It’s summertime! Those lovely heat-filled days when the kids are out of school and are becoming increasingly bored by the minute. Your house has never looked so organized–NOT! You realize you have two choices; well, three, but pulling your hair out hasn’t helped in the past. You can remain in your air-conditioned home with your hyperactive children or take them somewhere—anywhere! The beach or local pool sounds like a great idea. Then it hits you–it will take you hours to get the car packed with everything needed for the day. Not to mention having to lug everything out once you reach your destination.
How to Turn Around Your (Un) Organized Plans
Are you doomed for a summer at home? Not if you take a little time to organize first. And don’t leave the kids out of the mix. This is a great opportunity to teach them to take only what they need and to keep it organized. Begin organizing a day or two before your first excursion. Make a game out of it, something to keep those little mischievous minds occupied, so they don’t go through your drawers or into anything else you don’t want them to know about. It’s a great way for siblings to bond with one another and as a rainy-day activity when the kids whine that they have nothing to do.
How does this work? Here are seven tips to organizing your summer excursions.
Getting Your Gear Organized
What you’ll need may depend on the venue you have chosen. Since it’s summer, let’s assume it has something to do with water and possibly sand. Organizing is easy and can be fun if you start with the right tools. Begin by separating your duties from that of your children. You are responsible for getting the car organized and designating an area where they can store their containers. Your children are then responsible for placing their items in their container and then transporting it to and from the car. You may have to simplify the process for younger children or those with special needs, but no matter what age they are, they can be assigned a task.
1. Each child gets a plastic container, bucket or knapsack (something they can comfortably carry) for their belongings, whether its beach gear or toys. If it doesn’t fit into the container, then it stays at home.
2. If you decide to use clear plastic containers you can use color masking tape to distinguish them or purchase different color lids.
3. If your children have similar toys, use smaller pieces of the same color tape and adhere it to each toy. That way you avoid any skirmishes during play or clean up.
4. Before you leave for your day trip, instruct your children to load their container in the designated spot in the car.
5. Keep a cooler in the car for water, sandwiches, etc. Make sure to put fresh ice packs in the cooler and empty the used ones out each time you use it.
6. Keep a box of large plastic trash bags in the car for clean-up, and as emergency rain gear.
7. Use easy-to-access space in your car or containers with lids to store towels, sun lotion, flip flops, bug repellent, etc.
Organizing is a Process
By packing their own container and then placing it in a designated spot in the car, they become responsible for their belongings. The next time someone screams: “Mom where’s my ????” Then, you can answer,” I guess you forgot to pack it.” What if your child refuses to load and unload their container? Remember that teaching children to become organized is a process, but once your child realizes that you aren’t going to do it for them, they’ll figure out a way to get it done.
California Concierge has been helping families organize since 1999. By taking care of things that don’t have to be done by you, we give you space in your days for what matters most – your family, friends, hobbies, exercise, rest, volunteering…things that often get the short end of the stick when life feels crammed and crazy. Contact us to find out how we can make your summer excursions – and life! – that much easier.
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