Six More Weeks of Summer

With the Labor Day weekend behind us, most people (and especially people with kids) are mourning “the end” of summer. Whether or not you or your kids have to be in school, however, there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy.

At the time of this writing, there are still nearly three weeks until the fall equinox — the official end, astronomically speaking, of the season. But many places in the U.S. won’t see real fall weather for several weeks beyond Sept. 23.

If there was a Groundhog Day in the summer, in other words, Punxsutawney Phil would likely give us six more weeks to enjoy. So there’s no reason to stop having cookouts, taking road trips and otherwise savor the season.

Take in a baseball game, BroBible suggests. Go for swim. Attend a music festival or see a summer blockbuster. Throw a Frisbee. The weather is fantastic (in many places, better than in August), so don’t let the calendar tell you when the summer fun needs to end.

Most of the activities you’ve enjoyed since June are still going strong, HuffPost says, so maintain your summer mindset into October. “Continue to have fun, to eat fresh produce from the farmer’s market, to read trashy novels, to spend time outdoors, to go for walks after dinner and long bike rides on weekends.”

There’s still time for decluttering, of course. As you squeeze in those last few summer outings and events, be conscious of what you will and won’t need as it starts to feel more like sweater weather.

For example, you’ve probably worn those white jeans/shorts/linens for the last time, so you can now safely donate them to ClothingDonations.org. The same goes for outdoor equipment you won’t be using much longer, such as camping gear and pool toys.

By the same token, you can also stock up on sweaters, blankets and household items best suited to fall festivities at the thrift stores supplied by ClothingDonations.org. The resale of #donated goods helps fund veterans programs throughout the country year-round.

Now’s the time to squeeze the last bits of outdoor merriment out of summer. As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” And summer ain’t over just because the kids are back in school!

Conquering Back-to-School Clutter

Every year around the third week of August, “Where did the summer go?” is a common lament among parents of school-age children. Those big yellow buses will start to pick them up in next couple of weeks, if they haven’t already, and the three-day Labor Day weekend notwithstanding, the start of school is a transitional moment for familes.

As with many seasonal transitions, back-to-school time carries clutter with it. The kids will return home from school each day with new paperwork, books, instruments, sporting goods, electronics and other stuff — and will tend to toss it aside the second they enter the front door. Summer is nearing its end, and with it, your vacation from indoor clutter.

To get ready for the influx of new junk, sort through and get rid of anything your kids won’t need in the upcoming school year. Store summer items such as camping gear and swim goggles out of sight to make the transition less traumatic. This would also be a good time to file last year’s art projects that are still stuck to the fridge and send one to grandma.

This is also a fantastic time to take inventory of the clothing that does and doesn’t fit your kids; there is no reason to keep things that they have grown out of. Bag up the rejects and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free donation pickup of anything you won’t be using in the year ahead; somebody can use them! Plus, the proceeds from their resale will help fund veterans programs.

Once school starts, parents should model proper decluttering and organization skills, suggests Mindful Decluttering & Organizing. Work with kids to designate confined but comfortable workspaces; create storage systems for their school supplies and projects; and sort, file and/or trash old papers to keep the clutter from escalating.

Most of what kids learn in school is stored in their brains; it doesn’t need to be in overflowing bins and boxes that crowd the closets and attic. It’s perfectly fine to document your child’s growth and progress, but keep only the pictures, papers and other memorabilia that represent pivotal moments in their development.

Back-to-school time is bittersweet, since it represents the end of the relatively carefree summer months. To ease the transition and preserve the stress-free feeling of summer, stay organized as the weather gets colder and the leaves begin to fall.

Cool off With a Refreshing Spritz

When you’re overheated, there’s nothing like a few classic summertime activities to refresh and rejuvenate. Go for a swim in a pool, lake or ocean, or run through a sprinkler. Make a spritz out of peppermint tea to keep in the refrigerator for a quick cooldown, WonderHowTo says, or make your own concoction of water, citrus, mint, cucumber and other botanicals. If you’re really feeling the heat, apply cool towels to pulse points on your wrists, ankles and neck. Or just throw in the towel for a couple of hours and enjoy a show in the air-conditioned shade — or, darkness — of a movie theater.

Seek out Shade to Stay Cool

You can keep your cool by blocking some of that hot summer sun, says Wanderlust. Draw the curtains or blinds to keep from superheating your living quarters, and seek out a shade tree, awning, tent or parasol when outdoors. If you’re outdoors and on the move, wear a wide-brimmed hat, light colors, and breathable fabrics such as linen and cotton to bring your own shade with you. Short on summer styles? Look for fashions and other warm-weather supplies at thrift and secondhand stores supplied by donations to ClothingDonations.org.

Hydrate to Keep Your Cool

Proper hydration is key to comfort when the temperatures soar, says LifeHacker. Water is like a coolant that keeps the body cool — and if you’re sweating it out, it must be replaced. Drink plenty of water (preferably uncarbonated water, which has proven more effective for hydration). Don’t rule out other beverages when you’re trying to keep cool, though; even coffee and beer (in moderation) can aid in hydration. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages tend to increase the body’s temperature, however, temporarily thwarting hydration’s cooling effect, while excessive alcohol intake depletes the body of fluids and nutrients.