Simplify Summer

by Karen on June 2, 2014

When the seasons change and summer’s here, our lives shift our activities more than the weather…. Those of us with kids in school know that summer means a complete “upside downing” of life as we knew it for the past ten months. Even for adults-only homes, summer activities bring with them a bunch of stuff that is really specific to this one short season.

summer reading

You know a big part of A Second Me’s business is to help busy folks get organized. Summer organization is the fun kind – taking a minute to prepare ahead of time, means you’ll be able to enjoy the weather, road trips, the great outdoors without even having to drop the hat.

Our suggestion is packaging. You don’t want to have every outing start with thirty minutes of “where is my…fill in the blank?” Or end with a nasty sunburn. If you create what we call “To Go Bags”, you’ll be out the door – with everything you need in no time flat.

Here are the To Go Bags we recommend you put together now so that summer doesn’t sneak up in the form of that nasty sunburn caused by a lack of on hand sunscreen….


Pool BagYou probably know what you need in this bag, but do you know where it all is? What about the expiration date on the sunscreen? That’s what we’re saying. Grab a large, water resistant bag, and put the necessities in it.

Towels, goggles, sunscreen, toys, flip flops, etc. are obvious adds. We like to include plastic zip locs (or better yet, those reusable lunch bags you can get online) with the little things: spare change, spf lip balm, waterproof bandaids, non toxic bug away wipes, packable hat (no matter if it’s ugly), contact information (yours and others’ you may need) on an index card, extra bag for your phone/keys/wallet. For kids, extra underthings can come in handy – diapers or big kid gear – no need to explain that one to parents….

Road Trip.

CarbagPacking for a week long vacation is one thing – that’s tough no matter your secret organizing approach. We’re talking about a car bag that goes with you to the mountains for a day hike or readies you for the kids’ soccer game.

Your car bag should have plenty of water and snacks that hold well for the inevitable moment when everyone swears they’re starving. A first aid kit of some type is a must have along with some individually wrapped hand wipes and/or hand sanitizer. As with the swim bag, small bags to hold money, phone, etc. in a protected manner are good. Extra shoes – hiking sandals or tennies and socks are great for mom to be sure that pointy footwear doesn’t keep her on the sideline. Light jackets or sweaters aren’t a bad idea for cooler evenings.

Most likely not IN the bag, but you’ll want to include foldable chairs, outdoor games/balls, and a picnic blanket. That way you can sit through the soccer game, and you’re never far from a great picnic/playtime in the park (even if the food is drive through).

Outdoor Dinner.

dinner outMost of us have tables that we look at more than use on our porches/decks. Make it easy to take a meal in the fresh air. Have a bag/basket with all the table settings prepared ahead of time. Go smart disposal if you wish with paper plates and plastic forks (click here for biodegradable options) or stack some unbreakable cups/dishes and wrap cloth napkins around some cutlery. Add seasonings (salt, pepper, hot sauce) to reduce trips inside. Put your To Go Bag right by the door –on top of a folded tablecloth (so you can skip the cleaning of the outdoor table).

You may decide to pack other To Go Bags depending upon your interests. If gardening is a hassle because you can never find the gloves that fit, create a gardening bag you can grab and take with you so you’re not taking multiple trips to and from the garage. Specific sports bags – soccer cleats, baseball gear, biking, etc. – can come in handy as well. It’ll take one more excuse off the table for why you’re not working up the sweat every day!

Enjoy summer – just prepare ahead so the lazy days can actually feel lazy. Even when you’re busy, busy, busy….

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