School is out for the summer, time for some summer fun! However, having your kids and their friends around can increase the clutter and become overwhelming. Juggling play time, food time and general housekeeping while watching the kids is a lot, but if you create kid friendly organizational systems it can make daily processes much easier. We want to help by laying out the ground work for creating a system that everyone can follow to help the summer fun continue.
Create activity zones
As previously mentioned, assigning a home for things is the key to keeping your home in order. When it comes to assigning a home for your kids’ things, make sure your kids are able to reach all the items they need. This is also important in the kitchen so they can get themselves drinks or snacks. Label bins with pictures or words that describe what they contain.
Look around and assign different activity areas for your kids, like crafting, electronics, dolls, puzzles and games, where they will most likely do each activity.
We like to store crafting materials near the kitchen so kids can play at the table while you prepare dinner or clean up. Kitchen desk areas or in the pantry are good places to store them.
For electronics, finding a TV stand with space for bins or drawers are ideal for those remote controls and small handheld electronics.
Puzzles and games can be inside the ottoman in the family room or mixed in on a bookshelf. Their boxes are usually easy to stack but we recommend keeping them stored lower so the kids have the ability to take them out AND put them away.
If you don’t want the kid’s toys to be in the living room, find another space to store them, whether it’s in their bedrooms or in a play room.
Balancing inside and outside time
Summer means fun in the sun and we think encouraging your kids to play outside will make everyone happy. We also think this is a great time for you to catch up on a few things or have a moment to yourself. You can pay bills, clean up from lunch or even watch your favorite soap opera. Your kids will be able to hang out with their friends in the neighborhood and get out some of their energy for a calmer evening and a better night sleep.
Making cleaning up a game
Growing up I loved watching The Big Comfy Couch, and at the end of each show Molly did a 10 second tidy up where she cleaned up the mess she made from the day’s activities. This is a great tool to make cleaning up a game for your kids. Whether it’s a timed activity or giving them points for each item they put away, clean up time can be just as fun as any other game. Think about what motivates your children and what they consider fun to create a game that incorporates those things.
Keep yourself organized
Monkey see, monkey do. If you keep your things in order, your kids will do the same, but if you ask them to pick up their items but yours are all over they might not follow through. When creating areas for the kids’ items, take the time to do the same for yours. If you don’t want to create labels for all your items, use a temporary label until you know where the items will be housed.
With these easy steps, summer time will be fun for everyone!