Summer Living: Creating Sane, Organized Space at Home or on the Road

Here in the Northwest, it often doesn’t feel like summer arrives until things heat up later in July. But this year, there is no doubt summer has arrived!

Whether you’re chilling at home or hitting the road this summer, chances are good you will have lots of family time. Here are some tips to make your summer more fun, relaxing, and colorful. And more organized to keep you sane!

three scenes

Target

TAME THE TOYS

The kids are out of school, which means more play around the house. With the great weather, it’s easy to send them outside with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, or super soakers. But at the end of the day, you still want to keep outside space tidy. It may seem like a lot of trouble to create systems just for summer fun, but trust me, a little extra ease and order can make all the difference in your mood on fun, but long, summer days.

Taming summer toys can be as simple as a large, labeled bin or bucket:

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A Thoughtful Place

 Or as uber-organized as this:

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Domestic Charm

If you’re a power organizer, consider transforming a small bookcase or bench with cubbies into a summer command center where you can keep toys, beach towels, and sunscreen all in one spot.

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First Home Love Life

For instant order, I love these stacking bins with large, fold-open doors in the garage, laundry, or mud room.

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Home Depot

For large toys, wagons, and bikes, your kids will get a big kick out of having their very own toy garage or parking lot.

toy garage

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Mom Endeavors, OrgJunkie

CREATE A BACKYARD OASIS

Once you have kid clutter under control, how about a great entertaining area for YOU to enjoy?

With all the great outdoor furniture available these days, you can easily create the feel of an outdoor living room. Most of us in Seattle don’t have air conditioning, so comfortable outdoor lounge space is ideal for staying cool in the shade.

For both dining and lounging, mix and match chairs, benches, and even a loveseat or ottoman for maximum comfort. Integrate a bright outdoor rug, a string of lights, and some throw pillows to add color, comfort, and ambiance to the space.

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IKEA

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Apartment Therapy

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Pier 1

Pro tip: Look for furniture that doubles as storage, like these great benches that make it super easy to tuck pillows, blankets, and toys out of sight at the end of the day.

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Sand & Sisal

STAY ORGANIZED ON THE ROAD

Most families with kids log a lot of hours in the car shuttling between school, sports, camps, and play dates. Add a summer road trip or two, and your car may start to feel like a second home.  Here are some clever ideas and products to keep you from going car crazy this summer, and all year round.

You’ve probably heard me go on about the many uses for simple, over-the-door organizers like the kind you might use for shoes. I can put them to work in any room in the house, as well as the car!

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Pop Sugar

You can also go as simple as a single hook to hold grocery bags and backpacks, or more elaborate with a fully portable desktop for older kids.

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Amazon, Amazon

Nothing makes a long car trip extra cranky like banana peels or greasy burger wraps all over the place. That’s why I’m nuts about this simple solution: a cereal jug lined with a plastic bag. A garbage can to go!

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Pop Sugar

Finally, even trunks like order, too. Prevent post-picnic chaos, spilled groceries, and overturned flowers with a trunk caddy (on the left) or even these simple bumpers (on the right) that you can move to fit your needs.

trunk organizer

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Listotic, Amazon

Whether you’re planning a staycation or a road trip this summer, I hope these tips help you enjoy your space and family time even more.

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