It seems like yesterday we were getting ready for the Summer season. The time is flying by but you still have time to organize the time that remains.
Summer is my favorite season of the year. I love the warm summer days, outdoor activities, the fact that the sun doesn't set until about 8:30 and the natural beauty of my backyard on a quiet summer evening. It is a wonderfully lazy time of year.
However, it doesn't mean we can't be productive at the same time. Here are a few examples to help you organize so you can chill out this summer:
1. Plan your dinner first thing in the morning. Make it a crock pot or grill meal. Defrost your meat in the refrigerator overnight. Get your veggies washed and ready early in the morning. Plan your dessert --something cool and fresh. For example, fruit, pudding, Jell-O, or a simple scoop of ice cream or sherbert.
2. Pre-cook or pick up a rotisserie chicken. Use the chicken for a dinner or lunch during the week. It's quick and delicious!
3. Do the laundry in the morning. Before the heat of the day sets in, you will be done. If you can, hang clothes outside to air dry. There's nothing like the smell of freshly aired sheets on a bed.
4. Use bath towels a couple of times before washing them. Have each person hold on to their towel for a couple of uses if possible. Designate a different color for each family member. Put hooks on the back of bathroom doors to hang them to dry. If the kids are in the pool, have them put their towels over the railings or a portable drying rack to dry, and use them again. Less laundry in the summer is great.
5. If you are planning a trip to the beach, have everything packed up and in the car the night before--including non-perishable foods. If possible have all the perishable foods prepped and ready to grab from the refrigerator and placed in your cooler before you leave. This will save the last minute hassle of loading up the car in the morning so you can get to the beach earlier!
6. Plan some short distance or local places to visit. Visit an amusement park, a museum, or public park. Pretend you are visiting a new city and look at it with "new eyes", even if you have been there before. Exhibits change often, or perhaps they are a favorite exhibit that you enjoy seeing over and over again.
7. Have a picnic dinner one evening each week. Sit outside and have sandwiches--perhaps the kids can help prepare them. Serve quick-to-prepare items like fruit salad or pre-made potato salad from your grocer. Be creative! If the weather doesn't cooperate, throw a big blanket on the floor and have a picnic in the family room or living room! It is the "being together" that is important.
8. Store some home decorations away for the summer. The house will feel more roomy for the summer. There will be less to dust and clean; more time to play!
9. Plan on doing yard work either early in the morning or in the evening to avoid working in the heat of the day. Also, it's best to water your plants at these times of the day. If it is hot, remember to drink a lot of water to keep hydrated. Don't forget your sunscreen before going out in the sun!
10. Enjoy not having plans a few of days a week. Sleep later and just enjoy the day, read, or work on crafts. When you make your schedule for the week, leave a day or two open to just relax and enjoy without making concrete plans.
11. Have the kids' clothes laid out the night before going somewhere. Avoid running late in the morning, and get on the road to your destination on time so you can take advantage of the full day.
12. Have a movie marathon. Make a simple meal that includes finger foods, make some popcorn and sit in the family room and watch movies together. Have each person suggest a movie and then you can all decide on the ones to rent.
13. Each week, exchange a meal. Cook a double-size meal for your family and give half of that meal to a neighbor. Then your neighbor does the same for you. Do a pot luck in the backyard with some friends and neighbors and enjoy those great summer evenings together.
By using some or all of these suggestions, you will be able to relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer - before the kids go back to school and the crazy routines start up again!
In the meantime, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help.
Enjoy the rest of your Summer!