18 ways to simplify this summer

1. Map out your schedule

simplify life this summer - get on a schedule
Summers typically mean more free-form schedules, especially if you have school-aged kids. Take some time NOW, before summer revs up to map out a basic weekly routine so you aren’t constantly scrambling.

2. Pick a uniform

Simplify your summer wardrobe - ensure outfits mix and match
Rumor has it you only wear 10-20% of the clothes in your closet. Why not make getting dressed a little easier by picking a summer uniform set. A simple pair of dress-up/dress-down chinos, 3 or so colorful shirts and a go-with-everything cardigan.

3. Keep a stocked trunk

Keep a bag of sand toys in a large bag like this Ikea bag
Always be ready to hit the beach or the park. Keep a bag of sand toys (for kids and/or grownups) in the trunk so that no matter where you are – you’re ready to play! We’ve done this for 3 summers in a row, keeping things in a blue Ikea bag. It’s been one of the smartest things we’ve ever done.

4. Turn off your smartphone after 6pm

simplify life this summer by turning off your smartphone after 6pm
How often do you have your nose in your smartphone in the name of “productivity?” And (be honest) how often are you truly doing something productive on it? Research shows that turning off and giving your mind a break from the constant barrage of new information & messages actually makes you more productive in the long run.

5. Grill more

Grill more during the summer - less cleanup and healthy too
Cooking dinner on the grill is easy. And delicious. And best of all – less cleanup!

6. Skip the gym

simplify this summer - skip the gym and exercise outdoors
Head outside instead.

7. Allow screen time on Friday nights only

Simplify summer - limit screen time for yourself and your children
We all consume entirely too much media. Set a set day of the week where screens are allowed, like Friday evenings from 6-8pm. Having that “rule” makes it easy to eliminate nagging from kids, which means you’re stressed less. Send them out to play or to read a book instead.

8. Shop at the farmer’s market & order non-perishables online

simplify this summer and shop at farmers market for produce and shop online for everything else
Shopping at a farmer’s market is a lively activity! So much more fun than the grocery store. Shop for your produce, eggs, bread and such there and purchase all of your other groceries & personal goods online if you can.

9. Make salads for dinner

Make more salads for dinner this summer
Salads are easy to whip up and delicious. This Avocado Wasabi Salad from VeganYumYum looks mouth-wateringly good!

10. Have a garage sale

Simplify this summer - have a garage sale
Get rid of the stuff you no longer need – and put some cash in your pocket to boot!

11. Skip the manicure

Simplify this summer and skip the manicures
Manicures are nice every once in awhile. But they don’t stay looking perfect for long if you’re an active person, which means you have to stay on top of it, which means 1 hour less per week of productivity.

12. Go for a walk every evening after dinner

Simplify this summer - go for a walk every night after dinner instead of watching TV
Instead of turning on the boob-tube, head outside after dinner every night that it’s sunny and go for a stroll. It’s relaxing, good for you – and likely to clear your head so you sleep better too.

13. Focus on 3

Simplify this summer - focus on your MUST do's not everything on your list
Stop using your laundry list of things to-do as your to-do list. At the start of each day, write down the THREE things that you absolutely, positively must get done!

14. Pack light

simplify this summer - pack less so you can carry on
If you only wear 10-20% of your wardrobe anyway – streamline what you pack. Make sure everything can be worn with at least 2 other items.

15. Make a summer bucket list

Simplify this summer - make a bucket list of things to do
get clear on what you want to do before summer is over. Having a list to work from will make you more likely to actually DO it! I love this one from The Happy Family Movement.

16. Be a local tourist

simplify this summer - be a local tourist instead of traveling far
Chances are your local area has a lot of interesting things to offer. Put your tourist hat on and discover parts of your town or region with fresh “tourist” eyes and skip the far-flung travels.

17. Only say yes when you REALLY mean it

simplify this summer - only say yes to those things you really want to do
This one sounds hard, but is easy if you have a standard “no” response at the ready for politely declining invitations to do things that you don’t REALLY want to do. The two scripts I have at the ready are, “My heart says yes but my calendar says no” and “We’d love to, but that’s not going to work for us I’m afraid.”

18. Go 30 days without buying anything new (except food)

simplify your summer - one month choose to buy nothing new
Can you do it? I’m thinking of setting July as the buy nothing new month in our household.

What kinds of things do you do to simplify life in the summer?