Get Ready For Summer By Being Prepared


The last days of school are upon us and the trees are almost all leafed out! Finally the calendar and Mother Nature are in alignment! I am shocked as always how fast a school year goes. I like to say when times are good….time flies by and when times are bad time is so slow. So I guess I am blessed that this school year went by in a flash. That just means we need to get ready for summer with a little more urgency! I have been putting together summer survival buckets for the last couple of years and I think they are a great way to spend a few minutes gathering all of all essentials for summer all in one place. For many of us they are scattered around the house and in an emergency we are not even sure where some of the items are located. This is also a good time to take inventory of what you have and don’t have. Go to the store knowing what you need and don’t just buy on a whim because you are not sure if you have Band-Aids or not. One other thing to keep in mind is expiration dates. I have found out the hard way that sunscreen does expire. I like to start with fresh sunscreen every season to make sure that we don’t expose our skin to unwanted sun burns.


So what should you put in your summer survival bucket? Here are just a few ideas to get you started:


  • Sunscreen: I like to get several types. I like the spray on and I also like lotion that you can rub on. Sunscreen for everyday use on your face is essential not only during the summer, but all year long. Don’t forget to check those expiration dates!
  • After Sun Care: Yes, sometimes we spend too much time in the sun and need a little relief. Something with Aloe and a mild numbing agent is a good thing to have on hand.
  • Bug spray: Sadly we live where the mosquito should be our state bird. Bug spray is an important element for outdoor enjoyment. I remember lying awake as a child with large mosquito bites and not able to sleep. Find some good repellant so that you don’t have sleepless nights like I did.
  • After bug bite cream: A little calamine lotion or a cream to take away the itch is always a good thing to have on hand to avoid the night of itching.
  • Band-Aids: Depending on the age of your child you may need all shapes and sizes. A sure sign of summer for me was the first skinned knee or toe. Be prepared with what your family may need for the summer. I stay away from character Band-Aids as whenever I bought them my boys seemed to need to apply them more often. There is nothing glamorous about a brown Band-Aid and they typically are only requested when actually needed.
  • Ace Bandage and First Aid tape: Yes I am a mom of boys. Yes we had lots of uses for these two items. Someone was forever needing a broken finger retaped…..really…it was just one kid….the middle one with all of the broken fingers….wrists….nose. There was a two year period of time that I thought Social Services was going to be called because of all of his injuries. I made sure to note that we had witnesses for every fall or mishap.
  • First Aid Antiseptic spray: I use the same spray that my parents used on me as a child {new bottle however}. Having a tough tumble down a hill and getting a little road rash from riding your bike on a newly chipped road….yeah…that is a pain that is still associated with the smell of Bactine.
  • First Aid Antibiotic Ointment: Sometimes we need an extra hand in healing a bad cut or scrape. Make sure you have a good ointment on hand.
  • Ipecac Syrup: Just in case a child digests something they shouldn’t. A call to Poison Control is the first action followed by their instructions of sometimes needing the Ipecac Syrup. I have only had to use it once in my 19 years of parenting. My youngest ate a foreign mushroom in our yard. Administering the Ipecac was so enjoyable that he wouldn’t eat mushrooms for the next 12 years. {check the current FDA guidelines for using and keeping in your home}
  • Clear Ziploc Bag: Have one nearby in case you need to fill a bag of ice to take down some swelling.
  • Ear Drops: When you spend time in the water usually there is some extra water in the ear. Two of my boys are swimmers as well so they could tell when they had a little too much water in their ears so we needed to add a few drops before a much larger problem happened.
  • A Dark Towel Or Washcloth: Often overlooked but very essential. When you are cleaning blood off of a child, nothing is worse than using a white towel or washcloth. Often the child {or parent} will see the blood and become a bit panicked. Keep the hysteria in check by using a dark cloth so that the blood is not as noticeable.
  • A Good Bucket: Having everything in one place is essential to taking care of an emergency quickly. I like a good sturdy bucket with a handle that is easy and light to carry. I like my bucket as it has a bright color, is waterproof and flexible. I can quickly empty it and fill it with ice in an emergency. Store the bucket in a place that everyone can get to….with the exception of young children. Let everyone in the family know where the bucket is located. It is so much easier when attending to an injured child to yell to someone to go a grab the green bucket in the hall closet. Make it quick and easy!

Be prepared and be ready for summer because as we will soon forget those miserable snow and wind chill filled days!


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at

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