Summertime fun like camping, weekend road trips and backyard BBQs should be as spontaneous and stress-free as possible. The goal is to make great lifelong memories with family and friends. But disorganization or lack of advanced preparation can make what should be carefree, fun family experiences feel overwhelming or worse, prevent you from being spontaneous or enjoying summer at all.
The key success is to get organized in advance so you’ll be prepared to get away from the routine and relax!
Here are seven ways to get your family organized and ready to make the most out of the lazy days of summer.
1. Organize your camping gear.
If you want to enjoy spur of the moment summer camping trips, or even pitch a tent for the kids in the backyard, make the experience more pleasant with a little pre-organization. Dig out your tent and sleeping bags and organize them into accessible, dry and easy to transport containers. Stock up on fresh batteries for your lanterns and flashlights. Check your camping stove and refill any necessary fuel. Make a list of camping gear you are lacking and stock up now. If you need reservations for a campground, make them now!
2. Get prepared for beach and lake trips.
Summers should be filled with memories of hanging out by the water, boating, swimming and picnics. Get organized with a picnic basket, cooler, blankets, beach towels and sunscreen so you’ll be ready to toss it all in the car when the mood strikes. Don’t forget to locate your beach pails, kite and frisbee!
3. Be ready for concerts in the park.
Look up dates for your community’s summer concerts and festivals. Pack a backpack with mini-binoculars, blanket, sweatshirts for chilly evenings, and packaged snacks so you’ll be ready to enjoy summertime events in the local parks.
4. Set up the backyard and BBQ.
You don’t have to go far from home for summer memories: look to your backyard. Set up the backyard fire pit and stock up on s’more ingredients! Assess your BBQ propane tank or charcoal and lighter fluid, locate your tools and heat mitts, find your apron and melamine or paper plate stash. Wash a fresh picnic table cloth and wipe off your outdoor furniture. Set up the croquet set and volleyball net and blow up pool. If you have an outdoor projector, hang a screen or white sheet for family movie nights. Look up great summer recipes for a crowd, fill the fridge with cold drinks and invite your neighbors for a summer evening of barbecuing and games at your place.
5. Map out family hikes.
Prepare to get out into nature and take some fun family hikes this summer. Look up nature walks, hikes and natural destinations near you and save addresses, park hours, maps and directions. Have a backpack and water bottles ready to fill and a few energy bars for snacking. Don’t forget to add your sunglasses and sunscreen.
6. Organize a technology-free weekend.
Technology is handy and a part of our daily life, but a break from it can give you the sense of a real escape even if you don’t go far from home. Get prepared to ditch the phone and computer by preparing ahead for a tech-free weekend. Stock up on board and card games. If you plan to leave the house, print out a fun weekend activity schedule. Print locations and directions on paper for a few new-to-you restaurants and local places to sightsee so you can turn your phone off, relax and be in the moment.
7. Prepare summer projects.
What are several projects you’d like to work on around the house? Get organized now so you can make your projects a fun and memorable family event. Get the family involved in a painting project or gardening by buying the supplies together and teaching the kids some new skills. If you need to clean out a garage and host a yard sale, stock up on price stickers and let the kids help with signs, or let them set up a lemonade or treat stand to lure in the customers.
What are you planning this summer? It might be a great weekend to get ready and organized for family fun!