We spoke with Professional Organizer Anne Gideon of Just Get Organized to give us some tips:
De-clutter your home first
“Being de-cluttered and organized in your home makes life in general easier and most efficient. It even makes tasks like putting groceries away, doing the laundry, packing for a trip/cottage much more pleasurable and enjoyable to do…oh, did I mention less stressful!”
Throw it away
“Only have items in your home/cottage that serve a purpose. Items you use, items you need, items you love.”
“Make a list of items you will be needing to take to the cottage that upcoming weekend/week/summer.
“Designate a place in your home or garage for ‘Cottage’ items and throughout the week you can put items there you will be needing for your upcoming visit.”
Gideon organizes her list of what to bring to the cottage into five categories:
Food/Drink: Groceries, beverages, condiments, paper towels, napkins, paper plates, plastic cutlery, food wraps
Sleep: Clean bedding, extra pillows, sleeping bags
Toiletries: First aid, bug spray, sunscreen, lip balm, toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste
Activities & Leisure: Books, magazines, games, cards, sporting equipment, bathing suits, CD’s
Other essential items: Charcoal for the barbeque, propane, flashlights, batteries, cleaning products, dish soap, camera
According to an informal survey of 20 Canadians, many would agree with Gideon’s choices. When asked what would be your top 5 items to bring to the cottage the number one spot was tied between food and a good book. In second place were drinks and entertainment followed by sunscreen and a swim suit.
In Carol Neshevich’s case, one of those surveyed, she brings along two swim suits. “You may get out of the water and want to get back in again a little while later, and it’s never fun getting back into a wet bathing suit.”
Gideon cautions to keep the list of ‘what to bring to the cottage’ up-to-date.
“Once items are stocked up at the cottage, only bring what you run out of on your next visit,” says Gideon. “Have an ongoing list at the cottage to bring home with you for items needed.”
Finally, once the cottage is stocked up, Gideon says to keep it simple.
“Don’t forget to de-clutter the cottage. Most often we have duplicates in our homes and we say ‘We can use that at the cottage’ and before you know it you have a cottage full of unused/unwanted stuff.”