Want to declutter your house this summer? Yeah, me neither. 😊
I don’t know about you, but summer makes me think of picnics, grilling out, time at the pool, and late nights with family and friends. Summer does not make me want to clean my house (especially since I live somewhere without air conditioning!)
That’s why I put together this list of mini-decluttering projects that you can take on this summer that will not pull you away too long from all the fun going on outside!
I mean, you can tackle the entire garage…if you want. I prefer to save that task for spring and fall, when you don’t have sweat dripping from your body by 9 AM!
Set a timer
Get yourself ready. Send the kids outside. Tell them not to come in unless its lightening or someone is bleeding. (Thanks mama for that one!)
Set yourself a timer for no more than one hour, and get busy!
I like to do my mini-decluttering projects first thing in the morning.
If the morning is not available, I also liked to do them right after dinner time, but sometimes, you are tired by this point.
Go ahead and knock out the task before your day gets started. It’s kind of like working out. You never really want to do it, but once you are done, you feel like a million bucks.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Summer mini-decluttering projects
1 – Outside toys
Create a storage and organizing solution for outside toys. Get rid of broken toys, empty bubble bottles, and the baby toys your kids have long stopped using.
Think of a space where you want to store the toys, and limit the items to that space. If they don’t fit, it is time to make some decisions!
While you are at it, inflate the balls, fix anything that needs it, and break out the water toys for the kiddos. (It will keep them busy while you work on the rest!)
I’m all about simple. We had an extra clear storage container where the lid was lost. I piled all the kid toys we were keeping into that container and put it on a lower shelf in the garage. Easy-peasy.
2 – First aid kit
I never seem to have enough bandages for all the skinned knees in the summertime. I like using storage baskets that fit under my bathroom sinks. I combine all the bandages into one place, and my kids have easy access.
3 – Clean out your car
You really don’t need that much in your car. Clutter attracts clutter, and the more stuff you have in your car, the less you notice it when you or your kiddos leave something behind.
Grab three bags and start emptying the car out. You need a trash bag, recycle bag, and an “inside bag”.
4 – Declutter your sunscreens
Every year we end up with excess sunscreen. Bring all your sunscreen bottles together in one place. Discard the expired ones and start using the ones you have on hand before buying more or opening a new bottle.
Yes, I know the near-empty bottle is annoying. Either commit to using it or throw it away. Don’t say you will use it “one day” and then open a new bottle.
I had a friend once that would use scissors when the bottle was near empty to get the last bits out! That’s thrifty!
5 – Declutter your books
Better yet, declutter one genre of books. If you find yourself reading more in the summer, it is the perfect time to go through your old books, pass them on to new friends, and enjoy something new.
6 – Summer wardrobe
You are wearing your summer clothes now, so what better time to go through them? Be honest with yourself.
You know what you wear and won’t ever wear this summer. If you don’t like it, it doesn’t fit, or is broken, find it a new home for the piece or get rid of it.
7 – Sunglasses
I like to keep two pairs of sunglasses on hand. One primary pair and one emergency pair I keep in my car. That’s all. You really don’t need more pairs than that.
If shopping for sunglasses, buy a timeless pair that matches all your outfits.
8 – Hats
Like clothes, this is the time to be honest with yourself.
How often do you really wear that hat?
Yes, it is adorable, but do you wear it?
You know the one I’m talking about. It the one you bought in the store, after seeing a girl wearing one at the festival the other day, and you are certain you can carry it off. However, every time you look at yourself wearing it, you feel ridiculous.
Let it go. It’s ok. You know you. Do you.
9 – Movies / DVDs
We seem to watch more movies in the summertime.
Have your kids help you declutter your DVDs.
Go through the movies you haven’t watched this year, and let them go. Want to give them a farewell? Have a family movie night, and then pass the movie on to another recipient.
With digital streaming, I’m always surprised to see how many movies we own are frequently available on one of our streaming choices.
10 – Summer dinnerware
I love all the colorful plastic dinnerware you can find in stores in the summer. Really. It is adorable.
Unfortunately, every time we owned such items, they rarely got used. Instead, they sat in a kitchen cabinet near the back, and every year I felt guilty for not fully using them.
Let them go, and let the guilt go with them. Use your regular plates.
Related post: Declutter your kitchen
11 – Coolers and lunch bags
At one point, I think we had nine coolers or cooler bags.
There are only four of us. That means even if we need a crazy long camping trip, we still had enough coolers for us all to carry two. That’s silly.
Go through your coolers and lunch bags and pick our your very favorite(s).
12 – Insect repellent and related supplies
Like sunscreen, insect repellant and related supplies tend to build up over the summertime. We see it in the store, buy it thinking we need it, and add it to our collection we forgot about already owning.
This is where it comes in handy to get all of your supplies together in one place. When you do this, you know better exactly what you own and stop overbuying.
13 – Outdoor furniture
If you have outdoor furniture that makes your neighbors cringe and is beyond utilization, it may be time to get rid of it.
It’s ok. Accept its fate and move on. How many lawn chairs does one really need?
14 – Garden supplies
By now, if you have had a home long enough to need to declutter your garden supplies, you know what you use and don’t use.
If you haven’t used a garden tool in years, get rid of it.
15 – Swimsuits
I used to own an obscene amount of swimsuits.
Guess how many I actually wore? Two. Yep, that’s all. Why? Well, because they were my favorites.
Once I thought about what I actually wore, it was easy to get rid of the rest. Some didn’t even fit me anymore! They had been hiding at the back of my drawer for so long.
16 – Camping gear
First off, how often do you go camping? If you have an infant at home, you get a free pass for a couple of years. Otherwise, be honest with yourself.
Do you even like camping? Was it a passing phase?
If you love camping, do you do one type of camping more than the other?
We recently switched from tent and popup camping to a large camper trailer. As much as we love our old tent camping supplies, we really don’t use them anymore.
17 – Specialized sporting equipment (like scuba gear)
This one made the list only because we STILL HAVE our scuba equipment. Why? I don’t know. I blame my sweet, darling husband.
You know when I last went scuba diving? On my honeymoon, 13 years ago. (See, even a minimalist blogger still struggles.)
18 – Pool and beach supplies
Even if you don’t have a pool, it is easy to accumulate an abundance of pool and beach supplies. Life jackets outgrown, broken goggles, toys your kids no longer use, and beach chairs that are long past their prime.
19 – Grill supplies
Outside cooking is my favorite part of the summertime. (We live where it snows…a lot!)
Somehow, all those cool grilling gadgets can really add up. Use this time of year when you are actually using the grill on a regular basis to clean up and get rid of the excess you don’t need or use.
20 – Art supplies
My kids seem to do a lot more artwork in the summertime, especially on rainy days. Go through and toss (or responsibly/creatively recycle) the broken crayons, dried up markers, and torn papers.
21 – Kitchen duplicates
Remove any duplicates you don’t need from your kitchen. This is an easy task to do, without tackling the ENTIRE kitchen.
You don’t need five spatulas, six wooden spoons or two melon ballers. Heck, you probably don’t even need one melon baller!
Get started today – Summer Decluttering Projects
Set a timer on your phone, and make some real progress this summer, without taking away from the summer fun.
These summer mini-decluttering projects are just what you need to feel refreshed and clean when summer rolls to an end. You will feel so accomplished!