End of Summer Cleaning Checklist

I am mostly not a fan of fall.  While I do enjoy apple cider and the change in the weather, and I am looking forward to returning to the pumpkin patch we found last October, fall means cold and winter are coming before too long, and well, there’s a reason I’ve chosen to live below the Mason-Dixon line for the past 15 years or so.   I love sunshine, I love hot weather, I love not wearing a coat when I leave the house.

However, the end of summer IS back to school time, and there’s nothing like back to school time to tidy up, make a fresh start, and bust out some shiny new supplies.

I want some pens.  Nifty ones.

But we’re not here today to talk about my office supply wants.  We’re here to talk about the end of summertime, and what we can do to prep for fall.  I’ll talk about the second part in my next post (come back two weeks from today!) but for today… let’s clear some space we can use for things like school supplies, new clothes, apples, and pumpkins (well, in a month or so).

Here’s the checklist I’m using this weekend:

*Go through kids’ closet.  Take out all summer clothes (that they can’t wear into fall- this depends on the climate you live in) and all things they’ve outgrown or don’t wear anymore.  My 3-year-old has been refusing to wear anything but dresses for months now- it’s time to clear out the shorts and jeans that she probably won’t wear, and pass them on to her sister’s dresser.  Make a donation pile and a “save for the next kid” pile, if the next kid is, or is expected to be, at your house already.

*While you’re at it, go through your own closet.  Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit and look great on you.  If there are things that need dry cleaning or repair, pull them now.  Do the same for your significant other’s clothing, if he/she refuses to do it him/herself.

*Run through the whole house and declutter.  Any projects that need to get done?  Take them to one place.  The clothing to return, the pictures to hang, the baby swing to donate- all in one place.  While you’re at it, put the clothing donation bags in the same place, and the things that need to be tailored or dry cleaned.

*Go through refrigerator, wipe down shelves, get rid of expired products, empty bottles of condiments (yes, it’s happened).

*Go through linen closet, refold things, restack things.

*Go through medicine cabinet, get rid of expired products, empty boxes or bottles (again… sigh…), make a list of anything you need that’s run out.

*Get rid of “summer stuff”- mostly empty bottles of bubbles, worn-out swimsuits, toys laying outside.  Anything that will come back next year, clean up and store.

*You know that pile of dry cleaning, donations, and projects?  Take care of it, now.  All of it.

*Remind yourself about the Three Habits for a Tidier House, and start doing them!

You’re clearing space- physical and mental- to move forward to the next season.  At least for me, winter approaching affects my mood- I’m less energetic- and so I want to do anything I can to prep right now, in advance, while it’s still sunny enough that I’ve got some motivation.

Finally, one more task: if you don’t have one, get a calendar or date book.  There are plenty that run September-September.  We’re going to work with it in my next post to plan out your fall to maximize organization, and minimize stress.  The idea?  Make “back to school” time as sparkly as that pen I’m coveting, even if you’re not actually going to school yourself.




  1. 1

    This is perfect to do right before a good fall cleaning! Per your post, I went through our “summer” clothes today and got out a few autumn clothes. Thanks, Lindsey!

  2. 2

    Can you come do my house? Then again, you’d probably have heart failure when you saw it, so nevermind…..
    I did just go through Autumn’s clothes…the ones NOT in the laundry. She’ll wear tanks and shorts into December if I let her, with the snow even!

    It’s harder to do my own stuff….because then I throw things out…and don’t get around to replacing anything and suddenly wonder why my closet and drawers are empty.

  3. 3

    What’s up, I log on to your blogs regularly. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!


  1. […] End of Summer- my article on Village of Moms.  Go read it! […]

  2. […] weeks ago, in my End of Summer post, I wrote about my love for shiny new school supplies and decluttering, clearing space out for […]

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