Are you ready to simplify your home and enjoy the sunshine? Summer is about fun and relaxation. But it’s hard to enjoy if your home is cluttered with stuff (and your mind with to-do lists). That’s why we’ve gathered 10 expert declutter tips for summer, to help you simplify your home – and your life. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy summer to the fullest without stress or anxiety.
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10 Expert Declutter Tips for Summer
Summer is the perfect time to unwind, relax and bask in the sunshine. But if cluttered spaces and endless to-do lists leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, how can you truly enjoy the season? Fear not, because we’ve gathered 10 expert tips to declutter your summer and simplify your life. From creating a decluttering plan to involving the whole family, these strategies will help you clear out the clutter and make the most of this season’s fun and rejuvenation. So get ready to simplify your life and enjoy the summer with ease – read on to learn how!
Decluttering vs. Cleaning
Before we get started with our list of 10 expert declutter tips for summer, there’s an important distinction we need to make first. One of the most valuable pieces of advice we’ve ever learned about home organization is that decluttering and cleaning are not the same thing. In order to be truly successful at either task, it is essential to understand the difference between the two – and the fact that both tasks need their own dedicated time and attention.
Home organization experts often advise that understanding the difference between decluttering and cleaning is crucial to maintaining an organized and tidy home. Decluttering involves going through your belongings and getting rid of items that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy. It’s about reducing the amount of “stuff” in your home so that you can live a more simplified and intentional life.
On the other hand, cleaning involves tidying up and maintaining the cleanliness of your home. While the two are related, decluttering is more about minimizing clutter (reducing the overall number of items in your home) to create a sense of order, while cleaning is about keeping your home hygienic, free of dirt and grime, and visually appealing. By prioritizing both decluttering and cleaning, you can create a home that is not only organized and tidy, but also healthy and welcoming.
With that crucial distinction being made, it’s time to move on to our list of 10 expert declutter tips for summer. It’s time to finally get organized!
Create a Decluttering Plan
To successfully declutter your home this summer, it’s important to have a plan in place. While the task of decluttering can seem daunting, breaking it down into smaller steps can make the process more manageable. Having a plan can help you to stay on schedule, keep you accountable and see quicker results for your efforts. That’s why our first tip is to create a plan – and to have it start with just one room. Focus on decluttering one space at a time, whether it’s the kitchen or the bedroom (or even a smaller space within each). This will not only make the process easier to tackle, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment as you see quicker progress being made. So, pick one room and get started! We’ll talk about this in even more detail next.
Start with One Room
To make decluttering your home feel less overwhelming, start with one room first and try your best to keep your focus targeted just there for now. It can be tempting to jump around from space to space, but focusing on decluttering one area at a time will make the process more manageable – and you’ll definitely see faster results this way too. Whether it’s the kitchen, bedroom, or living room, set aside time to tackle each space separately. Not only will this help you make progress in a more organized fashion, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment as you see each space individually transform before moving on to the next. What else does this do? It helps you build momentum, which is so important to staying on track.
And before you start tossing items out, remember to sort everything into categories. This will help you identify the items you truly need and use, versus those that can be donated or discarded. We’ll discuss this important step in the process next.
Sort Items into Categories
To effectively declutter your home, sorting items into categories is a critical step. Once you have created your plan and decided which room to tackle first, go through each and every individual item and categorize it specifically based on its usefulness and importance in your life. Some common categories include items to keep, items to donate, items to sell, and items to toss.
Sorting your items into categories not only helps you determine what to keep and what to discard, but it also allows you to be more intentional about the items you do keep. For example, you may find while sorting items that you actually have duplicates that you didn’t even realize or that you have items you no longer use or need at all (or even that you’ve been using valuable storage space to keep items that are broken and totally beyond repair). By separating these items into keep, garbage, donate, or sell piles, you can clear space in your home and possibly give suitable items a new life with someone who may need them or will appreciate them more.
Home organization experts also generally agree that it’s best to begin with sorting items where a clear, obvious decision can quickly and easily be made (e.g., items that are visibly broken, outdated clothing, etc.). This helps the decluttering process move along quickly at the beginning, allowing you to gain momentum and stay motivated to continue. It also gives you practice with the decision-making process, so you are better experienced when it’s time to deal with more challenging items – which are often the sentimental ones.
Sentimental items have more emotional attachments – making it much more difficult to make quick decisions (and therefore much easier to get thrown off track) especially at the beginning. It’s so easy to get lost in thought and in the stories connected to these items while sorting them them. That’s why it’s best to start with sorting easier items first for now, and we’ll discuss strategies for tackling the more challenging sentimental belongings in the steps below. But first, let’s start with sorting the easier-to-decide items!
