Summer is well and truly in full swing and if there is one month of the year that we really need to be organised, it’s July. School is nearly out for summer and the kids are home for at least six weeks, and that longed-for vacation or staycation is fast approaching. Plus, now is when you need to start thinking ahead so autumn doesn’t catch you out! Our guide of what to do to get organised in July covers everything from a household screen time plan and keeping your lawn lovely to getting yourself beach ready. It’s all in the planning!
What to do this month?
Photograph school artwork
If you’ve reached the end of the school year with a fridge door full of artwork and an overflowing box of paintings and drawings you’re not alone. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, it’s a tricky job to know what to do with the abundance of art that comes home. To recycle it feels a tad heartless, but to keep hold of everything is a clutter nightmare.
A simple solution is to keep the standout pieces and take a photograph of other drawings or paintings you might not put on display, but they have sentimental value. There are some great apps such as ArtKive and Keepsy where you can upload and store the images, giving you an organised guilt-free and paper-free library at your fingertips. Another great idea is to create a photobook - everyone will love looking back at the artwork for years to come and they also make great presents - Christmas presents sorted already!
Get your skin and hair ready for action
You’ve been looking forward to your summer holiday for months and you want to look and feel fabulous! Whatever your holiday plans are this summer, a beach holiday, glamping or some R&R at a hotel, get your skin and hair fully prepped and pampered with our two week pre holiday beauty schedule. From getting a haircut and giving your feet some love and care to washing your makeup brushes so they are clean in your travel washbag and pre-packing your airport security makeup bag, this nifty planner is a beauty must-have for any trip away.
Organise a screen time plan
Balancing screen time use over the summer holidays is a challenge especially if both parents are working. To help avoid the predictable household arguments over how much screen time is acceptable, organise a plan that you all agree to and are happy with. It may feel time-consuming to set up, but it will save a lot of time negotiating and keeping the peace.
This is a great exercise to do whether you have children or not. Since lockdown, for many of us, the amount of time spent looking at a screen has increased, so use the summer months to get out of the habit of picking up your phone or watching the television. Things to consider putting in the plan include……
- Agree set times in the day for screen time and put it in the plan in a visible spot in the house.
- Agree how much screen time is acceptable. This can be a daily or an overall weekly amount.
- Clarifying what you mean by screen time as this differs depending on the age of the members in your household. Is it on the phone, X-Box or PS4, iPad and the TV. Make sure everyone is clear from the outset what ‘no screens’ mean.
- Jobs/chores that need to be completed before they can go on their screen.
- Offset the Screen time: put in place a set number of minutes of reading, making something or helping others for every hour on screen.
Adjust your meal plans or food delivery services
Summer brings carefree days, spontaneous get-togethers and last minute change of plans. All great fun, but they can mess up any carefully planned meal plans you have in place. If you subscribe to a recipe box delivery service amend the delivery options now so you don’t forget and a box arrives the day after you left for your holiday. Or reduce the number of meals you order to allow for spontaneous days. You may also want to add items to your usual weekly shopping list, such as ice-creams, bbq foods to have in the freezer for impromptu entertaining, plus plenty of healthy snacks to placate hungry children.
Last chance for grow your own
If you had plans for a vegetable patch in spring, but never got around to it, it’s not too late to roll up your sleeves and get your hands in the soil. Whether you’ve got space for a veggie patch or a window sill crying out for a herb planter, there is still time in July to sow and grow something wonderful. This is the last time you can sow green beans for a harvest before the weather gets chilly, together with carrots. It’s also the perfect time to sow chicory and fennel for some delicious autumn salads and to plant out leeks and brassicas for a winter supply.
Top garden tip: dry weather is the best time to hoe off weeds - if you do it in wet weather, the weeds are likely to re-root and spread!
Create a lawn watering schedule
July is often one of the hottest and driest months of the year. This can take a real toll on your lawn and garden, especially if you’re busy and forget to get out there with the hose. Take a few minutes to create a watering schedule and pop reminders on your phone or calendar so you don’t forget. It can actually be quite therapeutic at the end of a day to feel your feet on the grass and hear the water spray on the ground. The perfect way to de-stress and keep your lawn and garden looking green and healthy.
How about you? What’s on your to-do list in July? Join the conversation and leave a comment below.