Discover everything you need to know about summer organization. Stay organized at home and when you travel.
Are you traveling this summer? Do you have kids on a summer break? Keep reading and learn how to stay organized during the hottest months of the year.
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As the weather warms up and the kids finish school, life doesn’t slow down. In fact, it seems like it keeps getting even busier (if that’s even possible!).
In this summer organization guide, I’ll share everything you need to know to stay organized over the next few months. Whether you are taking a vacation, staying home, have kids, or don’t, you’ll find something in this article to help you this summer.
The perfect companion to this guide is our Take Back Control book. Download this book and go through each room of your home and create a calm and organized area that brings you peace and joy!
Table of contents
- How To Plan Out Your Summer
- Organize Summer Toys
- Summer Organization for Road Trips
- How To Plan Vacations
- How To Keep the House Organized While Kids Are Home
- Organize Outdoor Parties
- Summertime Home Maintenance
- Rooms To Organize In the Summer
How To Plan Out your Summer
Are you a person that runs on routines? If so, the summer brings all-new routines and schedules. Before it all hits you at once, sit down and plan out all the schedules and activities for the summer.
Here’s how to plan ahead and what to include in your summer calendar.
Set up a command center
If you have a family, set up a command center where everyone can see the upcoming activities. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to set up a command center. You can also just tell everyone to share a calendar on their phones.
Make A Summer bucket list together
After you have a way to keeping track of everything this summer, set up a meeting with your partner, spouse, or family. If everyone has a say in what they do over the summer, they will all have something to look forward do.
What goes on a bucket list?
This includes anything they want to do over the summer. It can be as big as where they want to go on vacation. It can also be as small as restaurants they want to eat at or friends they want to see.
Make a master bucket list and write down the name of the person that suggested it.
Then, anytime you are making plans this summer, pull from the bucket list.
Sit down and record the time and place of all the practices and games of summer sports. This includes things like sports camps and swimming lessons.
Some parents color-code the calendar, giving each child their own color. Others prefer to let Cozi do that work for them. How you do it is up to you.
While you are planning the summer sports, don’t forget to write down how they are getting there. Delegate a drive ahead of time, it saves a lot of stress and arguments.
The second thing to plan for is a vacation or trip. If you are taking more than one, write it down. Make a note of any time off you need to request from work.
This is also the perfect time to plan ahead financially. Set spending limits now so you will be able to afford a fun trip.
Parties and events
Additionally, you should plan ahead for all the parties and events that will happen this summer. You can count on parties during major holidays (Memorial Day and Independence Day).
Are you going to host or will you be attending other parties?
Keep track of where you are going and when.
If you are going to be hosting parties or you know you’ll have to spend money on a party (like on gifts for a wedding), then put this in your summer budget.
On the flip side, don’t forget to plan some time to relax. Summer is busy enough, don’t schedule out every minute of every day. It will burn you out.
Give yourself days off. Write it down in permanent marker and don’t give up your free time. This free time might even include some much-needed date nights with your spouse or partner. Invest in your mental health and you’ll thrive this summer.
Plan out a summer reading list
Summer is the ideal time to catch up on reading. If you have kids, then sign them up for the summer reading program at the library.
This can include catching up on blog reading or even some magazines.
The best part about summer reading is the chance to earn prizes. Kids don’t have to have all the fun. Set up your own goals and give yourself prizes for meeting them.
Before life gets really busy, go through your garage, shed, or mudroom and make sure you have storage for all the pool and summer toys.
It’s really easy for pool toys and sports equipment to overtake the garage. Give every item a place to belong. Some people set up lockers in their garage just for this reason.
Before you hit the road, make sure you prepare your car. We have a complete guide to organizing your car for road trips – check it out!
This is what you’ll need in your car for a road trip:
- A place for trash
- Container/Cooler for snacks
- Car chargers for electronics (extension cords if you need them)
- Easy-to-reach games for younger kids
Summertime is vacation time! Some people like to plan their vacations a year ahead of time. Others can somehow put together a fun and memorable trip with just a few month’s notice.
No matter which one you are, here are a few things you don’t want to forget to plan for.
Plan the vacation budget
First, set your budget and stick to it. This includes any money you will spend while you are on your trip and traveling to and from your trip.
If it works, you could set a spending limit per person in your family.
Look for ways to save in one area and spend more in another. This is a time when having a family meeting really helps. You can ask everyone what their expectations are and then tell them what the budget is.
Create a packing list
Next, print out and plan what you are going to pack. If you are flying, you can save money on baggage fees by bringing fewer bags, so this will pay off.
Thankfully, there are tons of free printable packing lists online. Print them out, fill them out, and your job is half-finished already.
Here are some of our favorite packing lists and they are all free.
- RV Camping Checklist
- The Best Travel Packing List
- Beach Vacation Packing List
- Road Trip Packing List
- Cruise Packing List
Organize the itineraries
The next thing you’ll need to organize is the trip itinerary. The itinerary will have all your transportation, lodging, and activities on it.
There are some fantastic apps that will keep track of them for you. Yay for one less thing to worry about!
- TripIt – You just forward all of your confirmation emails to TripIt and the app puts it all in order, chronologically. It even sends you reminders.
- TripHobo – This is another fantastic itinerary app. It has a built-in budget tracker.
