Guest Author - Emily Wilska
May always feels to me like the month in which we turn a corner. No matter what April brings, by the time May rolls around it's clear that summer isn't far off. This turning point is the perfect opportunity to organize yourself and your home away from winter and toward the warmer months ahead. Here are three simple projects that can help make the seasonal transition a smoother one.
#1: Switch out clothes
If you live in a climate that sees all four seasons, take some time as spring dips into summer to bring your warm weather clothes front and center and to put away gear for the cooler months. Instead of simply stuffing your drawers and closets with summer clothes, though, take the time to look through things and try them on. Anything that no longer fits, doesn't suit your style, is worn or torn beyond repair, or that you didn't wear at least once last summer should be destined for the giveaway or toss pile. The same holds for winter clothes you're putting into storage: make a conscious decision to keep only those you like, wear, and truly need.
#2: Organize your luggage
Summer tends to mean travel, which itself means pulling your suitcases out of hibernation. Overcome your fear of a toppling pile of luggage by getting it organized. Start by gathering every travel-related bag you have together in one spot, and then put each one through its paces. Is it in good condition (no sizeable rips or tears, no broken zippers, no missing wheels or straps)? Is it easy to handle and navigate when it's full? Have you used it within the past few years? If it can't pass each of these tests, bid it a bon voyage. Once you've winnowed down your collection, store your bags smartly in a clean, dry space in your attic, basement, or garage; in a closet; or under a bed. Make the suitcases you use most frequently the easiest to access, and consider nesting smaller bags inside larger ones to save space.
#3: Reconnect with your outdoor gear
Get ready for outdoor activities by reacquainting yourself with the supplies you have. Spend some time gathering this equipment together from wherever you might have stored it (in a garage, in a storage shed, etc.) and sorting it into rough categories, such as sports gear, patio furniture, and so on. Apply the standard litmus tests to each thing: do you need it? Did you use it at all last summer? Is it in good repair? Do you have more versions of it than you'll realistically use (two dozen lawn chairs, anyone?)? Once you decide what's truly worth keeping, distribute things close to where you'll use them--outdoor dining gear on the patio, pool supplies easily accessible to the pool, gardening supplies on or near a potting bench. If any of your summer gear needs cleaning or repair, tackle those tasks now, rather than having to deal with them in the thick of the season.
Once you're organized for summer, take the time to relax outside with a cold drink and think about how enjoyable and stress-free the season will be.