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How to Maximize Summer Organizing

Maximize summer organizing

 

Summer is often when our organizing intentions get momentum. There are fewer school responsibilities and daylight lasts longer.  Those organizing projects have been on our list for a while.  Here’s ways to tackle these projects, even before you start your organizing work.

 

List first

First you want to have a specific list of what you are planning to organize this summer. Capture your list as a dump first with brainstorming. All those ideas need a spot to prioritize. Your list will be the base of your project management.  The best project management assesses how much time, what resources are available, the budget and the team.  Now you are ready to determine what you will tackle.  It may not all get done this summer however you know what’s possible. If you are not sure what you want to organize, here’s ideas.

 

Timeline

Start your list before the end of May.  Your summer may be much busier than you originally had intended. With your list prepared, as well as your vacation schedule, you can realistically get moving on these projects.

 

Strategies

There are several ways to accomplish your summer organizing goals.

Chunking

Do you like to plan specific units to accomplish your goals?

  • You review your prioritized projects and allocate manageable units of time, the budget, or team members you have to work with to your organizing.
  • The value in this method is to know your plan and work steadily to accomplish your goal.

All day project

Do you have a large block of time and know this organizing is a priority for the fall?

  • Allocate a large amount of time to accomplish decluttering and setting up systems. Allocate resources for editing and removing items in order to proceed smoothly.
  • The value in this method is that before school resumes or the fall comes, your organizing will make a major impact on your life.

Team approach

Who can be your helper in organizing?  Create your team before you start on any project. The teams can work together or in a sequence.

  • Your team might be members of your support community or a paid professional.
  • A team can work in segments, either in sequence or simultaneously.

 

If you need Plan B, C or D

If your summer is business than you originally thought, or your budget is less than required, or you have no team to help you, there’s options!

  • Be sure you have trash and recycling out of the way.  That’s often clogging up your system.
  • Prioritize the one most important organizing task and accomplish that. A single success builds you up!
  • Host a one hour organizing party where your team either does the 27 fling boogie (edits 27 things, places in a bag, and places in a car.
  • Keep it real with a 15 minute Reset (where for 4 time slots your team moves items back to the spaces where they are stored.)
  • If your team doesn’t exist, pick up a new team with high school or college age kids who want to earn money this summer.

No matter your list or strategy, you will be thrilled you allocated energy and time to organizing this summer!

Making the Most of Summer with Summer Organizing

summer organizing

 

All the signs point to summer time is here!  Our weather is warmer. Pool season has started.  Days are longer.  There are lots of ways to celebrate the arrival of fun in the sun.  Summer organizing helps you make the most of summer fun.

 

 Organizing

Start off the season organized!

  • Switch out your seasonal clothes.  It’s time to release those winter items that were not worn in the last few years.   Move your summer items into your primary closet and organize them in a way that work for you, whether its by color, sleeve length or set.  Use a bin for flip flops and organize your shoes so you can see them best.
  • Replace your winter linens with summer light weight cottons.  Swapping to lighter weight linens gives you the opportunity to clean your bed covers.  Eliminate extra decorative bed pillows and freshen up the look of your bedroom.
  • Give your pantry the once over.  During winter we cook differently.  Think of fresh new menus and ways you can start a new plan for eating.  Mark your calendar for your grocery runs that will include fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Set up outside areas.  Scrub down the patio or have it power washed.  Freshen up outdoor seating cushions and furniture.  Add in patio lighting, candles or lanterns.   Create a pool toy play bin to corral balls and floats.  Be ready for outside fun with storage designed for outside toys.
  • Get your activity bags ready to go.  Create travel or activity bags for you and your kids.  Your bag can include chargers, reading material, sunscreen, bug spray and other goodies while you watch your kids at swim team.  Your kids’ bags include whatever they need for an activity. Have one bag per activity so everything is ready to walk out the door.
  • Pick a single flower from your garden or pick up a small fragrant herb from the store.  Bringing in the smell of the outdoors is a great pick me up in the summer.

 

Work Life Balance

Start off summer with a plan.

  • Host a family meeting focusing on vacations, camps and time at home. Write your family’s plans on your family calendar so everyone is in the know.  Add in preparation times, when you will be packing and unpacking.  Make a list of what you need to purchase to be prepared for your outings.
  • Discuss what family time routines will be maintained or added this summer.  A little structure goes a long way during the summer.  What will be added responsibilities? What time will bedtime be?  What are ways to keep up with reading and math? Having these conversations now set the stage for summer success.  Once decided,  create a chart or online reminder system to keep your family on target.
  • Scout out additional resources for summer supervision.  Are there neighborhood teens, additional baby sitters or ways to add time with grand parents that can help you in a pinch?  You will be ready for extended meetings or other delays just in case.
  • Check out new collaboration tools that you can use to work at home.  Dropbox offers you access to your files at work from any device.  With Skype you can have a face to face conversation using your device.  LastPass keeps all your passwords accessible and organized from anywhere.  Join.me allows for screen sharing.  Evernote keeps you organized with your lists.  Just one of these tools could be a bonus for your productivity this summer.
  • Take time for real vacation and create real rejuvenation time.  According to The Energy Project,  59% of of workers are physically depleted, emotionally drained, mentally distracted, and lacking in meaning because they need time away from work.  If you are away, post an auto-response giving a heads up.  If you check email while away, keep it to a minimum.  Create space for what you love to do this summer.  Read some of the magazines or books poolside that you have collected all year.  Enjoy time for a pedicure,  exercise or cooking.  Summer is our time to play!

