Simple things to declutter in the summer without stress or overwhelm so you can more easily create a home you love.
I love summer, it’s a chance to slow down the work and put my feet up (preferably with a book in my lap). To kick back and relax on some of the bigger projects that tend to come up throughout the rest of the year.
And maybe that is why decluttering in the summer is not the easiest thing to do. Because our motivation tends to take a hiatus when the weather warms up and cleaning out the excess might just be the furthest thing from our minds.
If you are still wanting to declutter the excess stuff in your home but you don’t really have the motivation for a full room cleanout, consider this your quick list.
This list is your first step and the next step is to spread it out a little at a time so you are weaving decluttering throughout your day. That is really the secret to this all working. Break it down and spread it out.
When it comes to decluttering, it is better to do it slowly, intentionally, because that will help you to adapt to this new way of clutter-free living more easily. I am not saying you need to go minimalistic, but you do need to learn a new way of looking at your things. Try, if you can, to see your everyday items as tools rather than treasures you believe you cannot live without. This doesn’t mean that all of your things are tools, not at all. It is just a way to distinguish what role your stuff plays in your day-to-day life.
Knowing there is a difference and learning how to distinguish them is not only a game-changer but it’s liberating as well.
When you know what items are mementos that pack quite a bit of an emotional punch and what items are simply tools that are meant to help you get through your day, you can now more easily remove the excess. The extra 12 mixing bowls or the half dozen dog leashes or the 8 umbrellas.
D/M PRO TIP: Keep what you need rather than trying to continually make room for what you have.
Partner that with a new habit of decluttering as you go about your day, and you might just find this impossible task of cleaning out much easier to do.
I like to call this intentional decluttering. The process of removing excess things as you go.
Let’s talk about this before we dive in.
Say you are getting dressed for the day and as you are picking out a pair of socks you see a pair of cat socks you have had in your drawer since the ’80s. You haven’t worn them in years, and if you are being honest they are pretty uncomfortable. Yet there they sit taking up space in your drawer. Today is the day you say goodbye to those socks and once you do, tossing them into the bag is freeing.
This is called intentional decluttering. The weeding out of your things at a slow rate so it is not overwhelming. This type of decluttering really is a game-changer because it is no longer an exhausting project but instead just another habit you turn to whenever you are in a space.
To really make this system work, it is best to have donation boxes and bags always around. A bag in a closet hanging from the doorknob, a box in the pantry, a basket in the kitchen….. whatever you can fit into your space without it being an eyesore.
Each time you see that bag, or box, or bin that is your reminder to put something inside of it. Just one thing every single day. Do this daily and at the end of the months, you will have removed 30 items from your home. Multiply that number by the number of donation containers you have set up and you can easily see just how effective this process can be.
Now, let’s dive into a room by room checklist that you can tackle this weekend and remove a chunk of stuff from each space in your home.
Things to Declutter Over the Summer
In the kitchen
No matter what the season is, the kitchen tends to be the heart of the home. Where most of the daily action takes place. That also means this is usually the room that needs the most help!
Summer is the season for cookouts and picnics so that is where we are going to put our focus first.
- Mismatched paper plates
- The collection of 10,000 plastic spoons
- Torn/stained tablecloths
- Old coolers
- Grill supplies
- Drink koozies
- Excess stuff of any kind that you no longer use or need that many of. (Like 10 spatulas or more potholders than be drawer can possibly hold.)
- Stained or melted food storage containers
In the Family Room
I think summer is the best time to clean out your entertainment center. Take some time to go through your movie collection to weed out any flicks you no longer love. While you are at it, make a list of the ones you are hoping to add to your collection. Start buying a few now so you can enjoy your new selection this winter when you are back in hibernation mode.
- Blankets that are torn or stained
- Pillows that need to be replaced
- Tiny and unexpected treasures hiding below your couch cushions
In the Bedroom
This is a great time to give your bed linens a once-over. There is nothing worse than fitted sheets that won’t stay in place. Listen, you work hard. Every single day. And that means you deserve a good night’s sleep. No more excuses. Toss those scratchy stretched out sheet sets and invest in a more comfortable set. This is not a waste of money, but rather an investment in a good night’s sleep.
Do you read in bed? If so, take the time to go through your reading materials and catch up. Go to bed an hour early one night this week and snuggle up with a stack of magazines. Once done, remove the address labels and pass them on to someone else to enjoy.
- Pillow Cases
- Bed pillows
- Knick knacks
In the Closet
If you only keep your seasonal clothes in your closet, then summer is a great time to really do a full cleanout of only the clothes you have currently stored inside.
- Stretched out swimsuits
- Clothes that no longer fit (And there is no chance they ever will again.)
- Any clothes that are stained, stretched out, or torn
- Old beach towels
- Sandals that are overly worn or no longer fit
- Underwear that is uncomfortable to wear
In the Bathroom
Makeup can easily pile up if we aren’t careful. That is why it’s a good idea to go through your supply to remove any items you don’t love and use but also to update your shopping list of any items you are running low on.
Toothbrushes are something that should be on your decluttering list every month. By replacing your toothbrush once the bristles begin to curl you are ensuring you are always using the best tools for your teeth.
- Outdated or dried up makeup
- Worn toothbrushes
- Empty bottles
- Lotions, or hair care items, or makeup you don’t use or love
- Suntan lotions that are outdated
Let’s Head Outside
Did you know weeds are clutter? Okay, maybe not but when you lump them in with clutter it can give you a reason to get out there and clean them out a bit. This is a great way to keep flower beds neat and clutter-free.
Dead plants. I love to have plants on our patio but in July I usually have a few that are not, well…still alive. Take a walk around your house and gather up any dead plants that cannot be saved.
Take some time to remove any cobwebs from your front door. Go one step further and clean the windows and sweep the porch. Set up a neat and welcoming space so any visitors are greeted with a please area.
Suntan lotions. Go through your stash and remove any bottles that are expired or empty. Don’t forget to add to your shopping list if you are running low or if you are out altogether.
Outside toys. I don’t know what it is but it seems that outdoor toys never really last that long. Go through your toys and toss any that are broken or damaged beyond repair. Next, gather up any items your family has outgrown or is no longer interested in.
Yard tools can quickly add up especially if you are not storing tools in the same area or container. Go through your supply gathering up all that you have. Try to remember that even though it is nice to have plenty of garden and lawn tools, having too many can be overwhelming. Look at what you have, the chores that you routinely do, and make your decisions based on that.
- Dead plants
- Suntan lotions
- Torn or soiled furniture pads
- Old pillows
- Yard decor that is old, cracked, faded
I hope you find this quick list a great start as you keep working your way to cleaned out and cleaned up home.
Now you can more easily declutter in summer without spending all your time doing so!