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Getting Organized

Keeping Your Summer Sane

Vicki Norris
Restoring Order

CBN.comIf summer has turned your regular routine upside down and chaos is settling in, you’re not alone! Summer brings special organizing challenges to family and work life. Parents miss the structure and adult supervision that school provides and must adapt their calendars and resources to prepare for a new schedule.

If families don’t plan ahead for summer break, the household order, schedules, and daily processes can begin to deteriorate. The good news is: even if your summer has begun a bit rocky, you can still experience a fulfilling and organized summer by stepping back and making a few small changes.

Planning
If you haven’t already, set aside some time (two to four hours should be sufficient) to create a plan for your summer. Use that time to sign up for any desired activities, consult caregivers, and arrange details. Design a plan that takes into account the big picture, like family trips or scheduled camps, and a weekly plan that keeps each person’s needs in mind.

Scheduling
In the absence of a school schedule, begin implementing a regular schedule at home for your children. Set a reasonable time by which they should be out of bed in the morning and a regular bedtime. Regulating your children’s sleep will bring more harmony to your household!

Balance
Your children’s weekly schedule can include time for fun activities with peers and family, helping with household chores, and even work if they are old enough. Since they have more time, this is a great time to work on some age-appropriate life skills, like potty training, organizing their rooms, laundry, cooking, or yard maintenance.

Don’t forget to include intellectual stimulation, like implementing a reading plan or family field trips, along with physical stimulation, like a summer soccer league or camps.

Resist over-extending yourself. Many parents feel they have to entertain and program their children, especially during the summer. Remember, too, that it’s healthy for kids to have an imagination, play in the yard, build forts, and occupy themselves.

Calendar
Add each child’s schedule to a family calendar. Whether you use an electronic or paper calendar, assign a color to each person to keep track of their activities. This way, you can see where one person might be out of balance or where you have conflicting events. Post the calendar in the kitchen for easy reference.

Add to each activity the following information: location of activity, person responsible for transportation, and contact information.

Getting Help
It is not a sign of weakness to seek help during times of need; it indicates that you are savvy enough to realize that you can’t do it all, and you can’t do it alone. Summer is a great time to enlist the help of grandparents, other family, friends, neighbors, carpools, and even professionals to meet the increased demands on your time. Hiring a professional, like a nanny, a house cleaner, a gardener, or a professional organizer can help you maximize your time and navigate your summer successfully.

Remember, organizing your life will help you put first things first. By taking just a little time to order your family and schedule, you’ll be able to seize the joy of summer!


Adapted from: Restoring Order™ copyright © 2006 by Vicki Norris (available now at www.RestoringOrder.com and in July 2007as Reclaim Your Life™.  Copyright © 2007).  Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

About the Author: Vicki Norris is an expert organizer, business owner, speaker, television personality, and author who inspires people to live out their priorities. She is author of Reclaim Your Life™ © 2007 by Vicki Norris (available now at www.RestoringOrder.com) and of Restoring Order™ to Your Home, © 2007, a room-by-room household organizing guide, both published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Norris is a regular on HGTV’s nationally syndicated Mission: Organization, and is a recurrent source and contributor to national lifestyle publications including Quick & Simple magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Real Simple magazine.

 

 

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