Make the Most of the Rest of Your Summer

Symbolically, at least, July 4th marks the middle of summer. If your local schools let out before Memorial Day, that’s pretty accurate — you’ve already spent about six weeks of the season, and there are probably about six more to go before school starts again.

Even if your schedule is no longer dictated by a school calendar, you may feel like the clock is ticking on your summer fun. The warm weather is likely to stick around until September and October even in the Northern climes, but the pressure is on.

The answer? Get organized and make the most of what’s left of your summer!

Grab a calendar — a paper one, if possible. Is there a trip you’ve been meaning to take? Book your airline tickets or get the oil changed ahead of that road trip. Are there friends you’ve been meaning to invite over for a cookout? Text them or send an electronic invite, and pencil them in.

On a tight budget? And Then We Saved offers 23 ways to make the most of your summer, including finding a swimming hole, going camping or volunteering. Tackling your to-do list and joining a team are other suggestions, alongside just kicking back in a hammock.

If you want to improve your home while it’s nice enough to keep the windows open, consider taking a summer day to do a good decluttering. There’s no time like the present to sell, donate or trash the extra stuff that’s been spilling out of your closets since last summer.

Lifehack suggests a range of thrifty summer activities such as being a tourist in your own hometown and going for a nature walk. And while you’re at it, the site says, take lots of pictures so you can create fond memories of summer 2018.

It isn’t your imagination: The clock is ticking — just as it always is. But summer has that added connotation of “fun in the sun” and “vacation” that makes you want to pack all of the fun activities you can into a few short months.

Make a list of the summery things you want to do, and start checking them off, one by one. Don’t waste another minute if you want to make the second half of your summer even more magical than the first!

What to Wear at the Office When It’s Hot Outside

It’s tough to look professional in hot weather, but one’s appearance in the workplace, meetings and job interviews is as important “as a well-crafted resume or a polished LinkedIn profile,” Forbes contributor Nancy Collamer says. For women, style experts recommend lightweight neutrals such as white, tan and pale gray for sophistication and summer comfort, or a sleeveless blouse under a suit jacket. Men should try “tropical”-weight woolens and khaki cottons if a suit is required, or explore the limits of office casual. Linens are always a lightweight choice for both genders, but they do wrinkle.

Declutter During the Change of Seasons

Instead of treating the end of summer like a funeral, embrace the cooler temperatures by preparing your wardrobe for them, Goedeker’s Home Life says. Give beach towels and bathing suits a wash before putting them in storage, and set aside any T-shirts or other summer garments that just didn’t get worn this year. Then, unpack the flannels, sweaters, jackets, blankets and scarves you’ll be using in the months ahead, taking care to eliminate any that have outlived their usefulness. Finally, pack up those lightly-used also-rans and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. You’ll be able to start the season with less clutter!

Cooking Out: Gas or Charcoal?

For summertime grilling, the age-old debate rages on: Which is better, gas or charcoal? Beginners and people who want to cook out frequently without having to tend coals should probably opt for a gas grill, even though they usually cost more to buy initially, Chowhound says. Charcoal grills allow for a wider range of temperatures, but can be difficult to control for the neophyte — and definitely require a more demanding cleanup regimen. But while gas is great for delicate foods such as vegetables and fish, only charcoal can impart the smoky flavor that says barbecue.

Easy Ways to Beat the Heat

With the Fourth of July festivities now complete, the worst of the summer’s heat and humidity still lie ahead for many parts of the country. While a certain amount of swelter and sweat are to be welcomed while you’re on a weekend trip to the ol’ swimming hole, many people still wilt when the temperatures rise, hiding from the heat indoors.

There are simple ways to keep cool even without the benefit of A/C, though. To keep your home cool, HuffPost says, keep the blinds and curtains closed against direct sunlight. In the bedroom, swap out flannel and fleece for lightweight cottons. Grill outside instead of cooking indoors. And be sure to set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.

If your indoor space is still too sultry to sleep, try a few of Greatist’s “hacks” to keep from tossing and turning. Put your sheets in the freezer before bed, or put them on the mattress slightly damp—evaporation will cool the air around your body. Place trays of ice in front of your fans. And apply cold water to your pulse points before you drop off.

Your internal temperature has a big effect on how well you cope with the heat. The metabolic processes behind digestion raise body temperatures, the Daily Mail notes, so eat smaller, lower-protein meals more often. Eating spicy foods encourages sweating, which—while perhaps unsightly if unchecked—cools the body down.

While a frosty adult beverage may be appealing in hot weather, the story notes, alcohol tends to dehydrate, which may make you feel hotter. And no matter how much ice you add, caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola actually increase metabolic heat, adding to discomfort. Still and sparkling water are always good options when you’re looking to cool off.

And finally, if you’re taking a road trip and worried about your car’s performance, use a protective window shade to keep the cabin cooler when parked, TripSavvy says. Then, get rid of the built-up hot air by opening the windows; close them again and blast the A/C for a few minutes before adjusting the system to a maintenance level for the long haul.

Whatever you do, don’t let the summer heat ruin your good time. Try a few of these tips and tricks, and you can make the most of the hottest days of the year while barely breaking a sweat.