Your 18-Item Summer Decluttering Checklist For A Simple Summer Home

Today, let’s talk about how to enjoy a more relaxed summer season by making time to do summer decluttering. It doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can make your home so much simpler when you complete this summer decluttering checklist FIRST!

We’ll discuss:

  • Obstacles that might be preventing you from decluttering during the summer
  • Some of the best and worst things to declutter during the summer
  • How you can set and accomplish reasonable summer decluttering goals
  • Some declutter tips and effective summer decluttering strategies to get it done and keep things organized
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We’re in those days before summer arrives when we start making amazing plans for all of the incredible things we’re going to do during the summer months. One thing that seems to make the list nearly every year is summer decluttering.

I mean, it seems like the perfect time to declutter, right? Get that house whipped into shape, clear out the mess, and be ready for when autumn arrives… it makes total sense. But for some reason, it’s also one of those things that can easily fall to the wayside as we get caught up in all the regular summer activities.

Some people definitely love intense summer decluttering. Others, like me, not so much. And I actually love decluttering, so it’s not like I’m just avoiding the process.

So, what are the reasons behind this decluttering dilemma? There are actually a few key factors that might be preventing you from decluttering during the summer. Let’s take a look at them and how you can overcome them.

4 Common Obstacles to Summer Decluttering

As many of us have discovered, great decluttering intentions don’t always turn into action. Let’s look at some of the common roadblocks that might be holding you back from decluttering during these warm months.

1. It’s Too Hot

The heat is nearly always my kryptonite. The idea of pulling out boxes from the attic or sorting through the garage when it’s sweltering outside can be less than appealing. 

The key here is timing. If you can complete the more heat-prone areas before the worst heat of summer sets in, that’s really ideal. 

But if you’ve already missed that opportunity and still want to declutter, try to schedule brief decluttering sessions during the cooler parts of the day. Early morning is usually the best time to tackle these hot spots.

2. Summer Schedules Are Packed

Summer is often bursting with activities – family vacations, outings, and just lounging on a hammock. With your calendar filled with so much fun, it can be tough to find a day or a week to dedicate to decluttering. 

Once again, the earlier in the season you can finish decluttering the areas that are most important to you, the better! But if you find yourself already slipping into the summer routine yet constantly dealing with clutter problems, then make it a habit to spend about 10 minutes a day decluttering as much as you possibly can. Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t ‘forget.’

Related: The Slow Declutter: A No-Mess Method to Declutter Your Home

3. Out of School, Out of Routines

With the kids out of school and regular routines thrown out the window, finding a consistent time to organize can feel nearly impossible. 

Try involving the whole family in decluttering. Not only does it make the work lighter, but it also instills a sense of responsibility and teamwork in the kids. Plus, it’s a great way to spend some productive time together.

4. The Overwhelm is Real

Looking at the piles of things that need sorting can be overwhelming. Where do you even start? This is where a simple printable summer decluttering checklist and a clear plan come into play. 

Prioritize the areas that will give you the quickest ‘win’ or that will make the biggest positive difference in your daily life once cleared. Once you start to see a difference, it’s easier to keep the momentum going.

Related: 4 Action Tips for How To Declutter When Overwhelmed

Best and Worst Items to Declutter in Summer

Choosing the right items to declutter during the summer can make the process feel rewarding and impactful. Here’s a look at what’s typically best and worst to focus on during these warmer months.

Best Items to Declutter This Summer:

1. Summer Clothing and Accessories

Start with your summer wardrobe – shorts, tees, sandals, and swimwear. If you haven’t worn something in the last summer season, it’s probably time to let it go. This also applies to hats, sunglasses, and other seasonal accessories that no longer fit your needs.

2. Outdoor Gear

Inspect your outdoor furniture, gardening tools, and sports equipment. Summer is when you use these items the most, so it’s the perfect time to assess what’s still functional or beneficial. Rusty patio furniture, leaky inflatable pools, and sports gear that no longer sees the light of day can all be cleared out to simplify your space or make room for items you truly enjoy.

If you camp or hike, you’ll also want to check this gear. Have you purchased equipment in the past that you never used or ended up not liking? Time to let it go! Keep safety in mind, and discard or replace anything dangerous or past its useful life. 

3. Pantry and Grill Supplies

With summer barbecues and outdoor dining, now is the ideal time to declutter your pantry and grilling accessories. Expired condiments, unused spices, and stale foods can be discarded to make way for fresh products. Also, sort through your grilling supplies and dispose of any that have worn out.

4. Beach and Pool Items

Go through your collection of beach towels, pool toys, and other related gear. Moldy, frayed, or broken items should be replaced. This not only ensures safety and hygiene but also reduces clutter in storage areas.

Worst Items to Declutter During the Summer:

1. Holiday Decorations

Summer might not be the best time to sift through your Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas decorations. It’s off-season, and you might not be in the right frame of mind to make sensible decisions about what to keep for the holidays.

