TUCKER HOTTES has the ‘end-of-summer blues’


Forget spring cleaning. Let’s talk fall organization.
Getting stuck in school traffic for the first time all summer reminded me, depressingly, that we’re almost done with the warm(ish), carefree, long days. Don’t get me wrong — I love fall and winter, but for the most part, I feel myself slipping into the end-of-summer blues. Time spent outdoors is going to start dwindling and I know it’s time to start my post-summer cleaning routine.
Now, we’re not talking spring cleaning where I scrub the windows and all that jazz (ha, like that really happens…). It’s time for me to start re-sorting and re-storing all my gear. Even if I do take a fall camping trip, or put on extra layers to stand in the river and fish, the scattered nature of my equipment must come to an end. Over the course of the summer, my generally meticulous storage of camping stuff, fishing stuff, tailgating stuff, and miscellaneous all-purpose outdoors stuff goes by the wayside as things start spreading all over the house.
I like to pack most of my “quick grab” camping gear into a single plastic tub that I can easily locate and toss in the back of the car for a trip. But after a few trips, it starts to look like the returns cart at an outdoors retailer. Right now, I’ve even got my spare tongs in the dishwasher because I was too lazy to wash my regular ones and grabbed the extras out of the camping box that’s sitting not-where-it-should-be. My million pound foldable canopy is resting in a spot next to the front door, not quite in the way but annoying enough to look at. The tent is still in my car.
Some of this comes down to basic laziness — who wants to completely unload and carefully put stuff away right after a trip? Another component is the old “I’ll put it away next time” fallacy, where I convince myself I’ll be going back out soon enough to make hauling stuff around inside the house seem like a waste of time. Often enough, I do turn right back around and use stuff within a reasonable time, but as we start to lose sunlight, so do I lose opportunity for adventures.
So, it’s time to bite the bullet and get on this year’s storage task. The ‘camping box’ is going to be one of the first things to get completely packed and un-packed, since last time I went camping we found three separate boxes of garbage bags along with two unopened boxes of plastic cutlery. It’s always nice to have extras, but next time I’ll save the five bucks and skip the trash bags and silverware. I’m also looking to build a small pseudo closet to store my fishing gear in the foyer. No more walking around the house carrying wet boots and waders — right into their spot they’ll go. If nothing else, I aim to be diligent in my storage this year in an attempt to convince myself to be more organized next season.

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