Be proud to let your guests hang up coats themselves
You've made a list of the areas in need of organization and have committed yourself to the plan, now let's get started.
You've made an organizing plan and committed yourself to the project, now get ready to start. Upbeat music is energizing and an energy bar plus water will be fuel enough if you need a snack during the half-hour you've set aside. Gather bags, boxes and storage bins in advance; this will allow you to stay focused and reduce your chance of becoming sidetracked searching for containers.
Label Containers: Label three containers 'toss', 'donate' and 'keep somewhere else' and be strict with yourself about tossing and donating. Unless it's a keepsake or item that will be used regularly it can probably be either tossed or donated.
Determine the Function of the Space: Look carefully at what you're storing in your entrance closets and decide how you need your closets to function for your family. The entrance closets of the home work best when they're used to keep coats, sweaters, umbrellas and shoes. If you have school age children or teens, backpacks and book bags might also have a home in the closet. Sports gear like ice skates or roller blades will be easily located if they're kept in an entrance closet provided there's enough room. Organizing the front entrance closet for guests to use should follow the same process as the frequently used entrance closet except that you'll want to leave room for guest's coats and shoes.
Get Started: Start by pairing up shoes on a rack or shelf and plan to keep only the most used shoes and boots in your entrance closets; special-occasion shoes can be moved to bedroom closets. Next, hang coats and sweaters and store gloves, scarves and ear muffs in rectangular baskets or containers on the eye level shelf just above the rod. Many closets have room for an additional shelf above the standard shelf and you might consider installing one for sports gear and off-season clothing. If room allows, consider installing heavy duty wall hooks with anchors for backpacks, umbrellas, and hats or ball caps. Add labels above the hooks for each family member, they'll appreciate knowing exactly where their book bags and backpacks are before leaving the house in the morning.
Keep, Toss and Donate: Items other than outerwear and sporting gear that have found their temporary home in an entrance closet should be tossed, donated or relocated to a more appropriate place in the house or garage. But don't make work for later, pack the stuff you're keeping elsewhere in appropriately sized, labeled containers and take them to their new spots right away, don't procrastinate. Tossing the items in your 'toss' pile should be done immediately otherwise you may give them a second thought and end up keeping things you don't need to keep. Your 'donate' containers or bags should be put somewhere handy like next to the car or inside the trunk and ready for delivery to a local charity. Some charities will let you know that they are picking up in your area if you're on their calling list and will tell you how to label your boxes and bags for pick up.
A few brief tips for those who are new to the world of boating.
Life and leisure on the water can be an enormously rewarding experience. Whether you love the serenity of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the placid and hypnotizing sound of the water gently lapping the side of the boat, or you prefer the screaming engine propelling you over the surface of the water with the wind tugging at your hair, boating can provide it all. For those new to boating, a few tips are in order.
First, safety should be paramount to all things. It should go without saying that all of the safety equipment and flotation devices should be onboard and accessible. It is also a good idea to take a local boating course covering safety as a topic to better prepare you for time spent on the water. If you are not sure of what safety and flotation gear needs to present on your boat, check with the nearest Coast Guard or local waterborne law enforcement unit to prevent both mishaps and the issuance of citations for lacking the proper equipment.
Assuming the boat you intend to use will be your own and recently acquired, be sure to familiarize yourself with all of its features. Become intimate with its capabilities and limitations and spend time with the owners manual, if available. As mentioned earlier, make sure that all of the requisite items are onboard and accessible and if not, obtain them before getting underway.
Whether you will be boating on the open ocean or inland lakes and waterways, obtain local charts and look for shoal, or shallow areas that could inhibit your passage and damage your propellers, leaving you stranded. Familiarize yourself with the chart legend and make sure you understand the symbols used to warn boaters of potential trouble. Look for underwater obstructions jutting up from the bottom. It is always wise to know what the color and shape of the channel buoys mean as they are provided for your safety and the safety of your fellow mariners. Buoys indicate which side of the channel you should be traveling on, where the shoal water is, and indicates the location of other channels.
As with most things, alcohol and boating do not mix, particularly if you are entrusted with the lives of others riding in your boat. Alcohol impairs judgment, which should be entirely unencumbered when the potential hazards present when boating could mean disaster. There is ample opportunity to enjoy adult beverages once onshore when the boat is secured to the dock or pier.
Communication equipment is an important element in safe boating and primary and secondary means of speaking to the shore and fellow boaters should be present. Marine-band radios are the most commonly used while on the water, but cellular phones are a handy and reliable back-up.
A complete and amply supplied first aid kit should be secured to the bulkhead of your boat in case unforeseen accidents occur.
Enjoy your boating experience and share the wonders of the water with others. Be prepared before getting underway and keep safety in the forefront of your mind.
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