20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR HOME THIS SUMMER
Summer is a great time to think about simplifying your home. The weather is better so we can use our outdoor space more, do jobs around the home that are more difficult or unpleasant when it’s colder and raining and, of course, many of us have the added excitement of the kids being off school so there are more toys, clutter and chaos! Here are 20 ways you can simplify your home this summer and some decluttering projects and tips which are designed for warmer days!
20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR HOME THIS SUMMER
#1 Kids’ toys
As the school breaks up for the summer holidays, my kids are at home more. They play with their toys more than they do in term time and it’s easier for me to see which are their favourites and which they don’t play with. My kids will also play a lot outside so our outdoor toys come out more too! Watch your kids play, identify the go-to toys that they choose first and/or struggle to be without and declutter the other toys by donating, recycling or throwing the rest.
#2 Your kitchen
Take a look at the cupboards and worksurfaces in your kitchen. Are they crammed and overflowing or uncluttered and neatly organised? Pick the most cluttered and untidy parts of your kitchen and sort through them. Remove any excess items – utensils, plates, glassware etc that you don’t use and get rid of it. Clear the worktops of anything that doesn’t need to be there. Most things can be stored in cupboards and just taken out when you use them.
#3 Pick a room to redecorate
It doesn’t have to cost a lot, maybe just a freshen up with a new rug, set of cushions or a splash of paint. Keeping on top of the decorating in your home and doing a little bit often means that your home is always in a good state. It’s also lovely to ring the changes every now and then with new colours, textures, designs and gives you a chance to try something new for your home décor.
#4 Your car
Washing your car and hovering it out is definitely more pleasurable when it’s warm and sunny, rather than cold and rainy! This summer clean and organise your car. Wash it, check the oil and screen wash. Hoover the inside. Make sure you’ve got supplies of anything you need. For example, I keep baby wipes, loose change, some reading books for my kids, notepad and pen, a torch and some snacks in my car and a plastic bag to put all the rubbish in. I have some tools to change my spare wheel (not that I’d be able to do it!) and a first aid kit.
#5 Your hallway
The entrance to your home gets a daily battering with people coming and going and lots of stuff dumped including coats, shoes, bags, keys and post. Look at how your hallway gets used and the type of stuff that builds up. Declutter what you can, find storage for the rest and teach your family to put things in their proper home from the moment they walk in the door. Let’s face it, this could take a whole summer to train your family to do this but it would be good to get into the habit before term starts and the school bags and PE kits build up!
#6 Your wardrobe
If you’ve got little kids, I bet mornings can be a bit of a rush! I also bet you don’t have much time to choose what you’re going to wear each day so how many times do you reach for the closest thing to hand and just pull it on? Make it easier to get dressed each morning, knowing that whatever you do choose is going to look good and make you feel great by simplifying and decluttering your wardrobe. Summer is a great season to start decluttering your wardrobe because you can also make sure all those heavy winter coats and sweaters are all washed and ready for later in the year.
#7 Arts and crafts supplies
Once again, during the summer break, my kids spend more time doing art and craft projects. Take some time to sort through the art supplies, what you’d like to keep, what’s just clutter, what doesn’t work anymore and get rid of it! I find that if there’s too much stuff, my kids don’t know which to choose from and just end up taking some plain blank paper and a few pencils anyway!
#8 Your bookshelf
Many of us having a summer reading list. So, why not tackle decluttering your bookshelves this summer as well? Spend some time going through all the books in your home. Which ones haven’t you read – are you actually going to read them? Which ones have you read but won’t read again – can you donate them? Which books are like old friends, that you’d like to read and re-read? Have your kids outgrown any books? If you’re not going to read them, donate what you can and throw the rest.
#9 A pop of colour
If your home, like the weather outdoors, has seemed a bit dark and wintery in the colder months then why not bring a pop of colour into your home now the sun is shining and the air is warm? Add a colourful cushion or swap around a piece of artwork (even hang up your kids’ artwork in a prominent place). A dash of colour can bring life and energy to a room. It’s quick to do and doesn’t have to cost much, if anything.
