Inevitably, by this part of the summer, everything is falling apart. My kids are over it, I’m over it and we need something to break up the monotony. The kids are bored and starting to fight, the snacks have all been done before and school is still about four weeks away.
So, what do you do when you are in the mid-summer lurch and just the thought of opening one more popsicle makes your head hurt? I like to get organized. Getting organized mid-summer helps me do a little before school prep, gives me a task to work on while everyone is playing and helps to clear my mind. In this article, we are going to discuss ways to get organized over the summer.
One of my favorite things in my house is an area we call the command center. It’s an old entertainment center with eight cubbies that hold our four children’s backpacks, lunch boxes, gym shoes and folders. Having a command center in the summer makes my life so much easier.
You can really choose any space in your house, but my formal dining room was turned into a homeschool room, so our command center sits there. The piece of furniture you choose can really be anything that meets the needs of your family. Some choose a bench with a hook overhead or an ottoman with removable storage. You can make your own command center without purchasing furniture with a couple Command hooks and a shoe rack, if you like.
I start with a place for backpacks as they are the biggest items. Ours sit on top of the entertainment center over their cubbies. Then a place for lunch boxes (our cubby #1) and sneakers and folders (cubby #2).
We love our command center in the summer because we do lots of hiking and camping, so we use their lunch boxes and backpacks year round. Hiking shoes can always be found in their cubbies, lunch boxes are emptied each day and filled again so that no matter what our activities for the day, lunch is taken care of and backpacks have extra bug spray, sunscreen, socks, their Hydro Flasks and a towel, in case our activity for the day resulted in dirt, water and/or both.
When school starts? Just switch out the contents of their back packs, replace hiking shoes with gym shoes and you are ready to start!
Part of getting organized, for us, was getting all of the kids’ art supplies in one, easy to access place. I started by putting all the crayons and markers in big mason jars rather than dumped in a giant box. I grabbed a paper storage organizer from Michael’s and separated construction paper by color. Paints and brushes got their own plastic tote while finished art projects were hung on bulletin boards I grabbed at the grocery store.
I used command strips again to hang up art smocks and put a wet bag of cloth wipes nearby to make clean up quick and easy. (Because you need wet bags always!) In the end, we ended up with a neat and organized little art corner that the kids will actually spend time in. #winning
#ThirstiesTip You can use wet bags for almost anything. One of my favorite summertime uses for wet bags is as art cleanup bags. We clean the tables with a child safe cleaner and wipe them down with our Thirsties Organic Cotton Cloth Wipes. When we’re done, smocks and cloth wipes go in an extra wet bag to head to the laundry room for wash day!
Summer seems like the time where snacks are a 24/7 request. I needed something to help me manage the constant, overwhelming asks so I dedicated an entire food drawer to grab and go snacks that my kids could get without having to ask. It is the easiest way not to have to stop what I’m doing all summer long every time sometime needs a small snack.
My favorite items are:
- Peppers and hummus individual servings
- Snap Peas and hummus individual servings
- Chips and guacamole individual servings
- Cheese Sticks
- Thirsties Sandwich bags filled with trail mix, apple slices, cashews or almonds (The new Simply Sustainable line has great bags that I use for this!)
- Carrot sticks and ranch dip individual servings
Mid-summer exhaustion is real, so don’t feel like you need to overhaul your home just to get organized. A few little corners of organization here and there will eventually turn into a much simpler day. I think the command center has to be my favorite way to organize our lives and the most helpful year round.
I also like to add a few little things to help the kids make their corners their own like a painted letter of their first name hung over their cubby or maybe individually designed hooks that coordinate with their interests. They always seem to be more drawn to areas they can call their own.
Do you have a favorite summer organizational tip? Share it with us in the comments! Remember, you can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For other cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout the Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.