Here, used with her permission, are her 

1. Sort out the swimming gear and sports equipment.

After cooling off at the pool, are you all heated up about the mess? Make sure storage for towels and wet swimsuits is easy for kids to manage. Large hooks or pegs hung at kid-height are perfect, for example. Don't forget to establish a spot for goggles, pool toys, and gate keys or membership cards. Consider your storage for baseball bats and gloves, footballs and soccer balls (and, while we’re at it, are you really using that exercise bike?) Check with your local Goodwill® to see what exercise equipment they can accept. You can find the nearest location here:

2. Put your pantry in order for summer snacks.

Make your kitchen kid-friendly for them and clean-up friendly for you. Place cups, bowls and healthful snacks within their reach, as age-appropriate. You can even organize your refrigerator in a similar way with fresh fruit and pre-cut veggies at their eye level. Try color-coding drinking glasses so you know that "the blue glass belongs to Josh" when you find it in the living room, and he can be responsible for it. Excess canned goods and other acceptable items can be donated to your local food bank.

3. Straighten up now for back-to-school shopping.

Go through your children’s clothing now before the back-to-school rush. Have them try on everything you’re unsure about from the last school year, and donate anything that doesn’t fit to your nearest Goodwill. When those back-to-school sales start, you’ll know exactly what you need and have a place to put it!

4. Fine tune your first aid kit.

Summer is the time for cuts and scrapes, bug bites and sunburns. Sunscreen expires after one year, so replace last year’s supply and stock up on any medical items you might need for an emergency. Here’s a checklist for you to keep inside the kit itself.

5. Arrange your arts and crafts.

Keep the kids busy with craft projects from your organized craft cart! Rolling carts with plastic drawers (found at any discount store) are perfect for parking inside a hall closet to wheel out on a hot day. Organize paint supplies, jewelry-making kits, and play clay in each drawer by category, and give the kids a place in the house to leave a project ongoing throughout the summer.

6. Tidy up the toys.

As your children play more with their toys in summertime, it’s easier to spot which ones are getting played with or not. Donate the toys that are outgrown so that other children can love them too. Avoid storing toys in one gaping toy box, which encourages “rooting” and dumping-out, creating bigger messes. Try open shelving with smaller containers for each type of toy, such as doll clothes, Legos, and cars, and label bins with both words and pictures.

7. Lighten up your personal library.

Does it sound terrific to read at the pool or beach, or in a shady hammock? Organize your bookshelf, make room for the new, and find old favorites, forgotten recommendations, and unfinished novels. Donating ten books to Goodwill represents 17 minutes of résumé preparation, 12 minutes of career counseling, or 19 minutes of on-the-job training to help someone in your local area find work.

8. Make more space for your movie collection.

With the kids around the house, screen time will be on the increase and so will the movie messes! Try storing away the cases for DVD and games elsewhere and use CD/DVD wallets instead. These take up only inches of shelf space and keep the cases pristine for the next time you decide to donate them. Donating just ten CDs or DVDs to Goodwill equals 50 minutes of a job search class for someone in your community!