Summer Bucket List for 2014

Every summer I like to make a list of things I want to do before summer “kicks the bucket” so to speak.

(This is not a real bucket list, which is a list of things you want to do before YOU kick the bucket.)

frugal girl summer bucket list

My lists are usually a mixture of things I want to get done (because during the school year, I am so busy homeschooling, I don’t have time to get a lot of other things done!) and fun things I want to make time for (because we have more time for fun things when we’re not doing school.)

1. Declutter my house from top to bottom.

During the school year, clutter slowly builds up and every summer, I like to get rid of it so that we start the school year with a fresh, clean house.


I think every year I realize that I need less and less stuff and I have more of a burning desire to be free of it.  So, it’s not so much that I keep adding junk to our house each year (although I’m sure I do add some), it’s that I want less and less of the stuff I do have every year.

Also, some of what needs to be decluttered is stuff that we no longer need because my kids grow and move on to new stages (clothes, toys, and so on.)

2. Paint Joshua’s room and new loft bed.

We bought a loft bed off of Craig’s list for Joshua last fall, and I want to paint it and get it installed into his room.  We’re going to screw it into the studs for extra sturdiness, and so I’m going to repaint his walls before we install the loft bed (he wants a new color and it makes sense to do it before we put the bed in!)

3. Play in the water twice a week.

We’ve got several pools we can frequent, plus a sprinkler and slip and side, and I want to make time for that during the hot weather.


4. Say yes to sleepovers.

These are harder to do during the school year, but during the summer, we’re going to invite friends for sleepovers.

5. Go biking at least once a week.

Zoe especially is a huge fan of biking and she’s not old enough to take off and ride on her own.  So I need to make time to take her (and other interested kids) out to ride.

6. Visit the library every other week.

We don’t do formal schooling during the summer, but my kids love to read just for fun, and I want to keep them supplied with books, books, and more books.

7. Redo chore lists.

I did this last summer, but I like to revisit these every year because my kids’ skills change in a year and I can give them each a little bit more responsibility.  ;)

8. Plan school for next year and buy curriculum.

This is pretty self-explanatory. Kind of needs to be done before summer is over.  ;)

9. Write to my grandpa once a month.

I have two living grandparents…my mom’s mom and my dad’s dad.  My mom’s mom has a computer, so I can email with her (and she subscribes to my blog too!).  But my grandpa doesn’t do the whole internet thing, so I write him real, paper letters.

 10. Eat outside once a week.

This might be a little challenging come July, but maybe we can sneak in some cool morning outdoor breakfasts.

breakfast outside

11. Go fruit picking.

Joshua went once this year, but I know the girls want to have a chance as well.


I could think of many more things to put on this list (especially things of the productive, to-do sort), but Joshua’s room and bed are pretty big undertakings, and decluttering my whole house and organizing school for next year are also not small tasks.

So in order to leave time for the fun stuff on this list, I’m going to stop here!


  1. says

    Oooh, that’s a great list! I didn’t make a list–we just made a 1700-mile move, so I don’t even know what would be on it!–but some of the things you mentione are definitely on my mental list.

    I have a pair of living grandparents, too–aren’t we fortunate? Dad’s mom just wrote me a snail mail letter addressed to “My dearest Buttercup” (that’s her nickname for me :-) and I have been a terrible correspondent!

    My kids are 2 and 3 so they definitely need supervision to ride their bikes! Need to get something with pedals for big brother and get little bro on the balance bike.

  2. Rebecca says

    I have read your blog for several years and have enjoyed these posts. Now that my kids are dressing themselves, potty trained, feeding themselves, AND sleeping through the night at least 4 nights a week, I think it is time to make my own “bucket list.” Now that I am out of survival/self-preservation/just-get-through-the-day mode, I can think clearly enough to make this a memorable and intentional summer!

  3. Lori C. says

    This is a great list!! I really need to do a list myself. I usually make a mental list that is just unattainable and then the summer goes by and we did nothing!! So, I really like this. I really need to do a chore chart. I will definitely check out that original post. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. says

    Writing to grandparents is such a great idea! (Silly that I haven’t thought of it since my husband exchanges real letters with best friend all the time.) I only have one grandparent left and he definitely does not do email. I really should start sending him letters (besides Christmas and birthday cards).

