a low-sided metal tray; a knitting project in a wicker basket. Plastic laundry baskets, shopping bags, or flat-bottomed dishpans can be used to bring out the playthings and collect them. During the school year, I noticed homework and papers were scattered. To avoid losing my already fragile mind, I bought two canvas baskets (labeled for each child), and placed them near the backpack rack. Each child was responsible for dropping school papers in their bin.


5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I know this phrase is overused, but try to tackle the areas that have the biggest impact on your family’s everyday lives. Consider the areas that cause stress and waste time. Be practical, not a perfectionist.

Whew. I’m now feeling exhausted from talking about the “o” word. Never thought I’d say that.

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.



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