You Ask, We Answer: What Should I Declutter Before Summer?
As it is every summer, we want our time to be spent doing things we love with those we love. We also want the ease of the season to be our guide in how we navigate the every day–and that means we want to avoid the stress that comes from clutter in and around our Connecticut homes. Here are some of our best tips for decluttering your Connecticut home before summer’s official start, so you can spend your time having fun while still enjoying a tidy home.
Clean out the garage
First thing’s first: Your garage may be where you park your car, but if you’re anything like us, it’s also a storage area, sometimes a gathering space, or maybe even a home gym. The last thing you want when you come home from a day at the beach or right before your BBQ starts is to have to panic clean and maneuver around all kinds of items you never use. So before summer starts, take a few hours to clean out your garage.
Looking at things you’ve got stored in your garage may require a critical eye. It can be challenging to part with things you’ve been holding on to for years, but consider this: If you haven’t worn it, repaired it, used it, or remembered it for the past six months to a year, it’s time for it to go. With the exception of precious family items you want to keep, items in good working condition can be donated or sold on Ebay, Facebook marketplace, or brought to a local shelter or consignment store. Items that no longer work or that are stained, torn, or incredibly out of date can be recycled or thrown away.
Once your garage is free of clutter, use this time to vacuum the floor, shelving, and corners where cobwebs or bugs have set up shop. You’ll have an extra room in your home not only to store your car, but to set up tables and chairs when you’re entertaining–perfect for your friends and family to take shelter during a summer rain shower.
Screen your SPF
One thing that often gets missed during spring cleaning? Checking the expiration dates on last year’s SPF! Purging SPF that’s expired is a critical part of decluttering for summer, because it doesn’t just make space for new products and keeps things neat and tidy–it helps keep you safe from sunburn! Throw any expired SPF away and invest in new sunscreens that will protect you all summer. And remember, SPF does well in cool, dry conditions–so if you’re used to storing it in the bathroom, now’s the time to find a new spot to keep it working to its full capacity, longer.
Toss your towels
With proper care, towels can last a long time. But if you’re opening your linen closet to piles of towels that are stained, fraying, or hole-ridden, it may be time to declutter your linen closet.
Over time, white towels and washcloths are sure to lose their crisp white appeal. If they’re just discolored but are still in good condition, try soaking them for a day or two with a few scoops of oxygen booster and a few drops of this concentrate. Unlike bleach, these natural formulas are gentle on your eyes, lungs, and the planet, but they can work wonders on yellowing towels and sheets.
Towels that have seen better days can still be repurposed into rags for cleaning, thereby extending their life and saving you money on paper towels! If you have too many towels to convert to rags, toss them. Then keep an eye out for summer sales on towels and linens to replace what you get rid of. You may be amazed at how much less stressful your linen closet feels with fresh towels and no clutter!
Declutter your closet
Ugh, the dreaded closet declutter! While organizing a closet doesn’t usually constitute “fun,” it can be one of the most rewarding ways to declutter, especially before a change of seasons. If you’ve packed away your summer clothes and haven’t pulled them out yet, now’s the time.
Start by trying on clothes to make sure you still like the way they fit. Look for wear and tear, stains, or damage that can’t be mended. Items in good shape can be donated or sold; those that have seen better days can be put in the “toss” pile.
Next, fold clothes neatly so they’re visible and you can reach them easily. For items that need to be hung, make sure they’re hanging neatly on hangers so they look tidy when you open your closet. This will help prevent that panicked, “I have nothing to wear!” feeling when you’re getting ready to go out.
Lastly, look at your summer shoes. Are they still in good condition? Gentle wear and tear can be repaired, as can soles that need replacing. If, however, you have a pair of summer sandals that always gives you blisters or sneakers that have long ago become smelly from too many sweaty summer days, consider purging them from your closet.
Decluttering now will have you ready to receive all the easy, breeziness of summer–and keep you feeling less stressed for the months ahead. And that means more spontaneous adventures and a house you look forward to coming home to after soaking up all the fun summer has to offer!