With summer upon us, your pace may be a little slower, which can be just what we all need to recharge and connect. Yet, it can also be a time when we feel the most disorganized. Routines change (or fall apart completely), maybe you’re still working, but perhaps the kids are home all day. More meals in the house and more little feet. On one hand, we want to make the most of this time and do all the things, and on the other hand, we long for some ease. I’m confident you can find that sweet spot, and here are some ideas to transition into the season and get organized for summer.
1. Transition Clothing & Gear
Before shoving winter gear into a bin or closet to be unearthed months down the road, take the time to evaluate first. Do the items still fit your kids? Are they in good shape? If not, no use storing them for months. Donate or sell them now. Also, swap out the sleds for beach toys so you can have what you need for that spontaneous summer outing right at your fingertips.
2. Make Grab and Go Totes
It’s helpful to make themed portable totes that have us ready to take advantage of some spontaneous summer fun. Make a grouping of craft supplies to bring out to the yard or to a park for a change of scenery. Or, make a s’mores tote to grab for that summer backyard bbq. Another idea is a driveway tote for bubbles and sidewalk chalk. Makes clean up fast and easy, too! Here’s my favorite container:
3. Assess Your Needs
Did Jr. outgrow his bike from last year? Is the trampoline still in good shape, and will it get used? Or, perhaps you have summer clothes that you’re ready to part with. Consider collaborating on a neighborhood garage sale. Or, do a donation run to your favorite organization.
4. Get Water Ready
If you have access to a pool, lake, or nearby splash pad, you’ll benefit from having key water and sun essentials at the ready. I like using these pouches for grab and go sunscreen, goggles and bug spray. Throw some labels on them, store in a closet or cupboard at home, then toss in a beach tote and you’re good to go!
A large basket is perfect for beach towels. Consider keeping them by the door, or in the same area as the sunscreen and other warm weather essentials. Other ideas to get organized for summer include beach toys, life jackets, and swimwear.
5. Keep Some Structure
Yes, I know, summer is the time for free-flowing days. But, it doesn’t take long to realize that both kids and adults will maintain a little more sanity with some amount of structure or routine. Kids like to know what to expect. And, you can definitely build in flexibility, as this can be as loose or tight as works for your family.
Keep it simple! Some examples: 1. Get dressed and make beds before heading out to play. 2. 20 min. of reading before screen time. 3. Adjust your work hours to accommodate the summer flow, but keeping them consistent every day. 4. Afternoon chill time to read or nap. 5. Have a daily outing where you walk somewhere or drive to a park, beach, or other attraction. 6. Kids choose 1 chore per day from a basket of choices. 7. Friday movie night. 8. Picnic Thursday.
6. Make a Summer Bucket List
Summer goes so fast, so make it intentional! Involve your kids in the fun activity of creating a summer bucket list! Everyone in the family can contribute their ideas – anything from an early morning sunrise, picking flowers, making popsicles, or going to the beach.
7. Wrap Up the School Year
We’ve been there – opening the backpack in the fall to find an unidentified science experiment (is/was that a grape?!). Let’s take the time now to ensure those backpacks are cleaned out and ready for next fall, or for summer use. Run them through the wash, so they’re fresh and ready to go.
It’s also the perfect time to go through paperwork and keepsakes from the school year, filing away the special ones, and recycling the rest. I make these keepsake bins, so let me know by shooting me an email if you’re interested!
There you have it! You’ll be organized for summer in no time, free to enjoy all the beauty of the season!