5 Areas to Organize Inside Your Home Before Summer Ends
Author: Alyssa Craig
Though you may have already done some spring cleaning, there always seems to be a corner of the house that needs a little bit of attention. This summer, you may find yourself with good conditions or simply the time to do a little more organizing that will make your summer and the upcoming seasons easier.
Here are five key areas you can focus your attention on before summer closes out:
Summer is the ideal time to pull everything out on your driveway and start from scratch. This gives you a chance not only to sort through everything you have acquired in that dungeon, but also to give it a good scrubbing while you are in there. As you start to put items back in your garage, make one pile for items to throw away and another pile for items to donate. You can also choose to have a garage sale with the items that are still in good condition. As you go about organizing the items you are keeping, consider the following:
use storage containers for like items (ie. winter snow gear, costumes, sports equipment)
install shelving for more use of vertical storage space
use hooks to hang tools or bikes on the walls or ceiling
Now that the kids are home for the summer, this is a great time to go through their closets together. Unless you have kept a close eye on their backpacks throughout the school year, it is possible there are papers, projects, and all sorts of surprises that have accumulated over the last nine months or so. Throw away old papers and if there are any special reports or projects they would like to keep, help them create a scrapbook or “special” box for them to keep these items.
Kids grow like weeds, so the summer is also a great time to re-evaluate their clothing. Go through their fall and winter clothing items and determine what no longer fits or what will likely no longer fit once those seasons come around again. This will help you put together a good list of what they will need for the new school year.
As you go through their clothes, do not forget to also address shoes, as feet grow quickly. This is also a great opportunity to spray them and clean them off, to prevent that stinky feet smell from getting out of control.
When was the last time you went through your pantry? It is likely there are many items inside you do not even remember purchasing because they have been tucked away in a corner for so long.
Start by taking everything out and wiping down the shelves and floor before returning the items you are going to keep. As you strive to make better use of the foods you buy (money saver!) and prepare healthy meals for your family, try some of these organization tips:
First and foremost, ditch anything expired and FINALLY get rid of any lingering holiday or Easter goodies.
Use Labels: This will help differentiate between similar looking products more easily (such as flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, etc). You can also use it to mark expiration dates in a more visible way.
Install pull out drawers to make everything more easily visible and accessible, such as those suggested here.
Use containers or baskets to group similar foods together such as baking items, goodies, breads, etc.
Your mudroom is probably a major drop zone in your house, full of shoes, jackets, bags and who knows what else has been left there over the last few months. Take some time to get everything put away in its rightful place in your home. The summer is a great time to get coats dry cleaned and boots and other winter shoes cleaned and winterized. You will be grateful when the cool weather hits that you thought to do this while those items were not in demand.
Take this time to do a deep cleaning of the cubbies and shelves in your mudroom. You may consider buying baskets that fit inside of the cubbies to keep the room looking more organized, as you won’t see individual items floating freely. If you have not already done so, assign each family member their own shelf or cubby space for them to be in charge of as the year goes on, giving them ownership and responsibility over keeping that space clean and organized from here on out.
The kitchen tends to be the typical family gathering place, so there needs to be a sense of order where there is likely often chaos instead. Make it a place where each person can find what they need without being overwhelmed by clutter that may build up. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
Create an area for mail to be sorted and taken care of. Have a slot for bills, one for fun items such as wedding invitations, or perhaps even a mail slot for each member of the family.
Keep wipes and paper towels handy for sticky ice cream and popsicle messes throughout the summer. This will help you keep the kitchen clean.
Look for creative ways to store countertop appliances, such as keeping them hidden in cupboards or drawers when they are not in use. This will help create a more clutter free feeling.
As school starts again, your children will likely be spending more time in the kitchen doing homework. Take inventory of your drawer that contains pencils, pens, and other school supplies and determine what can be thrown away (the 20 pens that no longer work) and what needs replacing.
By taking care of these five areas of your home, you will slowly, but surely feel a little more organized and ready to take on the next whirlwind life throws your way.