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How do I organize myself when travelling back and forth between the Cottage or trailer and home?

This was a question that I was asked this week, and I think it makes a great topic for today's blog.

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This is the time of year that a lot of people are continuously moving back and forth from home to cottage/trailers and it can get quite confusing to keep track of all the things you have at each place, not to mention what you bring back and forth.  Inevitably you will end up at the cottage without that important ingredient for Friday evenings meal because you could have sworn you had some there…but in fact it is in your home kitchen cupboard.

Planning and organizing are key in moving back and forth.  Deciding which location is home base for the summer helps in planning…do you spend more time at the cottage and only occasionally go home?  Or do you spend the week at home and weekend at the cottage?  For the purpose of this blog I am going to concentrate on those that are weekend cottagers/campers.

For starters I suggest that you have a specific spot in your home that is designated as the cottage/trailer ‘to go’ location. Have a cottage bin ready to load in this location, something that is easy for you to just drop things in as you think of them thoughout the week. 

In the Kitchen:

Duplicate - The simple answer is to try and have duplicates of all the basics, most people do this anyway.

Keep a grocery list for each place separately – This is key so you know what you need at each place not just what you need.  As most people have phones now, the ongoing lists can be kept in digital format or use a shopping app, there are thousands out there to choose from.  I personally just keep it simple and use notes on my phone.

Take a picture of your fridge and main pantry at the end of the weekend – taking a picture of the cottage/trailer fridge and main food pantry will help you visually see what is there instead of trying to remember at the end of the week when you are getting ready to get weekend groceries in town.  Between this and your list you should be good to go!

Plan the menu - I always suggest menu planning, that is one of the key ways to stay organized and plan for meals and grocery shopping.  Whether home or cottage having a general menu plan will take a lot of pressure and stress of you when its time to feed everyone. Fro more info on menu planning check out this blog – Menu Planning Made Easy

In the Closet:

Keep it there- Keep the main items that are a must have at the cottage/trailer right there.  Especially things like bathing suites that are not easy to live without if you forget to bring them back.  For the very few must haves get accustom to hand washing them so they don’t have to be taken home to wash and possibly forgotten there. There is nothing as disappointing as getting to the trailer only to realize you have to spend the weekend without a bathing suit.

Travel with a basic wardrobe – If you often find yourself Sunday evening not wanting to go back to town, but then fussing over the fact that you did not bring your work clothes with you…then get in the habit of having at least one back up work outfit on standby for just such an emergency.  But in reality you should ALWAYS plan to not want to go back home Sunday night hehe

Give everyone their own travel bags that go back and forth- keep everyone’s things separate and teach kids the responsibility of packing what they want to bring back and forth (with supervision if they are young).  Keeping everyone's things separate makes it easier to supervise what is being brought back and forth.  Just remember to check younger kids bags for the essentials.  We once went away for a weekend and I mistakenly thought my kids were responsible enough to pack on their own.  My daughter had 3 suitcases all packed and ready go, so I just assumed that she had what she needed…We arrived at our destination only to discover that ALL 3 suitcases were full of stuffed toys and blankets…but not one stich of clothing.   Yup, nothing but the jacket that I had asked if she had before we left haha.  Now maybe this was her ploy to get new clothes, but I can assure you that the lack of stores in the area we were left her with just a few basics for the week J  After that I checked or made a list and made sure she had what she needed before we left each time.

In the Bathroom:

Duplicate - This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps and for all us gals have the basics like face cream and basic make up at each location as the possibility that you will forget your makeup bag some weekend is quite high.

Dedicated Travel Case - For all the stuff you cannot have duplicated,like medications, then make sure you have a travel case with these basics that go everywhere you go-  it becomes like your purse and travels with you back and forth.  

Laundry Essentials:

Separate color laundry basket for cottage/trailer - If your laundry facilities are at home and you are bringing things back and forth, then have laundry baskets that are easily identified as belonging to the cottage.  Keeping the laundry that comes home separate from home laundry and setting it aside in the designated cottage ‘to go’ spot will keep you from forgetting it when heading back to the cottage. Always check the dryer before you leave for the weekend.

The juggling of 2 living spaces throughout the summer can get confusing and frustrating once in awhile but the memories and fun had at these summer getaways are well worth the efforts.  A little planning and organizing can go a long way to make the back and forth a little less crazy!

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to stay organized between your cottage/trailer and home?  If so share them with us in the Kaos Support Facebook Group!

Happy Summering!

Kim