Hooray for warm sunshine!
For many of us, Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of Summer. This is the start of a season full of outdoor gatherings with family and friends. In my family, we go camping, to the beach, and take turns hosting outdoor meals at each other’s homes.
It’s all too easy to accumulate packages of disposable cups, plates, and cutlery. We’re at the store before the big weekend and think, “Hmmm…do we have enough forks? Did we finish that last package of plastic cups? When we get home, we find there were drawers and cupboards stuffed with these disposables: half-opened, mixed, and scattered around. As you can imagine, this habit can get pricey if you host often. What’s more, all these extras awkwardly take up precious space, both in our cabinets and as excess waste in the landfills.
I recently worked with a woman who enjoys hosting cookouts in her beautiful outdoor entertainment space. She wanted to organize her kitchen as soon as possible. The warm weather was approaching and her house was the go-to for parties. The goal was to make entertaining less overwhelming and figure out a simple system to make set-up and clean-up easier. While sorting, we came to her built-in trash and recycling drawer full of the entertaining disposables I mentioned. She wanted to empty the bins, open up floor space, and use the drawer for the intended purpose.
Instead of continuing to use disposables, I suggested acquiring a set of re-usable party ware. She had some pieces already, and bought the rest to create a cute, colorful entertaining set. There happened to be an appropriately sized container on hand that made a wonderful home for all the pieces, and it fit snugly into the hall closet. Now, what she needs for events is always there: no more last-minute guess work on what supplies are needed, and no more overflowing trash barrels sitting next to the picnic tables.
As for the washing up, I borrowed a little idea from my days working at a Montessori school to keep it simple. She would place a bin with hot soapy water on a table next to a trash can. Guests would scrape their scraps into the can and put their dishes into the soapy water. At the end of the night, the party host could simply pour out the water, and toss the dishes into the dishwasher - the guests did the rinsing!
Here are a few considerations if you’d like to try this out:
Let us know - do you entertain and have a system that works well? Are you inspired to give it a try? We’d love to see photos and learn new ideas, feel free to comment below or send us a message!
If you’ve found your way to Simple Living Strategies, you may have come here looking to get a handle on areas in your home and schedule that feel overstuffed and overwhelmed: areas that don’t quite work for you due to the clutter and disarray. Or, maybe simplicity as a buzz word had gotten in your ear and has some vague appeal: life in the slow lane; scaling back from the busy-ness burden of modern life; having more time for creativity, family and ease. However you’ve come, welcome! We’re glad you’re here.
A perusal of the website will show you the services I offer, helping people redefine what’s personally fitting in their lifestyles and homes. Now, I'm excited to bring you the blog. I want to share not only the tips and encouragement to make positive changes in your own lives and homes, but something of the thoughts and feelings about life which lead me to become a professional organizer.
Stay tuned for posts full of advice on particular projects, as well as those which touch on the challenges, benefits and rewards of making the conscious decision to get organized. I'm curious about our world and inspired by beautiful places and people doing honorable work in our communities. I'd love to share stories about events around town, trips I take, and the good folks I meet along the way.
Here’ a bit of what to look for in the coming months:
Do you have a story, project, or event to share? Get in touch! I hope you’ll check in, read, leave your thoughts, and share your own wisdom and questions.