Organising Outdoor Toys

Welcome to Week 34 of Tidy 2020! I have noticed over the last couple of nights that the evenings are starting to draw in again and our mornings have had a distinctly Autumnal feel. The animals feel it too and are starting to shed their summer coats (so the house is even hairier than usual!). I’m not sure that I am ready for Summer to be over yet - with Covid this year, it feels like it’s shot by and in Scotland Autumn comes so much earlier than it does in the rest of the UK. Never mind, it’ll soon be time to curl up in front of warm fires in cosy jumpers and to have hot chocolate when we come in from a cold horse ride. Each part of the year has its own magic.

With that thought in mind, this week we are going to bring to a close our outdoor sessions and finish off with Outdoor Toys. I guess that this is more appropriate if you have children, but there are plenty of things, like hot tubs and hammocks, that fit this category if you don’t have kids.

You know the drill by now, gather together the entire category to go through it, although I appreciate that you won’t want to be moving the large equipment like trampolines. You may have done some of this category in last week’s exercise equipment, but if you didn’t, then this is the time to look through other toys such as footballs and scooters. In preparation for the probably windy autumn we have coming (not making a prediction here, just going on a working knowledge of Scottish Autumns!), I’ll be checking that the kites still work!

For me this is a time of year to see which toys the children have used outdoors this year and think about getting them dried out, mended and stored. We get out our big paddling pool every year and every year it springs a leak someplace new. One day it will be more repairs than anything else, but for now it lives to fight another year. Soon I will be looking to empty it, dry it out and pack it up.

My kids are a bit bigger now, so ride on cars and the like are gone, but definitely worth a go through if you still have them. We’ll need to give the tree house a clean out and check which buckets and which equipment from the mud kitchen are useable for another year. Plus have a look at the trampoline to check that it is well anchored before the winter winds come whistling over the garden wall.

I know that this is not outdoor toys, but a quick reminder at this point to look at booking in chimney sweeps and ordering wood or other fuel if you have a fire. Also, with oil the current low price it is, if you have an oil tank, now is the time to get it filled!

Once again, I’m going to end with a plea to please look to get yourself together as far as you are able before winter and a possible resurgence of Covid. The dumps are open, the charity shops are open and it’s possible to sell your items on various internet sites. Make sure that you have done a pantry inventory and that you are sensibly stocked. No panic buying, just be sensible and prepare as far as you are able to quarantine for 2 weeks if you are asked to.