With the school year coming to an end, here are some tips to help you and your kids get organized during the summer.
Clean out the backpacks! Dump everything onto a table and, together with your kids, decide what will be kept, recycled or tossed. Ideally, you should have a container, divided by grade, where you can store your kid’s favorite artwork and schoolwork. If the artwork is too large or cumbersome to keep, take a picture of it before you discard it. Don’t forget to clean out the lunch box. One summer I forgot to do that, and as we were getting ready for the new school year, I was unpleasantly surprised by what I found!
Set a summer schedule. A summer schedule is a must-have, especially for younger children, because it gives them structure and avoids the summer slump. For teens, unless they go to camps, a schedule probably won’t work for them. Instead, maybe they can find a part-time job or volunteer. Many school districts require students to earn volunteer hours in order to graduate. Volunteering during the summer alleviates the stress of doing it during the busy school year.
Set aside time for de-cluttering their rooms. If you and your child work well together, organizing can be quality time. If you don’t, consider hiring an organized teen to help your child out. Got teens? If you’re lucky, they will de-clutter their rooms on their own. If they’re not into cleaning or de-cluttering, then set some reasonable ground rules, i.e., no food in the room, bring out dirty laundry, clear out school paperwork, etc. Then, to keep the peace, close the door to his/her room.
Set out a basket for the wet stuff. If you have young children, set aside a laundry basket where they can toss their bathing suits and towels when they come back from the pool. Also, keep all water-related paraphernalia in one area outside the house or in the laundry area.
Hire your teen! If you are short on time and have a tech-savvy teen, pay him do those tech chores that you don’t have time for. She can upload your CDs to your laptop or create photo books with forgotten pictures stored on your cell phone or hard drive. Don’t have a techie teen? Maybe there’s some yard work she can help you with. Does he like to cook? Maybe he can get dinner started. When they pitch in with household duties, teens are also learning life skills that they will need when they finally leave the nest.
If you know someone who wants want to get organized over the summer, but don’t know where to start, have them give me a call. I’ll be happy to help them out.