As featured on Huffington Post
Maybe its that I have it hardwired into my brain from having the summer off of school as a child but my mind definitely forms a direct line between summer and relaxation. Unfortunately, my brain has yet to catch up with my reality. With soccer for the kids four nights a week (at 6:15pm!!!), daily multi-location drop-offs and pick-ups, clients wanting their spaces organized, oh, and a 4 month old baby, there has not been a lot of downtime this summer.
I’m definitely one of those people that is way more relaxed when my space is clean and organized. In fact, it’s the only way I can actually keep my sanity when things get super busy. Here are some of my favorite summer organizing tips that will help keep you feeling like you can conquer this summer too.
Okay, I obviously don’t mean stop cooking entirely thereby letting yourself/partner/kids fend for themselves and consequently die of starvation. But I do mean to take a break from the same type of cooking you would do during the rest of the year. The key to this one is really to plan your meals and try to re-use what you have. If you’re marinating chicken for the BBQ double up the recipe and throw the rest in the freezer for an easy meal next week. Opt for no-cook meals that can be thrown together in minutes. Our family fave is “make-your-own-burritos”. I even joked that because of the whole soccer all week during dinnertime thing that I was instituting a “sandwich only” summer long policy for dinner. Then we actually had sandwiches only for a whole week. It was unpleasant. But sandwiches once a week are ok. Either way try to scale down the cooking and keep it simple. If you need more inspiration check out Pinterest. I always find great dinner ideas there.
Plan For The Morning Chaos
Summer = Sunscreen. Every morning. On every child. So make it easier on yourself and set up a sunscreen station for yourself wherever it makes sense for your routine. For us we have two open baskets in our entryway. One has hats and the other has sunglasses, sunscreen and bug spray. The kids can grab what they need and we can help with the sunscreen application on our way out the door. Once it becomes routine it becomes easier.
The other scramble in the morning is planning for special day camp/daycare activities. Whether it’s remembering a bathing suit, craft project or running shoes. A good way to avoid this is putting the schedule or special note on the back of the door. If you are forced to look at it before you leave the house you are more likely to remember what you need.
Summer Car Kit
SO MUCH TIME IN THE CAR. Ugh. Best to be as prepared as possible. Folding chairs for soccer, picnic blanket, paper towels, emergency snacks, wipes, sports gear, bug spray, bubbles (for bored toddlers); whatever your summertime essentials are, try to do a bit of pre-planning prep work and keep them in the car. There is no sense in taking them in and out all of the time if you don’t have to. Be Prepared.
I don’t know what it is about kids and dropping all their stuff the second they come in the door but they do. Backpacks, lunch bags, towels, rocks (why do they even need to come in at all???), toys. Everything gets thrown on the floor in the front. At least in my house it does. Even though we have hooks and a bench, the gravitational pull once they walk through the door is just too strong and it all hits the floor. To combat this phenomenon try putting a large bucket in the front ( or some type of bin, heck, even a laundry basket would work). The goal is to have one place to put all the crap that you can then grab and put away in one trip.
Whether you are heading out to the pool, park, or just to a friend’s house, have a “go bag” ready. It’s like the older kid version of a diaper bag. Change of clothes, spare bathing suit, extra hats, suntan lotion, water, snacks, all of the essentials. Nothing is worse than having the kids all ready to leave while still running around prepping the gear. If you miss that very small window when their sandals are on and they’re not trying to kill each other you may never get it back. If you let one kid go back for “one more toy”, your whole schedule goes out the window. Go Bag. Trust me.
Wishing You All A Happy And Organized Summer!