Summer is here! And so are the kids – around the clock, all summer long. This means toys, crafts, bikes, and water guns are going to dominate the house and yard. Not so fast, though. When kids are home for the summer, these 5 organizing tips can help you keep the chaos to a minimum.

  1. Do some summer cleaning

Spring isn’t the only season for cleaning. Purge the rooms and outdoor storage bins of toys that are broken or no longer used. Use this as an opportunity to organize the toys that have made the cut so that everything has a place.

  1. Separate indoor and outdoor toys

There’s nothing like a leaky water gun or muddy skateboard to remind you to keep outdoor toys outside. There are many choices for outdoor storage bins, and hooks and shelves in the garage can be installed for easy storing. Indoor toys should stay inside, so that you’re not finding matchbox cars with the lawnmower.

  1. Think portable

Crafts are a great summer activity, especially when rain is pouring down. Store all crafting supplies in an over-the-door hanger or portable shelving unit that can be moved from bedroom, to living room, to kitchen as appropriate. This limits the mess and keeps kids occupied anywhere in the house.

  1. Don’t make everything available

It’s just too tempting, especially for younger kids, to have every toy they own in reach. You could have your back turned for all of five minutes and return to find an entire room destroyed. Limit the number of toys the kids can have out at one time, and make it a standard rule that one mess has to be cleaned up before another is started.

  1. End-of-day chore list

At the end of each summer day, there should be a list of chores that need done. Are rooms picked up and toys put away? Are bikes out of the yard and in the shed? Just be careful not to make it last minute when you’re trying to get everyone to bed, too.

When the kids are home for the summer, it can add a new level of chaos, but these 5 organizing tips can help you survive the summer.