With warm temperatures, no school, and family vacations, summer can be a wonderful chance to unwind and spend quality time with friends and family. But summer also has its organizational challenges thanks to less structured or at least different schedules. Here are some simple ideas for enjoying a less-stressed, more fun summer for the whole family.
Wrap Up the School Year in Style - Before you get too far into summer, be sure to wrap up the previous school year so you're not tripping over it all season long. Empty the school bags, get rid of stuff that's seen better days and store school supplies you can use again. Work with your child to review school and art work from the year - pick out the special stuff and store it in a flat box or a fun binder with plastic sleeves. Last but not least, take a rainy afternoon to review your digital photos from the year - clean them up by deleting less-than-great shots and labeling what's left. You can also take this a step further by creating a photo book with the highlights from the year.
Stay Organized with a Summer Fun Binder - While summer schedules are different, there's still a lot going on. Make your life easier by stowing all the reference materials you need such as camp schedules, babysitter contact info, party invitations, tickets and trip itineraries in a fun binder with plastic sheet protectors. If you have lots going on, you might want to use dividers to separate items by person or type of activity. This is also a great place to store ideas for fun rain or shine outings.
Gear Up for Fun in the Sun - If you haven't done so already, make sure your children's summer clothes are now front and center in their closets and drawers. Take stock of any additional items they need and be sure to donate what no longer fits. Stow warmer weather clothing in clear, labeled bins under the bed or other storage space in your home. Do yourself a favor and donate items that aren't likely to be used next season.
Warning: Summer Fun Zone – Summer comes with lots of gear - outdoor toys, beach supplies and camp equipment. To make things easy, clear the off-season gear out and set up a summer fun zone in your entry way, garage or other easy in-and-out location. Use large tubs or baskets to store items like balls and frisbees. A set of drawers or a bench with baskets can be good for smaller items like sunscreen, bug repellent, and flip-flops. Keep must-haves like helmets on easy-to-reach hooks. Get a head-start on packing for upcoming trips or camp by keeping a tote bag or bin to collect items you know you'll need or want.
Rainy Day Fun Indoors - Keeping your indoor toys and spaces under control can keep a rainy day inside from turning into chaos. Check out our Organizing Tips for Kids for a little help in this department. If you need to get out of the house, check your summer fun binder for indoor activity ideas and schedules.