Ah, summer! A time to relax, enjoy the warm outdoors, vacation and barbeque!
I love summer. But I’m not sure I would describe it as relaxing. Relaxing moments? Yes! Relaxing season? Emphatic NO! . Every year, by week 2 I’m reminding myself that while summer is full of many wonderful things, all of the wonderful things happen IN ADDITION to all the regular things. And with my four children home, each with different ideas of what summer looks like.
This takes time and work!
As I write this, I’m enjoying a picturesque moment. I’m sitting outside on my laptop on a beautiful summer evening. It’s so nice out that my son has decided to join me. The tiki torches are aflame, keeping the bugs away. But earlier today, this patio was a haven for weeds, the tiki torches were empty, and remnants of outdoor kid sleepovers were strewn over the yard that needed mowing. To adapt a quote of my mothers, “Summer doesn’t just happen!” . It takes a lot of work. My citronella soaked, dirt manicured figures agree. I worked today to make this moment possible.
Extra work means extra time. And time is one commodity that none of us seem to ever have enough of. Where do we find this time? That’s where some organization comes in handy. Here are 5 tips to help you find extra time so that you can make those special summer moments happen!
Multitask. If you are going to spend a Saturday at the pool, you won’t get your errands done. BUT--you can place an online shopping order while basking in the sun. If you are going to make a special dish for a barbeque, you may find less time to cook and prep food this week, so double your recipe and leave one at home for an easy meal later in the week. I’ve also found great productive periods by parking myself at my home office (AKA Panera) and knocking out emails when I have a free hour between picking up my kids.
Delegate. Enlist the help of your kids. Don’t wait for them to volunteer. My children are “volun-told” each day what chores they need to complete while I am at work. I’ve learned to keep it very detailed, as kids have a way of skipping steps if my instructions aren’t specific. Just today, a friend was telling me that told her son to put the clothes in the dryer. When she came home and the clothes were in the dryer soaking wet. “You didn’t tell me to turn it on!”, the child replied. Lesson learned? Be OVERLY specific! If you don’t have children at home to help you, consider outsourcing of your responsibilities. Hire a lawn service, a housekeeper, or a professional organizer (I know a good one :) ) to get your projects done.
Simplify. Look to ways to simplify or streamline your life. One huge time saver for me is simplifying our summer meals. Our weekly summer menu looks like this: Monday: Pasta Tuesday: Mexican Wednesday: Soup/Salad/Sandwiches Thursday: Leftovers Friday: Pasta/Takeout I save so much time grocery shopping and preparing meals which helps me have time to do fun things with the kids or have time to lounge by the pool. And the meals are so simple anyone in the family can make them.
Lower your Expectations. If you’ve got kids home this summer like me, your house is not going to be a showroom. And if you drop in on me unexpectedly, expect my home to reflect my summer home decorating style-- “lived in”. Chores will get done in their time. Chaos is a part of our lives. All I can do is manage it. I manage my household summer chaos by making my daily goal to clean/straighten one section of the home and to have my kids clean up their mess in the main living areas. Since I know I will get to every area of the house eventually each week, I find it easier to turn a blind eye to messy areas. I keep track of these tasks using my My Set Me Free! Habit Tracker.
My weekly chore schedule looks like this:
Monday: Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping/ Clean Fridge
Tuesday: Clean the 2nd floor
Wednesday: Clean the 1st floor
Thursday: Clean the basement
Friday: Clean out car and do outdoor chores. ]
5. Schedule your FUN-- Summer gets so busy that is has a way of
slipping away. Take a moment to write down what you want to do
and experience this summer and start putting it on your calendar.
Summer doesn’t just happen! I hope you can use some of these tips to help you create more time to make this summer a memorable one!