Ah, yes, it’s summer and the kids are all over the house but – good news! – there are plenty of ways to avoid a summer home mess.

Just because the kids are all over the place and running wild with fun summer activities – and you’re dashing them all over town, even more than during the school year – doesn’t mean your home has to be trashed with the joys of summer.

Fortunately for us, Alison Hodgson, author of The Pug List: A Ridiculous Dog, a Family Who Lost Everything, and How They All Found Their Way Home, outlined for us all on Houzz a few simple steps we can take to keep our home tidy during the fun summer.

“For those of us who are Not Naturally Organized, the day-in, day-out work of running a home can be overwhelming,” freely admits Hodgson, “Add to that the extra demands of summer “break,” and it’s a lot.”

Avoid a summer home messBut it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming, she says.

Her simple measures include:

1. Floors are foundational. When in doubt, sweep. I can handle a certain amount of disarray, but it feels like all the wheels are coming off when there are grit, sand and dog fur underfoot. I try to sweep daily. In the summer especially, whenever I’m starting to feel twitchy, I know it’s time to break out a broom or the Swiffer and attack the floors. It’s my bottom line in every sense.

2. Put away the extras. Did you just return from the beach? Are your bags and baskets dumped by the door? Got back from vacation a week ago and you’re still living out of your suitcases?

3. Create a sacred space. Pick a space and fight to keep it clean and free of clutter.

4. Take a break. If you have school-age children, I don’t recommend taking on large cleaning and decluttering projects in the summer.

And, finally, she offers us a poem from an unknown author:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow,
So go to bed cobwebs and dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my babies cause babies don’t keep.”

“The assertion,” she points out. “You have to choose cleaning or your children, and you’d better choose those babies!”

Read Hodgson’s full piece: