As soon as you have cleaned out the school backpacks and purged the art folders, here come the day camp backpacks, swim team bags and stinky sports camp equipment. How to keep it all in order, clean and out of the way? Make a space for the summer bags – near the back door, front coat closet (devoid of coats until October) or my favorite is to get the kids to leave the bags in the garage or basement. I try to immediately empty the bags of wet towels, swimsuits or camp shirts into the clothes washer. That way you can wash / dry overnight and everything is ready for the next day.
Tip 1: Keep the nearest closet or pantry stocked with the daily summer necessities –
Juice boxes / water boxes
Clean water bottles
If you are home with the kids for the summer then you are probably acting as camp counselor, tutor and chauffeur, among other things. If you work away from home then you return in time for late afternoon activities. At least there is no homework! Summer evenings are so sweet – whether you are at the pool for a late swim, at the baseball field, or simply hanging out in the yard. Organize yourself and you can enjoy these summer pleasures stress free.
Tip 2: Keep dinner simple, keep some things in the freezer or pantry that can easily be added to fresh food.
Summer is the time to be ready for an impromptu party: You’ve spent the day at the pool or the zoo or the baseball field. You run into your friend and her children and say Hey, bring everyone over this evening! Then you realize there’s nothing in the fridge, the pantry or the liquor cabinet. No time to run to the store with 3 little kids in tow. You can order a pizza but you can’t order adult beverages and snacks! It’s such a nice summer event to have a spur of the moment dinner guests but you need to be a little prepared.
Tip 3: Do a little planning now and it will be more relaxing to issue that last minute invitation to your neighbor or your son’s best friend from swim team over for an evening. Next time you are at the grocery store pick up some extra supplies --
Keep in the back of the pantry – chips, paper / plastic cups. Bottles of water / soda., beer, seltzer. Roasted nuts, roasted red pepper, box of cheese straws, olives, cornichons, sesame / rice crackers. Some type of dip in a jar (unrefrigerated) like tapenade.
Liquor / wine cabinet -- Always have on hand – one bottle each red / white wine. And some type of basic liquor, either tequila or vodka. In the fridge – hearty fresh food in the way of carrots, grapes, citrus fruit, anything that keeps well and you can bring out looking nice.
Try to relax and enjoy! September comes soon enough.