Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Prep – Part 1


My kids are counting down until the last day of school.  We are now at 7 days left.  That’s not including the weekend or Memorial Day, just school days, they keep telling me.  Every time I hear them mention it, my heart skips a beat and I start to feel that dreaded panicky feeling and the instant anxiety.  Like I’m getting ready to start a race or something.  Can anyone relate???

Last summer I was pregnant, hot and grumpy.  This summer is different.  I am in a good place right now.  Life is overall really good.  My kids are at fun ages and Ady is easy to take places.  Sure, they keep me running in circles, but they are easy to have fun with.  I want to make the most of this summer; do fun things with my kids, have some good laughs, make memories, be lazy, but be productive too.  To make this happen I knew I had to come up with a plan.  I needed to get all of those thoughts and ideas in my head organized somehow.  So I spent ALL of last week getting prepared for summer.  I call it my  “Summer Prep Week.”  My plan is to share a post each day this week about what I did to get prepared.  Today it’s about getting organized.  You have to start with that first!

*On my regular cleaning day I went through and cleaned extra good.  Because of this, it took me 2 days to clean my house instead of 1.  I went through each room and tore them all apart and then put them back together again.  In the bedrooms I went through closets and drawers.  Everything has a  home again.  I cleaned out and got rid of unwanted or unnecessary things, including toys, papers, clothes etc.  In the 2 T.V. rooms I organized the armoires.  The one upstairs now hosts all of the puzzles, since we have 2 good tables to work on in that room.  That room doesn’t get used very often so it’s a good room to leave a puzzle sitting out.  The one downstairs hosts all of the board games, cards, movies and gaming systems.  What took me the longest was the high traffic areas.  In our house it is the kitchen and the laundry room.  They needed some help.  I knew this is where my kids would spend most of their time.  It’s going to be the messiest room, especially since all of their arts and crafts are stored here.

*First of all, I took inventory.  I pulled out every supply from every nook and cranny in these 2 rooms to see what we had.  Then I threw away old yucky things and made a list for replacements.  I had some projects in mind that I wanted to work on with my kids this summer so I added those to the list.  I am REALLY trying hard not to run too many errands while they are all home, so I thought ahead and planned for some arts and craft projects.  4 kids plus hot humid weather, no thank you!  Here are some pictures of my organizing system in these 2 rooms.

This was their craft cupboard Before.  Yes, I really had a cupboard like this!

Before - 2

Here it is After.

After - 2

I made a stop at Wal-Mart and picked up some baskets.  Not only do I like the way they look, but it will be so easy for my kids to pull a basket out and then put it away. 

This basket may not look organized, but it really is.  This one sits in the same cupboard in front of the book basket.

Craft Basket

It is home to stickers, punches, stamps, paper, envelopes and all sort of misc. crafty things.  I have everything organized in zip lock bags.  Not the cutest thing, but it works. 

Then we’ve got the laundry room.  This is where school bags, shoes, swim supplies, coats and extra school supplies are stored. 

Here is a Before picture of our busy little corner.

Before - 1 

School supplies at the top, coats and bags on the hooks and shoes in the bin.

Here it is After. 

After - 1

Now I don’t mind looking into my laundry room from the kitchen anymore.  It just needed some TLC.  I cleaned out the coats, washed them and stored them in individual closets.  We really don’t need them anymore.  Hung up all of the swim bags and got rid of the old school supplies.  I am planning on doing some things with school supplies this summer, so I replaced them while I was out.  Here is a closer look.

School Supplies   

I found the tins at Target in the dollar isle.  I snatched up 3 of them.  I can’t stand when my kids argue about whose marker is whose and so and so is using my scissors and he broke the glue stick…blah, blah, blah.  So they each got their own, colored pencils, crayons, markers, scissors and glue stick.  I spray painted a square onto the tin with chalkboard paint and wrote their initials.  No arguing allowed!  Next to that is their own writing tablet and art tablet.  Now they are all set!

Then I moved outside.  No pictures here, but I sorted through the sand toys, and all of the toys in the garage.  They all have a home.  The balls are with the balls. The baseball equipment is together, the jump ropes, the ice chests, the sidewalk chalk ect. The wet pool toys that don’t get brought in the house are stored in a pool bag on one of the shelves in the garage.  Now we’ll see if we can keep up on it.  I really believe that being organized makes for more freedom.  You don’t have to spend so much time looking for things and your kids know where things belong.  They can find their toys on there own and help clean up too. That sounds pretty awesome to me!

The last thing I did was sort through my basket.  It’s pretty organized, but every now and then I like to go through and weed things out.  I pulled out my summer folder and started planning.  


More on that tomorrow!


Beth Curtis said...

I would take your "Before" pictures any day! I know that your house will remain that organized and I am jealous. If I did anything like that it would last maybe a week.

Miss Sew & So said...

you have TOTALLY inspired me....right down to the brilliant tins!!! i have 3 and am heading into school hols a little later than you over here.....but very happy to have you initiate some organisation!!
ahhh a clean cloak room!!!
big thanks!!
melissa :)

Andrea said...

Awesome. I can't wait to hear about the rest. I love how the baskets turned out with the chalkboard paint.

Stephanie said...

So glad you share these things! My kids only have 2 days of school left and I'm so NOT ready. I am hoping to get myself together a little bit... Looking forward to more ideas from you. Thanks!

Angie said...

Thanks for the organizing inspiration! Can't wait to see more! I found your blog through Andrea's. My aunt lives in Spring, TX too!

Lindsey Jensen said...

I'm impressed!!! Makes me want to go clean!!! Good job!! Can't wait to read the rest of your posts!

Tam said...

Woman, you are amazing! Seriously, I have no idea how you do what you do. I swear I am just surviving at this point of life but here you are organizing and planning and being the mom/wife I want to be. Part of me wishes I could not like you but then I spend ten seconds w/ you and you are so stinkin' cute/fun/nice/real that I forget I want to not like you for all the amazing things you do! You rock woman ... cant wait to see what you post tomorrow!

The Johnson's said...

Wow, I am having an anxiety attack!! ha ha I love summer and the relaxed routine but I definitely need to do some organizing in so many areas (house, summer schedule, routines, etc). Thanks for inspiring me to get something done--now let's hope I don't change my mind tomorrow (I am so unmotivated lately and my house and yard shows it!)

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