Sonya Fehér is a professional organizer based in Austin, and today she shares user-friendly, connection-focused ideas for organizing summer with your teens and family. She specializes in working with women, families and creatives. In addition to home organizing, Sonya offers organizing workshops, time management coaching and remodel planning, and was named one of the best home organizers in Austin in 2017 and 2018 by Expertise.com. Before founding spaceWise Organizing in 2010, Sonya was an award-winning learning center director. She served as the leader of the South Austin chapter of Attachment Parenting International from 2009 – 2015. She is a certified teacher and a published author with an MFA in Creative Writing. Sonya believes that if you calm your world, you can calm your mind–and vice versa.
The following is adapted from Sonya’s blog with her permission. I encourage you to find Sonya at spacewiseorganizing.com or 512-591-8129. Keep reading to create a connected, organized summer with your family!
As the school year winds down, you’ve probably already thought about your big summer commitments: summer camps and trips and now the reality of a very different schedule and rhythm for the summer months may be at the forefront of your mind. Summer offers many organizational challenges: inconsistent schedules, summer trips, sunset at 9 p.m., camps, playdates, and more. It also gives us a chance to spend more time with our kids and teens, which we hope can be fun instead of a struggle. When you organize your summer together with a focus on connection, summer fun is more likely.
Easy Ways to Organize Your Summer
Make a Summer Calendar
Especially for teens who are still mastering understanding of time and calendars, summer offers great challenges. The structure of a school week has let them know what they would be doing and where they would be most of the time. If you’ve got summer camps, vacations or house guests, and scheduled special summer activities, putting those on a calendar really helps. That way your teens (and you) have a way of keeping track of when and where you are.
Set Summer Intentions
This is an activity that allows everyone in the family to have a voice in what they want to do this summer. You can brainstorm these lists and check out resources together, then make your Summer Fun Board.
People to see: Consider who you want to see this summer: family, school friends, other friends or connections.
Things to do: So, this is not a regular to do list like painting the back door or fixing the fence. This is where you get to think about what’s fun for you as a family. What is play for one of you can be miserable for another. Figuring out the places where play overlaps so that everyone’s having fun is key. I write more about how to Make a Play List here. I highly recommend 101 Things You Gotta Do Before You’re 12 by Joanne Sullivan and Sonya Fehér of spaceWise Organizing has set up a Pinterest board of Summer Activities that can help you and your teen brainstorm too.
Places to go: This can include day trips and out of town stays, but check out places in your hometown too. The book 101 Places You Gotta See Before You’re 12 is a great resource for this, no matter where you live. It includes things like visit a junk museum and go to a ghost town. Using the book may help you discover things you didn’t even know were nearby.
Create a Summer Fun Board
Depending on the ages of children and how frequently you’ll be traveling, you can choose from different formats. If you’ll be home and want your Summer Fun Board to be a reminder on those long days when teens might be complaining of boredom, making something big and colorful is a good approach. Hang it in your entryway or where it’s on view from the dining table or living room couch, so the family has a visual reminder of fun possibilities. Buy a foam board in a neat color. Use scrapbook paper for backgrounds, use different color ink for your lists, and format the board in a fun font. Dafont.com has great free fonts and you can print Summer Calendar Pages from spaceWise.