September is finally here, phew that summer was hot! Mamas, you probably feel like you’ve run a {sweaty} marathon every day since life went sideways last spring. Now that the kids are back to school or settled into virtual learning routines, it could be time for a full-scale declutter effort and Cool Experts would like to help.

Before you laugh or roll your eyes, hear us out. We’re talking about a manageable process, not a 24-hour declutter marathon. It took a few months to make the mess, and it will take a few days (at least) to tame it. After all, your house has been through hell the last six months. Vacations were canceled, summer was hijacked and we’re all just really cranky. But Cool Experts is here to help.

The Cost of Chaos

According to many experts and declutter specialists, now is the best time to set things right in your home, even if it sounds like a big job. A collaborative household effort to restore order, tame the paper monster and create productive, personalized workspaces could be just the lift you need!

In an August 2020 National Geographic article, Sabine Kastner, Princeton University professor of neuroscience and psychology, says too many stimuli can overload our brains as we filter the excess to capture what’s important. “Many of us aren’t good at processing clutter,” Kastner said. “It can become overwhelming and make our brains do more work to complete simple tasks.” Could it be the brain drain you’re suffering from might improve if you cull the excess and “dejunk” your space? We hope so.

Combat the Pandemic Blues With Five Quick Declutter Tips

Worries over a cluttered house can distract us from priorities, feed our frustration and taunt us that our work is never done. When your space is a sanctuary instead of a battlefront, debilitating stress gives way to peace of mind (and tense shoulders may even relax). And after your living space is orderly, you can put more time and energy into setting up virtual workspaces and learning stations that position the family for school-year success.

If it’s time for an autumn reboot, try these five tips for restoring structure and sanity to your home—and your mind, brought to you by Cool Experts:

  1. Clean air, clear head. Indoor air quality is critical, especially during the Austin heat when family members are confined to the air conditioning. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a home’s average air quality is up to five times dirtier than outside air. Hire a customer-favorite Austin-based HVAC company, Cool Experts to test your air quality and recommend high-grade HVAC filters or air purifiers that capture or destroy dust, pet dander, volatile organic compounds and insidious pathogens. Take the opportunity to schedule AC service with Cool Experts, you may have put on the back burner for months, too. Studies show HVAC maintenance prolongs the life and efficiency of your cooling and air quality equipment.
  2. Create a staging area & shift the chaos. Now that you’re cool and comfortable, take a deep, cleansing breath and prepare to tackle cluttered living space surfaces. When you don’t have time to go through the clutter and decide whether to keep, toss or donate it, stack neat piles of like items on your guest bed or basement floor. As time permits over the next few weeks, sort through the clutter, one pile at a time, and file or fling as needed. (Note: Don’t do this with pending bills, of course! Contend with important paperwork first, so you don’t get behind on pressing obligations.)
  3. Pick up the play gear. Recruit the kids’ help with the yard and garage: picking up outdoor toys and putting away bikes and water-play items. While they return sports equipment to its designated home, you can wind up the hoses and tidy up the patio. (Or sit in a hammock and watch them work!)
  4. Gather the board games. Board games have been a favorite indoor activity during the pandemic, but game tokens, play money and other accessories may have gotten mingled or scattered. Get the kids to hunt for missing pieces and return all items to the appropriate board game boxes. Then, stack games neatly in a closet or cupboard.
  5. Move your mindset. Circle up as a family and talk with children about the importance of fall discipline and accountability. Whether you offer incentives for clean rooms and completed homework is up to you, but a good cheerleading session can make all the difference. Discuss as a family where things will live this fall (backpacks, school supplies, jackets and lunch boxes), and create a chore chart with after-school or post-study jobs. Let kids know that when the house stays clean and organized, there is more time for fun.

Prepare Your Home for Autumn Success

After the house is tidied and everyone’s in bed, take time to reflect on the next steps. They may include planning a trip to the local thrift store, where you can drop off donated items and stock up on affordable clothes for school and play.

You and your children also need clutter-free, personalized spaces to succeed in hybrid or virtual work and learning environments. Now that counters and tables are cleared, you have a blank slate! Check out Pinterest or Instagram for thoughtfully designed family co-working areas. Consider creative shelving or storage options, ergonomic seating and privacy screens or white noise machines to limit distractions.

Don’t forget to take care of autumn home health, too. Start a home maintenance folder where you can document completed seasonal chores and make a note of scheduled safety checkups and mechanical inspections. Is it time for a furnace or heat pump checkup? Call now—before things get crazy. Hire contractors to address outstanding home maintenance that has gotten away from you during the COVID-19 season: AC repair, plumbing fixes, gutter cleaning or Cool Experts’ AC service.

Putting energy into organizing your living area and assuring your house’s safety and security will help you roll into the holidays shouldering less stress than you have in months—and you and your family will have a fresh outlook for school, work and fun!

Lauren Wiatrek is a native Austinite that after moving to New York and Colorado, decided her heart was in the center of Texas. Her husband, Evan helped build their family of daughters in a home they love. After battling stage 3 breast cancer in 2017 Lauren has become a strong voice for wellness, health advocacy, and her faith. Lauren loves to travel every chance she can get. Lauren enjoys extra hot coffee on the porch, her F45 workouts, Young Living lifestyle, being all things as a #girlmom and helping empower women. Lauren started her journey with cancer on her blog you can also follow her on her Instagram: @lauren.wiatrek for motherhood tips and her wellness journey after cancer.


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