Summer sizzles with organization

Today we welcome a guest post from certified professional organizer Bonnie Joy Dewkett, who runs The Joyful Organizer in western Connecticut, and her wonderful advice on summer preparations.

The summer months are almost here for those of us in the northern hemisphere! By taking a few moments now to get organized, and plan for your summer, you will be able to make better use of the free time you have while the weather is warm and the sun is shining.

  1. Start by making summer plans now. Planning your vacations, organizing projects and home improvement endeavors now will help ensure that they get done. Planning and putting events on your calendar will help you find the time to purchase supplies and get the work done. Also, planning vacations ahead of time can save you money as prices are often less expensive the earlier you book.
  2. At the end of the school year, have your kids go through their backpacks and get rid of any junk. Put important papers, such as report cards, in a file. Toss all the trash, recycle papers, and store scissors and other supplies that can be used next year. If the backpack is not going to be used again next year, consider donating it to someone less fortunate.
  3. This is a great time of year to buy new sun block and bug spray. The ones you have from last year may be almost empty, and you run the risk of running out when you need it most. Sun block in particular loses its effectiveness over time.
  4. Create a “to-go” bag for swimming, or the beach. Put frequently used items like towels, goggles, and pools passes in the bag and keep it by the door or in the trunk of your car. Throw in an extra bathing suit and towel for when you have the opportunity to take a dip!
  5. If you are taking a vacation, start doing research now. Visit the city’s chamber of commerce website and look for deals and coupons. If you are an AAA member, contact them in advance for free maps in your destination. Find out if your AAA discount can apply to your lodging, or any of your trip expenses.
  6. Flip flops can easily add clutter to an entryway. Use large drink tubs, or baskets to toss summer shoes in. Or, you can hang them on hooks to make sure you can always view your options, and they are ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  7. This is a good time of year to update your car’s first aid kit. If you don’t have one, now is a great time to get one. Many discount stores sell pre-packaged first aid kits that are under $10. Make sure all medicines are up to date and that band-aids still have adhesive.
  8. Life jackets need to fit properly in order to be effective. Have your kids try theirs on at the beginning of the season to see if you need to purchase a new size. Don’t put your child’s life in danger with a life jacket that is either too big or too small.
  9. Summer sports equipment such as soccer cleats, baseball gloves, and basketball shoes should be tried on before the summer season begins. This will ensure you have plenty of time to purchase new ones if your child has grown from the previous year. Shopping early will help you have the best chance of finding their size in the style they desire.
  10. If your kids are going away to camp, call the camp now to request a list of required items. Start shopping with your weekly errands to avoid a large time commitment or expense all at once.

7 Comments for “Summer sizzles with organization”

  1. posted by Sarah S. on

    Great list! Summer is definitely a time when those who are unprepared miss out. I don’t have children but I always keep a swimsuit and towel in my truck during the summer. South Texas is hotter than seven hells; any opportunity to get in water MUST be seized!

  2. posted by Julia on

    Great tips!

    The American Birding Association also accepts backpacks to make birding packs for researchers and educators.

    http://www.aba.org/bex/drive.html

  3. posted by Ronique Gibson on

    If your teenager’s are going to work this summer, have them apply now, instead of waiting for summer to be here!

  4. posted by Dawn F on

    I also recommend getting a check-up on your home air conditioning unit before the summer heat kicks in (yes, South Texas IS hotter than seven hells). Replace necessary filters, make sure the A/C unit outside isn’t covered in weeds or blocked by junk and call a reputable service technician for a system check-up.

    We always schedule our appointment in the Spring – keeping our family cool in the summer is a priority and I would hate to experience a major problem that could have easily been avoided or repaired before we get triple-digit summer sun!

    Great topic today!

  5. posted by Sue on

    If kids need physicals for summer camp or fall sports, make those appointments now.

    Go through kids summer clothes–it’s unlikely last year’s clothes still fit.

  6. posted by Kelly (Your Life, Organized) on

    Great tips today! I especially like the one about the car emergency kit! And the sunblock needs to be replaced because heat & age will reduce it’s effectiveness.

  7. posted by heatherK on

    I suggest doing #1 in March – or even earlier. For vacations if you go camping (at least in Colorado), the campgrounds fill up REALLY fast. I made reservations in April and still had very slim pickin’s. Plus, May goes by so quickly – it’s a lot less stressful to do the vacation planning when you’re not under the gun.

    Regarding gardening, also do that planning in February or March. By the time May rolls around, plants, tools, and supplies are picked over. For other home improvement endeavors, I’d rather plan in January or February so that I can get them done in March, April, and early May.

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