Is there ever a bad time to declutter your home? Given the benefits that can come from getting rid of extra “stuff” and getting organized, you could make a convincing case that any season is a great time to tackle this important project.
You can also make a strong case, though, that summer is the best time of year to tackle some of those projects that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while now. Sure, you want to spend time relaxing and enjoying the beach and barbecues, but just think about how much more fun those activities will be when you can actually find all of your beach gear. Still not convinced? Consider these reasons to start cleaning out now.
1. It’s Yard Sale Season
According to Statisticbrain.com, there are more than 150,000 yard sales every week – and the total earnings from these sales tops $4 million. On average, yard sales yield anywhere from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $2,000, which isn’t bad for getting rid of your old junk.
On summer weekends, devoted yard sale fans set out to hit as many sales as they can, so it’s the perfect time to do a big purge and let your trash be someone else’s treasures. To get the most from your sale, make sure everything is clean, in working condition and priced clearly – and be willing to negotiate. If you can, plan on a two to three day sale, with at least one of those days a Saturday. Anything that doesn’t sell, donate.
2. Get Ahead of Tax Season
Speaking of donations, much of what you give away will be tax deductible – especially when you are wondering, “Can I donate my boat?” or give away other big-ticket items. Tackling this task in the summer months allows you to get all the paperwork in order well before tax time, so you won’t be scrambling at the end of the year. Giving away a boat or car during the summer might also reap a larger deduction as well. Tax laws require that deductions for boat donations worth over $500 be limited to the actual gross proceeds that the charitable organization received for selling the vessel. In other words, you can only deduct as much as the organization gets for your boat. If you donate during the summer months, and the boat is still in working condition, the organization is likely to fetch a higher price for it than in the colder months, meaning you get a bigger tax break.
3. Fewer Distractions
During the rest of the year, it’s easy to come up with reasons why you can’t get the decluttering projects done. The spring and fall are too busy with school commitments, holidays, sports and other house projects that need to be done. In the winter, it’s too cold to have a yard sale, and you don’t want to keep everything in storage until the weather gets better so you can unload it. In the summer, most of those excuses go away. Even if you’d rather spend time doing other things, if you break up the chores into smaller projects, you can get everything done over the summer. Try setting up a decluttering calendar, scheduling a small project for each day (i.e., bathroom cabinets on Monday, refrigerator on Tuesday, etc.) and working your way through your house. It’s far less overwhelming and, without as many distractions, easier to get done.
4. You Have Help
When the kids are home for the summer, you have a built-in organizational team. Put the kids to work cleaning out their bedrooms and helping you with larger projects like organizing the basement or garage. If you’re planning on a sale, allow them to set up their own tables and keep the cash they earn selling old toys or other items. Not only will this motivate them to help, but they’ll see the value of their hard work and the project will go faster.
Again, there really isn’t a bad time to declutter your home, but there are some significant advantages to planning for a big summer purge. So, crank up the AC, grab some boxes and bins, and use the longer days to get your house organized once and for all.