Sorting items into categories may require a bit of upfront work, but it totally simplifies the decluttering process and helps you achieve your goal of a fun, relaxing and stress-free life this summer. With a little bit of effort, you can create a much more organized home environment. Next up, let’s explore some options for donating, selling, or tossing the unused items that you just sorted in categories. It’s time to decide exactly what to do with each pile.
Donate, Sell, or Toss Unused Items
Sorting your items into categories is just one of the first steps in decluttering your home. Once you have everything categorized, it’s time to decide exactly what to do with each pile – and then to actually do it. Donating gently used items to a local charity can help to simplify your home while giving back to your community. Selling items online or at a yard sale can provide you with some extra cash while simultaneously freeing up space in your home. And finally, tossing items that are no longer useful or are broken can clear space and provide a fresh start. You’ll breathe new life and energy into your home before you even know it!
The process of actually throwing away, donating or selling your unneeded items may seem like a daunting task, but it can bring about a sense of clarity and peace that comes with a simpler, more organized home environment. It’s exactly what allows you to create a more streamlined and stress-free living space for yourself and your family – which is exactly what we want and deserve for the summer.
Now that you have sorted through your belongings and decided which items to keep and which to part with – and have acted upon those decisions – it’s time to tackle the next step of decluttering: letting go of sentimental items.
Let Go of Sentimental Items
Now that your space is free from a large part of unnecessary clutter, it’s time to focus on the sentimental items that may be weighing you down. These are the items that hold emotional value, such as old letters, photographs, and mementos from past events. While it can be difficult to let go of items that hold memories, it’s important to remember that memories are not contained within objects.
Letting go of sentimental items is one of the most challenging parts of the decluttering process. But with the proper guidance and advice, you can definitely make the decisions that are right for you. Sentimental items of meaningful, emotional value are much more difficult to sort into categories, make decisions about and ultimately let go of – because of the strong attachments and connections to these belongings. For these reasons, it’s much easier to lose your decluttering momentum and fall off track at this stage of the process. It’s important that you try your best to stay focused on your goal.
One way to approach letting go of sentimental items that can help to make it easier, is to take a photograph of them (that you can always go back and look at anytime), and then donate or recycle the physical object. This allows you to hold onto the memory without filling up your physical space. You can also consider passing items down to family members or friends who may cherish them just as much as you do. This is often a much easier and more meaningful alternative than tossing them away.
Sentimental items hold a special place in our hearts. It’s important to know that you don’t have to let go of a special item if you don’t want to. The choice is always yours to make. Some of these items we may be ok with releasing, and some we might not. That’s absolutely ok. It’s all about balance. We can’t keep everything, but we can keep the things that are most special to us. So don’t ever feel pressured to let go of anything you don’t want to, or are not yet ready to release – especially if they are of sentimental value.
One of the great things about decluttering your home, is that you can get rid of many unnecessary items you don’t care about so that you can have space to keep to keep the more sentimental, important items (like these) that you do really care about. It’s makes the space for the things that are truly the most valuable.
But in some cases, the physical and emotional space creating by releasing sentimental items might be more valuable to you (for a number of reasons) than the items themselves. And in these cases, it’s definitely ok to release them and let them go. You can gratefully say goodbye to these belongings with thanks in your heart. They served their purpose to you at the time when you needed them to, and now you can gently let them go with gratitude – to create space for new, important things in your life.
Letting go of sentimental items may not be easy, but it can be a freeing experience. By simplifying your space, you are creating room for new memories and experiences. This includes time for new projects, hobbies and learning new skills. You’ll be amazing at the changes and growth that decluttering your home can create in all areas of your life. Now that you have let go of what no longer serves you, it’s time to give everything a specific, designated home to maintain your clutter-free lifestyle.
Designate a Home for Everything
Keeping your living space clutter-free requires a bit of effort and intentional organization. Once you have let go of what no longer serves you, it’s important to designate a specific home for everything. Simply put, everything needs an exact place to keep your space tidy and easy to navigate. When everything has a designated home, it’s easier to maintain your clutter-free lifestyle and prevent the accumulation of unnecessary items from happening again.
Start by grouping similar items together and designating a specific place for each group. For example, designate a specific drawer or shelf for your mail, a basket for your keys and wallet, and hooks for your coats and bags. By designating a specific home for everything, you’re less likely to misplace items and create clutter.
Consider investing in storage solutions that fit your space and needs. This can include shelves, baskets, and even furniture with built-in storage. Storage solutions are especially useful for limited spaces such as closets, where maximizing vertical space is essential. It’s important to do this carefully though, because even unnecessary storage solutions can create more clutter! We’ll talk about this more in the next section.
