Oh hey, October! Just when did you sneak up on us? Seriously. Is it me or did September feel like it lasted all of four seconds?
In my neck of the woods, the temps are getting cooler and sadly - so sadly - the beach days are dwindling. Regardless of whether you live in a colder part of the world or it’s hot all year round (in which case, I kinda hate you), there’s a purge that should happen at least once a year when it comes to our summer stuff. Doing this at the end of the season (or, again, if your season never really ends, just find a good time of the year to do it), will prevent you from being overloaded with things when all you want to do is get to the beach or the pool.
I’ve put together a list of 10 things you should go through and make decisions about whether or not to keep for the following year. Our summer stuff tends to get beat up pretty easily which makes our decisions easier. And you know by now, I aim to make everything as easy as possible!
Let’s take a look…
1 Bathing suits
They stretch, they pull, they pill, they get discolored. I know I tend to hold onto old suits longer than I should because I go up and down in a weight a bit and if it doesn’t fit me this summer, what’s to say it won’t next? But even if they fit great next summer, they still don’t look new and nice. So I started getting stricter and trashing the ones that don’t look in top shape anymore (I say trash FYI because most places will not take donated bathing suits unless the tags are still on them and, even if they do, not sure I’d be down to buy them ick!). Guys, same goes for you! If the suit you’ve been wearing for the last 11 summers is finally looking ratty, time to turn it in and treat yourself to a new pair of trunks.
2 Flip flops
These also get a serious beating in the summer! I try my best to not wear my “nice” flops to the beach but rather opt for Havianas (I find them comfortable and inexpensive enough and they last me a few years!). I know a lot of people who are fans of Rainbows and they offer a lifetime guarantee which is great! The key is to utilize it if they start to look crappy, not just keep wearing them. Regularly shaking the sand out of them and storing them nicely in the on - or off - season helps them stay in better shape. But if they’re falling apart at the seams, chuck em!
We can generally get quite a few years out of our beach towels (hell, I even spot ones from when I was a kid in my family’s beach home). But, just like everything else, they can get ratty over time. If you have any towels that are ripped, stained or starting to get threadbare, I give you full permission to get rid of it! Use it as a rag if you really can’t part just yet. But there are quality, inexpensive towels (hellooo Marshall’s!) that you can treat yourself to next summer.
These are easy because they have an expiration date on them but many times you just know when they need to be thrown out. They’re watery or smell funny or, in a worse scenario, you use it and you still get fried (a sign that it’s no longer effective). Generally sunscreens last about three years so you can go a couple summers using the same bottle but if you can’t even remember when you bought it and/or it says it’s expired, out it goes! The most important thing here though is to finish a bottle before you buy/open a new one. This prevents you from having to go through and store a whole boatload of them at the end of the summer.
5 Tank tops, shorts, dresses, etc.
Most of us won’t be able to wear a lot of our summer clothes the other 6-9 months of the year so when it starts to get cooler, it’s a great time to go through your closet and purge. Did you wear that pair of shorts once all summer? No, ok why? You’re not crazy about them anymore? They didn’t fit you this summer? You just forgot you even had them? Whatever the reason is, ask yourself if you realistically will ever wear them again and if you can’t answer that definitively in the next 60 seconds, put them in a donate pile. We can try to justify our “maybe one days” all we want, but deep down we know they’re just going to sit there collecting dust in your closet. Why not give them another home and to someone in need, while you replace the space they were in with something you DO love?!
This might sound like a weird one. But I like to wear earrings and usually something around my wrist when I go to the beach or pool. Sometimes I’ll even throw on a necklace, I don’t know, I just feel naked without jewelry! It’s hardly ever the good stuff because I don’t want to lose it and with the heat, sun, and yes gross but sweat, the pieces usually start to fade in color. Or sometimes I’ll even lose an earring in the ocean. What I’ve been trying to do the last few years is pick a couple of really simple - match with anything - and inexpensive pieces and only wear those while I’m sitting in the sand. That way I don’t mind so much if they get lost or discolored. At the end of the summer, I simply throw it out if it’s no longer pretty (that sounds so harsh now that I say that!) but I’m happy I got a solid season out of wearing them.
Also may sound a bit odd but I’m sure most of you ladies use slightly different makeup in the summer than in winter, right? Darker foundation, oil free formulas, waterproof mascara etc. If you’re down to the wire with some of the products and are thinking about holding onto them until next summer, do me a favor and don’t. They will most likely be expired by then and we don’t want to be putting that on our beautiful faces! Switching into a new season is a great time to take stock of what you have and what you can get rid of. Don’t neglect this part because it can tend to pile up. I know that CC cream was expensive but you got as much use out of it as you could have during the warm months and now it’s time to say buh bye.
8 Beach chairs
This is yet another item that we can get quite a few years out of. I think I’m going on year number 4 or 5 with my current beach chair and it’s just now starting to show its age. If yours is rusted, broken, severely discolored, or ripped, time to chuck it. If you have a Costco membership, they usually put them on sale at the beginning and end of summer so if you’re in the market for a new one, check their site when you’re ready!
9 Water toys
Everything from boogie boards to floaties, pails to shovels, it’s good to give these a once over at least once a year. Are the boards ripping up so much that they’re chafing your kids when they use them? Do any of the toys have mildew or mold growing in them (check the bath toys too while you’re at it!)? Are any of the plastic sand toys broken and can cause harm? Do any of the floaties have a hole in them? Are you kids just too old for them now? If there’s a yes that comes out of your mouth for any of these, time to purge!
10 Coolers, wagons, etc.
Like chairs, the items you use to cart down to the beach or pool usually last us awhile. But, again, if anything’s broken, rusted, has a leak, and so on, it’s time to get rid of them. If that wagon has a wheel that won’t work and you know you won’t fix it, time for a new one. If you’re holding onto them for another season but need or want to store them away, they’ll last longer if you properly clean them out beforehand. Make sure they’re at least rinsed off of all sand and dry before you put them away for the winter.
So there are the 10 things you can start to purge this fall so that you can start next summer with a fresh slate! Will this take you some time and cost you some money when you go to buy new? Sure. But the goal is quality over quantity. For example, you may have been collecting 17 beach chairs over the years but only have 5 people in the house. I bet more than half of those chairs are never getting used. Keep the good and purge the old. You’ll have more space to breathe and - here’s the kicker - to properly store the keepers so that they last longer.
Happy purging and happy fall!
Yes, I guess I’ve come to terms with it. Not quite at the level of this dog, but I’m getting there…