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Whoever coined the phrase “lazy days of summer” didn’t have a full household of family members on the go.  Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or you work full time, we all seem to have high hopes and expectations for our summer plans and projects.  We assume that since the kids are out of school, we’ll have more time to get things done.  But how many times do you find yourself in the complete opposite scenario?  Between juggling daycare, camp, play dates, and vacations, we find ourselves wondering where the time is going.  That’s why we think it’s important to keep your house and life organized during the summer months.

We get used to school day clutter with backpacks and homework, but the summer leads to a different clutter.  There may still be backpacks laying around, but now they’re filled with sunscreen and beach towels.  School projects are replaced with crafts, and computers normally used for homework are used for games and watching movies.  On top of that, we have remnants from day trips laying around and schedules that have gone by the wayside.

Here we’ll touch on ways to keep your summer organized and a bit less chaotic.

Post your schedule where everyone can see it.  While many busy families use electronic calendars on their phones, having a physical calendar for everyone to check is helpful.  Try using a chalkboard or dry-erase board and keep it where all family members have easy access to it.  You can take it a step further and color code each family member and activity.

Assign chores to keep kids in a routine.  Present the chores on a calendar and specify a day for each, or list them on sticky notes near the calendar and have them grab a pre-determined amount each day.   This will not only help keep them stay focused but will also help keep you and your house stay organized.

Prep snacks in advanced.  When you’re on the go or have friends and family over for visits, be sure to have snacks ready to quickly grab.  This will help to alleviate messes and save time.   Keep non-refrigerated snacks in baggies or stackable containers and leave in the pantry or in a basket on the table for easy access.  Also, try pre-cutting fruits and vegetables and storing them in a drawer in the refrigerator.  Kids are more likely to grab the healthier snack when it’s pre-cut and easy to grab.

Keep a routine.  As simple as this sounds, this is actually very difficult for many in the summer.  As often as possible, try to adhere to a bedtime, even if it’s a modified bedtime for the summer.  Maintaining bedtime will also help them to keep a morning routing in check.  It’s nice to lounge around the house every now and then but try to enforce breakfast about the same time each day so going back to school isn’t harder that it needs to be.  Have your kids read a book multiple times a week to keep up with reading skills and to maintain the habit.

Prepare ahead of time for those days when you kids say their bored.  Search online for crafts projects and gather the supplies ahead of time.  Stock shelves or baskets with summer reading options, board games and cards.

One of the most important things you can do is take step back from the chaos and enjoy the days as they come.  Summer goes by too quickly.  Use these organizing tips and make it a point to take time to sit back and enjoy the rest of your summer.  Don’t just make play dates for the kids, be sure to schedule some adult time with friends also.  Enjoy the campfires, beach and frosty drinks before it time to pull out the hoodies and hot chocolate.