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Summer Decluttering Checklist

This Summer Decluttering Checklist helps you identify those seasonal items that are unwanted, damaged, or not needed and can be donated or thrown away, helping you maintain an uncluttered home.

Wouldn’t it be nice to declutter once and be done with it?! But as long as we continue acquiring items, we must continue decluttering. Not only that, but we must deal with the stuff that came into our homes and lives years ago! The bottom line, it’s an ongoing process.

Doing a quick seasonal declutter is a great way to identify items that we might not notice during another season. You might have missed the box of beach towels when you decluttered at the beginning of the year.

what you need for your summer declutter

  • Nab the summer decluttering checklist in the library (the password is always included at the bottom of every Monday’s News from the Nest email! 😉) or click here to have it sent directly to your email inbox. It will prompt you to look in certain areas and for certain items and will help jumpstart your decluttering.
  • A box labeled ‘general donations’ for items that can go to your Goodwill, ReStore, or similar.
  • If you’ll be having a garage sale, label a box for those items.
  • A bag labeled ‘trash.’
  • A bag labeled ‘hazardous waste’ for chemicals like fertilizer and aerosols, such as aerosol sunscreen.
  • If you have books to donate, you’ll need a box labeled ‘library’ for those donations.
  • And if you have a place, like a Boys and Girls Club, to which you’ll be donating items, make sure to label a box or bag for those donations.
  • Grab a rag and some cleaner to wipe down as needed.
  • Don’t forget something to play your favorite music or podcast. If you need some good podcast recommendations, I’ve got a few here.
  • If you are anything like me, you are motivated by knowing where your discards will go. Check out this article on Where to Recycle and Donate Items.
Donation and Garage Sales boxes

what’s on the summer decluttering checklist?

outdoor spaces

Take advantage of the warmer weather to look at your garage, shed, and other outdoor storage spaces. Identify those items (toys, tools, etc…) which are broken or unused and put them in their appropriate discard pile. Check out this post for a deeper dive into decluttering the garage and items found there that can typically be discarded and not missed.

summer clothes and swimwear

What won’t be worn this summer because it’s ratty or the wrong size? For your hanging clothes, turn the hangers backward, and hang them back up the right way when you wear something. At the end of the summer, you can easily see what you haven’t worn.

pool and beach gear

Inflatable ball in a pool.

Check those beach towels, pool goggles, pool shoes, beach and pool toys, beach bags, etc. Do you have floating toys that don’t inflate? Patch, donate, or pitch them if they can’t be repaired.

sunscreen lotion

The FDA and most sunscreen manufacturers are confident of sunscreen’s effectiveness for three years from the manufacture date. Check the bottle or the crimp of the bottle for the expiration date. After that, the efficacy begins to degrade. This degradation is accelerated by heat, so if you store your sunscreen in your car, its effective life is most likely less than three years.

If you aren’t sure of the expiration date, note any changes in its color, consistency, or smell, which can indicate a loss of effectiveness.

You’ll apply a nickel-sized dollop for your face and a shot glass amount for your body every two hours that you are in the sun if you are using sunscreen correctly. So, if you spend much time in the sun, at that rate, most tubes of sunscreen won’t last much more than a season.

For the maximum effective life span, store your sunscreen in a cool spot.

It is safe to discard expired sunscreen products in your household trash. Aerosol products should be discarded as hazardous waste, so call your local waste department for guidance.

garden supplies

Plastic nursery pots are easily disposed of during your summer declutter.

Broken tools, unused tools, plastic nursery pots, damaged hoses, broken pots, unwanted fertilizers and chemicals are all items that can be discarded. Remember, fertilizers and pesticides should be discarded properly; check with your local waste management department for places to safely discard these hazardous chemicals.

grilling supplies

If you have a storage area under your grill, what’s been hiding out under there that can be tossed or donated?

coolers and picnic gear

How many coolers do you have relative to how many you need and use? Do you have any to donate? What about your stash of picnic supplies? Take a good look at it.

children’s items

The end of the school year is a great time to do a deep dive into children’s clothes, toys, and books. What have they outgrown or don’t use? What can be donated?


How many pairs do you have? How many do you actually use?

sports equipment

Athletic and sports equipment are items to consider during your summer declutter.

Have your athletes outgrown any of their equipment? Have they moved on to other sports? Now’s a great time to go through it and donate what won’t be used.


Make space on your summer reading shelf by donating books you’ve already read to your local library, Boys and Girls Club, or similar organization.


What summer holiday decorations won’t you use anymore? I know I have some Fourth of July decorations that have seen better days.

Books and a blanket in front of the water.

Having a home with less clutter and more breathing space is guaranteed to lower your stress level, making your summer more relaxed and enjoyable!

what did I forget?

I’ll continue to add to this list, so if you think of something you should look to discard during the summer months, please do let me know! It takes a village!

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to return to this Summer Decluttering Checklist in the future.

Use boxes to help with your summer decluttering checklist.
Thanks so much for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me!

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Until next time…

Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. Lynn, another great Nourish & Nestle edition. So many helpful hints & tips! Thank you again. ❣️
    I could relate to your determination on sewing your trim to the shower curtain, here’s my dilemma, while knitting somehow the wool became very tangled. I spent endless HOURS trying to untangle it so I wouldn’t have to cut & waste any yarn! In the end I had to CUT it! 🥲
    With Gratitude
    Niagara on the Lake , ON

    1. Hi Pat, I’ve had that issue with some yarn, too. I found it best to unravel the whole skein and ball it. That seems to help it from twisting and tangling.

      Have a great day!

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