It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and the unofficial start of summer here in the Northeast. We are limping through the last few weeks of school, looking forward to a fun summer and lots of unstructured family time.
With summer comes its own organizing challenges, so I put together a list of some helpful tips for organizing for the summer:
1. Nothing says summer like swimming! Get your bathing suits, towels, sunscreen and goggles out. Check to see if new ones need to be purchased- the elastic in swimsuits gets crunchy from chlorine, goggles break on the sides, towels get pulls and frays, and of course sunscreen expires. Since the chemical sunscreen ends up in your blood, PLEASE do not put old sunscreen on your family. Better yet, opt for an all-natural physical sunscreen with zinc oxide in it. You can get physical sunscreen from Norwex.
2. Pack a bag with items you’d need at the pool- towels, goggles, non-perishable snacks, a little cash for the snack bar, sunscreen, extra set of clothing and underwear, and wipes. Keep it packed and ready to go!
3. Make a bucket list of activities that you can cross off as you do them... it makes a nice memento of the summer. Check Pinterest for ideas and printables. This is how ‘traditions’ are made for kids... “we do this activity EVERY summer!”
4. Make a note in your phone for the late summer- will your kids or you need new boots, hats, mittens, coats? What sizes will the kids be for fall/winter clothing and shoes/sneakers? This way you are ready for when the back to school sales start. In August. When you are fully still in summer mode.
5. Do your final winter/ summer clothes swap out. (I’m pretty sure we won’t need long sleeves anymore... but it is the Northeast, so keep a few handy :) )
6. Similar to the Pool Bag, pack a Playground Bag to keep in the car. I like to have a first aid kit, sunscreen, snacks, toys (frisbee, kite, sand toys), wipes, and an extra set of clothes ready to go.
7. Update your dinner menus... add in summer salads, grilling options, pasta salads, fruit that’s in season. Time to put away soups and stews until fall. And don’t forget to eat outside when you can!
8. Buy school supplies early if possible. My son’s school sends out a flyer for a pre-packaged back to school supply box that comes a few days before classes start. It is a huge time saver and helps me avoid running around looking for specific items. If your school doesn’t do this, note what items can be used again next year and what needs to be replaced. Walmart generally starts stocking school supplies in late June/ early July, so shop as early as you can. Don’t forget about backpacks, too... they take a beating and usually in my house get replaced every two years or so.
9. Make plans as a family. What places do you love to go? What family or friends would you like to make plans with to see? Think about campsites, parks, vacations, local sightseeing options, and new restaurants you’d like to try. We love places with al fresco dining in the summer.
10. Send out your thank you notes. Hopefully your kids had an amazing teacher or coach or tutor or instructor this school year. Write them a quick note telling them how much you appreciate them. Keep a few on hand for the end of the summer, when you can say thanks to your summertime caregiver, camp counselor, swim teacher or babysitter.
Hopefully this list gets you off to a good start for summer... enjoy it!!