- Start with today – Do whatever it takes to keep up with the daily laundry, dishes, mail, bills etc. and do it first thing before the day outside becomes too inviting. Try getting up a half hour earlier so you don’t feel deprived.
- Use that barbeque event you planned for your friends and family as a deadline for cleaning up and organizing your public spaces. Change burned out light bulbs, fix that leaky faucet, and get rid of the pile of old flowerpots and other trash on your porch and patio. If it’s worn, torn or broken, either fix it or toss it.
- Set aside the next rainy day as a project day. Instead of going shopping, commit to cleaning out your closet and then reward yourself by buying something new that you really need. By the way, when was the last time you wore that “70’s” jacket or size 6 evening gown?
- Since you can un-clutter a drawer or counter top in about 15 minutes, why not do it while watching T.V.? Think you can’t do two things at once? Commercials are great for sorting. Try it.
- Spend five minutes picking up five things and putting them away. Remember you don’t have to keep all five.
- Planning a car trip or taking frequent visits to the beach or sports outings? Get a storage bin for your trunk and keep maps, folding chairs, beach blanket, first aid kit, etc. at the ready and not cluttering up the garage.
- Organize your summer sports gear NOW – before your outings, so you’re good to go without last minute stress.
- Think before you bring home souvenirs from your vacation. Keep a journal or photo album instead, or put it on a disc if you are going digital.
- Summer reading is great fun. Pass along the books you’ve read to friends. Keep only what you really want to reference or re-read or- are you an e-reader person?
- While kids are out of school, help them get organized by creating clutter free zones, rules of the house regarding toys in certain rooms, organizing baskets for toys, games, books, puzzles etc. When things are in order, reward yourselves and them by using the extra time for family fun.
- Feel good about periodic purging. The useable things you don’t need can help other families have a better summer season, as well.
While it may be too late to begin a major project since Memorial Day kicks off the summer season of entertaining, it’s not too late to make a plan, and there are still many quick fixes that can inspire you to change your ways. If you do something every day for 30 days, it becomes a habit. Start developing some good habits that reduce the chaos and stress in your life and you will enjoy your summer guilt-free.
So let’s get it together!
By Natalie Weinstein, Allied ASID, IDS