1. End-of-the-school-year: projects, papers, and stuff. You may be tempted to keep a poster or project your child worked hard on, but unless it serves a purpose in your home it would be a good idea to just take a picture of it and store it on a an external hard drive. Add left-over school supplies to a box or other container so you don't have to buy a new stuff for next fall.
2. An organized home when everyone's home for the summer: Create a job chart for the children and young adults to check off tasks they have completed. You can motivate folks by setting up rewards when each completed item is checked off. Establish policies for common disagreements like television/computer time limits, curfews, and bedtimes.
3. Organize outdoor BBQs by keeping your grilling tools visible and in one place. Small tools, such as meat thermometers, grill scrapers, etc., can be kept in stainless steel perforated bins and wire racks which resist rust and won't collect rainwater. Basting brushes can be stored in a baggie in the refrigerator.
4. Create a bucket for flip-flops. Flip flops are widely considered the "shoe" of summer and are easy to mix up or lose, and create a messy entranceway. Corral flip-flops into a bucket that's placed by your entranceway to maintain order.
5. Organizing the beach & pool toys: Keep an extra trash can or plastic laundry basket outside for beach/water toys. This way you don't have to worry about bringing the mess indoors and they are readily available when they're needed again. Make sure the basket is ventilated so the toys don't get moldy.
6. Organize the summer day trip: Items kept in the car have a tendency to roll around and get lost beneath seats. A car organizer will keep loose items together and your trunk organized. Create a space in the back seat for a small ice chest. Use a canvas bag or a behind-the-seat organizer to tote car games and books.
7. Keep summer sand out: to sideline sand before it gets tracked into the house, attach a sprayer to an outdoor hose. Placing a bench nearby makes rinsing off less of a balancing act.
8. Keep your home organized by focusing on shared areas and creating a consistent clean-up routine. Get others involved to clean-as-you-go. It's efficient and doesn't take long to get the space right again.
9. Organized travel: arrange for pet and house sitters as soon as you have dates to travel. Create a checklist for travel and don't be afraid to add EVERYTHING you think you may need to travel comfortably and well. In the hour before you leave for your trip, review the checklist.
10. Keep a pouch or bin to store sunscreen and bug spray to be stored by the door. Make sure it is easy to travel with you if you're out all day and need to reapply.
Above all - be safe and have fun!
Next month: Mid-summer reading ideas! (keep those suggestions coming in!)