It’s that time of year again! Time to declutter and reorganize your home so you can enjoy the space you have even more. As top professional organizers will attest, start small and work your way to bigger projects. By crossing off small projects, you will begin to see progress and can better gear yourself up for the larger tasks. Here are a few smart tips to get you ready for all the fun activity the summer season brings.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
As kids finish up the school year, think about what papers you can recycle. Use the multitude of apps now available to help you better organize your paperwork digitally. For example, ArtKive allows you to keep some of your kids’ schoolwork and share with family, while freeing yourself of the actual paper to store. Consider Evernote for lists and reminders. Scan important receipts as .pdf files, and switch over to online banking and bill payments. Hoarding old magazines or paperback books you have already read? Organize a swap party or coordinate magazine subscriptions with a friend so you don’t both receive the same issues. Save space and money!
Don’t Store Everything
It’s time to really clean house. Do you have a stack of sweaters you didn’t wear this past season? Instead of packing them away, consider donating clothing items to a charity organization, taking them to consignment for return cash, or passing them down to friends and family. Have friends who wear a similar size? Organize a clothing/shoe/jewelry swap party.
Get your kids involved and start decluttering your house of old toys and clothes, kitchenware and furniture. Kids and adults alike love the extra cash, and it’s a great way to just shed house debris. If you live close to neighbors, consider organizing a group or neighborhood sale. The more people involved in selling, the more likely you are to draw big crowds. Advertise inexpensively with posters and directions, social media messages and simple newspaper ads.
Take the proceeds from your garage sale and put it towards storage bins. Zone off an area of your garage or basement for sports equipment, car wash supplies and yard tools. Being able to identify where things are stored will go a long way in making you feel more organized and clutter free.
For sunny days when you want to eat out on the deck or patio, be prepared with a caddy of paper products, plastic utensils, condiments and salt and pepper shakers. Then, whenever you want to eat outside, most of what you need is ready to go.
Create Grab & Go Bags
Put together tote bags for regular activities, whether it’s pool days, library trips, a picnic in the park and so forth. Fill them with things like water bottles, bandages, SPF and snacks, so you don’t have to look for anything before you go. You won’t believe how handy a bag full of peppermints and coloring books, a flashlight and magazines can be.
Swap Out Seasonal Items
You have two major seasons to make big changes for: cold weather and warm weather. Swap items in your mudroom or laundry room: boots for flip-flops, winter coats for rain jackets, hats and scarves for beach towels. Taking the time to pack up heavier blankets and pack away clothing items you won’t wear for awhile will help your whole space feel lighter and more organized.
Refresh Your Pantry
Be ready to entertain or cook a last-minute meal with ease. Everyone is generally less scheduled and more spontaneous in the summer, so stock your pantry with the things you’ll need to make a quick pasta dish or brownies. Have bottled water, popcorn, macaroni and juice boxes handy. It’s also time to take a look at old spices and just generally throw away expired goods or pass along uneaten foods.
We hope these tips will help you enjoy the summer season more and allow you to spend time with your family and friends, instead of rummaging through bins looking for last year’s goggles. And always, remember the cardinal rule of any decluttering campaign: if you haven’t used it in the last year, toss it! Capital City Home Loans wishes you a safe and healthy summer season.