Summer is a golden opportunity for us parents to rebrand our home lives. Many of us have a bit more time and energy, and we can take full advantage by implementing new family activities and summer home projects. As a research addict, I absolutely love combing Pinterest (and now, that tempting devil we call TikTok) for homemaking tips. But let me teach you a very simple technique that will save you time while also ensuring you are curating the home of your family’s dreams.

RELATED READING :: 5 Random Ways to Prepare for Summer with a Teen

Take a moment to simply ask yourself, what do I remember loving about my home as a kid? What made me feel good? Some of us may need to put aside some time to meditate and really marinate on this question, focusing on all senses. What smells, sounds, touches, sights, and tastes lit me up inside? And most importantly, what did I need and want to experience in my home that I did not receive? If you did not have the childhood home you rightfully deserved, what would have been your dream home? Journal your answers. Writing not your thing? Use voice notes and recite your answers aloud. These aren’t meant to be seen or heard by anyone, so don’t be afraid to go all in. You might find yourself rambling on way more than you expected. Go with it. Clarity resides there.

Disclaimer: This is not an activity meant to place blame on your parents and caretakers for whatever did or did not transpire. What this is supposed to do is place yourself in your child’s shoes by remembering what it was like to be a child. Remember how you saw the world from their vantage point. Your children are not always able to clearly communicate these needs, so figuring out what those are could be done by looking within yourself and your own childhood desires.

Here are the ways I am raising the vibration of my own home this summer using this technique:

  1. First Step: Clean Your Windows & Counters

Yes, I will probably be putting a cleaning step into every list I make that has anything to do with the home. That is because there is literally nothing you can do to improve your family’s home if your house is not cleaned and decluttered. So don’t even think about continuing down this list before this step has been taken.

With the bright, long days of summer, I recommend you start your cleaning routines with windows and counters. These are the two areas that will pack a big punch on how light the space feels, and from a child’s eye level, these are front and center. 

I highly recommend the Mr. Sign microfiber cloths for window cleaning, currently available on Amazon for $18.99/dozen. This is a miracle product that cleans so well that you are able to use fewer chemicals than usual. You usually just need water and one of these guys to get the job done!

Clean counters might mean even more to your kid than you think. My mom was constantly cleaning and rearranging our home growing up, so much so that I actually have very few memories of her ever sitting down. I loved walking into a clean home, but I distinctly remember all the knickknack-patty-whacks that sat on every single flat surface you can think of. I didn’t know it then, but looking back, I believe I craved more emptiness, more open space to think and breathe. It would have also given me more time with my mom if she had less things to clean and dust, which is what I wanted more than anything back then.

2. Hot Fun in the Summertime: Create an Intentional Playlist

Kids are home a lot during the summer, so the energy of your space is especially important at this time. Music is an easy, accessible tool that can set the vibe of your house to whatever your heart desires. Do what you want, what calls to you, but try to look beyond the Kidz Bop and Baby Shark-esque jams, unless that is genuinely your thing (I’ll go out on a limb and guess that it’s not). Play the music that you want to be the soundtrack of your kid’s childhood home life. When they think back on their homes as adults, what do you want them to remember jamming in the background? 

For our family, we love a warm, romantic vibe in our house all year round, so I usually go for old-school R&B like The Isley Brothers and New Edition; it’s upbeat yet chill and sensual, and I remember as a kid feeling very in touch with my body and spirit when I listened to it. What music from your childhood do you remember your body lighting up to when it played? 

We also listen to a lot of foreign music, as it allows us to concentrate on projects without being too distracted since we don’t understand most of the words. It also serves luxury-vacation vibes right to our front room and connects us with our memories (and dreams!) of traveling as a family. I like rotating between Spanish, French, and Italian classics. My top picks to jam for peak coziness: Selena, Luis Miguel, Eydie Gormé, France Gall, Francois Hardy, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. 

Spotify is a fantastic place for discovering more playlist inspo. Look around and see what speaks to you, what you want to compliment the beauty and love of your home. 

Use this as a chance to be creative and authentic to who you are. Your children are going to remember these details and will tell your grandchildren stories of dancing in their front room to [insert dream home music here].

3. Switch up your signature house fragrance 

Disclaimer: This is definitely not for every family. I completely understand that many parents choose to avoid fragrances for a variety of reasons. But if it is your thing, just know that I consider myself an expert here. Scent has always been very important to me, even as a child; it’s just part of my human design. 

For summer, I go for fresh and clean without too much fruitiness (just a personal preference). I always aim for bougie smelling, something you’d expect in an upscale boutique hotel. Here are my top picks for summer:  Bais Room Spray by Diptyque, Rosewater Driftwood Linen & Room Spray by Caldrea, this santal essential oil by Aroma on Amazon, and Daisy by Mrs. Meyer’s. Every house has its own smell, and your kids deserve for theirs to be stunning and high-quality.

4. Candles at night for a blue-blocking aesthetic

As a podcast bro, I love learning about all the new research relating to the effects of blue light on our bodies and brains. I highly encourage you to look into it if you’re into topics of bio-hacking. You’ll learn about the benefits of guiding our bodies from daylight using only candlelight as the evening progresses. 

