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Simple Summer Living

Keep it simple for a healthier home life

Summertime, and the living is easy—at least it should be! But hectic schedules, outdoor fun and vacations can create chaos at home. Follow some tips to keep things simple and in order this summer, so you can enjoy every little bit of sunshine and playtime in gorgeous Central Oregon.

De-clutter. Bright, sunny days call for a “clutter bust” to put things where they belong and do away with unnecessary clutter. For a quick exercise in clutter busting: Grab a laundry basket and move from room to room, efficiently picking up what needs to relocate and what needs to go. Don’t overthink it, just do it.

Find a place for everything. After de-cluttering, make an effort to find a place for everything in the laundry basket. Containers are key—boxes, baskets and bins are all great for organizing and storing things in your home.

Develop systems for chores. Time-consuming tasks such as laundry, opening mail or cleaning can be streamlined into repeatable systems. For instance, designate one day a week to be laundry day and let your household know that if it’s not in the bin, it won’t get washed!

Simplify your wardrobe. Assess your closet and make two piles—items that you love and wear regularly, items that you seldom wear, and items that you haven’t worn in the last year. Give away or donate the items you don’t love—several local organizations take donations, including Goodwill and The Salvation Army.

Pare down your digital files. Are you a digital packrat? Conduct a folder, file and app purge on all your digital hardware and aim for zero emails in your inbox. Choose a cloud-based app to manage and store your photos and files for added security.

Aim for a low-maintenance yard. Plant low-maintenance, native plants and install efficient watering systems so you don’t have to spend your summer maintaining your yard. Especially in the arid high desert, choosing plants that don’t require too much water means efficiency and a garden that will thrive.

Prepare simple meals. Summer’s bounty makes for easy meal planning and cooking. Grilled meat paired with fresh, local veggies from a farmer’s market or Locavore is healthy, quick and tasty, and involves minimal preparation and clean up. Fresh fruits transform into easy desserts that everyone can enjoy.

Create morning and evening routines. Things can get hectic in the summer. School is out, the days are long and there’s fun stuff to do. Creating solid morning and evening routines for you and your family can help maintain a manageable and calm environment.

Unplug. Unplugging from modern technology can help you de-stress and feel better. Dig into a juicy summertime novel, take a nap in the yard, or work on an art project that has been calling your name. Setting aside time every day, or better yet, one entire day a week, to unplug can do wonders.

Live outside. Summertime is glorious in Central Oregon, so take advantage of it. String up a hammock, create an outdoor dining area or sleep outside under the stars. Enjoy your morning coffee on the front porch or play with your kids on the lawn. Live it up this summer by taking it easy keeping it simple!

Published: August 24, 2016

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