I don’t really want to think about the end of summer quite yet, but then again, fall is another kind of fresh start. A new year. It’s something to look forward to. Kids get brand new school clothes and supplies, and you might feel the need for a little refresh, too. But before you bring a load of new things in for back to school, consider what you can easily declutter to make room for nice new pretties. Get these things out of your closets, garage and mudroom before summer ends.
1. Summer clothes you didn’t even consider wearing this season. Too small camis or raggedy shorts can go. That pool cover-up that doesn’t flatter? Sandals that pinch? Pass them on now so someone else can have the use of them rather than tripping over them all winter.
2. Swimsuits that are shot can go. Elastic doesn’t last forever. Check the seat of your suit and toss if it’s now see-through. If you need a replacement, grab a new one from end-of-season sales, especially if you are thinking of heading out for a winter vacation to someplace warm.
3. Ratty flip-flops and summer shoes that have seen better days. Better yet, donate them to Soles4Soles. (DSW has drop-boxes, and they even give you shoppers club points for a donation.) They can do something awesome with them.
4. Bad luggage. Travel gear goes through fashion trends, just like everything else. These days, bags are smaller and lighter than ever. If you luggage is awkward, heavy, or doesn’t close properly, get rid of it, and look for a sleek carry-on bag with 4 wheels and 2 handles. It may change your life.
5. That canned item in the back of your pantry. Or, better yet, the remains of that last diet food that you never finished and never really liked to start with. Because if you made it all the way through beach body season and that wasn’t enough incentive to eat it, hibernating season is not going to increase your chances.
6. Pool toys and noodles that weren’t used or are damaged. Here’s a neat trick to re-purpose old pool noodles in your closet.
7. Flower pots or seed starter trays that weren’t used this spring or summer. Because, let’s face it, if you didn’t grow from seed this year, you probably won’t next year, either. Give your garage a little breathing room.
8. Plastic lids with no containers, and plastic containers with no lids. Recycle as your municipality allows. And then vow not to buy new plastic. Chances are, you have plenty of containers that will do the job of sorting, holding and storing your smaller stuff.
9. Summer makeup shades that didn’t work for you. Anything that touches your lips or eyes should generally be kept for no more than a year, so those bad color picks should go now. Otherwise, you are just letting bacteria buildup for another six months, increasing the chance that those items could give you an infection or breakout. Who needs that hassle?
10. Bags of bags. The summer is prime time for festivals and community fairs, where it’s easy to pick up promotional bags. Sure, go ahead and keep a couple reusable bags for grocery shopping. But chances are, you can cull your collection by at least five or more. You can donate these, as many charities like food banks do use them to supply their clients with needed supplies. Will you let me know how many you send packing?