  5. says

    Great idea, it’s inspired me to create my own list. I love the fact that your blog has helpful, everyday topics i can relate to. I’m crushing on your blog now :-)

  6. says

    I love, love, LOVE that playing in the water is one of your summer goals. Those are the types of memories your kids will always remember.

    As for me, my only real goal is to continue decluttering around my house, which is pretty much an ongoing thing.

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing your summer goals and giving us some great ideas! For childless us, our summer bucket list is to do those adventurous and/or productive things that suddenly become much more complicated with children (i.e. going to Austria for a church ministry convention this summer.) When we’re home, our summer goals are to be able to eat from our garden and use as little A/C as possible. =)

  8. SandyH says

    Ooh I can’t wait to see Joshua’s “new room”! On the subject if decluttering, what do you do when your husband us NOT on board with this concept? He is a pack rat to the max, cannot even FATHOM why anyone would get rid if say, a “perfectly good shirt” even if he hasn’t worn it since 1990. When he asks me how his stuff is hurting me just sitting there, I can’t think of a reason, other than I CANT STAND CLUTTER AND TAKING CARE OF STUFF WE NEVER USE . He doesn’t see it as having to be taken care of but yes, it does. We can’t use the garage, my bedroom closet is a horror, and I fully admit part of the problem is, the thought of decluttering those areas is overwhelming. My house is neat and clean, in the areas that SHOW, and even some that don’t, like the guest room and the other closets in the house.

    • WilliamB says

      SandyH, I was wondering the same thing about other household members.

      I also feel your pain. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t feel it, that excess stuff consumes mental as well as physical space. One technique that sometimes helps is to think of giving something away as “blessing someone else” or “being efficient” (the thing is getting good use) or “helping others.” Doesn’t work with everyone or all the time, but it’s a possibility.

      Good luck.

      • SandyH says

        Thank you WilliamB, yes I do think that would be the only concept that would appeal to him. He is sentimental about his deceased parents’ belongings, and of course I would NEVER insist he part with anything like that, but I know his mom would say for heaven’s sake, get over it!! lol but the main problem is his perception of the usefulness of an item. He just can’t see throwing out anything; if it exists, it has value somehow. It’s hard to explain. God help me, one time, in the very early days of our marriage, I ACCIDENTALLY threw out an insurance reimbursement check. From that day on, I thought that incident was the trigger for his hyper- awareness of all his STUFF, but at some point, I realized it wasn’t; he would be like this whether I had done that or not. *sigh*
        We will celebrate 39 years in two weeks.

  9. Jenessa says

    Some of the things on my list for the summer:
    -Go camping/ backpacking as much as possible
    -Invite friends over for dinner and drinks on the patio
    -Hike as much as possible
    -Finish planting my garden
    -Add more pollinator friendly plants to my yard
    -Help my parents with a demolition project on the family ranch

  10. WilliamB says

    Lessee: you want to eat outsite but sometimes it’ll be too hot; you want to play outside in the water, which is great when it is hot. These seem to be either/or scenarios. Maybe you could aim to do one or the other at least once a week.

    • Kristen says

      Yes…it all depends on the weather! I’ll try to remember to eat outside when it’s not so hot and play in the water when the weather is miserably hot.

  11. says

    Who says you only need one “bucket” list that is just for before you kick the bucket?!? I love the idea of having a summer bucket list. I love having lists of things to do and then checking them off. Not only do lots of lists show me all I’ve accomplished, checking off items motivates me to do even more.

  12. says

    Thank you. I’d already made my list for the summer, but I called it “My Giant Summer To-Do List.” It’s all work. You’ve now inspired me to revise it to include some fun things that I just want to do to enjoy life and my family.

    • Kristen says

      That would be my own inclination too (Do All Of The Things), but I put fun things on my to-do list intentionally so that I don’t just do a whole bunch of work all summer. My kids would sort of not appreciate that.

  13. Stef says

    -visit mom and dad in NC (road trip from Chicago area)
    -visit a few goodwill stores for school/etc clothes
    -sign-up kids for school
    -dental cleaning before school
    -swim twice a week sounds great!
    -jog five times a week
    -set up budget plan/overlook spending
    -get new library card (since we moved)

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