Summer is here! If you were used to having the kids in school during the year, you may be looking at the prospect of losing what little free time you had. And by free time, I mean time to run errands and tidy up the house and pay bills, etc.. Here are some things you can do to make sure you get some time to accomplish your household tasks while still having a fun summer.
Put Things on the Calendar
First you should sit down with the calendar, two markers or pens in different colors, and a pencil. Mark anything that is set in stone in one color. For example, we have my sister in law's wedding in July and my other sister in law's Sweet 16 in August. Those are non-negotiable. You can also include doctor's appointments or vacations in this category.
Next you add in events you would like to attend but aren't mandatory in a different color. These are things like the local summer carnival, a 4th of July event, summer outdoor movie screenings, etc.. This is anything with a set date but not mandatory.
Lastly you can add anything you would like to do but doesn't have a set date in pencil. This can be things like a trip to the zoo, or the amusement park, or a playground. It can also be at home activities like a backyard camp out, a movie night, or a craft project. These are things you can play around with as the summer progresses.
By doing this, you make sure that the fun things you want to do get done. You also know what things can be moved around and when you have some free time in your calendar.
Re-Organize Your Daily Schedule
During the school year, you may be spending the early morning getting the kids out the door, the late morning getting things done while the kids are in school, and then the afternoons are spent playing and helping with homework.
In the summer you may need to re-order your schedule. You can spend the early morning working while the kids are asleep instead of getting them ready for school. Then during the early part of the day you can spend your time with the kiddos. By late afternoon, you can have quiet time where the kids have their own quiet time activities and you can get things done before you have to start prepping dinner.
Depending on the ages of your kids, you may need to plan their quiet time activities. This is a good time to whip out busy bags, puzzles, coloring books, or maybe even an educational app on the iPad. Older kids can have reading time or play board games with one another.
Make Use of Your Minions
OK, they aren't minions, but your kids can be good helpers around the house. The key here is to make the work fun.
Need to dust the bookshelves? Make it a race to see who can dust their shelf the best and fastest.
Cleaning out the garage? Have your kids help you sort similar items. Let them dress up as their favorite super hero and see if they can use their super strength to help you lift "heavy" boxes.
Have everyone grab a duster and let everyone work together to take back your home from the evil dust bunnies!
Doing laundry? See if they can help you match all the socks.
It is also OK to let your standards slide a bit. Summer should be easy breezy. If a chore didn't get done this week, there's always next week.
Set Up a Drop Zone
Summer means trips to the pool, the beach, outdoor movies, i.e. activities that require a lot of stuff. In order to prevent this from taking over your home, set up a designated spot for all your summer gear. This can be a hook or shelf or bench by the front door where these items will live for the summer.
Not only does this prevent gear from covering all the flat surfaces of the house, but it also makes it easier to find what you need for the next outing.
Don't Stop Using Your To Do List
It is OK to let some things slide over the summer, but your to do list shouldn't be one of them. You may not be able to get as many things done during the day, but your to do list with your 3 must do things will help ensure that at least some things get done each day.
If you don't know how to put together an effective to do list, check out my post on how to create your to do list. It breaks down the whole process of creating and maintaining a daily to do list.
Following these tips will help you ensure that your summer is fun while still getting things done. You don't want summer to completely derail your goals, but its definitely a time to relax and enjoy.
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