Summer is always an exciting time filled with beach get-togethers, lovely afternoons spent poolside with friends and family, road trips, and… decluttering! And I don’t just mean putting the snow sleds and snowboards in storage and finally ridding all kitchen countertops of scattered mail — I mean giving your home and lifestyle a whole summer refresh! Decluttering both your living space and life could be key for ensuring you have the best summer yet.

In my experience as the Professional Organizer and Brand Ambassador of Modular Closets (DIY customizable closet units that organize any space in your home), I have discovered a number of helpful decluttering tips. Here are 8 of these tried-and-true strategies I wanted to share:

1. Organize a grab-and-go station for pool and beach essentials.

Isn’t it the worst when you are trying to leave for an outing and can’t find your keys, cellphone, or other essentials? Don’t let missing items put a damper on your summer festivities! Organize a bin by the front door or in the garage that contains summer essentials like sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, clean beach towels, and water bottles so you are always ready for any fun summer plans. Whether you are planning to spend the day splashing at the pool or your family decided to take a spontaneous trip to the beach, you will be prepared for any summer outing.

2. Write down 5 things you want to do this summer.

From camping excursions to trips to amusement parks, it seems like once summer hits there is almost TOO much you want to do. So declutter your plans by organizing a summer bucket list! By taking pen to paper and consciously thinking of what you want to experience this season, you will truly be able to make your summer dreams a reality. Then, once you write down the top 5 must-do’s, schedule each of them into your calendar. This will ensure you accomplish the bucket-list items and allow you to plan other activities around them.

3. Declutter last summer’s essentials.

Garages and sheds tend to fill up with clutter from all the summers beforehand. Spend a day decluttering expired sunscreen, deflated pool floats, and broken beach chairs so that you will be able to replace ones that need to be replaced right away. Trust me, the last thing you would want is to arrive at a pool party and realize one of your kids’ floats has a hole in it and won’t work! By decluttering any items you no longer need, you make space for all your new summer essentials which also frees energy for new memories.

4.) Deep clean the windows.

The sun is shining and that means windows and porch screens are open. Deep cleaning the windows needs to be a must on your summer organizing to-do list, as it will help you enjoy the lovely sunny days to the fullest! If your windows are covered in grime and streaks from the snowy winter and rainy spring, take an hour or two to spray all of them with a cleaning solution and wipe them until they sparkle! You will smile every time you look through them and notice how clear and clean they are.

5.) Write down your home organizing goals.

Although the warmer months are filled with vacations, relaxation, and fun, the summer season is a great time to accomplish your home organizing goals. Have you been meaning to paint one or more of your rooms a new color? Do you really want to clean every single carpet and rug in your living space? Commit to one home organizing project you have wanted to do this year, and allow yourself the summer to accomplish it. I highly recommend scheduling the project into your calendar so that there are plans set in stone to get it done!

6.) Organize a travel station in your car.

Summertime is filled with road trips, family gatherings, adventure, beach trips, and travel, so it is paramount to have your car organized. First, do a deep clean. Yes, that means vacuuming under the seats and picking up all the stale Cheerios all over the floor. Once the car is deep cleaned, organize a summer station that you keep in the trunk. Some ideas of things to include are hats, sunglasses, wipes for sandy hands, and an extra pair of clothes for the kids in case a pool invite opens up. Preparation is key!

7.) Organize your summer clothes.

Out with winter and in with summer! Spend an afternoon decluttering any summer clothes that you no longer love wearing or that don't fit, and organize your closet so all your summer clothes are front and center. Bathing suits tend to get cluttered and mushed together — organize one-piece suits by folding them horizontally and then vertically and organize two-piece suits by pairing them together and folding the top over the bottom piece. And for summer trunks, simply fold them like you would shorts and stack them neatly on top of each other.

8.) Organize your garden tools.

Summer means your beautiful flowers and garden are ready to shine! If your garden tools have been buried in the garage or shed all year round, this is the time to declutter any rusty or broken tools and organize a garden bag for yourself this summer. Organizing a garden tool bag ensures you can focus on the love of gardening and not stress about finding what you need. Next to your garden tool bag, have your watering can ready to go as well. Staying organized means you have a system in place and know where everything is.

To Wrap It All Up

Now that summer is here, make it a priority to declutter both your living space and lifestyle so that the season is nothing short of marvelous. Several ways to do this include organizing a grab-and-go station for pool and beach essentials and writing a bucket list of 5 must-do summer plans. Also, declutter last summer’s essentials, deep clean the windows, and organize a travel station in your car. These are just a few ways to help ensure you have the best summer yet!

Christina Giaquinto is the Professional Organizer and Brand Ambassador of Modular Closets (DIY customizable closet units that organize any space in your home). Christina focuses on giving her clients the tools, methods, and techniques to transform their lives and homes through decluttering and organizing. She combines spiritual coaching and organizing to help her clients let go of things that do not spark joy and happiness. Her work has been featured on sites like Popsugar, Women's Health, Reader’s Digest, Realtor.com, The Spruce and Yahoo.  www.modularclosets.com

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