#10 Your garden shed
I know it’s not the most exciting of projects but this is a great time to declutter your shed! Pick a day when the weather is nice and pull everything out of the shed. Check through everything and discard or donate anything that you no longer need or use. This could be outdoor toys that your kids have grown out of, tools that are broken or you no longer use, for example. Give the shed a clean inside and out, paint the outside if it needs a coat of protective paint (or you fancy painting it another colour). Only put back what you know you’re going to use and really want to keep!
Summer flowers bring colour and energy to our gardens but what about in our homes? Bring a little summery feeling into your home with a fresh bunch of flowers in a vase. They’ll be beautiful to look at and maybe even have a scent to freshen up your home!
#14 Instruction manuals
Not a very exciting summer declutter project but it can still rain in summer… So, here’s a rainy day job for sure! How many instruction manuals do you have in your home? Do you have all the items that they relate to? Or, do you still have instruction manuals for items that you no longer own? Collect all the manuals together. Identify any manuals for which you don’t have the items any longer and throw them away. With the remainder, take photos or scan each of the pages and save them digitally on your computer. Of course, these days, it’s possible to find just about every instruction manual under the sun if you Google it, so do you really need to keep or save many of the manuals anyway?!
#15 Sort through your photos
I take loads of photos of my kids and lots of photos in general, particularly on our summer holidays or days out with the kids having fun. Yet, it’s easy for them to build up and take too much space on your phone. You end up with so many photos that trying to save them and file them in any sense of order is just so time-consuming and daunting a task that you put it off. And it only gets more daunting as time goes by! Take some time to declutter your phone and photos this month.
#16 Clear out your purse or wallet
The summer holidays can be a more expensive time in our household as we’re out and about more, having fun with the kids on days out when usually they’re in school. And, of course, there might be the added cost of going away. So, now is a good time to start sorting your finances by decluttering your purse or wallet! Pull everything out of your purse or wallet including all the receipts, cards, vouchers etc. Only put back what you need and use regularly. Go through your receipts, match them up against bank statements, then file/shred them as appropriate. Look at how many credit cards or store cards you have. Do you use them? Do you need them all? Are they just tempting you to spend more and run up more debt? Consider getting rid of any that you don’t need or have really bad interest rates and that cost you lots to pay off.
#17 Swap your furniture around
I love revamping my home and making it feel new and fresh simply by swapping the furniture around. Pick a room which you’d like to revamp and see if you can move a table, bookshelf, chair or sofa (or all of the above) into a different position. Does it create more space or more flow from one room to the other or through the room itself?
#18 Your fridge
When was the last time you REALLY looked inside your fridge? If we’ve got family to feed we probably look in our fridges many times during the day to pull something out or put something back. But, what about REALLY looking inside and considering what’s in there and how we can make best use of the space?
Do you have food in there that’s gone past its best before date? What about all the jars and bottles in the door? Is there any rotten veg lurking at the bottom? Is the drainage hole nearly blocked? When did you last clean it thoroughly (shelves and all)?
Take everything out, give it a proper clean and only put back what’s in date and what you’re likely to use. Get rid of the rest! Think about different space-saving ideas, storage solutions and other ways of maximising the useable space.
#18 Let the fresh air in
Open your windows as much as possible whilst the weather is warm to let the fresh air in. Give everything a good air.
#19 Do a thorough clean
When the weather is good it can be a great time to clean parts of your home that might not get cleaned very often otherwise. Maybe wash the dog bed, your curtains, the rugs, the sofa or chair covers? When the weather is better, things will dry quicker and you may be able to leave them outside to dry naturally in the sunshine.
#20 Your cleaning routines
Not many of us enjoy cleaning our homes and we’d rather spend our time doing other things. So why not take a moment to think about how you can set up some household routines to get those mundane chores and housework done? You can choose to do little and often or get it all over with in one go, whatever suits you. But, there are some easy ways to keep your home clean and tidy without you having to spend a long time doing it. What could you do with that time instead now that the weather’s better and Summer’s here!
I love Summer and I’m excited to suggest ways to simplify your home this summer too! Not only because the weather is warmer and we can be outside more, but I see these Summer months whilst the kids are off school as time to make changes. Although I still juggle work and kids in the holidays, I always try to set myself targets and challenges for the Summer weeks. Whether that’s getting the kids to master riding a bicycle, me being able to read a book or two, re-decorating parts of my house or simplifying my home using the suggestions in this post. What will you do this Summer?