By designating a home for everything, you’re making a conscious effort to simplify your life and create a clutter-free environment. This will not only save you time and energy in the long run but also free up space for new experiences and memories. With everything in its place, you can focus on what truly matters this summer. Just imagine all the summer memories you can make with all that extra time!
Use Storage Solutions Wisely
To truly declutter your space, it’s important to not only get rid of items and to use storage solutions – but to use storage solutions wisely. By doing so, you can maximize your space and create a more organized living environment. Consider investing in shelves, baskets, and furniture with built-in storage that fit your specific needs and space. A storage solution should have an exact need and purpose (a specific use in a specific space), otherwise it’s just contributing to your clutter problem and the number of items in your home as well.
Storage solutions don’t solve your clutter and organization problems (reducing the overall number of items in your home does) but they can be helpful in certain circumstances for certain spaces. You also don’t at all need to invest in expensive options. A variety of different storage solutions of all kinds can be found for budget-friendly prices at the dollar store.
To continue simplifying your life this summer, consider adopting a “one in, one out” policy as your next step.
Adopt a ‘One In, One Out’ Policy
Another effective tip to declutter your summer is to adopt a “one in, one out” policy. This means that for every new item you bring into your home, you must get rid of something else. For example, if you buy a new summer dress, donate an old one that you no longer wear. This policy can help you maintain a clutter-free home and encourage thoughtful consumption. It also helps your budget, as you become much more intentional about your spending.
You can take this policy (and its effectiveness) one step further by involving your entire family – kids too! – in the process. Let’s find out how!
Involve the Family
Involving the whole family in your decluttering efforts can be a fun and effective way to kick your decluttering progress up a notch (or several). By adopting a “one in, one out” policy and challenging each other to get rid of old items for every new one brought into the home, you can create a mindful approach to your possessions and reduce clutter. Plus, it can be a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a family too.
Get the family excited about this idea by making it a game or competition. You can even offer a prize! Challenge your partner or kids to find things to get rid of for every new thing they bring home – bonus points to those who find even more items to donate. Working together brings your decluttering game to the next level.
To truly make a difference, however, you need to make decluttering an actual habit. In the next section, we’ll explore some tips on how to integrate decluttering into your daily routine and maintain a clutter-free home in the long run.
Make Decluttering a Habit
To fully experience the benefits of decluttering, it’s essential to make it a habit. Just like any other lifestyle change, it won’t happen overnight, but with a consistent effort, you can maintain a clutter-free home long-term.
Start small by setting aside a few minutes each day to tackle a specific area in your home. Having a clear plan and breaking it down into manageable tasks can make the process less overwhelming. For example, one day, you might tackle a single closet or a drawer, and the next, you might sort through your paperwork or digital files.
Another effective strategy is to declutter as you go. Instead of procrastinating until the mess piles up, try to put things back in their proper place right away. By making it a habit to tidy up after yourself, you’ll avoid accumulating unnecessary clutter. If it takes less than two minutes to do, make it a rule to take care of it now (by making it a rule, it can then become a habit).
Finally, it’s crucial to celebrate your progress and stay motivated. Take before and after photos, reward yourself for a job well done, and share your accomplishments with others. Making decluttering a habit can improve your life in so many ways, from saving time to reducing stress. So why not give it a try?
One of the most life-changing books we’ve ever read on habits is Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear. It can definitely help you on your decluttering journey and in all other areas of your life too. It’s one of the best, most important books we’ve ever read.
By James Clear
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
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As you continue to implement these tips and tricks into your daily routine, you’ll find that decluttering becomes second nature. By creating a mindful approach to your possessions, you’ll enjoy a simpler, more enjoyable summer and beyond.
Need More Declutter Tips for Summer?
If you need more expert declutter tips for summer, here are five of Amazon’s bestselling books on home organization that will make clearing your home a breeze. Give them a read and your home is sure to be its most beautiful and functional this summer.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
By Marie Kondo
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
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The Home Edit
By Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
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The Home Edit Life
By Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
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The Home Edit Workbook
By Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
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By Nikki Boyd
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
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Expert Declutter Tips for Summer
In conclusion, if you want to truly enjoy the summer season, it’s important to declutter your space and simplify your life. With the help of these 10 expert declutter tips for summer, you can create a clutter-free home and a stress-free mindset that will last beyond just the summer season. Remember to start with a plan, involve the family, and make decluttering a habit. As William Morris once said, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Embrace this philosophy and watch as your summer becomes filled with more joy, relaxation, and meaningful experiences.
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