For most of us, summer brings a lot of changes. You have to keep the kids entertained, you lose structure to your day, and you still have lots of things to get done.
Even worse, many people get more stressed during the summer. There are expectations of relaxing and enjoying time off, but daily tasks don’t go away.
Do you struggle with the following?
- Feeling like you’re wasting your summer
- Having a hard time staying up on routine daily tasks
- Working too much
- Not getting recharged with enough downtime
If any of those sound like you, here are four ways to keep your family organized and save your sanity. You can be ready (and even excited) for a summer full of fun activities, good rest, and loads of beautiful memories.
1. A Summer Bucket List
Grab some markers and a poster and put together a Summer Bucket List.
We like to make sure our list has mostly simple ideas and a few big and exciting ones. Great examples are trips to the library for a big pile of books or a weekend camping trip (unless you hate camping, like some of us 😊).
If you have kids, have them give some ideas too, you may be surprised at what they want to do.
Small things like sidewalk chalk art, visiting a new park, or a trip to get ice cream will seem special when you plan for them and check them off your list.
A summer bucket list will ensure you make the most of your summer. You’ll make some great memories without feeling like you wasted it.
2. Make a Summer Schedule
I know what you are thinking, “Isn’t summer the time when we don’t have a schedule?”
Yes, but this one will help, we promise.
When kids are young, having a very loose schedule helps organize each day and makes sure the necessary things get done.
For example, have a quick and easy morning schedule that includes getting ready, eating breakfast, and doing chores before any playtime or screen time is allowed.
Having a weekly schedule helps too. You could plan to go to the library for new books on Tuesdays. Perhaps on Wednesdays, you can arrange to have a special playdate, and Friday might be the day for outings.
You can be as tightly or as loosely scheduled as you want, but in our experience, with kids, they value a little bit of structure, and it gives them something to look forward to.
You will feel relieved because all the daily tasks are still getting done.
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3. Decrease your Workload
We can hear you laughing from through the screen. Summer often increases your workload because the kids are home, and you have the yard to care for, etc. So, asking to lessen your workload seems comical and rather impossible, but we suggest you find small ways to decrease your workload.
Here are two ideas to get you started:
- Don’t fold all the laundry.
If you are like us, most of your days are spent at home or playing at the park. Who cares if the clothes look wrinkly? Throw them in the drawers and get on with it.
When it comes to summer, the towel laundry, in particular, can get out of hand with the many, many pool days, so we also recommend hanging some hooks outside your home for towels to dry on.
If your kids run through the sprinklers or take a swim, don’t immediately throw them in the wash. Let the sun dry them out and use them a few more times.
- Lessen the amount of summer dishes.
Buy some cheap dollar store cups and write your kid’s names on them. Then have them use that cup all day long for drinks of water.
To avoid new cups each time they need a sip, hot glue a magnet on the side and put them right on the fridge to be easily accessible.
The internet is full of amazing hacks like these that can help decrease your workload this summer. Pinterest and YouTube are great resources.
Decreasing your summer workload frees up time for what’s most important. It feels excellent sometimes to let the minor things go.
4. Daily Downtime
Some of the best advice we’ve received is making sure there’s an hour of quiet time, which opens up an opportunity for the youngest to get a good nap and help mom get some well-deserved downtime.
A small rest each day, especially before dinner time and evenings’ busyness, will help keep you sane. It is also suitable for kids to learn how to play quietly on their own.
Do not feel guilty if you put on a movie, dump out some toys, and rest on the sofa for a while. You deserve it!
It’s The Little Things
Often it is the little things that add up to make the most significant difference. Stay sane this summer by practicing a few of these tips, and let us know how they work out for you!
Have a happy and safe summer, all.