Things to declutter in June – these 5 things must be gone before summer

Getting rid of these five things before the height of summer is a must, experts say

(Image credit: Quiet Mark/Bosch / Subzero Wolf / Chad Mellon at Studio Mellon/Styling Kara Perlis)

When the weather outside is sunny and hot, the last thing we will want to be doing is spending time indoors decluttering our home.

However, with the end of June marking the official start of the summer season, it pays to get a head start on clearing out clutter before peak hosting season so you can spend the rest of the month enjoying free time with friends and family.

For the best head start, professional home organizers suggest focusing your efforts on these five things to declutter in June.

Things to declutter in June

It pays to have a well-established arsenal of decluttering tips when trying to stay on top of clutter and prevent it from building up. If you have successfully worked your way through the things to declutter in May, you will already be well on your way to your most relaxed summer yet.

1. Deal with the medicine cabinet

Organizing a medicine cabinet black cabinet on grey wall

(Image credit: Future)

While we have largely said goodbye to coughs and colds in June, hayfever season is here to replace them. As such, Amélie Saint-Jacques, professional organizer and founder of Amélie Organizies, recommends decluttering and organizing a medicine cabinet:

‘Declutter your old sunscreen and bug spray and get rid of anything expired or used up, and replenish as needed.’ Remember that old sunscreen will lose its potency and reduce its effectiveness in the sun. It is always worth refreshing it each summer to stay safe.

2. Old school equipment

Someone writing in a Personalised Dream Plan Do Life Planner on a white desk surrounded by matching stationary

(Image credit: Martha Brook)

If you have children or teenagers who have recently started summer break, June is a great time to sit down with them to declutter kid’s rooms, and deal with old school supplies that they don’t need moving into the next academic year, recommends Amanda Scott, professional home organizer and owner of Amanda Scott Home:

‘The end of the school year means a great transfer of assignments and gear from the classroom to home. Don’t get buried in the deluge,’ she urges. ‘Start by sorting through art assignments and decide what to toss and what to keep. Can’t bear to get rid of your precious Picassos? You can have digital versions turned into image books to save space.

‘Ditto with school supplies. Donate or recycle what you don’t need,’ Amanda continues. ‘Donate used books to your local used bookstore or library and choose new books for summer reading. Declutter these areas when school is out, so come the end of summer you are ready for back-to-school.'

3. Shift closets from spring to summer

mud room with screened closet and storage buckets

(Image credit: Chad Mellon at Studio Mellon / Styling Kara Perlis)

We gain a lot from a monthly closet decluttering session. While it might seem tiring, staying on top of closet clutter and keeping track of seasonal wardrobes streamlines our morning routines.

Meaghan Kessman, professional organizer, suggests that June is the perfect point to fully remove any cooler clothing items we may have held onto through spring and swap things out for a full summer lookbook:

‘ As the seasons change, it’s practical to adjust your wardrobe, making it simpler to find suitable clothing for the warmer months. Transition your wardrobe from spring to summer by decluttering clothes you no longer wear. Store winter clothing and ensure summer attire is easily accessible and organized.

‘I like to use vacuum-seal bags for storing out-of-season clothes, saving space and protecting them from dust.’

4. Deal with your fridge pre hosting

Wooden fridge

(Image credit: Quiet Mark / Bosch)

‘With kids home for the summer and in and out of the fridge all day, and big hosting opportunities just around the corner, declutter a fridge and encourage healthy snacking while also reducing the amount of time that fridge or freezer door stays open in the warmer months,’ urges Amanda Scott, professional home organizer. ‘After all, no one wants melted ice cream!’

She suggests starting by taking everything out of the fridge, and while empty, clean the fridge by wiping down all the shelves with a clean sponge and soapy water or vinegar.

‘Then, check expiration dates. Is it past its prime? Compost, toss, or recycle. Visible mold? Same. Next, ask yourself if you use it. If not, throw opened and perishable items away. That bottle of ketchup with half a squeeze left in it? Rinse, recycle, and let it go.

‘Put the items you want to keep back into the fridge, keeping like items together—meat in the meat drawer, vegetables in the vegetable drawer. Consider a clear plastic bin or Lazy Susan for salad dressings or condiments to make them easier to organize and access. Use clear containers and fill them with healthy snacks for easy grab-and-go.

‘Repeat this process for the freezer. If that means having to eat the last spoonful of mint chip in the carton to make room for more ice cream and popsicles, well, somebody has to do it.'

5. Address outdoor cook spaces

Outdoor kitchen ideas

(Image credit: Subzero Wolf)

Whether it means decluttering and organizing an outdoor kitchen, or setting up a small grill space, June is a great time to address your outdoor cooking options, points out Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla Online Interior Design:

‘Outdoor kitchens are different from indoor ones,’ he begins. ‘The outdoor area is often underutilized, especially because spring is still somewhat cold in many states. Review the items found stored in the space and adequately store what you know you need.

‘What you don’t can be donated or tossed depending on its condition. Some people dread this exercise, but realistically, if you don’t use it, then you don’t need it. Don’t forget the plates, glassware, and cutlery, too.’

A common misconception about decluttering is that it needs to take lots of time and you have to get rid of a lot of stuff or you have ‘failed’. However, getting rid of just a few items at the start of a new month can make room for newer, better items, or even just make your home easier to manage. Decluttering and organizing in June is a great way to get a start on summer, even if you only get rid of as little as three things.

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.