Inside: Here are nine tasks you should tackle before the summer ends to have a fresh start in the fall.

A guest post by Rose Morrison

As we once again near the end of summer, saying goodbye to warm weather fun, and preparing for fall and the back-to-school season can feel overwhelming.

Kick your stress and anxiety to the curb by being intentional with preparing for the coming season.

We’ve put together a list of tasks you can tackle before summer ends to give you a boost in the right direction.

These projects will help you simplify your home and get organized for the rapidly approaching school year and the changes fall brings. Here are nine tasks you should tackle before the summer ends.

Seize this season as an opportunity to refresh your routine and your home. You’ll love the results.

tasks you should tackle before the summer ends

9 Tasks You Should Tackle Before the Summer Ends

Whether we’re ready for it or not, the summer season is quickly coming to an end. While the season doesn’t officially end until mid-September, the shift in routines has already begun changing for many with back-to-school already in full swing.

If you have school-aged children, these tasks you should tackle before the summer ends will help ease the transition to the new season and schedule.

And, if you don’t have school-aged children, most of these tasks will still be helpful for getting your life organized for the fall season.

It always feels great to have a fresh start for the start of a new season. Here are the nine tasks that will help you to do that.

tasks you should tackle before the summer ends

1. Do a Closet Clearout

The transition between seasons is the perfect time for a complete closet clearout. Go through your wardrobe, getting rid of anything that’s no longer serving you.

Donate items that don’t fit, or you don’t feel confident in. Ask yourself questions like, “When was the last time I wore this?” and “Is this my style?” and “Does it match anything else?”

Create a wardrobe that you love by getting clear on what you look and feel great in. Let go of pieces that make you feel sad or bad about yourself.

While you’re at it, get the whole family in on this project. Dig through your kids’ drawers and pull out clothes that no longer fit or are too stained.

Donate what you can and recycle the rest. Once you’ve gone through their entire wardrobe, you’ll be able to see if they need anything for the coming season.

Depending on the weather where you live, now might also be the perfect time to pull out your transitional fall pieces. Jeans, plaid shirts, and light cardigans or jackets just scream fall.

For more help with this task, check out this post on how to be ruthless when decluttering clothes.

organizing pantry

2. Reorganize the Pantry

Set aside one afternoon to straighten up your pantry or kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator, wherever you store your food. Throw out everything that’s well past its expiration date.

Now is also an excellent time to let go of food items you bought by mistake or thought you might use but still haven’t.

Drop containers of unopened food off at your local food pantry and tidy up the rest. You can bring peace to your home and help your community at the same time.

The change of season is a great opportunity to clean up your food storage which will make preparing your meals easier.

For more help with this task, check out this post on how to declutter and organize your pantry.

variety of snacks

3. Prepare a Snack Bin

A snack station might be a great solution for you if your kids pack a lunch or just need a quick after-school treat. Set up a bin or shelf with some small food items your children are allowed to grab for their lunch or when they get home.

Stock it with chips, granola bars, crackers, nuts, or dried fruit. You could even prep portions of refrigerated items for them like yogurt, cheese, fruit, and vegetables.

Depending on the size of your family and storage, you’d only need to restock the station once a week or every other week. Now you’re free from running back and forth to get your kids’ snacks multiple times a day. What’ll you do with your extra free time?

If you don’t have school-aged kids, create your own snack station with easy-to-grab foods that will help encourage you to make healthy choices.

tasks you should tackle before the summer ends

4. Go Through Old Photos

Make room on your phone for all the new fall memories. Delete doubles of any stills and select just your favorites from each summer event.

Before you finish up, make sure you’ve backed everything up to your cloud storage so you never have to worry about losing those precious frozen moments.

If you enjoy having pictures on hand, consider making a photo journal of your summer or designing one online and having it printed for you.

Decluttering photos can be an overwhelming task initially, so just focus on one stack or box at a time as you work your way through.

For more help with this task, check out this post on how to declutter photos in your home.

garage door

5. Tackle the Garage

No matter how tidy your home is, most people have that one room or spot they don’t want anyone to look at. Oftentimes, that space is the garage.

If your car no longer fits inside your garage and having to open it makes you recoil in terror and shame, now is the time to tackle it.

For a project this large, you should have a plan before you dive in. Just don’t let yourself get stuck in the planning phase and avoid the garage for another year. 

While you’re returning some order to the space, make a donation pile with any outdoor games or gadgets you didn’t use this summer.

Also, assess each item you sort through, like your tools, to see if they’re still serving you. You’ll free up some much-needed space.

