Summer Organizing with Kids by Jennifer Phelps of Jennifer Phelps: Organize. Design. Reinvent!

It’s a few weeks into summer, the rug rats are bored, the house is a mess and you haven’t cleaned out their backpacks since school ended. So rally the troops, give idle hands and minds something to do and get organized. Here are some “cool” projects for these hot summer months.

Start with leftovers from the school year. Clear out backpacks, store papers and drawings, take photos of bulky stuff and let it go. Make your motto “The fewer you keep, the more special each piece becomes.”

Corral the explosion of beads, markers, glitter and craft supplies into bins or zip bags so they’re easy to use and put away again. Even the littlest cuties can check for dried out markers and sort little thingamajiggies.

Assess toys, games, books and movies they’ve outgrown or don’t play with, including that pile of electronics. Donate everything in good shape and recycle the partial puzzles. Download movies and donate DVD’s. Sort seasonal sports equipment so it’s not a jumbled mess all year long. Have kids pick their favorite books to read over the summer.

Give them a measure and a specific task and they can do it! Choose a number of items to donate each day or race to fill a donation box… Socks one day, undies the next, toys another. Really, they know what they like and use.

Reward kids with non-cluttering activity – a movie night, mini-golf, donate three books and get a new one, have a sleepover once the house is picked up… Get creative and have fun!

Let kids choose one of our amazing local charities for the family to support and donate, donate, donate.

Create a rotating gallery to showcase art year-round. Mount frames on the wall with wire or clips and change each month. Check Pinterest for ideas.

Get organized this summer so you can play more, enjoy more and have fun doing it too. Before school starts again. EEK!

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