Now, for me, when the crisp fall air approaches and the leaves start to turn, that can only mean one thing: tailgate season is upon us. Even if you are not a huge football fan, what’s not to love about tailgating?

Fresh air, friends, food, drink, it all sounds like a great time.

But, getting a tailgate setup is no easy task; there are actually quite a few moving parts that are involved. This is especially true if you are hosting the event. So it can be really easy to forget things if you aren’t organized.

After a few seasons of tailgating under my belt, I’ve got the process pretty well set by now, and in reality organization is really key in order to become the tailgate superhero I know you have in you.  So let’s get started.

Find a spot for tailgating basics

Once you are fully indoctrinated into the world of tailgating you are going to have quite a haul of things.  Here’s a list of the basic supplies you’ll need for your tailgating party:

  • portable grill
  • tent
  • folding table
  • chairs
  • cooler
  • portable radio or TV

Designate a corner of your garage, basement or storage area to keep all of your big stuff together. That way, come game day, you aren’t digging around looking for things here, there and everywhere.

Once you’re covered with the basics and have them readily accessible you can start focusing on the little things.

Make a game day checklist

Many people keep a laminated checklist of supplies at the ready to make sure nothing is forgotten. This might include all sorts of stuff like condiments and seasonings, plates, cups and cutlery, BBQ tools, cutting boards, cleaning supplies and the like.

The easy solution to keeping these items organized is to get a big plastic container with a lid. The container I have is clear, so I can quickly look in from the side to take an inventory in case any supplies are running low.

Take all of those little things and neatly stack them in the plastic tub, don’t forget to throw in extras like paper towels, tin foil, toilet paper, an oven mitt, extra trash bags, a bottle opener and the like. Once you have gone through a few tailgates you will quickly see what items are going to be the ‘must haves’ in your tailgate box.

Big containers = big help

When it’s time to head to the game, having a container or two with all your supplies that can be neatly stacked or set into the back of the car keeps everything in one spot. And you don’t have to worry about things rolling around in the back of your SUV while you’re on the road.

The organization doesn’t stop there, once you get to the game, get everything set up, and immediately get a big trash bag and hang it off the back of your car. Always clean and throw away as you go, believe me, this will make set up and tear down so much easier and more efficient.

Host your tailgating party and enjoy!

From there, it’s all smooth sailing. With your nicely organized tailgate box and supplies, you are not going to be like your neighbors who are frantically searching the trunk for a spatula, but be nice and lend them a hand anyway.

I’m sure there are some other tailgate fans out there in the crowd, what are some of your best organization tips for getting out to the game? Let us know in the comments!

 Liz Froment