This post was sponsored by Clorox

The kids are back in school next week and instead of looking forward to the time to work, get things done and not be distracted, I’m feeling regret. Not that summer’s over, necessarily. I’m always ready for back-to-school.
The regret is because I feel like I failed at summer. It seems like I always start each summer with a Big Plan. And I always fail to follow it through. Every summer begins with goals. Every summer ends with me wondering where the time went, and wondering how in the world we never got to all the great things I wanted to do.
For instance, here were a few of my goals for the summer of 2017…
Summer goal! Learn to sew with my oldest daughter. She’s gotten into vintage dresses and fabric patterns and wouldn’t it be so great if we took a sewing class together? This summer, we’re going to make all these cute, simple dresses!
Actual result: No sewing. No classes. No dresses. Maybe I pulled out a needle, once. But that was because someone had a splinter.
Summer goal! Focus on math. One of my kids has been struggling with math, especially math facts. We were going to spend the summer working with flash cards and mastering all those multiplication and division tables. It’s just memorization. We have plenty of time. This summer, we’re gonna math it up!
Actual result: We reviewed all those facts and flashcards a total of—wait, let me do the math—THREE times.
Summer goal! Guitar improvement. My older kids have been learning to play the guitar, and we were going to ramp it up this summer and take the next step in their ability to shred. This summer, we’re committing to more practice. More lessons. More chords. More songs!
Actual result: They barely practiced. I’m currently not even sure where their guitars are.
Summer goal! Go to the beach. We love going to the beach. The kids expend their energy. They go outside. They have something to do. I get to relax. This summer, we’re going to the beach almost every day, kids!
Actual result: We swam a few times on vacation. But how many times did we go to the beach on a regular summer day? NO TIMES. None at all. We stopped by one evening to watch the sunset but they weren’t even wearing their suits.

Summer goal!: Eat right. I was going to put our entire family on a weekly meal plan. The kids were going to help in the kitchen more often. We were going to try new foods and eat healthier and plan ahead and prepare meals as a family. This summer, we’re going to own the kitchen!
Actual result: We ate crap. Most days, I’m pretty sure the kids ended up making their own lunches.
Why? Why are summers so hard? Why do they get away from me so fast? The kids get out of school and it feels like we have about two weeks of chaos and then, out of nowhere, school is starting again.
Has this ever happened to you? You make these big summer plans and then follow through on absolutely none of them? How do I get out of this cycle?

It’s funny though. I feel this way at the end of every summer. And then, at some point, I will browse through the photos of the summer, and what emerges is a collection of memories of FUN. We may not have eaten well or read literature or learned instruments, but we had fun. We biked to the fair several times. We went to Disneyland. We spent a week at a beach house. We camped in the smoky mountains. We made great use of our pool. The kids were outside most days playing with friends and biking and skating around the neighborhood. We had friends in our home all summer. On any given day I had 5 extra kids in my backyard. We may not have met my type-A goals but the kids had a blast.

We had a summer full of friends and family, and indoor-outdoor living and fun. And thanks to my newfound bleach regime (you can read about my capsule cleaning product experiment here) I was able to keep our house clean despite the craziness of kids running indoors and outdoors all day. Regular bleach is a perfect way to clean and disinfect the entire house – and it’s super easy.

I use Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 to clean my toilet, bath tub, sink, countertops, cutting boards, and appliances. Did you know that bleach can clean all of those things, helping to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria? Truth be told, I didn’t until I tried it. A bottle of bleach goes a long way, and takes up a lot less space under the sink. I’ve found bleach to be a really simple and effective way to clean the kitchen. I fill the sink with water and pour a little bleach in, so I don’t have to dirty a bowl. Then, it’s just a simple sponge down of all of the surfaces with bleach, and a quick rinse five minutes later. 

Wanna try more simplified cleaning routines? Check out Clorox’s how-to videos.