0039. Simplifying

Summer, of all times, calls for simplicity. Easy meals you can pack up for a picnic, breezy uniforms you reach for without second thought, no-bake desserts ... undemanding selections in the interest of maximizing time outside during these precious months.

All year round I've been striving for this - figuring out what works for me and getting organized enough to implement solutions routinely. In my current transitory life it's a little tougher, but I'm getting there. A game changer - kits.

Before we moved out, I was starting the process. I kept a sewing kit in a jar, likewise for my nail clipper and file, oft-used craft supplies, etc, etc. The notion is simple - I collect things I use often and put them together in easy to find (and store) receptacles. They're stashed away but ready to go when I need them and with a bunch of back-to-back trips coming up, packing my indispensables has never been easier. This may be the most obvious thing ever but I'm always excited by simple solutions so I share. My current kits:

+ Essentials: After much deliberation I've finally narrowed down my 'essentials' and I love that everything I need is in one small, easy to spot clutch from my homeland. My bare necessities: 'wallet', notebook, pen, glasses cloth, cash/coin purse, a hair tie, chapstick, tiny spork, and - my favorite gift from this past Christmas - a tiny Swiss army knife. When we leave the house I know it's the one thing I need to grab and there's even room to slip in my phone. I stick it in a cotton tote so I always have a bag should I need it.

+ Jewelry making: I love metal, old-fashioned index card boxes and the two I've thrifted were a steal! They're lightweight and the perfect size for my supplies and tools. I was going to paint them, but rather than waiting until I get around to that I've put them to use - we hang out with our favorite trio almost every night and this little box always comes along. While we watch silly shows or just chat, my hands are clawing away at some wire to send out prototypes for my store.

+ Chargers, etc: Self-explanatory. The etcetera involves my squeeze ball and a miscellany of random supplies I might be using at the time (x-acto knife, sliding ruler, stencils, stamps).

+ Planning: I bought this clutch at a yard sale years ago and while I love it (it's survived many purges), I've never actually used it ... I much prefer cross-shoulder bags. When I realized my planner and journal are the perfect size and the side pocket fits pens, I was thrilled. It's pretty and I'm never circling the house wondering: 'where is my planner/that pen??' Bonus: it protects my notebooks when I’m traveling.

+ Walk: Anytime I'm on a walk I see some sort of trash or recyclable, luckily much less than in other places. Rather than leaving it behind because it's covered in mud and I forgot a receptacle, I've put this tiny kit by the door and now I'm always prepared to leave it better than I found it. Not pictured because it's just a bag and a couple of makeshift gloves (deflated air pillows I salvaged from work).

+ Travel sewing: I love being a passenger! Which is good because we are carpooling long distances over the next two weeks. I stare at the passing places (so green right now!), write, read, or bring projects along. Annoying tags, hole-y socks and other mends stand no chance with my tiny sewing kit at the ready.

Nothing revolutionary but it's a tiny solution that simplifies any scenario and is working wonders for my sanity, productivity, etc. Cute receptacles not required but always fun.

Are you heading anywhere? Do you have any kits that travel with you? As an inquisitive person - I'd love to know what works for you.

PS. My OG travel kit always comes along too.


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