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How to Have Your Best (Organized) Summer Ever

If you’re like me and have kiddos out of school for the summer, you might either be super excited (yay!) or completely overwhelmed (what do I do with these kids?!). I’m going to walk you through the process I've used to tame the anxiety monster, made it clear who needs to be where and when, while also teaching my kids some personal ownership and responsibility!

Note: My kids will be in city-sponsored camps each week this summer, with the exception of 2 weeks for vacation and one week for church camp. My tips below will speak to that situation specifically, but there are some great resources at the end that can benefit all!  

Step One: combine all the information into one document. 

Find all the emails from your camps with a list of items needed, drop off times, etc. Copy + paste the info into one central Google doc like this: 

Each week gets its own color for ease of reference. Each section has the:

  1. Name of the Camp

  2. Location/Address

  3. Drop off + Pick Up Times

  4. Items Needed Each Day

  5. Any notes, i.e., nut-free lunches only, need to buy water shoes, etc.

I then took EACH week and copy + pasted it onto a separate page, enlarging the font, and added pictures of the camp or other clip art to add visual interest and for my kiddo who is just learning to read, not to mention get my kids excited for the theme!

I also created a Coming Home checklist, which is the reverse of the Items Needed checklist - take out wet swimsuit and hang on rack, empty lunchbox, etc. 

The Master List was for use between my husband and I, and the one sheets were to be hung in a common area for all to see, one at a time. My goal is to have my kids responsible for emptying their backpacks at the end of the day and filling them up the night before (just like the school year!). 

Step Two: copy info of camp location to all your planning devices, whether it be a Google calendar, paper planner, email calendar, etc.

That way when you plan work events or activities, you know where you’ll be at a specific time of day! Hot tip: schedule a mini family meeting each Sunday to go over the week, answer questions, and assign any tasks.

Step Three: Have a Big Family Meeting!

We do this 2-3 times a year, typically at the beginning of each school semester and the summer. Our schedule and routines are changing, so we take time to talk about the past and make plans for the new season. We ask questions like this:

  1. What did you like about school this past semester?

  2. What did you not like about school?

  3. How did you grow or learn new things? 

  4. What are you excited about for this upcoming season?

  5. What special things do you want to accomplish or do?

  6. Is there an area of focus you want to have for this next season?

For summer, we make a list of fun activities we want to do, places to go, and experiences to have. And, because they get free lunch during the school year, packing lunches is a change for us each summer. I ask the kids what kinds of food they’d like for their lunches, so I know what to buy! Having their input increases buy in and consumption!

NOW, if none of the above situations apply to you, you might be interested in some free Summer Printables I have on my website, covering various topics! Yes, they’re FREE! I have:

2024 Summer Planner (with space for up to 4 kids’ activities) 

I hope something from above has piqued your interest in helping keep summer running smoothly SO THAT you can actually have fun! That’s why I do what I do and see value in organizing - so I don’t have to worry about where to find things or what to do next - I can just relax and let the system I set up work for itself. I want to be present with my family this summer and truly believe with a little backend prep, it can happen!

I would love to know how you’re organizing your summer for success and fun. Let me know in the comments below!

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