- TripCase – Just like TripIt, you forward the confirmation emails and it builds your itineraries. This one works with your Apple watch for push notifications.
Plan ahead for phone service. Will you be on a boat and need Wi-Fi? Can you survive without being connected?
You might have to tell your job ahead of time that you’ll be unreachable during your vacation.
Another thing to check on is whether you have enough data in your plan. If you are taking a road trip, you might be using a lot more data than normal.
Last-minute vacation planning
Are you planning a last-minute vacation? You’re brave! It can be done.
When you are planning a last-minute vacation, you might pay more. So if you can, pick a place that is nearby. Maybe even try a staycation in the next town over. The Every Girl has some really helpful tips.
Be prepared for fewer options and higher prices when you plan trips last-minute. You can save money by staying in a vacation home and cooking your own food. Or, stay with friends and family.
Another summer organization frustration is how to keep the house organized when the kids are home full-time. There are quite a few storage and cleaning headaches you can easily avoid, and here’s how.
Organize Your Kitchen with summertime snacks
First, create a way to store and organize your kitchen with summertime snacks that your kids can fetch themselves.
Some parents like to peel and cut fruits and veggies and store them in snack-sized containers for hungry kiddos.
If your kids struggle with self-control, then make a snack-box that sits on your kitchen counter. What is in the box is all they get to snack on that day.
Switch out closets
With the hot weather comes the shorts and t-shirts! This is the perfect time to clean out closets and drawers for everyone in the house.
Donate the spring/winter clothes that won’t fit them next year or store them for the next child in line. Remember, if you don’t have room to store it, don’t keep it.
Create organization systems kids can use
If you really want your home to stay clean and tidy, then put toy organizers and other things around the house where your children can reach them. If you make it easy for your kids to put their things away, they will be more likely to do it.
Look around for other places that they are struggling to put things away. Ask them for their input. If they feel like they are owning it, they might be more likely to keep their stuff picked up.
Create a Reward System
Finally, make picking up their things a part of the daily routine. Use a reward chart to track their positive behavior. At the end of the week or month (your choice), reward them with a prize of your choice.
Some of my favorite parts of the summer are the outdoor cookouts and parties. You can throw a laid-back and pleasant party in just a few steps. Here’s what you need to know to organize your summertime parties.
These days, Facebook makes it simple to keep track of RSVPs. Knowing who is coming will affect what you cook due to allergies and how much food you prepare.
If there are people in your circle who don’t use Facebook, you can use WuFoo forms. They are free for you to create and anyone with a smartphone or computer can fill them out.
who is bringing what
Potluck cookouts take the pressure off of you as the host to provide all of the food for the evening. But how do you keep track of who is bringing what?
SignUpGenius is free. People can sign up for the potluck online. Then, the service automatically reminds them before your party. Talk about taking the pressure off of you. Plus, you can set the boundaries for it. That way, you won’t have 6 desserts and no side dishes.
Not all parties need a theme, but they are so fun when you do. If you want to plan a party with a theme, give yourself plenty of time to plan it. The more creative or unique the theme, the more work it will be to bring it all together.
There are some effortless party theme ideas you can do, including:
- The 90s
- Inner Child
- Tourist Trap
- Heroes and Villians
- Famous Couples
Don’t forget to plan enough seating for everyone. If it’s an outdoor summer party, either rent some chairs or ask friends/family if they have any you can borrow.
There are also a few things around your home you should check during the summer as well. These are things that will affect how your home functions during the sweltering days.
- Inspect Air Conditioners – make sure they are working optimally. Remove and replace any air filters that need it.
- Give Your Dryer a Break – Hang up a clothesline and dry your clothes outside.
- Clean off the Porch – Sweep your porch from all the dirt that collected during the winter and spring.
- Wash Your Windows – The perfect time to do this is during the warm summer days.
- Replace Door Mats – Keep indoor dirt at a minimum by putting a doormat outside and a second one inside to catch dirt from the shoes.
If your summer is full of parties, camps, trips, and keeping kids entertained, then you might not have a lot of time to clean and organize. That’s why I suggest you prioritize these three spaces. They will get the most use in the summertime or be the easiest to clean.
Garage or Shed
Your garage or shed is going to be used this summer. From outdoor DIY projects to summer sports, there’s a lot to store and keep organized.
The beginning of the summer is the perfect time to make sure all your summertime stuff is easy to reach and even easier to put back. Put together a beach basket that you can grab at the last minute.
Need some garage organization ideas? Try these!
The basement is the coolest spot in the house. Take advantage of the lower temps to spend some time sorting your long-term storage. Go through everything and make sure the boxes are still organized and junk isn’t just piling up.
The start of a new season is the perfect time to reorganize all the closets in your home too. Move the heavy coats and sweaters out and bring the umbrellas and summer dresses up.
Summer organization Thoughts
The best time to focus on summer organization is before everything gets too busy. Do it at the very start of the summer. Don’t take on more than you can accomplish. Give yourself grace and set realistic goals, it’ll keep you motivated.
Enjoy the sunshine and time with your family most of all.
Struggling to get motivated? Sign up to get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
More Seasonal organization tips
Here are some more tips for seasonal organization as you prepare for the summertime.