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Getting Organized for an Outdoor Experience  
By Dian Thomas

When it comes to having a great experience outdoors, it definitely helps to be organized. I looked back into some of my material and decided this would be great to share with you. I find when I have things organized I have more time to enjoy the outdoor and the people that I am sharing the experience with.

Having all of your tools and utensils at your fingertips will prevent you from running in and out of the house during your cookout. Getting organized is simple and inexpensive.

Hanging Equipment Bag

Buy a hanging shoe or lingerie organizer with see-through pockets at the store. You can use the pockets to store everything you’ll need. Separate paper plates, napkins, eating utensils, cups and cooking utensils into individual pockets.

Grilling equipment with handles can be hung over the hanger portion of the bag. When you’re not using the bag, you can hang it in the kitchen, utility closet or even the garage, and it’s easy to transfer to an outdoor hook or a tree branch when you’re ready to fire up the grill.

And if a thunderstorm is a surprise guest at your outdoor dinner, you can pack up in just minutes.

Equipment bag suspended from a tree. Backyard Roughing It Easy.

Lunch or Tackle Box

An old lunch box or a fishing tackle box can easily be turned into a handy storage box for your barbecue paraphernalia. You can use the space to store all of your spices and barbecue sauces, as well as potholders, utensils and other items you might need. Both lunch and tackle boxes come in various sizes, so look around to find one that suits your needs.

Plastic Cleaning Container

You may want to make a stop at the housewares department of your local store and pick up a plastic cleaning container. These durable containers have handles and are divided into compartments, so it will be easy to organize utensils and spices and have them ready anytime you need them.

Carpenter’s Apron

If you would rather have all of your necessities at your fingertips, buy a carpenter’s apron for yourself. The large front pockets provide plenty of space for all of the tools you’ll need for your
outdoor experience.

Ironing Board Buffet

If you don’t have a picnic table or a patio set, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to serve your food outdoors with ease if you think creatively.

Your ironing board has probably been relegated to just the task of ironing in the past, but you don’t need to limit its uses. It can also serve as a portable buffet or a table for equipment when you’re barbecuing. Place the ironing board on a level, solid surface, and check to make sure it’s secure before you use it.

To make the board more stable, place bricks or bags of sand on its legs. Then drape a tablecloth or oilcloth over the board, and it’s ready for any outdoor serving ideas you can think of.

For those of you who are a bit more ambitious, you can make a table drape with pockets to hold all of the utensils. This can be simply sewn, and it puts all of the utensils at your guests’ fingertips.

I trust that you will be able to find one or two ideas that will help you organize your next outdoor experience. Some of my most memorable times have been ones I have shared with my friends and family outdoors. Our family is all getting together to celebrate my birthday next Monday before I leave for a month in China. It is my desire to share many of my experiences when I am over there with you.

   
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