 

Best of all these summer organizing projects can be chunked down to one hour time slots.  You can enjoy the day and not be bogged down all day with organizing.  Make this your best summer ever with your summer organizing.

 

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Summer Organizing: On the go with or without kids (Part 2)

family organizing

Summer is around the corner! The fun of summer is our let it go attitude and our free spirit spontaneity. A little organization goes a long way to help summer fun.

1. Each child needs a specific bag for each activity they are involved in. The bag needs to be the right size to hold what is needed for that activity, but not so big they start putting a lot of extra stuff in it. There needs to be a specific place in the house where these are kept. (destination station)
2. Often-used items need duplicates. (like keep a small pair of scissors in the van)
3. Prepare a ziplock bag for each child with an emergency outfit in it. (Even older children get muddy socks or spill juice or something.) Keep in the vehicle.
4. Stock your vehicle with ziplock bag kits such as: stuff for fixing hair; sunscreen and lip balms; first aid; snacks; teeth-brushing stuff.
5. Prepare a little tub for the trunk with picnic-type supplies such as paper towels, napkins, spoons, small paper plates. So many times, we could then hit a grocery store for some healthier snacks, and saved by not doing fast food.
6. Sunglasses: For our family, it only worked to get inexpensive ones and keep duplicates. The best thing I did for myself (since I wear glasses) was to get the transition lenses so I don’t need sunglasses.

Linda B, mom of 4

As a schoolteacher, I enjoy having summers off! Even with increased flexibility in my schedule, it helps to plan for these summer months. Here’s how I do it:

I sit down with family members and compare summer calendars. Everyone has with flight/travel information, birthday plans and more!

I try to keep summer items in the back of the car so I’m ready for any swimming pool or beach days (sunscreen, towels, bathing suit, extra flip flops)!

I use summer as a time to reorganize at home. I always tackle my desk and shred old papers. I also go through all the clothes and shoes in my closet and donate to Goodwill.

I don’t over plan the summer. I like to leave some open days to fill in as the summer goes on!

Laura S.

 

Technology helps me keep it together “on the go”. We always hear that we are tethered to our devices, but actually devices help me NOT be tethered to my desk! Apps like “evernote” and “drop box” help me keep what I need at my fingertips. I use the calendar, alerts and alarms to let me tune into work as needed rather than 9-5. It even helps me get moving by tracking my steps and fitness. Adapting my phone to support a lifestyle that is always on the go has helped RELAX and UNTETHER from work more. I can go have fun knowing I can check in if needed remotely.

Leslie M.

Summer Organizing: Summer on the go with kids (Part 1)

summer organizing

One of the most powerful parts of social networking is connecting to bloggers through Blog Elevated. Here are some amazing ideas about summer on the go!

 

One of the most powerful parts of social media are the connections we make!  I asked my social media peeps what helps them get started on their spring organizing and cleaning. – See more at: https://professional-organizer.com/WordPress/2014/03/#sthash.e0BVspGw.dpuf

When you’re on the go with kids, don’t forget about all the opportunities they’re taking to learn. They’ll learn with or without you, so see what you can do to guide that learning.  Pick a shape in the world – ask your children, “How many sides does it have? How many angles?” If you have older kids, ask, “How big are each of the angles? Can you approximate in degrees? If you drew lines connecting one corner to all the others, how many triangles would you make?” And then see what kinds of questions they come up with!

Bon Crowder, M.S.

Math Mom & Education Advocate 

Twitter @mathfour

Pinterest Mathfour

Facebook.com/MathFour

 

 

If there is one thing I’ve learned with three kids, it’s to be flexible and ready for best-laid-plans to change. More than once we have taken a special trip only to have the boys say their favorite part was the cheap hotel or the breakfast at McDonalds. I’m not saying don’t make plans, but hold them loosely. Realize that all your planning efforts might be trumped by a cool playground or something you would not have expected. And if you are really planning with kids in mind, then let your kids play with the hose outside for an hour even if it was only meant to rinse their hands after a special outdoor activity you set up. I am continually surprised by the things that amuse and impress my kids and long ago abandoned that personal attachment of feeling disappointed when my ideas or plans don’t hold the same allure as something else. Be ready to sit back and watch what brings your children joy, even if it’s NOT your carefully made plans. 

Kirsten Oliphant

I have a blog and I’m not afraid to use it.

www.kirstenoliphant.com

 

Have FOOD TO GO! Summers are a great time in the Woo household, but also extremely busy. We pack in as many outdoor activities in the short 3 months as possible. My “go to” is a bag of healthy snacks (re-stocked as needed) that I keep in the car. I fill it with Granola bars, dried and fresh fruit, water, nuts, turkey jerkey and healthy things to keep our energy up on the go. It allows us to be more spontaneous. . .quick trips to the beach to swim or fish. . .without skipping a beat!

