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House Calls
By Amy Ross
"Hey Fever" Season


It's that time again! The joys of summer vacation: the sun is warm, the grass is green, the flowers are in full bloom and the kids are out of school. Its also the start of "Hey Fever Season".

As soon as the weather starts to get warmer and the days are a little longer - you immediately start feeling the symptoms right away… "Hey Mom have you seen my? ""Hey Dad can you fix my …""Hey Honey do you know where my … is"?

The season when all of those things that have been tucked away for winter start to come out again and parents are supposed to know where everything is. It's also the season when the garage is taken over by bikes, skateboards, golf clubs and lawnmowers and if you are lucky, you might still able to park your car in there.

Garages are the biggest empty space in a home that is the easiest to fill. It has the biggest door; the most floor space and BIG stuff can fit in it. It's the pass through space from the car to the house, so some use it for a place to keep the extra refrigerator and bulk shopping items. It's the easiest storage space to lose in the shortest amount of time.

Keeping track of all the stuff that comes with a family is hard. Staying on top of organizing is essential. So if you need to take a weekend and clean out the garage remember the PEACE Method!

During the sorting process - decide what to Toss, Keep, Sell/Donate -

Ask yourself the hard questions again:

Have you used it in 2 years? Have the kids outgrown it? What in the world is it?? Is it something you need each season? Is it in good working condition? Is it a duplicate? Can you borrow it for those few occasions you might need it?

What to do with all the car supplies that are almost empty? Recycling centers will take some items, and dispose them properly - call your local Pep Boys first to accept, oil, anti freeze, tires, and batteries. Construction Junction in Pgh. will take old paint that's still useable.

Then once you have everything ready to go back in the garage that absolutely needs to, create "work zones". Keeping "like items with like" - all the tools in one area -sports equipment together - even the youngest of children can figure out the system.

Best thing about a garage is all that vertical space! Look at all the things that can be hung on the wall! They make great hanging racks for your lawn and garden tools. Bike racks, sports equipment, tools find a home. There are shelving systems that hang from the rafters to store flat items like furniture cushions, toboggans, tires and what not. Organization products can range from a sports rack for $19.99 to a whole garage system that could run into thousands of dollars.

All these gadgets are great in getting you started, but it doesn't matter how much money you spend to get organized, if no one knows how to keep it that way. All of your efforts are futile if you don't teach your children to be responsible for their own things. You have to think of a system that works for everyone, not just you. If the kids are more apt to throw balls into a big bucket than hang them individually on a rack? Use the system that works for them. It makes life so much easier!

So the next time you start to feel the onset of "hey fever" symptoms again. "Hey Mom do you know where my…?" You can breathe a little easier, because they already know the answer: "Oh yeah… right where it's supposed to be…"

You may check out some of the best organizing items on my website under "Organized Lifestyle"

If you have an odd or interesting item to dispose of, but you just don't know where to take it? Write to Amy Ross at House Calls and we'll put you in touch with the right resource.

Amy Ross is an Interior Consultant and owner of …Er Designs: specializing in Professional Organizing, Interior Redesign, Real Estate Staging, Move-In/Relocation Services, Color & Space Planning. For your personal space solutions call Amy: 724-575-2880 or Visit www.erdesigns4u.com








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