Monday, June 14, 2010

Summertime Routines

Whenever school gets out, it's so refreshing just to sleep in a bit later, leisurely sit on the front porch and drink a cup of coffee, and not be in a rush each morning. It's what I long for on those cold winter days when I have to crawl out of bed with the alarm clock calling me to get up and get to the schoolwork. 

But then I notice that things start to get so relaxed around the house that everything begins to fall apart. Dishes start to accumulate in the sink, laundry piles up, and clutter begins to form in mounds. Somehow, even gardening supplies begin to gather on the kitchen island. I can only stand it so long!

I've been thinking about it for a while, pondering the question, "Why does the house stay more organized during the school year when I have less time, but falls apart in the summer when I have all those extra hours back in my day?"

Lack of routine.

You can try to escape it, but routines keep us going. Without them we fall apart and our homes become derailed. And yes, they are necessary, even in summer

I know that it seems like a cruel thing to suggest a summer routine, but seriously, do we want our three months of warm weather to slip away as the family gets buried in a chaotic house and we run around in an unorganized manner trying to keep up? Schedules certainly don't have to be as tight, but they do need to be in place even in June, July, and August in order to maintain the home so it's pleasant for everyone.

Photo Credit: Andrea R

Summertime Routine Tips

• Let everyone sleep in later, but have a set time that even the laziest member of the family must get up.

• Keep kids on track with chores. Change up the chore chart, switch jobs, or, assign something totally new, but keep some sort of required maintenance around the house.

• Allow kids to earn some extra cash for an ice cream at the pool occasionally by performing some seasonal tasks (yes, we splurge every now and then on a treat, but not on  every single trip tot the pool).

• Are weeds an issue? Require every family member to pull one or two buckets a day each day depending on your weed infestation. If done early in the morning or later in the evening, it will keep these unwanted invaders at bay.

• Assign each child an area to maintain throughout the day. In addition to their regular chores, each child will periodically during the day make sure that one room of the house is picked up and swept.

• Set a time that morning chores must be completed. Be sure to enforce consequences if they don't follow through (See Regulating Computer Time).

• Set an example by maintaining a schedule of your own!

• Actually schedule the big summer homestead projects on your calendar so they get done before fall arrives.

• Have kids work on chores during the hours that it's cooler outside. Save the fun stuff, such as the computer, pool, etc. for the hotter portion of the day when everyone is feeling a bit lazy (You do want to enjoy some of your summer, right?).

• Organize pool supplies, sports equipment, and other items needed for outings so the kids know where to find everything and where to put it back when they get home! Everything needs a place! (And have a routine for what to do with wet swimsuits and towels!) 

• Make it a routine to clean out the car and completely unpack it each time you get home. That way it's ready for the next event.

Somedays will still seem anything BUT routine as you navigate the summer days. When this happens, I just have to remind myself to be thankful that I have the extra hours without school thrown into the mix and that it's helping to refine me further! 

Now it's your turn. Help me add to the summer time chore tips by posting a comment below! 


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