Summertime is always busy. So many activities – from baseball games, camping, family barbecues and visits to the swimming pool – especially when you have little ones still in the house. Keeping children entertained will maintain your sanity, rather than “I feel like everything is out of control.”
Here are a few tips to preserve a little balance of organization in your home this summer.
Get a dry-erase marker calendar. Hang it where it will be seen so everyone knows what’s going on for the week and plan accordingly. What sporting events do the kids have? What family activities are planned – a trip to the zoo, swimming at the pool or going to a park? Planning can even include what you’re having for lunch. It may seem like a lot at once, but believe me, it will give you clarity and a little peace by the end of the first week.
Organize your items in containers or totes. In the garage or wherever you keep your camping and sporting equipment, individual containers or totes with lids will help keep everything in one area. When you’re ready to go camping, you can grab that tote or totes, load them up in the car (just don’t forget the kids!) and you are on your way. Have separate bags, such as a pool bag, where you keep sunglasses, sunblock, goggles, toys and beach towels (side note on the beach towels: Everyone should have their own – then they can be accountable for it). Whatever you feel that you need at the pool, keep it all in one bag. Same thing goes for a day at the zoo. If you need sunscreen for three different events buy three bottles and put one in each of the three bags that you have designated for the activity that your family loves to do on a regular basis. Just remember to make a schedule and stick to it. Believe me, everybody likes structure and stability – even children – they just don’t know it.
Here are a few additional tips you can do to maintain organization in your home for the busy summer season.
Have a designated time at the end of the day. Make a game out of this: Everyone has to take 10 minutes and pick up the house. Count how many things they pick up or clean in that 10 minutes. Set a timer and when the buzzer goes off, everybody freezes and then whoever cleaned up the most at the end of the week and put the most away properly gets a prize out of the treasure box. (Go to a dollar store and spend $15 dollars. It’ll be the best $15 dollars you will ever spend. You can thank me later.)
Invest in a divider laundry basket. Laundry is never-ending, especially when the children are home for the summer. Teach the children how to sort by color. It will help when it comes to laundry day.
No matter how large or small a family, keeping an organized home takes a little bit of effort but it is nothing compared to the effort it takes when the house gets away from you and everything is out of control. Remember – everything has a place and there’s a place for everything!