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It’s the old summertime paradox—you want to hang out, go on vacations and relax, but summer means you finally have the means, time, and ability to get things done around the house.

I can finally get that living room clean…but how can I stay focused when I have a hot tub outside waiting for me?

Don’t worry, we hear and understand your struggles. What we recommend, instead of getting stressed to the point you just abandon all projects, is to break things down into manageable chunks and tackle them one bit at a time.

With that in mind, we’ve got five easy decluttering projects you can tackle over the summer that will help make your home less cluttered, keep you feeling productive, and leave plenty of time for lounging around and barbecuing.

 

Discard seasonal clothes

Now you probably already spent enough time putting your seasonal wardrobe away from the spring and winter, but this is the perfect time to weed out anything you’re not going to wear this summer that you didn’t wear last summer, either. Sift through your closets and bedroom dressers to find anything you’re no longer interested in wearing and donate or sell it.

 

Get under the bed

It’s an old cliché, and you’ve probably had this fight with your own kids recently, but cleaning under your bed is an easy summertime chore that can help you get more organized. Scoot everything out from under there (like shoes and wallets you forgot about), and donate whatever it is you forgot about long enough to not want to wear again.

 

Make that living room ready for company

If you’re the entertaining sort, now is a great excuse to purge some things from the living room and get it ready to have company over for cookouts or movie night. Set up a TV stand to act as a focal point for the room and keep all your cable boxes and game systems together, toss out all your old magazines and clear off your coffee tables. And if you’ve been thinking about getting rid of that old couch – now’s the time!

 

Sort out your cosmetics

Makeup, hair products, deodorants and fragrances—everyone has their personal care products they save for the off-season, but they can start to pile up after a while. A lot of personal care products have an expiration date (lipstick lasts about a year, for example) and if anything has been hanging around longer than that, especially if it’s a last season kind of look, it’s pretty safe to toss out.

 

Free up some pantry space

Finally, if you’re in the midst of barbecue-and-picnic season, you might have noticed a lot of buildup in your pantry. When you have time between meals, purge everything from your pantry or cabinet and sort it out: has anything expired? Is there something in there you know you’re not going to cook anytime soon? Have you decided you don’t actually like whole-grain pasta after all? Toss out everything that’s no longer needed, keep everything you’re actually going to cook with, and try to set up a pantry organizer so it doesn’t get that bad next time.

There, doesn’t that feel good, actually getting things done over the summer without taking an entire day? Go ahead and hit the pool, you’ve earned it.

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