Do you find it more difficult to stay organized during the summer?
If you said “yes” to this question, you are not alone. Many parents dread the thought of summer when kids are home from school because everything seems crazy and out of sync.
Think about it…There is no routine. The only schedule we have to follow is the one we create on the fly.
The kitchen is open 24/7 when kids are not in school. Inevitably someone is always hungry and we are constantly fixing a meal or snack. This translates into more time cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes.
Summertime is a great time for our kids to have friends over. That translates into one more mouth to feed and one more person to take care of, making the challenge of keeping things organized more difficult.
Kids are constantly coming and going during the summer. Sometimes they are going to visit friends, while other times they are going to/coming from camp. All of this coming and going creates more laundry which presents more challenges to stay organized.
It makes me tired just thinking about the chaos that comes with summer. And yet, that’s what makes summer so fun. When my sons were teenagers, some of my best memories are from conversations we had when we stayed up late during the summer. No responsibilities would be waking us in the morning, so we talked and laughed late into the night.
The question that it poses is this: How do we stay organized when life is so much fun and so chaotic?
1. Do the necessary things first.
Everyone has chores to do like putting away toys, making the bed, loading/unloading the dishwasher and putting up clothes. If you will do those things first, you can enjoy the rest of the day. When you return home from the pool or a day trip, you are most likely tired and don’t want the hassle of chores. So do them first.
2. Summer is a great time to get the kids ready for a new school year.
Purge their school supplies, get rid of the school clothes that don’t fit, throw away the socks with holes, etc. Involve the children. Make it a fun time instead of a chore.
3. Renegotiate chores and salaries.
As your children grow up, they can take on new chores and receive an increase in salary. Remember that you are training your children to be great employees. Hold them to high standards and teach them how to do a great job.
4. Plan ahead.
Ask the family what they want to do during summer break. There are lots of great activities to enjoy. Be intentional about your summer.
5. Before you go on vacation, make a list of things you must get done.
The pet has to be fed, the mail has to be picked up, vacation activity bags must be prepared, etc. Do this ahead of time so you can get it all done and it will be less stressful as those wonderful days away approach. As always, invite the children to help get things ready.
6. Set a budget.
Summer can be expensive. Instead of getting yourself stretched financially due to those extra activities, Erin Doland suggests that you set up a weekly budget and stick to it. When the children want to do something that is beyond the budget, explain to them how you must make choices when it comes to finances. It doesn’t hurt to deny them something because the money is not available. In fact, it is a good thing to teach them financial responsibility.
7. Prep for regular trips.
If you go to the beach or a pool regularly, keep a pool bag ready with towels, sun screen, toys, etc. That helps when you are ready to go, you don’t have to put it all together.
Remember that summer is a great time to make some great memories, so let go of the stress.
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