Lighten Up Your Interiors for Summer

Just like you’d winterize your home by putting out extra blankets and burning scented candles, you can #summerize your space by bringing a #cooler, lighter touch to your furnishings, says L’Image Design Studio. First, eliminate excess #knickknacks that make your space feel #cluttered or constricting. Opt for lighter colors and swap out heavy, dark blankets and comforters for lighter ones. Give your houseplants some outdoor time. Wash the windows and replace heavy drapes with sheers. And finally, store any off-season items you won’t be using in labeled bins or donate them if you don’t foresee using them again.

Get Your Home Ready for Outdoor Living

One critical part of #summerizing a home is to make sure all of your outdoor spaces are inviting. Wash your outdoor furniture and deep-clean the grill, says Show Me Home. Wash the windows and sweep up leaves, branches and debris. Trim bushes and set your lawnmower’s blades to three inches or higher to encourage root growth and avoid a scorched lawn. Mulch the garden beds to help them retain moisture and inhibit weeds and insects. Add a few herbs or annuals to bare spots to lend color and foliage. “And finally, park yourself a lawn chair, grab a cold beverage and call it a day.”

Keep Cool While Saving Energy

To save energy while keeping #cool during the hot #summer months, follow the same principles you would in preparing for the cold winter months, experts told The Evening Tribune. Add insulation and seal up leaks to make your HVAC system operate more efficiently. Close the blinds on the south and west sides of your house to keep out the sun’s #heat, cook outdoors on a grill rather than using an indoor oven, and use the washer and dryer only after dark, when outdoor temperatures cool down. Finally, use fans even if you have air conditioning to help circulate that cool, dehumidified air.

It’s Time to Summerize

After a cool and wet spring, warm weather is set to blanket most regions of the country this week. But you’ll want to keep that hot air outside by #summerizing your home, if you haven’t already. Summerizing is just like winterizing, says doityourself, except that some of the appliances are different. Clean the air conditioning units and replace filters. Fix any missing or faulty caulk and weatherstripping. Put a towel underneath doors to prevent cool air form escaping. And finally, make sure that ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise to direct cooler air downward.

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.