Welcome to Part 2 of Your Intentional Summer Planning Series!
As I dreamed about a summer filled with fun activities, my mind started spinning.
How in the world would I manage to keep the house clean, the toys picked up, and the laundry done with all this coming and going?
Because let’s face it, my two objectives:
- Enjoy my children’s childhood
- Focus on relationships
require me to be able to manage the coming and going while keeping a happy uncluttered mind and heart.
How can I simplify my work in the home?
From time-to-time, I like to re-evaluate my work in the home.
- Is there anything I’m doing that can be delegated to someone else?
- Is there anything I’m doing that if I tweaked it just a bit it would be easier to do?
- Is there any areas in my home that continues to just be a “stuff collector”?
Answering these questions always turns up some practical solutions that help clear clutter and quiet my mind.
Because let’s face it, clutter begets frustration!
Toy management has been frustrating me for several weeks now.
Lately, I have felt like all I do is clean up toys, ask the kids to clean up toys, and trip over toys while no toys ever seem to be in their designated homes.
Just as I don’t need to take on more than I can manage joyfully, I don’t need to ask my kids to take on more than they can manage joyfully either.
I’ve tried to train the children to only pull out one thing at a time, but with three kids it’s impossible for me to stay on top of it all the time. Things happen fast around here. I mean FAST!
No matter how I store toys or arrange rooms, toys continue to be an area of major frustration in our home.
Enjoying my children’s childhood and focusing on relationships this summer isn’t really possible when all we do is manage toys, and the clean up of said toys, and the attitudes of said toys not being cleaned up.
So, I decided to remove all the children’s toys from their bedroom except Legos, their car track, and cars.
My oldest loves his Legos and my middle son loves his trucks. The rest goes away for the summer.
We tackled this project over the weekend when I knew my husband could help me manage attitudes. I expected tantrums and fighting. I expected tears and frustration, but I didn’t get anything out of the ordinary from them. They didn’t even question me.
Once we worked through a bit of laziness, they helped me carry all the things to the garage where I store all of our homeschool supplies and toys, and scampered off to play while I sorted through everything.
I took advantage of this time to also clean out the homeschool room from all the things that had piled up throughout the year.
I brought everything downstairs, put it into a huge pile, and I went through all of it!
This is one thing I learned from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Yes, the book is a little out there, but Kon Marie knows what she’s talking about when she says to pull everything into one location.
Seeing all your clothes, toys, books, etc. in a huge pile helps you realize just how much you have, and touching each piece forces you to make deliberate decisions.
I worked quickly, and when I hit a snag in the decision making process, I asked my husband for help. He was the voice of reason for me when I felt too emotionally attached to something.
When it was all said and done, the boys’ room was cleaned out, the homeschool room was organized, and my supply closet only holds what is necessary to our children’s education and enjoyment. Plus the toys we will consider adding back from time-to-time.
What’s left in the common areas is their play kitchen, books, dress up clothes, puppets, wooden alphabet blocks, puzzles, and art supplies.
That’s it. Everything else is put away for the summer.
It’s just 10 weeks. They will be okay.
And so far they are totally fine with it!
Of course the day after I cleared everything out it started raining and raining and raining. They have spent hours, and I do mean hours, in their room playing with their legos and setting up their car track.
However, no one complains when it is time to clean up, and we can tidy up in about five minutes. It has been wonderful!
So, what about you?
- What toys do you want to put away for the summer?
- What tasks have you been putting off around the home that you need to finish?
- What are the hot spots in your home that you need to declutter, rethink, or rearrange?
Then, ask yourself if there is something you’re doing right now that you can intentionally set aside for just this season.
If you want additional help planning your summer, I’ve put together a free planning packet for you to download. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send it right over to you!
Planning Your Intentional Summer Series!
This post is part of a series. You can read the introduction to the series here, as well as access links to the remainder of the series.
Next time we’ll tackle the last question I asked myself when planning my family’s summer:
- What are the specific things I can do that will help me accomplish my objectives?
This is truly the fun part. The plans for what we’ll be doing. I’ll share my family’s Summer Bucket List and the Summer Reading Plans we have. So stay tuned!
My goal for this series is to simply help you make a simple summer plan that works for your family. There is a lot you can do, but what will you make a priority this summer? That’s what we’ll work through together!