Ready to take on summer? When weather warms up, everything moves outside - from playtime to dinner time. But, organizing outdoors can be a bit of a struggle, and the pressure is on when inviting guests over. Zhuzh up your outdoor spaces before barbecue season begins with these tips from NEAT owners who love to entertain.
Invest in a Tray
Spend more time entertaining and less time tidying up. Start by pre-washing dishes that may have collected dust over the winter. Then, lay out everything you need to gather around the table, including condiments, placemats, napkins and bug spray.
“Invest in a tray or caddy to carry all the things and limit the number of times you have to go in and out of your house. It also helps to streamline cleanup.”
- Corrin McCoy of NEAT NYC
Gather Grilling Tools
When possible, store everything you use grill-side together in one drawer to limit the amount of cabinets accessed in order to gather what you need. This may require a quick edit of anything broken or that you're no longer using. Storing items inside will also prevent moisture damage and reduce outdoor clutter.
"If you are limited on kitchen drawer space, store all grilling supplies in a bin in an upper cabinet or pantry. Take it a NEAT step further by labeling it "Grill Time"!"
- Katie Koentje of NEAT San Diego
Create a Kit
Roast marshmallows or mix up a drink whenever the mood strikes with easy access to all the necessities. In addition to the obvious tools needed, be sure to include any food items for a quick grab and go outside. Bonus if the basket used blends with your outdoor decor.
"Create a s’mores kit by corralling all supplies in a basket and storing it near the door to your fire pit. Sometimes this means a kitchen cabinet, but may also mean the mudroom or laundry room - whichever is closest. My favorite for this is our divided Perforated Basket."
-Liz Girsch of NEAT Method Wisconsin
Hide the Clutter
Tuck away backyard items in opaque storage containers so they are out of sight and protected from the elements. Large deck boxes are perfect for pool floats and lawn games while smaller items like throw blankets and pool towels work better stored in lidded outdoor baskets.
"When looking for outdoor storage furniture ensure it has a mesh bottom so that wet items can drain properly."
- Shelley Anbouba of NEAT Dallas - Highland Park
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the NEAT team