Getting Ready for Summer (and the Following Fall)

When your kids come home from school on that last day of the school year, it’s okay to let them spend a few days reveling in their new found freedom. Let them run around the house and yard and be excited about schedule-less, homework-less, teacher-less days for a little bit. When they’re starting to show signs of being bored, get to work.

Your kids have undoubtedly accumulated a lot of “stuff” throughout the school year: projects, notes from friends, favors from class parties and birthday parties, etc. It’s important to sort through all of that stuff before you start setting up a summer filled with activities (that all come with their own “stuff”).

Cleaning your kids’ rooms out literally gives them a fresh start for the summer. It clears away the previous school year and the stress and worry that it carried (while still allowing them to hold on to the happy and proud memories). So how do you do it? More importantly, how do you approach it so that your kids will cooperate?

Go through your kids’ rooms from top to bottom. Gather up all of the random party favors, the bits of scribbled on paper, the busted toys, the outgrown clothes—everything and sort through it.

Questions for your Kids

If your kids can’t remember who gave it to them, when (or why) they made something or the last time they used something, set it aside. You can donate the things that are still usable (or sell them in a consignment sale).

Now go through the things that you know your kids want to keep.  Are there things that have tremendous amounts of sentimental value but that you know aren’t likely to be played with again (or for a while)? Find a place to store them. You can box them up and put them in the attic or basement or, if you have neither of those, you can rent a storage unit (if you live in the south or Northeast, try storage).

PRO TIP: If you’re on the fence about a storage unit, consider this: you can store other things there too—like Christmas decorations, the fine china that only gets trotted out for major holidays, etc. Imagine having the rest of your house feel as clean and clutter free as your kids’ rooms!

There is going to be some resistance when you start these projects. Most kids have natural hoarding tendencies. Everything is precious. Remind them, as you sort, that the summer will bring all sorts of new art projects, gift bags and clutter with it…and try not to panic as you realize you’re going to have to go through the process all over again when you’re getting ready to find space for new school clothes and supplies.



  1. Becky Schollian says

    Great post!! We have already planed out my G’sons summer vacation. We first started the schedule with days for school work, we want to be sure he doesn’t forget what he has learned, of course we’ve made those days fun with some wonderful school activity sheets & projects. He is going to have so much fun with summer camp, swimming, craft shows and so much more. We also have planed a few kick back days for reflection.

  2. lisa says

    I have trouble parting with some things that my kids made as children. That was 30 years ago. You are right. Have a plan and stick to it.

  3. Maria Iemma says

    I need to get better organized and start planning the summer and make lists for what we need for the fall. Maybe I should make lists and cross items as I finish them,

  4. Stephanie Thompson says

    I see that my 6 yr old Grandson has a lot of problems letting go of stuff so it’s going to take some time for them to go through his room and work with his emotions at the same time. These are very good ideas and will be very useful for us.

  5. Sandy Cain says

    Wow….these questions could be asked of me. I’m quite a hoarder (at least I hope I’m not!), but I’m a definite pack-rat. I feel that everything I have is precious, and the moment that I get rid of it, I’d regret it!

  6. md kennedy says

    My Mother still holds on to way too much of our stuff – has it in huge bins in the basement for each of us and reminds us every time we visit that we still have to go through our bins. Eeeek! I dread to think of what may be in there!!

  7. Jane Ritz says

    I’m a major pack rack. I’ve saved things from my grown children, now the grandchildren. I have to get organized for summer for the grandchildren. I’ll have them a lot of the time plus I’ll have back surgery this summer. I’m getting scared!

  8. says

    Great questions to ask your kids when trying to sort things out. I must remember to ask myself those questions. I’m the hoarder in the family, lol. 😀 Anyway, I like the idea of the storage units. I want a clutter free house.

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