Sweet sweet summer time, here we are. I don’t know about you but it’s crazy to me that we are already well into July. It makes me want to buckle down and get my family and me organized so we can make sure we take advantage of this time as a family before school starts up again!

Today I wanted to share a few things I’ve been implementing to help keep us clean and organized this summer!

My number one cleaning tip: First, let me share with you my one and only summer cleaning tip: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. ;) No really, get outside, soak up the sunshine and everything that your area has to offer. For us (I’m in Seattle) that means hanging out at the lake front parks, hiking, splash pads, and everything in between! If my kids are out of the house then they’re not messing up my house…ya feel me? Haha!

That is my focus this summer. More outside time, less house cleaning. Win/win! I do however implement some easy organization that keeps things from getting too crazy in the summertime.

1) Set expectations early: With kids, summertime or not, I find that it’s always best to set expectations high and early. My sister taught me that (she’s a third grade teacher). So whether that means you want their bed made every morning or they need to help with breakfast cleanup, set those expectations early this summer and stay consistent! I drew a very simple morning routine on a piece of cardboard for Macey that she has used for a few years now. It’s very simple but she has done really well with it. When the mornings are crazy, at the very least I know she will have herself dressed, her bed put together, teeth brushed, and will have gone potty - she just turned four. When you’re trying to get out the door to make the most of summer, it’s little things like this that make mom life so much easier!

2) Baskets, always Shoes, summer hats, sunscreen, or sunglasses…I always find myself trying to track these things down while also trying to get out the door in the summertime! Because of the scramble, I usually end up forgetting something! To keep this from happening, we started doing two things: 1) putting baskets at the door to keep shoes and hats organized, and 2) baskets in the car with extras of everything. My car basket has extra diapers and wipes, sunscreen, an extra set of clothes for each kid, and some non-perishable snacks! This is a great way to make sure you never end up anywhere without everything you need! It’s worked really well for our family so far this summer! You can tailor your car basket to include things your family usually needs, this is just what worked for us!

3) Empower the kids by making a family list My daughter is super visual, as am I, so we love to make lists of things we want to do during the summer and check them off as we go! A physical list is so fun. I draw little images next to each activity since she’s younger and isn’t reading yet. She loves crossing them off as we accomplish them! It also helps keep us organized and full of fun ideas of things to do during summer! Some of the activities we have checked off our list so far this summer are: the zoo, a popsicle bath, ice skating, a park picnic…and we have many more to go! I find that this list not only keeps us organized but it motivates the kids to help me pack and plan for these trips too. Keep it fun and simple, they’ll love it and so will you!

That’s it y’all. Nothing groundbreaking but hopefully some of these tips will inspire you to stay organized while making the most of your summer with the kids! xoxo, Becca