Group Safety Tips for Crowds
Summer is upon us and it’s time to soak in the sun, see the sights and enjoy everything summer has to offer – like concerts, street fairs, festivals and more. However taking in the local culture can turn into a stressful time when corralling the family and traveling in a group. Whether it’s your two-year-old wandering off in a crowd, or your husband of 20 years, it’s important to have a plan in case you’re separated.
Organize Anything has put together six great tips to help you stay connected with your group as you enjoy summer activities.
1. Colour Coordinate. Taking the kids to the fair, or attending this summer’s “must-see” concert? Consider colour-coordinating your t-shirts, or dressing the little ones in bright colours so they’re easy to spot in a crowd. This tip is popular at large amusement parks like Disneyworld where you’ll often see whole families decked out in neon.
2. ICE it. Traveling with a group of friends to see a concert or enjoying a festival? Make sure everyone’s got everyone else’s cell phone numbers programmed into their phones. Label the numbers with “ICE” which stands for In Case of Emergencies. Taking smaller children out to enjoy performance? Safety pin your cell phone number, home phone number and address to the inside of a pocket or coat so they have it case of emergencies. Remember at large events you can’t always hear the phone ringing vibrate may help.
3. Plan ahead. In the event you do get separated from your group, you should have a plan in place of where you’ll meet them. Before leaving the house or when you have arrived at the venue, decide on a spot where everyone will meet at the end of the day if you get separated. Everyone knowing the plan will save you headaches and heartaches later.
4. Talk it out. When travelling with small children, be sure to tell them early and often how important it is to stick together. Cover the ground rules before leaving the house in the morning and then review them on the ride there and before you get out of the car. Make a game out of remembering the information.
5. Get Technical. For grownups, there are apps for your smart phone that let you share your location via GPS with friends. Perfect for that crowded concert, group members can go for snacks and bathroom breaks without losing you in the crowd. For younger children you can purchase small GPS trackers that tie onto shoe laces or backpacks. At the press of a button the tracker will start to chirp, alerting parents to their child’s location.
6. Light it Up. Heading out to watch the fireworks? Go to the Dollar Store and grab coordinated glow sticks or funky flashing lights to pass out to the family. Turn them on when the sun goes down so you can track the members of your party.
Armed with this handy information, you and your family and friends are ready to hit the streets and the beach this summer worry free. A little planning for safety can ensure lots of fun at any gathering this summer.
Here’s an idea that will help you get organized while warding off the financial blues—use what you have. You’d be surprised at how many items you have lying around that you’ve never used. Items that, by using them, will create more space in your home and save you money. For example:
1. Use those gift cards and certificates you received over the past year. It’s a great way to get what you want or need without spending money. You can even stretch out their value through end-of-season sales. Just be sure to check the expiry date before using them.
2. Those decorative candles? They were meant to be lit and to burn out, so use them before you buy new ones.
3. Check your books and magazines. There’s always one you haven’t read. Consider cancelling subscriptions for any magazines you don’t read regularly, and get rid of any items you aren’t going to read.
4. Take an inventory of the food you have and think about ways to use it. Got pasta and tomato sauce? Add meat and cheese to your grocery list and make lasagna. Even your freezer is likely to have several items that you can prepare. This will save you money and reduce clutter in your cupboards and fridge.
5. Why rent when you can catch up on movies you’ve collected, or programs you’ve recorded? When done, take the movies you don’t need to keep and donate them, or give them to a friend.
6. Built up a lot of points on your merchant loyalty cards for air travel, products or services? Now is the time to redeem them.
7. You probably have more beauty supplies than you realize. It’s time to take stock and start using them. This is also a great way to clear out products that are past their expiry date. If you have items you don’t plan to use, like shampoo, drop them off at your local women’s shelter.
8. Have a lot of loose change around your house? Gather it up and use it. You can roll it up and put it in the bank or divide it up and give it to your kids as lunch money.
9. Instead of a new hobby or craft, revisit one that you set aside. You’ll save money on supplies.
Remember, when it comes to excess or unused items around your home, everything old is new again. For example, consider cutting up old towels to make new cleaning cloths. And consider giving your extra or unused linen and kitchen supplies to someone who’s just purchased a new home or rented an apartment. .
Don’t Lose the Organizing Game
In the classic game of Tetris, falling colored blocks must be correctly fitted into each other to form lines. Whether packing a moving truck, arranging a home office, or finding space in your kitchen pantry, organizing is just like Tetris.
Here are five simple tricks to make sure you win the game every time.
1. Square containers maximize space. No space is wasted with rounded edges in Tetris. Get in the habit of picking canisters and bins that are square, so to not lose space that rounded containers leave behind. This means more space for toiletries on
bathroom shelves and space for additional storage in refrigerators and garages.
2. Oddly shaped pieces can be a nightmare. How easily that rectangle fits, and the “L” shape is so handy. But what about those pieces (furniture, small appliances) with parts that jut out and don’t quite fit with the things around it? Choose furniture that won’t take up space with unnecessary flourishes, modern accents, or curved designs. Symmetry is naturally perceived as beautiful and creates clean and clutter free lines. An “L” shape desk is an optimal work space.
3. Stack up for added space. Run out of space along the wall? Time to start looking up! Adding shelves, or swapping a squat unit for a tall narrow one can be a great way to add storage to a room that seems maxed out.
4. Run out of space—you lose. Well not really, but it makes living awfully tough. You may lose time looking for things, lose sleep from stress, or lose your marbles trying to keep everything in order.
5. Organizing feels good! When you fit that last piece into the row, nothing feels better! Finishing the job and having an organized space will help you think more clearly and live with purpose. Be proud of your hard work!
Clean lines, well-fitting pieces, and smart stacking—sounds like you‘re the winner!