How To Organize Your Summer | From Overwhelmed to Organized: How To Organize Your Summer

Friday, July 4, 2014

How To Organize Your Summer

This is the first week of summer holidays for my kiddos and so far we're loving it!  We've been taking it easy, enjoying the warm weather, and working out our plans for what we'd like to do with the next 2 months.

As I mentioned in my July Goals post, today I want to share some of our summer plans and routines with you and give you tips to help you organize yours.  Hopefully they will give you some ideas, especially for those of you who have already been on summer holidays for awhile and are perhaps at that "I'm bored" stage :) 

Summer Brainstorming Ideas List

We've been talking a bit about summer ideas for a few weeks, and on Friday I took the kids out to Dairy Queen after their last day of school and they filled in their Summer Brainstorming Lists.

Some of their ideas were things we usually do every year, like camping, swimming, going to Blue Jays games, and making crafts.

A few ideas were activities we did for the first time last year, including learning how to type, playing baseball, and seeing the sunrise.

And there were a few new ideas this year.  My daughter said she wanted to see the sun set too - but mostly so she can stay up later :)

The categories on our brainstorming lists really help the kids think about a variety of ideas.  I especially like the "Learn This" section.  And I love that both my kids have no problem identifying a few things they'd like to learn during their summer holidays!

My daughter wants to practice typing more so she can get quicker at it.  She started last summer, using the Disney Adventures in Typing with Timon and Pumbaa program.  It's so cute!  She didn't keep up practicing during the school year, but picked it back up again last month, after we went to Disney.  She also wants learn cursive writing and read longer books this summer.

My son wants to learn how to play piano.  I started teaching him several years ago, and he did well at first. But as he progressed he started getting a bit frustrated and he decided to stop the lessons for awhile.  So I was happy to hear he was ready to start again.  He also wants to practice typing this summer so he can become more proficient using all his fingers. 

I love these learning goals!  :)

Summer Routines

Last summer I introduced you to our weekly routine and daily routine.  My kids thrive on routines.  We were pretty flexible last year, and switched things up a lot.

Because these routines worked so well last year, I wanted to do something similar this summer.  But this year, I'll be working a fair bit.

I wasn't planning to work a lot during the summer (that's the best part of owning your own business!), but I've got several clients who need ongoing decluttering and organizing help... and they need it in the next two months for a variety of reasons:

  • one is preparing to list her home in August and downsize to a new home in early fall
  • one is planning to entertain her visiting in-laws this summer but she's embarrassed by their cluttered apartment
  • one wants to work on crafts with her kids who are home for the summer but she can't access her supplies due to clutter in the craft room/office

I really want to be able to help these clients achieve their organizing goals!
Which means, what we did last year won't work this year.  We can't do things like "Make it on Monday" and "Which Park on Wednesday" because my work days will vary all summer.

Our daily schedule needs to be different too, because I can't just divide our summer nicely into "home weeks" and "camp weeks" (which were just 1/2 day camps last year), since some weeks they'll be in all day camps, and some weeks they'll be home a few days and at grandparents' homes a few days.  It will be a really mixed bag.

So, here's what I came up with!

This is our routine for days when I'm not working and the kids and I are at home together.  It's similar to last year's routine, but I took out cleaning as a daily activity (more on that in another post).  And I moved learning time to later in the day, since I don't want to wake our neighbour with my son's piano practicing early in the morning (one of the disadvantages of living in a townhouse... sometimes we can hear through the adjoining walls).

I also increased their screen time a bit compared to last year.  They'll be spending lots of days doing fun non-screen things at day camps and grandparents' houses, so on the days they're home I want to let them have a bit more screen time than last year.  Plus, if I'm working more, I'll need some screen time on the days I'm at home so I can blog :)

The other difference this year is I've given options in some places.  My son suggested that.  He needs routine... but he also likes choices.  And since every week is going to look a bit different, I liked the idea of giving a few options of things we can do in the morning.  And I threw in a bit of free time in the afternoon. 

Here's the bottom part of our routine.

This part is fairly similar to last year, but without the specific days of the week, and a few different ideas, based on what they wrote on their brainstorming sheets this year.

We've already been enjoying some of these activities together!


Reading...  (my daughter finished her first official chapter book!)

Playing baseball... (my son is very excited that he's been able to pitch sometimes!)

And gardening...

Your Turn!

If you'd like to set up a flexible routine for your kids this summer, follow these steps:

  1. Find out what your kids would like to do this summer (you can download a copy of the Summer Brainstorming Ideas List here)
  2. Add in any activities you want to include - like a learning time, quiet time, or cleaning time - I'm guessing your kids (if they're anything like mine!) didn't include those on their lists :)
  3. Set up a daily routine by including times for each of the main types of activities on your lists.  
  4. Make sure you factor in heat (I like to do outdoor or park time in the mornings when it's not as hot), energy (I like to build in a quiet time in the middle of the afternoon to give us all a chance to rest a bit and have a break from each other), and a bit of buffer time in case things come up.
  5. If most of your days are the same all summer, you can also create a weekly routine where you do certain activities on Mondays, others on Tuesdays, etc.  My kids loved it last year!

We're all set for summer!  Armed with lists of ideas we want to do. 

What are you doing this summer?  Do you create routines for your kids?  Do they have cleaning chores?  What do you love most about summer?

Happy organizing!

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You can see all my summer-related organizing posts here: