Tame Your Summer Clutter

The sun is shining, the temperature is a perfect 75 degrees and you walk outside to have morning coffee. Ahhh, birds singing, flowers blooming, and everything still the green of early summer. Beautiful.

But wait, why are bikes piled up in the yard? Why are towels strewn about? And I know I asked the kids to put their sports equipment away before they went in last night. Where did all this stuff come from?

Summer can bring a relaxed attitude and an increase in outdoor yard activities. That relaxed approach can sometimes mean that things get dropped where they are. Don’t let clutter get in the way of enjoying your summer. Follow these tips to minimize the clutter in or around your home this summer.

Give kids summer responsibilities.

Summer is often a time of relaxed rules, like going to bed later for the kids and even adults enjoying a nap in the sun on the weekend. When it comes to putting things away, however, don’t relax the boundaries. Before the kids come in for the evening or head to bed, make sure things are put away, including what is outdoors. Add a walkthrough if necessary to ensure this becomes a routine. These organizational habits are good for everyone in the household.

Use a chart to keep track of those responsibilities.

We have written about the use of chore charts and their effectiveness in other posts. They definitely serve a great purpose here. After the walkthrough, put a check in the right location on the chart. This allows you to track engagement and use rewards to encourage participation. After a week of all clear, serve up some ice cream.

Make cleaning up undemanding.

After a day of fun, that extra few minutes to walk around to the garage is just too much – even for the kids. Why not put storage where it is needed most? This may require some physical changes. As always, storage bins are your friends. If bikes usually end up in the yard, make an organized place for them there. Bob Vila offers five DIY examples. If towels are left out after a romp in the kiddie pool, position an outdoor laundry hamper by the door to collect them on the way in.

Create a simple routine.

Most clutter builds up over time. Make it a habit to clear the countertop each evening: open mail, throw away the junk, and put aside things like in-process art projects. Make sure there is a catch-all for necessary items such as pens/pencils/note pads, etc.

Sort through your books, magazines, and newspapers.

Summer is a time for reading. When you finish the book, put it away, return it to the library, lend it to a friend, or donate it. With the magazines and the newspapers, be sure to put them in the recycle bin.

Bring in a professional housecleaner.

Sometimes you need to do more than just clean up the mess. Once the clutter is cleared, you may find dirty surfaces were hidden. A deep clean of your home leaves it fresh and sanitized and provides you with more time to spend doing what you want. Contact The Cleaning Authority today to schedule your one-time house cleaning or set up a regular weekly or bi-weekly housekeeping service.