Vacations, barbecues, and recreational sports are just a few reasons why summer can be a busy time of year. It’s a good idea to get your home, health, and schedule organized ahead of time so you and your family can enjoy the season’s activities stress-free.
Seasonal home essentials
It’s out with the old and in with the new—so clean and organize your home to reflect the changes in weather and upcoming events. From grilling tools to sunscreen, take inventory of what you have, organize it, and shop for what you need or want to replace.
Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day all have red, white, and blue themes. Downsize your decor, limiting yourself to a bin or two of patriotic decorations you can use throughout the summer when appropriate. Keep this bin somewhere that’s easy to access so you can decorate quickly without making it a whole day’s affair.
Some of your decor could include paper plates, napkins, and other patriotic dining utensils. If you can find them online, purchase them now to avoid the markups and shortages surrounding these holidays. Purchasing small items beforehand lets you focus on spending time cooking for a barbecue and not worrying about the extra details.
Travel and outdoor items
Prioritize your household’s safety above all else. You should always keep at least two to three bottles of sunscreen at home and a can of bug spray or a citronella candle for your yard. Keep a bin or shelf near the door so everyone will be reminded to use sunscreen or bug spray before leaving the house.
If you frequent a nearby lake or beach, organize a bag of towels, sunscreen, sandals, sunglasses, and beach toys. Place your beach chairs and umbrella together so you can grab everything and go on your first trip of the season without needing to pack ahead of time. If you notice that your umbrella or chairs are rusted or tearing, add those to your shopping list.
If you’re planning to get some R&R from the comfort of their backyard, make sure your outdoor furniture, lanterns, and other essentials are in place. You don’t have to uncover them just yet if it’s not warm enough, but they’ll be ready for lounging when the first beautiful day arrives!
It’s important to have your grill supplies organized, clean, and ready for the first night you’ll be making dinner outside. Store the following items in a drawer in your kitchen or in a sealed bin near your grill:
- Grill cleaning brush
- Sturdy tongs
- Metal skewers
- Charcoal or propane (kept outside only)
- Carving board
- Meat thermometer
- Sauce brush
When it comes to scheduling your summer, you won’t be able to plan for everything. However, these are important events to account for and people to contact if you plan to leave town.
House and pet sitters
If you’re going away for more than a day, you might need the help of a house sitter, babysitter, or pet sitter. Make sure you request them in advance because summer can be a busy time for these helping hands. Be sure they have the following pieces of information before you leave:
- A copy of your house key or a keycode they know how to use
- Names and phone numbers of emergency contacts
- Your children’s and pet’s routine and care instructions
- Instructions for caring for your home
Schedule any HVAC, gutter cleanings, and other maintenance before hot and rainy weather hits. This time of year can be busy for HVAC professionals, so call or reach out to them as soon as possible—no one wants to be stuck without air-conditioning in the middle of the summer.
Parties and trips
Plan when you’re hosting get-togethers now and send out invites as soon as possible. Start thinking about food and activities so you can be creative without a time crunch looming over your head.
If you’re traveling during the summer, lock down your trip plans now. You can use sites such as Tripadvisor to find the best places and activities near your destination. After you confirm your activity plans, use an app like TripIt to compile your tickets, hotel information, and other reservations into an itinerary that you can share with everyone coming along.
Health and safety
You should still prioritize your health between all the fun in the sun. Proactive planning and taking proper precautions will ensure that you and your loved ones are happy and healthy this season.
Children’s physicals and immunizations are usually due by the beginning of the school year—especially if they play a fall sport. Appointment slots fill up quickly, so make sure you have your child’s scheduled and noted in your calendar. This is also a time of year that your skin needs extra protection, so check in with your dermatologist and have your skin evaluated before you stock up on sunscreen. Everyone’s skin is different, and your dermatologist can recommend specific ways to protect yours. They can offer you product recommendations and advice tailored to the activities you enjoy, such as swimming and hiking.
Review your household’s plan for how to protect yourselves during a flash flood, hurricane, fire, or tornado. It’s best to plan now before bad weather strikes and leaves you in a panic. After you come up with a safety plan, print it, laminate it, and hang it on the inside of your basement or garage door so you can grab and review it in a pinch. Be sure to include where to go if your house isn’t safe, and inform neighbors about your plan so they know to expect you in an emergency.
Summer should be a fun and blissful time of year, so organize everything now to make the most of your time while you’re at home and away.