I don't know about your kids, but when mine are bored, or can't seem to find anything much to do... they keep themselves busy with snacking. So having some simple, easy-to-grab, healthy snacks within reach, is always a great way to make sure your refrigerator and pantry stay nice and organized.
And you know how much I love me a organized pantry. ha!
Using baggies or small baskets with labels to categorize individual portions for snacks, will also help cut back on overeating, as well as keep you aware of what products need to be replaced, once they run out.
A cool product I found recently were these stick up cups. These kid friendly cups come in lots of different colors, and are made with a magnet attached to one side, so once your child is done with his/her drink, they simply stick the cup onto the fridge until next time! This would cut back on extra dishes at the end of the day, and it also helps to keep counters free of clutter.
I'm thinking that I would store the cups right-side up, instead of upside down... but hey, whatever floats your boat. ha!
Whenever there is a change in my normal routine, I tend to forget things easily. Having small children and/or teenagers home all day can sometimes lead to a lot more commotion and scheduling conflicts. Finding an area in your home where you can mount some sort of calender or reminder list, with everyone's agenda on it, is the perfect way to keep things in order.
If you don't have space in your kitchen for a mini home office, then try using the empty space at the end of a set of cabinets, to mount reminders and lists of important events for the week.
If you're really tight on space, then combine the best of both worlds! Organize and store kid-friendly snacks on a few shelves in your kitchen cupboard, while also utilizing the empty space on the back of that same cupboard, by turning it into a simple note/calender center.
I LOVE this photo and idea, because I think that ANYONE can implement it!
Since the routine of waking up and getting ready for school isn't something kids have to do in the summertime, try motivating them to 'get going for the day' by posting job or chore charts. Small children are usually just excited to please Mom or Dad by checking their given chores off their lists... but teenagers on the other hand take a little more coaxing. By using job magnets with different dollar amounts on them, your house can stay clean, while your teenagers earn money!
Keep in mind that chores for smaller children are a lot easier to complete on their own, if you create kid-friendly storage solutions. Dedicate a drawer, low cupboard or basket in your kitchen for their dishes, so that they don't have to ask siblings or adults for help.
Our kids' dishes aren't in any sort of super cute cabinet or anything... just a basket we found at a thrift store :) It does the job great, and makes it REALLY easy for them to help put things away when emptying the dishwasher.
This tip is also useful when deciding on where to store games or art supplies to keep kids entertained, while you're busy in the kitchen. If you keep these sorts of items low and within reach, kids are more likely to use them, and stay out of the way while you're busy cooking or cleaning!
Lastly, the dreaded question at the end of each day... "Mom, what's for dinner?" can basically be eliminated, by creating a menu board for all to see. You can purchase a pin board/chalkboard, or get creative and make one of your own!
What do ya think? Do you get a little stressed out when the kids are home all day, because it means a brand new schedule, more mess and a lot more... "I'm bored's" from your kiddos?
Do you already implement a few of these ideas in your home... even when it's NOT Summertime or have any ideas of creative ways to keep yourself organized and on track while the kids are out of school!? I'd love to hear them! My kids are still at the age where they have to be entertained solely by ME during the day, so finding ANY downtime to get my blogging/work in, or projects completed always is more of a challenge during this time of the year.