Seven Weeks ‘Till Summer: Carving Out Time to Sort, Purge + Picnic Prep, Too
There’s something about those sun-streaked, windows-open afternoons that inspire a refresh in all areas of life. Spring cleaning often translates from gardening and yard cleanup, to our functional and sacred interior spaces. Purging, sorting, and reorganizing can help us all prepare — mentally and physically — for the bright season ahead.
We spoke with our friends at California Closets who suggest a manageable approach to organizing your home in the seven weeks leading up to summer. As you move week by week from your compact, inner sanctums to more communal, public spaces, the experts suggest using a chunk-by-chunk system that doesn’t exceed more than two hours at once, on any chosen day. (You can always reevaluate later if more time is needed.)
To keep track of — and pleasantly pass — the hours, consider a background soundtrack of your new favorite album or an old favorite show. Better yet, pop on a podcast for inspiration, like episodes of California Closets’ Ideas of Order, featuring conversations with Jeremiah Brent and inspiring guests like Nate Berkus, Tan France, and Rachel Zoe.
Let the countdown begin…! Here’s a space-by-space guide to getting streamlined, uncluttered, and party prepped.
CLOSET: Enjoy a seasonal shopping spree at home
Dress for your dreamiest summer yet, thanks to long-forgotten togs that reemerge as the temps rise. Move seasonally appropriate clothing and shoes, from sundresses to sandals, to your closet’s most accessible points, while shifting cold-weather options to the back of the closet or tucked away in baskets or bins. Consider installing hooks from which to effortlessly grab complementary jewelry, belts, hats, and lightweight scarves.
• Pro Tip Free up space by giving away goods that no longer fit your shape or style. After you wear a piece, reverse the hanger; at the end of the season, you’ll see what never got worn and is worthy of donation. We promise these newfound holes will bring lightness in more ways than one.
GUEST ROOM: Gear up for visits from your favorite people
Tidy up an extra space to get it guest-ready, laying out towels and a couple of toiletries, too. Consider installing a wall bed in order to transition the space back to an office or family room once your guests leave town. This way you can share your home, and then return it to a private oasis without much disruption.
• Pro Tip Greet visitors with a welcome basket that features a few small gifts from your favorite local businesses — perhaps some chocolate, a candle, a magazine, lavender soap.
LINEN CLOSET: Prep for uninterrupted summer slumber
Swap out flannel linens and bulky blankets for cool, lightweight summer sheets that lend themselves to lengthy lie-ins when the alarm can be set for a wee bit later. On the most reachable shelves, replace cozy throws with beach towels that are ready for your next alfresco outing.
• Pro Tip Get ahead of the hosting game by bundling up guest sheets and storing them in a pillowcase with an aromatic lavender sachet.
PANTRY: Prioritize portable and patio-ready items
Prep for carefree alfresco gatherings by reviewing your favorite summertime recipes and stocking up on transportable snacks and desserts. Pull out relevant serving wares, from lightweight platters to pitchers ideal for sangria or fresh-squeezed lemonade. Pull down travel-appropriate charcuterie boards, BBQing tools, and, while you’re at it, the ice cream maker, too.
• Pro Tip Create easy access to coolers, travel bags, reusable dishware and cups that will make your next impromptu picnic a low-maintenance success.
MUDROOM/ENTRY: Hang activity-filled grab bags near the front door
Keep the rest of your house streamlined by creating a dedicated HQ for flip flops and warm-weather accessories near the entrance point to your home; think simple hooks or a bench with tucked-away baskets below. A mudroom should have hangers for still-damp beach towels and a rag for drying off your four-legged friends, too
• Pro Tip Keep totes at the ready, stocked with fun activities plus necessities for any pool, park, or beach outing. Don’t forget the sunscreen, bug spray, goggles, sunglasses, reading material, and family-friendly games as well.
GARAGE: Pull forward gardening tools and yard games
An organized garage helps smoothly transition from season to season. At this time of year, create easy access to watering and gardening tools, plus lawn and beach chairs, bicycles, and yard games, too.
• Pro Tip Invest in hooks and shelves to get as many items as possible off of the garage floor. Then, when you have guests over and a summer storm rains on your parade, you can proudly invite guests inside — even into your recently reorganized garage!