Summer Organization

What can I say? I am becoming your typical “mom” because I now get giddy and visibly excited with random things that are organizational by nature….routine ideas, organizational gifts, bags with lots of storage, planners {although that has always been the case with planners}, calendars, shelf organizers, drawer space, you name it.

True to form, this desire to be more organized has seeped into summertime. I normally attempt to have a fun array of things for the kids to do when they get home the last day of school::

a bucket list all ready for summer with around 50 fun things to cross off throughout summer,

a couple inexpensive new toys to come home to,

a poster or bunting hanging to welcome them home for summer….

THIS YEAR:: NOT THE CASE.

This year they came home to a NEW BABY–way cuter and long lasting. lol. However, lucky for them and me, I am slowly getting organized and in a much SIMPLER way.

Here are 3 of my SUMMER ORGANIZATION projects that have made ALL the difference::

#1:: Summer “I DID IT” Poster —

{my kids helped me name it}

Instead of feeling like I was failing every day with the bucket list I normally do or feeling like I couldn’t get everything on our list done I decided to come up with a Summer “I did it” list. Basically, anytime we do something fun, the kids can draw a picture and write what it was on this poster. Then, it becomes a show off of what we DID do and an ongoing craft and journal. At the end of the summer, we can look at it and remember how much fun we had.

That’s the goal anyway. I will say so far the kids are loving it and I am too. I feel accomplished instead of behind. 🙂 And, all you need is a poster and markers….if you are low key like me. I’m sure you could doctor it up and make it Pinterest worthy if you are into that sort of thing ;). For me, I’m all about KEEPING IT SIMPLE THESE DAYS. Getting fun, meaningful time in with he kiddos and throwing extra unnecessary effort out the window…because I don’t have too much extra these days. Ha!

#2:: FAMILY CALENDAR/wannabe command center

So, I have been CRAVING and wanting a command center for some time. You know, one of those adorable ones with a huge family calendar and a wire bucket that hangs next to it with important papers and a board with stickies….. well, I don’t have a place for that. No ideal wall space. Not to mention, the idea of using up lots of my wall for that doesn’t seem as desirable the more I think about it. I would rather save wall to hang up pictures and decor I love. BUT, the solution I finally figured out  during a late feeding and simultaneous amazon search on my phone was USING THE FRIDGE!!!!! They have magnetic calendars. Insert hallelujah chorus here. I am sure everyone else knew these existed, but I didn’t! Oh my heavens, my first family calendar ever and it is a game changer. And, dream of a command center-done.

I always have everything written in my planner {duh}, but I didn’t have everything written where everyone else could see it until now. So instead of kids asking me questions about when and where–actually it looked something like:: I tell them, they forget, they ask again, repeat. over and over. and over. NOW, the kids can see it, the mister can see it, we can look forward to things together and we are ALL in the loop. Satisfaction sigh. Such a simple thing, but I feel way more organized….and apparently, I don’t like answering the same question over and over again. lol.

Full command center {aka: fridge ;)–chore system I will explain below}::

And yes, I have kept those little popsicle framed magnets of my 2 big kids since they did Mommy school with me and friends when they are each 3….{4 and 2 years ago} They each made those when they were 3 and they make me happy. I will be adding 2 more when my babies each turn 3 and keep them on my fridge until they are 50 maybe and then I’ll accept that they are older now. 🙂 The little things, right? And my favorite Santa pic. Christmas is always in season! Isn’t it so funny that my fridge makes me happy? …but this little organized chaos totally does.

NOTE:: I got this calendar on Amazon for $15…I read MANY reviews and this one won me over and it came with the eraser and markers. The markers are key because they are finer tipped dry erase which makes ALL the difference. Erases great, writes great, I am in love.

#3:: Chore System

I’ll be honest, my kids still don’t love chores-we are a work in progress. But, they are doing them more often without me nagging AS much. ha! They get excited about the rewards which is the only reason they are doing them at all…my kids are all about the rewards.

SO, I am doing the pin with the popsicle sticks.

You put chore stick in the TO DO and move it to DONE with you are done.

That’s it!

I started off with writing the chores on all the popsicle sticks but, that became more of a headache than a help. Mostly because Sassy knows how to read, but J is learning and doesn’t really know how. I tried to make a little picture with a fine tipped sharpie on his, but not with much success. Then, he wasn’t 100% sure on which stick to put in the “done” cup and Sassy had to put it in for him {less of an accomplished feeling/motivation for J}. Not to mention, I kept remembering chores I didn’t add for our Saturday deep cleaning day which meant I had to keep adding sticks and changing their sticks in the “to do” for each day depending on what I needed done that day….. H-E-A-D-A-C-H-E.

Solution:: I just have BLANK sticks in the to do! They each have a routine/chore chart in their room I use for morning and evening that they know and they get “sticks” for if they do them and they move those on their own. After that, I’ll just say “clean this {done}, good job ____, move a stick over.” WAY EASIER.

Then, at the end of the day, they count up their sticks and put that many tickets in a ziplock baggy I have on the fridge. [remember-it’s my command center after all] They can save up their tickets and spend it at the “Mommy Bucks Store.” I give them lots of opportunities to earn tickets throughout the day {their morning and evening routine every day–make bed, put clothes away, brush teeth,etc.}and then chores as I need them, picking up room and playroom every day–you get the drift. That’s why the amounts are pretty high to earn rewards.

A wise friend of mine told me that really it is the continual effort that makes all the difference. Chore systems will change over time and I will adjust with my kids, but she was giving me hope that the continual effort is what teaches your kids to work. In fact, all her kids are self sufficient essentially now and know how to clean and do chores and do them without asking because she started hers young… Yes, I’m talking about you Yvonne. 🙂  So, that gave me hope and motivation to go for my plan and remember I am teaching my children something valuable–responsibility and how to work. The system doesn’t have to be perfect and neither does my kids effort or mine, but they will learn through the process. The best thing I can do is stay consistent and keep cleaning after themselves a priority at home. I’m sure I will change my chore system when school starts to always do my best to keep it fresh, but for now, this system is working for us. Simple, yet fun{ish} [minus the chore part for them HA HA] and rewarding.

SO, there’s my little list of organizational summer projects we’ve been doing around here. Here’s to summer fun and attempting to stay organized in the process.

PS-How do your families stay organized? How do you do chores? I love ideas for the future and there is definitely NO RIGHT WAY.

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