Nicole T. Woodard, Author & Home/Food Blogger

http://www.facebook.com/NickiWoo

http://www.twitter.com/nickiwooguru

http://www.instagram.com/nickiwooguru

 

 

 

With two teenage-ish boys in the house, I am constantly on the go running them to a friends house or maybe even the mall for a day filled of fun and game. It’s fun for me as a mom, but it can be crazy sometimes. Even though many of these trips are last minute, I try my hardest to plan ahead. By planning ahead, I can make sure that everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be there without overscheduling anything in the process. 

 Kristi Reddell, Blog Owner at MomsConfession.com

Twitter: @momsconfession

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/momsconfession

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KristiReddell/posts

 

Love these ladies thoughts! Thanks so much for sharing!

5 Fun Organizing Activities for Summer

 

summer organizing

Its just a little too hot to get too excited about organizing. But what about those fun organizing projects you have been putting off?  Here are 5 fun summer organizing projects that will make you swell with pride that they are now off your list.

  • Remember that enormous stack of magazines you have not had time to read all year? Grab a handful and hang out by the pool or beach. Be sure to eliminate them as soon as you have read through them.  Once is enough for browsing!   Drop them off at a local emergency care room for those waiting. 
  • Love your family photos but not sure how well these digital treasures are organized?  Set up categories on  your computer to start with, then begin gathering them from all the iphones, ipads, digital cameras, and facebook. You will be so thrilled to have them in one spot. Now you are ready to make a picture book too!
  • Are recipes all over in your home, papers, or office? Now is the time to gather them together.  Sit with a tall glass of tea and be realistic what you will make. Does the recipe require too many ingredients, too much time, or no one but you will eat it? Time to toss the extra recipes and keep just what you want.  Set up categories, sort and decide if a notebook or recipe box will be better to keep these.
  • Get ahead for fall by creating your family command center. This fall you will be the most organized ever by setting up a calendar, corkboard, chalkboard and wall pockets to keep your family activities organized.  Browse on http://pinterest.com/EllenDelap/family-command-centers-communication-and-organizat/ to gather ideas. Then head to your favorite HomeGoods, Target, WalMart or other shop to pick up and install all the pieces.
  • Organize a ME day. This is a day just for you to regroup, relax, and rejuvenate.  Your family has lots going on and you will need time to “put on your own oxygen mask first.”  Set aside time throughout the summer for this important and precious time.

What fun organizing activities do you have planned this summer?

Summer Organizing for Families

 

summer organizing

Summer time is fun time!  It’s the time we think about letting go of all the routines and the responsibilities and building lots of memories.  However, summer fun is best when there is a little organization and preparation.  With lots of fun scheduled for your family, you’ll want to get organized!

Family calendar

Family fun begins by knowing all the dates and commitments you  and your family have this summer.  Start by adding all the upcoming dates on a master month at a glance calendar.  Host a family meeting so everyone can add their dates, including holidays, camps, vacations, vacation bible school, birthdays, Father’s Day and more.  Be sure each family member has their one most important summer activity on the calendar.  Once you see the dates, now its time to set dates to prepare and pack.  It’s tempting to have back to back fun, but it can also create a lot of disorganization if your camp stuff is not gathered together or you feel frazzled when setting off on a trip.  Make a list and set a time to pack, gather together what is needed, and finalize plans.  It takes just a few minutes but is well worth your time.   With each summer activity you will  have less stress and  more fun!

 

Family routines

Summer is a time to set simple routines in place.  You and your kids can collaborate on technology limits, summer bedtimes and family chores.   It can be a time to start new partnerships for responsibilities such as cooking, clean up, laundry and grocery shopping.  Examples of easy routines include:

  • Lights out for everyone by 10:30 pm.
  • Each person does one load of laundry twice a week, including putting their laundry away.
  • Sunday night is family dinner night.
  • One hour of technology a day for everyone.
  • No one is left in the kitchen alone to clean up.

Be specific so everyone is on board with the routine.  Establish deadlines so everyone knows when chores should be complete.  Work together as a team on family responsibilities means chores get done quicker!

Family Organizing

Team work is a top priority for family organizing.  Think about what needs to be done as a group and schedule a day and time for you to work together.  Small projects broken down into baby steps is an easy way organize.  Some of these projects include

  • Pantry organizing (toss what is expired, group like the grocery store or by breakfast, snacks, dinner)
  • Kids clothes organizing (donate what is too small, place one category of clothes in one drawer, then label the drawer.)
  • Toy organizing (one shelf or basket per toy, then label the basket)

A parent and one child can work on these together for an hour and feel a sense of accomplishment.  If one hour is too long, set a timer for 20 minutes, three times, and you have accomplished your goal.  Set up a reward at the end of your work time to congratulate your team on their successes!

What’s on your list for family fun this summer?