I suggest going unscented so that you can use them in large quantities without suffocating your household. I like to use a ton of the tall pillar white church candles encased in glass mixed with unscented saint candles for that ‘96 Romeo + Juliet aesthetic that reminds me of cozying up to my grandma at night when I stayed at her fabulous Catholic-fangirl motif home during the summer. Again, another example of looking for inspiration in your own childhood summer memories. 

5. BBQ Day!

 This is a summer icon that deserves to be a part of every child’s memories of home. It’s easy, affordable, and extremely entertaining for the kids. It doesn’t matter if it’s hotdogs on an Old Smokey or if you’re doing the most on the latest Traeger model from Williams Sonoma–your kids will have joyful memories of you relaxing with them, enjoying the outdoors, and enjoying the home you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Put on the sprinklers and add some 90’s tejano music for some extra razzle dazzle.

6. Curate a Special Summer Menu 

Growing up, my mom would make certain items only once school was out, and I remember how excited and extra special it felt when she’d finally bust out her summer menu–homemade popsicles using ice cube trays, tuna casserole, chocolate-dipped frozen banana pops, potato chip sandwiches, and sun tea made on the front porch (which I thought was such a vibe to wake up to as a kid). I especially loved her peanut butter cookies with the fork imprint. My mom was a full-on 90’s corporate office, shoulder-pad queen (think Angelica’s mom from the Rugrats) who rushed home every evening to cook for three kids and a husband, and she very rarely had time/energy to bake during the school year. I associated her summer menu with total relaxation, school being weeks and weeks beyond in the distance, and being enveloped in that gratitude. 

I encourage you to think of a few items that you can save exclusively for the summer months. Go full-on aesthetic with it! Think s’mores, homemade ice cream, tea sandwiches , giant pasta salads, and summer-themed desserts such as strawberry lemonade bars. (Here’s a gluten-free recipe I found on Pinterest that I’m excited to make for my family!) 

7. Serve Your Family Breakfast in Bed

This was inspired by asking myself, what would I have gone absolutely ape-faced over as a kiddo? Maybe I’m just an obnoxious millennial who watched Richie Rich and Blank Check one too many times, but for me, not many fantasies live up to the colorful luxury of breakfast in bed. 

Now, you might meet my next suggestion with apprehension, perhaps even anger, but just hear me out. (And if it’s still not for you, that’s totally ok!) As soon as you wake up on the weekend, resist the temptation to stay in your pjs and sweats (at least the ones you just slept in). Instead, take 10-15 minutes to take a quick shower, brush your teeth and hair, and put on a clean and steamed summer uniform (whether that is a feminine summer dress, a trophy wife Lululemon skort set, or an elegant, simple button-down and linen shorts combo; what matters is that you feel authentically fabulous).

Why steam an outfit you are only wearing around your own home on a Saturday morning? Actually, why the heck does it even matter what you are wearing, and what does that have anything to do with breakfast? Well, what we are aiming for all throughout this article are high vibrations in your home. Steaming your clothing is an easy and super quick way to raise the energetic vibrations of not just your outfit, but your entire aura. As the woman of the house, you are a personal representation of your home in your child’s eyes and memories. Children are extremely sensitive to energetics, and these teeny, itty bitty little shifts can be very powerful. Putting in these micro efforts radiates pride and trustworthiness.

After getting dressed, take your time making your family breakfast while they sleep in or watch morning cartoons in bed. We invested in a few of these mini waffle makers in all different shapes, and even now as a teenager, my boy looks forward to them. I also love buying these yogurts in glass jars; they’re so pretty that you can just serve them as is without tainting the “fantasy childhood” aesthetic that we are going for here. (And if you do have to use more budget-friendly, ready-to-eat foods, simply plate them in your own dishes. And use your fancy dishes; your family deserves it.) I suggest at least 4 or 5 menu items to really amp up the luxe factor. They don’t have to be large portions–in fact, I always discourage big helpings when trying to create a beautiful food presentation–and they don’t have to all be homemade if that is not your thing.

Arrange your serving tray with love, and walk into their rooms looking like the angel they’ve always dreamed of having in a mom–clean, feeling and looking gorgeous, in a happy mood, and carrying all their favorite breakfast foods. Then stay there. Don’t go back and clean up just yet, don’t walk out to move onto the next task. Instead watch cartoons/anime with them while y’all share fresh fruit and pastries, or simply just listen to your family playlist while you ask them questions and let them talk away, basking in your undivided interest and curiosity. 

What childhood desires do you remember having? What are your favorite details that you remember about your home? Maybe it was the smell of fresh-cut grass and engine oil on your dad as he came inside for a glass of water after a hardworking morning in the front yard. Or the taste of tender, rich pot roast that was cooking in the Crock Pot all day. Or the sounds of Smashing Pumpkins coming from your big brother’s room after he slept in all morning. Share below!

Elisa met her new husband in 2017 thanks to Austin Moms. She was contributing back then as a single mom and once, after being laid off from her job, asked their Facebook group for any leads on open positions.She landed a role and met Dave at work two weeks later. Elisa graduated from Texas State University with a BA in Journalism. She took a very long hiatus from writing, but now she’s back! Elisa and Dave live with her stunning teenage son, Dre, their pandemic pup, a ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Amber (her soulmate), and two cats, Jon Snow and Tom Holland.

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