9 Steps to an Organized Summer
We all know our households can get a bit hectic over the summer, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Take charge of the craziness (and your time) by following these nine simple steps to a more organized summer:
- Create one main “Fridge Calendar” for your family. Let the kids decorate it so they feel like they’re active participants around the house. Better yet, sign up for HomeLife™ for free and let your kids choose their own color code for events on the calendar! Make the calendar fun for your kids by including important dates like a final school countdown, vacations, summer camp, activities, and off-season school sports practices. The calendar will help your kids stay organized and give you a sense of order knowing where everyone is and where they need to be.
- Create a Memory Folder. Although your kids will be done with school, there’s always some activity that they’re taking part in. A simple solution is to organize all of the paperwork that comes home with your kids from report cards to sport schedules and notes from camp. Get a folder, or if you have a crafty side, a scrapbook, and create an alternative to storing important information as well as a good way to minimize clutter.
- Make an Important Notes list. Document key information that plays a vital role in your daily organization. Specifically, things that you might forget like school and summer contact information, notable dates, and bits of advice from your friends or neighbors. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself for doing this later, and it might even serve as a helpful tool for the babysitter when you plan a date night with your husband or some well deserved “Me Time” for yourself!
- Plan back to school steps. To really feel organized, start planning for next school year now while the resources are still available. Include things like contacting your child’s next teacher, completing enrollment paperwork, and scheduling vaccinations. If your child is moving up to another school, be sure to find out about the orientation and visitation opportunities.
- Plan summer learning. Although, we’re all for sun and fun, it’s important that you mix in some form of educational structure so it isn’t lost over the summer months. Check with your child’s teacher and map out a plan of summer learning activities such as reading schedules and summer school programs.
- Plan graduation activities. Make a list of everything, and we mean everything, your graduate will need. This includes plans for graduation parties, making or buying thank you gifts, attending school events, cap and gown fittings, and making accommodations for grandparents and other family members. Thankfully, planning ahead will reduce some of the chaos associated with graduations and help you stay more organized.
- Make a School Contact list. Don’t get stuck frantically looking for a phone number, make a list of school contacts for your personal use. Most importantly, the parents of your child’s classmates for play dates, birthday parties, and summer carpools. Hint: this is also a great time to gather contact info for available babysitters!
- Establish an Expectations list. Maintaining consistent routines can help children transition into summer and reduce your stress during the break. Start by making a list of your expectations for chores and activities. Include things like TV limitations, eating habits, curfews, and other “summer rules”. We suggest putting the list by the “fridge calendar” or sharing it online with HomeLife so there’s never a question of what is and is not OK .
- Keep your life in sync. It’s easy to be consumed by summer break, but it’s also crucial to maintain personal balance. While you’re busy managing the day-to-day, be sure to maintain your Mom Planner. Update your task lists, sync your calendar, and create new goals like joining a new workout class or scheduling a break just for you. The approach of summer is often a dramatic and stressful change, but this year it doesn’t have to be.
Remember, it’s your summer too and you deserve to bask in the sun. So sit back, get a nice cold drink in your hand, and take a deep breath –this summer is going to be a lot more organized than last year!
Do you have any tricks that help you and your family in making the break from school? We’d love to hear it.