2. Winter Clothing and Gear

Like holiday decorations, winter items are out of context in the summer. You might not accurately judge the condition or necessity of heavy coats, boots, or snow gear when it’s hot outside.

3. Heirlooms and Sentimental Items

Emotional decisions can be harder in the summer when activities and distractions are at their peak. These items also often require more time and thought, which does not necessarily fit with the goal of a simple summer. 

Focusing on the best items to declutter during summer ensures that the process is both practical and satisfying, leaving you with a cleaner, more functional living space. Meanwhile, saving the less suitable categories for a more appropriate time helps avoid decision fatigue and keeps your summer light and enjoyable.

Simple Summer Declutter List

A cozy living room with a beige sofa filled with textured cushions, a wicker basket on the floor, and a wall-mounted lamp. In the foreground, a digital tablet displays a "Summer Decluttering Checklist" with various categories of items to clear out.

With the right attitude, decluttering your home for the summer doesn’t have to feel overwhelming… because you don’t HAVE to declutter all.the.things.

1. Gardening and yard maintenance supplies

2. Unloved outdoor decor

3. Broken or unused summer sporting equipment

4. Pantry and refrigerator

5. Worn out and/or ill-fitting summer clothing

6. All the flat surfaces!

7. Swimwear and beachgoing supplies

8. Kitchen and bathroom counters

9. Sofa blankets and throw pillows you don’t love

10. Summer party supplies

11. Unrepairable outdoor furniture

12. Outdoor cooking supplies

13. Books you were going to read last summer (but never will)

14. Schoolyear papers, supplies

15. Half-finished projects you’ll never complete

16. Seasonal bedding items

17. Anything in disrepair beyond a reasonable cost of fixing

18. Camping and/or summer travel supplies

How to Tackle Summer Decluttering by Zone

Here’s how to approach each zone effectively, ensuring that the important areas of your home contribute to a more relaxed and enjoyable summer.

Outdoor Spaces

Begin with the spaces you’ll likely use the most during the summer – your garden and yard. Sort through your gardening tools and yard supplies, discarding anything that’s rusted out or broken beyond repair. Tidy up your shed or storage area, and decide which outdoor decor still fits your style and which pieces can be let go. A streamlined outdoor area not only looks better but also invites more usage and enjoyment.

Sporting and Recreational Gear

Next, focus on more of the fun stuff – your summer sports equipment. Whether it’s bicycles, tennis rackets, camping gear, or surfboards, give everything a good inspection. Remove items that are damaged or haven’t been used in the past few seasons. Organizing your sports gear makes it easier to get out and enjoy active summer days without hassle.

Wardrobe and Swimwear

The current season is the perfect time to evaluate your clothing. Go through your summer wardrobe and swimwear, setting aside items that don’t fit, you haven’t worn in over a year, or are out of style for your current taste. Donating or selling these items can not only clear space but also provide someone else with the joy of new summer attire.

Click here to have a free printable closet declutter checklist sent to your inbox.

Living Areas

In living areas, focus on decluttering all flat surfaces – coffee tables, side tables, counters, and dining areas. Remove old magazines, random knick-knacks, and any items that don’t serve a functional or aesthetic purpose. For comfort items like sofa blankets and throw pillows, keep only those that you love and that match your summer decor. This helps maintain a tidy and inviting space for relaxation and entertainment.

Kitchen and Pantry

The kitchen is a hub of activity, especially during the summer when you might host more frequently. Clear out your pantry of expired goods and unused spices or gadgets. Organize what’s left in a way that makes ingredients accessible and meal preparation simpler. This decluttering extends to the fridge – make sure to toss any expired condiments and reorganize for efficiency.

Related: 25 Things To Declutter In The Kitchen (And 3 Unexpected Items To Keep)

Miscellaneous Areas

Finally, tackle those miscellaneous areas that can accumulate clutter: bookshelves, craft corners, and places where schoolyear clutter might linger. Recycle old papers and donate books you’re unlikely to read. Review any half-finished projects – decide what you’ll realistically complete and discard the rest. This not only clears physical space but also frees up mental space for new activities and projects.

Each cleared and organized space will contribute to a lighter, more enjoyable home environment for all your summer activities.

How to Set Achievable Summer Decluttering Goals

When it comes to decluttering, especially during the summer months, setting realistic and achievable goals is key to not only getting started but also seeing the process through to a satisfying conclusion. Here’s how to set decluttering goals that make sense for your lifestyle and help you enjoy a lighter, more organized summer.

1. Define Clear, Specific Targets

Instead of a vague goal like ‘declutter the house,’ break it down into specific areas or categories. For instance, ‘declutter summer clothing by June 15th’ or ‘organize the garage by July 10th.’ These specific targets are easier to manage and give you a clear direction.

2. Start Small

If the thought of decluttering feels overwhelming, start with smaller tasks. Choose ONE drawer, ONE shelf, or ONE category of items. Small victories build momentum and confidence, making it easier to tackle larger areas as you go.

