School is so close to being over I can almost taste it. I'm knee deep in teacher appreciation weeks (not days, weeks!) for 2 different schools, birthdays, holidays, and end of season sports events. Library books are being inventoried, anything in the lost and found has got to be found right now, and backpacks are extremely close to their inevitable demise.
Work is ramping up, school is winding down, and the weather is wreaking havoc on all of my best laid plans. But once we hit that last day of school we can finally breathe a sigh of relief.... right? Of course, yes. Please oh please yes, take a break for a bit. Let the kids sleep in, adjust to their new schedules, be it at home with you or in summer camps, and just relax a bit.
However... you knew there was going to be a however, didn't you?
I have a few suggestions for tasks to do the week after school ends. I don't say these things because I want you to freak out about more organizing projects. If it seems like they never end, that's because they don't. Organizing is like laundry in that way. But these specific tasks are designed to be done at the beginning of summer simply because it'll make your summer so much easier. Trust me, you'll be happy if you do them now, rather than procrastinate.
Lunch Bags & Backpacks
If these are in a sad and sorry condition, I give you permission to please throw them away right now! The kids will undoubtedly want new ones for next year anyway and I'll bet you already got your money's worth. If they are somehow still in good shape, feel free to keep them if you have a true purpose, like using them for camp. But, and here's the big but, if you are not using them, please put them away where they belong. That means they don't sit empty by the door for the next few months, getting in the way and dustier by the minute. Handling this task now means you won't wonder what that mysterious smell is in a few weeks. Then you'll finally discover someone's forgotten snack from the last day of school in the bottom of their bag. Oh joy.
School Papers & Artwork
Do yourself a huge favor and tackle school papers all at once while they are fresh on your mind. Do a super quick sort to get rid of the homework, worksheets and scribbles that are not worth saving. Then do a second sort through (either by yourself or with your kids) to see what's really worthy of saving. Stash the keep pile in either an art portfolio under your kid's bed or a box with envelopes/binders for each year. A third option is to take pictures of everything to make a digital book and then trash the originals. If you don't already keep school papers in a bin all year long (one per kid), set it up now for next year and you are good to go.
Must Do Activities
Ask your kids now what top 3 things they want to do this summer. Look at the calendar together (print out one for your kids if they like knowing what's coming up) and schedule in these activities right now. If the rest of the summer gets away from you, and it always seems to, then at least you can say you did the most important things.
Are there more tasks you need to accomplish this summer? Of course. I know that I'll tackle their closets yet again, like I do every season, and also probably purge playroom toys as well. However I've got time on my side to get those things done later. Waiting for a rainy afternoon seems just about right. But accomplishing the must dos right now just makes sense. Being proactive about these tasks will save my nose (wow those lunch bags can smell bad), my sanity, and hopefully stave off the whining... from the kids and from me. If you need any other ideas for summer organizing projects just comment below and I'll be glad to help!