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Queens Chronicle

Tricks for less mess and stress this summer - indoors and out

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Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:35 am, Wed Sep 3, 2014.

(BPT) - Summer vacation means children, teens and in-betweens are spending more time at home, resulting in more messes, mud and madness. By tackling a few projects around the home now, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful weather and carefree days ahead.

Clean and colorful

Summer is meant for relaxing and enjoying time outdoors, so make sure you aren’t stuck inside spending valuable time cleaning. Invest in products that’ll help do the job for you.

If you want to keep kitchen walls free from splatters and splotches after a family cooking lesson, bedrooms safe from unexpected art projects and bathrooms protected against, well, you know, then paint your walls with a product that has a durable, washable finish like Dutch Boy Dirt Fighter Paint + Primer. Walls painted with Dirt Fighter are easy to clean with soap and water, making stains and smudges things of the past. Dutch Boy colors like Flaming Torch, Court Jester, Half Moon Bay and Coldwater keep the look of the room fun and inviting.

You can also lessen the workload by having the entire family pitch in. Divvy up the chores and your house will be clean in no time. Make a game out of it to keep things fun. Try turning clean-up time into a scavenger hunt and have everyone collect stray items throughout the house.

Get organized

Even though your brood is home for summer break, it’s likely your family is still very busy. Now’s the time to get organized. Do you have a large frame or two collecting dust in a corner? Simply pick up some chalkboard or dry erase paints to quickly transform an unused frame into a family message board that's perfect for jotting down summer-time schedules, chore reminders and grocery lists. Not only will this keep you and your kids on task for summer months, but it will also make transitioning back into a structured school year smooth sailing.

You should also pay special attention to your garage. Before you know it, you’ll have pool toys, golf balls and dirty cleats clogging up the space. Take the time now to create personalized storage bins for each member of the family. It will give everyone a place to keep their prized possessions while keeping dirt and mud out of the house.

Make the most out of the outdoors

Looking to teach your kids a few things this summer, too? Consider planting a garden. Not only will your household benefit from eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but your kids will also learn what it takes to sustain and grow food. If yard space is a concern, container gardens make a great option.

You can also spend time with family outside after the sun goes down. Install a fire pit for making late-night treats like s'mores. It can set the stage for story-telling and laughing about the day, keeping your family close and connected.

By focusing on three main projects - fresh and clean interiors, organization and making the most of the outdoors - you'll find yourself and your family enjoying your home - and each other - even more this summer and for seasons to come.

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