For more help with this task, check out this post on how to declutter your garage in one day.

tasks you should tackle before the summer ends

6. Clean Out the Car

Summer and Fall can both wreak havoc on your car. With summer comes sand, dirt, trash from eating out or packaging from purchases, and those long-lost donations you keep meaning to drop off.

With fall comes dried leaves, mud, backpacks, coats, and tons of papers that will soon be floating around the floor.

Set aside some time now to reset your vehicle in preparation for the new season. Clear out the clutter, garbage, and grime from the summer months.

Starting the fall season with a clean car will encourage you to keep up with it when things get hectic. It will also make your car a nicer place to be as you pick up and drop off kids at school and practices.

For more help with this task, check out this post on why you need to clean and organize your car.

preparing for back to school

7. Take Stock of School Supplies

Dig through old backpacks, desk drawers, and gym bags. Throw out any garbage and sort through papers left from last school year or over the summer.

Carefully go through your children’s artwork or work and save a few pieces for their memory bin. If you’re having difficulty deciding, get your kids involved in the process, especially if they’re older.

The desk or homework space will be regularly occupied again really soon, so you want to get it in tip-top shape. Go through all the drawers, see what you have, check for gaps, and reorganize.

Having a simplified and orderly area to work will set your kids up for success this school year.

For more help with this task, check out this post on preparing for back to school.

command center

8. Set Up a Command Center

Look for a good spot in your home to set up a designated command center for everything happening with your family.

Set up a large calendar and fill it with all the important school dates, sporting events, concerts, after-school activities, and appointments – basically, anything you know about already should be there.

As the year goes on, add to this so everyone in your family knows what’s happening each week.

Also, in your command center, you could include the meal plan for the week, including what to pack for lunches. Put up a file organizer as well to catch papers that come in, like mail and notes from school.

This may take a while to set up and make a habit, but once the school year gets hectic, you’ll be thankful you did.

For more help with this task, check out this post on how to create a DIY family command center.

tasks you should tackle before the summer ends

9. Sort Through Your Seasonal Decor

This last one might be the most fun. If you love to get a jump on the season, go ahead and put up your fall decor with one caveat – you must declutter your summer decor first.

Take a hard look at anything you chose not to put up this year and ask yourself if you plan to use it next summer. If not, then donate it.

Pack everything else away. Light a pumpkin or apple candle and enjoy setting your home up for the fun of fall.

For more help with this task, check out this post on simplifying holiday and home decor.

shopping carts

Any Shopping Should Be Last

After you decluttered, simplified, and organized your home to prepare for the season, it may be necessary to bring more in. However, you should only go back to school or fall shopping if it’s absolutely necessary.

Go with a very specific list of everything you need – let it be the bad guy that keeps you from making impulse purchases.

As you shop, remember the sense of peace your refreshed home gave you. Let those feelings remind you why you’ve committed to living a more simplified, clutter-free life.

Rose Morrison is a freelance writer who covers home décor and organization tips. She is also the managing editor of Renovated. You can check out her Twitter to see more of her work.

What tasks will you tackle before the summer ends? Let us know in the comments section.

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  1. My pre-fall task this year includes organizing my travel supplies so that I can pack more efficiently for upcoming trips. I plan to sort through my travel toiletries, electronics, packing accessories and airplane comfort aids so that I know where everything is and can easily find things when it’s time to pack. Since each trip is different, I need to make lists that I can alter depending on the type of trip (cruise vs road trip; quilt retreat vs. baseball weekend).

  2. Guess I’m ahead. Pantry gets checked out every month before the next months shopping, have no snacks except can fruit & some fresh, have a “command ctr”, closets been done mostly, have no garage, yep need to clean out car, already have notebooks etc …..guess that’s it. Whew…good to go

  3. I will tackle my closet. I like the idea you mentioned of letting go of clothing that makes you sad or feel bad. I had a ZZTop t-shirt from a concert I attended years ago with a guy I was crazy about. The relationship didn’t work out but I couldn’t get rid of the t-shirt even though I didn’t wear it. One of my sons liked it cuz of all those bearded old guys pictured on the front of it. I gifted it to him. It was still in great shape for being a bit old!(I like seeing the foods in the pantry picture stored in containers or jars, but I guess I’m too dependent on reading the directions on the packaging to do that.)

  4. Hi Julianna,
    I’m about to start getting ready for the Autumn. A bit late but have back log due to recovering from health problems so doing things a bit slower. Even so am appreciating every little step.
    Looking forward to it.
    Thank you for the inspiration. It’s been a real support!

  5. I will tackle my closet and kitchen cupboards. I’m pleased to say my car is clean again (after three years!). My garage needs a good sort out. Looking forward to getting rid of some items. As for the photos…I have a lot of duplicate photos to sort through. Glad to learn this is quite normal!

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