Can you even believe that we’re about to hit summer break? If you’re anything like me, these past few months have felt a little bit like a blur of homeschooling, Zoom calls, home meals, and extra family time. When I looked at my calendar and realized the transition to summer was just a few weeks away, I figured it was time to start planning for a summer at home! For most of us with kids, summertime this year is going to look very different than normal. With camps and activities cancelled, and mom and dad still working from home, it’s going to be more important than ever to make sure we're going into summer prepared.
Before I start sharing any tips, I want to acknowledge that many of us are feeling a little bit weary from spending so much time at home, and the thought of an entire summer without formal plans seems crazy.
Here's what I know for sure: with a little bit of creativity, we'll get through this very unique summer. I am by no means a ‘Pinterest-mom.’ I will not be the one setting up multiple crafts and planned out activities each day for my kids. If you are, I applaud and admire you! But, if you’re not, that’s okay. I am releasing you of the pressure to feel like you have to ‘do it all’ this summer. At the end of the day, your kids don’t need a mom who is stressed about creating the perfect themed snacks… they just need YOU! And if you are the type of mom who releases them into the backyard with an inflatable pool and a couple of popsicles every single day - you're doing amazing!
These tips are going to be totally doable for everyone and will go a long way to help us feel prepared amidst the chaos. Today I am sharing 4 easy ways you can prepare for a summer at home with your kids!
Before you start making any plans for the summer, I want you to step back and get really honest with how the summer is going to look. Are your kids going to be at home without any childcare while you are working? It is probably not realistic to expect that you will be able to set up daily activities for them. Are COVID-19 restrictions still heavily in place in your state? You probably will not be able to get out as much as you’d like. Is your budget a little bit tighter? Maybe you’ll have to rely on less help and fewer paid activities. That is all incredibly tough, friend. I see you and I hope these tips can help.
Even if you only take 15-20 minutes to get yourself in the right mindset for the summer, it will make a world of difference. I think that it’s so powerful to look at what is ahead, recognize that it is not going to look exactly as you had hoped, and realign your expectations with the current reality. My kids thrive on structure, so we’ll have a daily schedule in our home. But, it will be much looser than it would be if circumstances were different. For example, our summer is going to hold more screen time than normal… and I’m okay with that! I am being realistic with what I can do while my husband and I are still working full-time.
Before the summer arrives, try to take a look at the big picture. Print out a calendar (or do this digitally!) and mark any important dates. Highlight dates that you may be traveling and days that special activities or birthdays are happening. When doing this for my summer, I like to try to add in a couple of ‘special’ days, especially since not much is happening due to COVID. I am not the mom who can set up activities every day, but I can definitely mark the calendar for a couple of special days where we will do some extra activities. I find that in times that can seem to drag on (like a full summer stuck at home!), having something to look forward to can make all the difference. And, as a lover of organization and routine, being able to see a rough outline of our summer is extremely helpful.
Along with looking at the big picture for the summer, I’ll spend some time to plan out our days. A few months ago I shared my lockdown kids’ homeschool schedule and so many of you told me that it was helpful. I created this schedule to add some structure to our days and make my expectations for my kids very clear. I will be creating a similar, more relaxed schedule for the summer to keep us on track. For my family, having a daily schedule is vital to our sanity!
During the time I have spent planning for summer, I have taken inventory of what items we already have, what needs to be replaced, and what fun extras I can add to make the summer a bit more enjoyable. Now is a great time to go through any seasonal clothes, pull out what no longer fits, and order any extra clothing items that you need.
If you have been following along with Grid + Glam for a while, you know I am not a believer in buying extra ‘stuff’ without a purpose. As I have been preparing for this summer at home, though, I have shifted my expectations and realized that our home will have a few extras that we wouldn’t normally have. For you, this might look like having a blow-up pool in your backyard or purchasing some extra outdoor toys. I know some moms like to buy a couple of toys that they store away and pull out on a day that their kids just need some extra help to get through. Never underestimate the power of a new outside toy on a hot summer day, friend. ;-)
Dedicate an evening (or a full day depending on your space!) to going through all of your summer items - sporting gear, pool toys, gardening equipment, etc. - and purge anything that is broken or no longer serving you, and organize the rest. We know that summer gear can get dirty very quickly, so take this time to clean what you can! I would suggest adding a section for your summer + outdoor items to your weekly reset. It is going to be so helpful to you and your kids if your newly organized space is well maintained through the entire summer.
Our garages are going to be working overtime this summer, and it will be super helpful to have them organized at the outset. One of my team members shared some photos of her newly organized garage and I wanted to share them with you. She used some of G+G’s favorite products from The Container Store to get started. The Container Store has an extensive selection of products to help you maximize the space in your garage.
She used the Heavy-Duty Golf Storage and the Ultimate Track Storage Kit for sporting equipment. She arranged both of these items in a way that will be easy for her kids to keep the space organized on their own! If your kids will have access to items in your garage, it is important to make sure that you spend time showing your family where things belong and how to put them away.
For her outdoor + gardening gear, she used the Multipurpose Track Hook Kit and the Heavy-Duty Wall Storage. Utilizing walls for hanging storage can free up space and make your garage feel less cluttered. It also helps to ensure that items like rakes, shovels + trimmers don’t get lost or damaged because they do not have a proper place to be stored.
Like most of us, I am looking forward to the day that we can safely be out and about. But, while I am home I am doing my best to remember that this slower season filled with more quality time is a gift to my family. I am doing my best to take small steps to ensure that our time at home is enjoyable and productive, and I hope these tips help you to do the same.
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I am a proud Container Store Ambassador and these products were gifted to me from the Container Store. The links provided are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you order through them. All opinions expressed are my own. I only share products that I genuinely use and love.
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