By July, the clutter associated with summer activities and school break can begin to be a bit overwhelming.  Soggy towels from the pool, remains of movie snacks, and all the stuff we drop while on the run can easily take over our living spaces this time of year. 

Since clutter is an enemy of our time and space, it is worth making the effort to regroup and regain a sense of order.   We would love to hear from you if you have survival skills to share with the rest of us, but in the meantime, here are a few ideas to help make the remainder of the summer more enjoyable and productive:

  • Assign each member of the family a 5- minute “clean-sweep” of their rooms at the end of each day. Place laundry in the hamper and return all misplaced items to their homes. 
  • Place an attractive container near the sofa to stash the remote controls (instead of somewhere between the cushions).
  • Establish a box for donating, and as everyone in the house comes across items for charity, decisions can be made and not delayed.
  • Clear kitchen counters by putting anything you don’t use on a daily basis away in a cupboard.  Establish a labeled drink bottle in the fridge for each family member to avoid cups and more cups.
  • Keep the table clear!  Use attractive hooks near the door for keys and baskets for mail. 
  • Have each child pack a “go bag” for car trips and outings so the items that are difficult to gather at the last minute are ready to go and in a tidy bag.  Include stay-fresh snacks.
  • A hanging basket on the shower rod can hold bathtub toys.
  • For the scary junk drawer/cupboard (we all have one!), try attaching a magnetic strip inside for stray bobby pins, paper clips, tweezers, etc.
  • Store bedding sets together in a pillowcase from the set and organize in stacks. Discard the linens no longer needed.
  • A shelf or box in the garage near the entry door keeps shoes from invading your hallway.

Remember, the whole point is to create time and space for what matters!  That means more time for enjoying life together in a relaxing home atmosphere. And since later is the best friend of clutter, the best time to make positive changes is right away.