At least for the kids, the best thing summer brings is the chance to get outside and do stuff!

Summertime is the perfect time of year for impromptu picnics, pool parties, Super Soaker fights, and all kinds of fun in the sun. That said, if there’s one thing all of these get-togethers’s a lot of stuff.


And it’s never the same kind of stuff, is it? There’s pool toys that need stashing, there’s basketball nets and baseball bats that have to get thrown into the trunk, and it all has to go somewhere eventually.


If you need some ideas to get your summer fun a little more organized and accessible, why not try these tips for some common summer activities to keep your stuff right where you need it:


Plan for a Picnic: Speaking from experience, you never know when the weather is going to be nice enough that your kids will want to eat outside. A good way to keep ahead of that is to keep your porch furniture stocked with a nearby kitchen caddy with enough napkins, silverware, and paper plates to support any sudden picnic ideas (even if you’re not exactly serving picnic food)!


Play Ball: Even if you’re not super athletically inclined, there’s bound to be some outdoor activities that strike your interest over the summer - and outdoor activities generally means you need a lot of stuff to go with them! A great way to keep these stashed and safe is to hang up some sports equipment storage in your garage or basement, to keep them on the walls, out of the way, and safe from hands that might be just too little to actually reach those heavy baseball bats down. (And it stops you from having to leave your bikes strapped to the roof of your car, which avoids awkward parking situations and weird questions at work!)


Grab & Go: Wherever it is your family tends to go, be it the park, the beach, or anywhere in the summer, there’s probably a lot of little accessories you have to bring with you. Keep ahead of the clutter and cut down on readying time by putting together a few tote bags with things like sunblock, bottled water, snacks, and so on and keeping them right nearby on some entryway furniture so they’re right by the door when it’s time to hit the road!


Dress for the Weather: Speaking of entryways, yours is probably still cluttered up with stuff from the winter - heavier coats, boots, and the like. Take some time to put all the non-seasonal stuff away for the year (up in the attic, away in a spare closet, etc) and line your entryway with lighter jackets in case of a breeze, more outdoor-friendly shoes, and so on.


Organize Your Grill: Odds are someone in your family is itching to get the barbecue going, and this is a perfect opportunity to make it as easy for them as possible. Get a small side table or some weather-resistant wire shelving set up next to the grill to keep things like utensils, favorite sauces, and some emergency towels and napkins close at hand to make cooking outdoors nearly as easy as cooking indoors.


Pack the Car: With as many adventures as you’ll probably be bustling around on this time of year, it’s entirely possible (and understandable) that you might be forgetting something. Take a second to put together a little care package for the car with some stuff you might need no matter where the summer takes you, like sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, and more.


This is just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully after all these you’ll be ready for whatever the summer brings you - or at least you’ll have an easier time getting ready!