BLOG

I'm looking for

Jun 5

Minimize Clutter to Maximize Outdoor Fun with the Kids!

When you think back to last summer, do you ever think “Gosh, I wish I had spent less time outside with the kids and more time inside, cleaning up the house?” A safe guess is no! It’s more likely that you wish you had been outside enjoying the feel of grass under your feet and the sun on your face; and most importantly the ear to ear grins and belly laughter of your kids, enjoying their summer days and nights.

The challenge is that a certain level of organization and house work is required to keep everyone clean, fed and happy, even during the lazy days of summer. The solution? Do a little upfront work to make the necessary housework as effective and efficient as possible. Specifically, decluttering your house will make cleanup a breeze so you can spend more time outside playing with the kids.

Here is your new mantra:

Close out School Year, Setup Summer Gear; Minimize Clutter, Maximize Summer!

Close out School Yeardeclutter for summer

Do not underestimate the build-up of “school stuff” over the last 9-10 months, nor the increased flow (i.e. more stuff) that comes with the end of the school year.  Recognize that you and your family are transitioning from the school year to the summer period and be deliberate in reorganizing and decluttering:

  • School Uniforms – Collect all the school clothes and uniforms, get them washed, pack away what you will use next year and give away what you no longer need.
  • Sports Kit – Some items—like the favourite soccer ball—is useful all year round, but some sports kit is only used for school teams and events and should be rounded-up, cleaned and put in storage in the garage or shed.
  • School Paraphernalia – Lunch boxes, knapsacks, calculators, oh my!  If it is unlikely that your kid will be using his or her school bag over the summer, this makes a great place to collect and organize “school tools”. Get the bag all packed up and put it at the back of the closet, ready to be pulled out at the end of the summer.
  • Projects and Paperwork – This can be one of the hardest areas to get straight but it is a must! If you and your kids feel like it will take some time to get through this stuff—especially deciding what to keep and what to toss—get a box, collect it all together and then make it a summer project. The key is to not just let it fill every nook and cranny before you find the time to get to it. And don’t forget that we live in a digital world today; digital clutter can be just as overwhelming and time-consuming as physical clutter.

Some final tips: Remember that school clutter is found EVERYWHERE! Check the car, the garage, and the kids rooms too! School Year build-up has probably permeated every corner of your world so make sure to give all of it some of your attention. You are not in this alone! Engage your kids in this process: it will be a fun way to close the year and teach them some valuable life lessons. Nanny, babysitters and housekeepers can be invaluable helpers as well!

Setup the Summer Gear

Now that you have all the School Gear out of the way, it is time to get the Summer Gear out! Summer clothes and shoes. Swim Suits, Towels, Bags, Games and Toys. You know what your family uses most in the summer. Pull it out, make sure it is ready to use and make it easy and accessible for everyone in the family.

Minimize Clutter

A clutter-free house is an easy to clean house. Well… easier to clean is probably more like it!  After you have the kids school year and summer gear sorted out, it is time to look inward!

The key with clutter is to ensure that everything has a home. You need a space to place everything that you have and if you don’t have the space, it’s time to look at what you don’t need.

Take a tour of your house and look for your biggest clutter danger areas. (TIP? The dining room table and accent chairs seem to take the brunt of it!) Do you keep months (or years!) of old magazines? Why not tear out articles you want to read later and recycle old issues? Do you drop your mail around the house before weeding out the junk? Does your office paperwork come home with you and then spread like a mould? Does your love of knick knacks make dusting a simple coffee table a long and arduous process? Look at what doesn’t work and fix it.

Maximize Fun

With a house that is organized and clutter free, you can keep your bouts of cleaning short and focused and maximize the fun you have with your kids outside.  You can also maximize your fun by getting some help—whether to clean the house regularly or for special projects; a regular nanny or ad hoc babysitter. SOSitter.ca is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.