I think one of the biggest issues that Moms have in the summer when they are trying to spend more time with their kids (and maybe evening running a DIY summer camp at home), is managing everything else that needs to get done like cooking, cleaning, shopping, and exercising. And if you are a work-from-home Mom like me, trying to string together some quiet hours to tackle work-related tasks and projects is no small feat! Here are my tips on how to stay organized this summer so you can spend time with your kids, stay on top of your work, and find some time to yourself.
So how are you going to “do it all”? Well, mostly- you're not. Something's gotta give. Schedules have to flex from the routines that we are used to following during the school year.
To stay organized this summer: Re-think your daily routine
During the school year, I get up by 5:30 am so that I can check my email, shower and be ready for the day before I head downstairs to help the kids get ready for school. Then I spend the next two hours getting kids up and out the door and dealing with household tasks like starting the laundry and unloading the dishwasher, so my “work day” usually starts at 8:30 am.
But during the summer I need to change up that routine- because mornings are the only time of day that my house is quiet which means it is the perfect time for me to focus on work!
So my summer plan is to get up at the same time- but immediately head into my home office and work until 9:30 am. Then I'll hop in the shower and get ready for the day. My kids will be instructed that my work time is off-limits (just pretend I am sleeping!) and they are free to get their own breakfast if they are up before then.
The rest of the daytime hours are dedicated to hanging with my kids doing some fun summer activities, finding some time to exercise (hopefully with them!) and tackling household tasks once in a while too. But after dinner, it's back to my home office to work for another hour or two.
Get your kids more involved with chores
As my kids get older their ability to help out more around the house increases as well. During the school year, I ask them to help with dinner prep and clean up, picking up after themselves and a few other chores here and there. But during the summer when they have more time on their hands, they will work with me to tackle all of the household chores- from laundry to cleaning the house.
However, don't think we'll be using any fancy chore charts with reward systems here- I will assign tasks on the fly based on what I need to be done, and I will work alongside them as we do it.
For example- I'll clean the bathrooms while they vacuum and dust the adjoining rooms. This means no one gets away with putting off what I asked them to do because they are working while I am working!
Stay Organized this Summer by menu planning!
Unless you want to hear the constant chorus of “Mom- what's for dinner?” every day while you rack your brain trying to think of something quick and easy to make- I highly encourage you to get into the habit of menu planning.
Your summer dinners should be simple and easy (I love to prepare cool salads served with something grilled!). If you take 10 minutes to plan your meals out for the entire week, your grocery shopping will go faster, and you'll never have to think on your feet at dinnertime!
Figure out when you are going to carve out time for yourself
Pencil it in on your calendar if needed- but this is important! And keep in mind that time for yourself doesn't necessarily mean time alone. Hiking or biking with the kids for exercise counts as “me time” too.
I also plan to give myself at least 30 minutes of time to read at night before bed all summer long- something I rarely make time for during the school year. I already have my book picks loaded onto my Kindle!
Stay Organized this Summer by Limiting your “to do” list
Yes, I always have a detailed and long-running to do list, and I am sure you do too. So take some time to figure out which projects are going to be placed on the “back burner” for now, until the kids are back in school.
And give yourself permission to completely forget about them until September!
Looking for some great ideas for your DIY Summer Camp?
Please check out my DIY Summer Camp page for lots of ideas on how to host your own kids summer camp at home!
Here are some more great summer ideas for you:
- Why We Hold Our Own Kids Summer Camp at Home
- Free Family Summer Bucket List Printable
- Free Printable Summer Schedule
Shirley Wood says
We usually have to cut back on our to-do list to enjoy summer fun. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday. We all love summer!
I agree – I have to get up early, before the kids, so I can enjoy a cup of coffee, in quiet, while I check emails, read the headlines etc. Thanks for sharing your post at the wednesday roundup #linkparty last week!
Great tips! I’m a big fan of menu planning. I only now have a wee one, but i’ve always found that particular thing makes life SOOO much less stressful. Thanks for sharing on From The Archives Friday!
Sandra Garth says
My children are all adults now but time management is still important. What starts out to be 15 minutes on Pinterest (who am I kidding) can end up being 60-90 minutes. Thank you for the tips and for sharing your links at Celebrate Your Story.
The social media time suck…. if I spent 1/2 as much time making some of these recipes and crafts as I do pinning them- my home would be filled with goodies!
Marjorie Briggs says
I love how this post is not about cleaning or decluttering but really organizing time. Sure do need it “meself!!”
I think living an organized life really starts with organizing your time- more than your stuff.
becky - bybmg says
Menu planning is a savior for me!
Julie @ Logger's Wife says
As a stay at home mom to a 4yr old and a 2 month old, these tips are perfect for all year, not just summer, since I don’t have any school aged kids yet. Well, except for the get up early part. That will happen again eventually, just not while I have an infant. 😉 Menu planning is the biggest life saver for me. (visiting from Tips and Tricks Tuesday)