August 23, 2007

Organized camping

Even when my husband and I go camping, I try to keep our campsite and gear as organized and decluttered as possible. We bring only what we really need, plus a few personal items for our own comfort, like a book, soft pillow or socks, or our small camp hammock. Each thing has its own place and its own container. This is what we usually bring:

1. Tent
2. Sleeping bags, mattresses and pillows
3. A backpack each for our clothes and personal items
4. A cooler for cold foods
5. A dry box for our dry foods
6. "The Kitchen Box" which is a rugged plastic bin that holds our cooking pans, utensils, clotheslines, matches, tablecloth, oven mitt, soap and other things. Everything just gets tossed into the box (no need to be anal on a camping trip) and then immediately gets cleaned out after each trip.

We also strive to keep our campsite organized. Making sure the tent zipper is closed keeps out bugs, closing the lids on our food and kitchen boxes keeps out the birds and squirrels and keeping everything organized means we are able to find everything right away.

I have noticed other campsites in our area that are strewn with kids' toys and clothes, food is left out, and garbage piles up. If you do this in your home, no one can see it unless they come in, but in a campground your site is open to the world. No one likes to see that kind of mess, especially out in nature.

August 17, 2007

The Project Board

Another tip from Hellen Buttigieg for when your numerous projects get out of hand:

Us busy, creative people love our projects, but we don't love them when they take over our lives and we constantly flit from one to the other, none of them getting finished. A project board is a small magnetic or tack board with colored slips of paper attached to it with each project written on it, i.e. "Scrapbook for wedding", "Paint mailbox", "Knit baby blanket".

There will only be enough room for about five or six projects (four being ideal and not too overwhelming). When one project is done, take it off the board and do not add another one until the board is empty. Then start again.

Another great tip from Hellen is the Now or Never concept. When going through and purging items, have two boxes. One labeled Now and one labeled Never. The Now items are things you are using in the present and will continue using. The Never items are things that have just been hanging around and that have never been used and never will be. Be honest with yourself, and get clutter free.

August 12, 2007

What is beautiful to you?

Imagine you have to pick only the things that are most beautiful to you. These are the items that will also be most valuable to you. Why are you keeping the other stuff?

Keeping out of your mind what is purely useful (computer, office supplies, bath products) what things in your home are your most beautiful? Go around the house and touch each one and say to yourself why you think it should stay. The things you did not touch are ready to leave.