3. Use Time Blocks

Setting aside specific times for decluttering can make the task feel more manageable. Dedicate a set number of minutes or hours per day or week to decluttering. Even 10 minutes a day can lead to significant progress over a week.

4. Be Realistic with Your Schedule

Consider your summer plans and daily routine. If you have vacations or guests planned, acknowledge these and set decluttering goals around them. Don’t set yourself up for failure by planning a major decluttering session the day before a big event.

5. Set Priorities

Decide what needs to be decluttered first based on how it affects your daily life. If cluttered kitchen counters make meal prep difficult, start there. Prioritizing based on impact can greatly enhance your daily summer experience.

6. Track and Celebrate Progress

Keep a log of what you’ve decluttered and when. Checking off completed tasks can provide a sense of accomplishment and a visual reminder of your progress. Reward yourself with a small treat or a relaxing break after hitting significant milestones.

Click here to have a quick-start mini decluttering plan with tracking sheet sent to your inbox.

7. Adjust as Needed

Be flexible with your goals. If you find that you’ve set the bar too high or too low, adjust your plans. Decluttering shouldn’t be a source of stress. It’s about making your living space better and your life easier.

By setting achievable goals, you can ensure that your summer decluttering efforts are both effective and fulfilling, allowing you to enjoy the season with less clutter and a lot more peace.

Tips for Keeping Decluttered Spaces Organized

Maintaining the enjoyable condition of your freshly decluttered home throughout the summer can be as challenging as the decluttering process itself. Here are some practical tips and storage solutions to help keep everything in order, ensuring your spaces stay functional all season long.

Establish Simple Routines

Creating small, daily routines can significantly help in maintaining order. Dedicate a few minutes each day to a quick sweep of high-traffic areas to ensure items are returned to their designated spots. This could be as simple as a nightly tidy-up of the living room or a quick scan of the kitchen counters to clear any stray items.

Related: 4 Fast + Simple Habits to Keep a Clean and Tidy Home

Use Appropriate Storage Solutions

Invest in storage solutions that withstand the summer heat, especially in areas like the garage, shed, or attic. Opt for climate-resistant materials that can prevent damage to your belongings.

However, if you live somewhere with wide temperature and humidity variations, do your best to declutter enough that you don’t have to store much in these areas. Honestly, no matter what storage solution you use, over time your items are more likely to become damaged. 

Regularly Reassess and Declutter

Keep the momentum going by scheduling regular mini-declutter sessions throughout the season. Once a month, take a walk through each zone of your home to reassess and declutter as needed. This prevents the build-up of new clutter and helps reinforce your decluttering efforts.

Embrace Digital Solutions

Where possible, reduce physical clutter with digital alternatives. This can apply to entertainment like e-books and digital magazines, receipts and bills, and even notes and lists that typically take up space on counters and tables. Not only does this keep surfaces clearer, but it also makes tracking and retrieving information easier.

Set Boundaries for New Items

One of the easiest ways for clutter to accumulate is by adding new items without removing old ones. Adopt a one-in, one-out policy, especially for high-clutter areas like clothing and toys. This policy ensures that your space doesn’t revert back to its pre-decluttered state. 

To take your decluttering even further, try a one-in, TWO-out policy… it’s a simple decluttering hack that really works!

More Simplifying and Organizing Inspiration

An Imperfect Wardrobe – Linda Wolfe

10 Ways to Begin Your Simple Summer

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – Margareta Magnusson

Get your summer planning done with the Simple Summer Planner — This printable planner encourages you to transform your approach to summer. Embrace the beauty of simplicity with guided journal prompts, a decision matrix for prioritizing, and plenty of practical planning pages for managing summer activities without the overwhelm. Make the most of every sunny day while you ‘Release. Refresh. Relax.’

Final Thoughts on Summer Decluttering

As the days grow longer and the spirit of summer takes hold, there’s no better time to simplify your home by decluttering. By beginning early in the season, you set the stage for a simpler, more relaxed summer. 

Imagine less time spent cleaning and searching for things, and more time for leisure, gatherings, and peace of mind. Decluttering not only frees up physical space in your home but also lifts the mental load that clutter brings, allowing you to fully enjoy every sun-soaked moment of the season.

The benefits of a decluttered home extend beyond just aesthetics. It can improve your mood, reduce stress, and increase your home’s safety by removing obstacles. A simpler environment supports a simpler lifestyle, where you can focus on what truly matters to you and your loved ones during these beautiful summer months.

Ready to start? To help you kick off your summer decluttering, grab the free printable summer decluttering checklist. Download it, print it out, and tick off each item as you go, watching your home transform as you rack up those decluttering wins.

You’ve got this!

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Pinterest image with illustration of a woman decluttering her home. She stands on the right, sorting books and placing them in a box. Around her are various potted plants. The background includes a desk with a framed picture and more plants. Above, text reads "HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME FOR A SIMPLE SUMMER" and "Grab the free printable checklist!"

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