How to Stay Neat in the Summer Heat

pair of sunglasses on the beach

Whether you live in the city, country, or somewhere in between, there is one thing you can count on this time of year: it’s hot out! If staying cool and comfortable is priority No.1 for you, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s easier than you think.

Ahead are some cool ideas that will make your summer “chill”.

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Summer requires a different style of dress in order to stay prepared for changeable weather patterns, as well as to capture the free and easy attitude that fits the season. Fashionistas encourage light layers of fresh, bright colors and breathable fabrics. Layering lightweight T-shirts with flowing skirts or shorts gives you flexibility as the day progresses from a morning chill to the mid-day heat. The good news is that the dog days of summer provide a great opportunity to sift through wardrobes that are most likely stuffed full of clothes you haven’t worn since last winter (and truth be told you may never want to wear again, so you’ll want to donate them instead).

In just a moment we’ll tell you how best to declutter, but first here are some tips on what to pull out of your closet or stock up on:

  • Cottons: Wear 100% cotton fabrics as much as possible. Whether it’s a day-to-evening dress or a polo shirt, cotton breathes! Your summer attitude is a casual one, so forget about stiff, starchy clothes, and go for soft and flowy. Easy to wash, wear and pack, cotton clothing is what’s for summer.
  • Light and bright: Your summer attitude should be one of ease and fun. It’s time to ditch the blacks and browns for whites, yellows, greens, and blues. Have fun mixing colors for your summertime look, and the reflective colors won’t absorb the sun’s baking rays.
  • Less is more: The time to bundle up will come soon enough. Now is the time to wear less and enjoy your freedom! Throw on a dress or tank top and skirt and go. Pair the same tank top with shorts or skinny jeans for a casual look. Dress up or down with accessories, purses, and sandals. Depending on where you live, you may want to tie a lightweight sweater or hoody around your neck or waist and you are set for sudden weather change.
tan woman wearing white and pink floral dress

They’re called the dog days of summer for a reason. Whether you experience midday heat or nighttime chill, summer can bring challenges for you, your kids, and even your pets, which is why experts say it’s crucial to be prepared to ward off sunburn, injury, and dehydration.

Useful tips on keeping your summer safe and enjoyable include:

  • Safety first: Protect yourself and your family with a Summertime Safety Bag. Your bag needs to include sunblock, bug spray, antibiotic ointment for cuts, and adhesive bandages. Include your choice of pain relievers, family medications, and a thermometer. Keep your safety bag by the door or in the car for your quick getaway. While you’re at it you can take a moment to do a quick declutter pass through your bathroom and car collecting up the electronics, linens, and other items you no longer need and schedule a donation to put those things to use helping America’s vets.
  • Pack extras: Keep extra hats, sunglasses, bandanas, towels, and outerwear handy in your car. Everyone’s on the run during the summer and losing these essentials is expected, but the fun doesn’t need to stop because your hat went flying or your sunglasses were left in the café. Be prepared with extras and keep on partying!
  • Water, water, water: Experts warn that as temperatures rise, the risk of dehydration increases for us and our best friends. Keep bottled water in your car at all times. You can sip on a water bottle or from your canteen, but what about your four-legged best friend?

Dogs overheat and become dehydrated very quickly in the summer heat, and whether they have a heavy coat or are short-haired, the risk to their health is real. Be sure to keep a bowl in your car so that they can cool down with you — and whatever you do, don’t leave them unattended in your car for even a minute!

white dog by the pool fisheyed nose

Summertime and the living is easy, as the song goes, but that’s only if your home is cool and clutter-free. You can take care of the former by simply keeping the blinds closed, as experts say about 30 percent of your home’s heat is generated by sunlight. Swap out your bedding for light cotton sheets and buckwheat pillows (be sure to donate your old ones!) and you’ll stay cool when the sun is down. Also, don’t forget to click the switch on the side of your ceiling fan to set its spin counterclockwise, so it will generate a wind-chill effect.

Now as for the clutter, digging around looking for summer-wear in overstuffed closets and drawers is not only a drag, it’s sweat inducing! These hottest weeks of the year are the perfect time to declutter your closet and uncover those lightweight, colorful clothes that will keep you comfortable. Who wants to dig through mounds of sweaters, long sleeve shirts, and pants to find that cute cotton tank top? Chances are you and your kids have clothes that you haven’t worn in forever blocking access to your cute stuff, so get organized in these three easy steps:

1. Declutter — Locate heavy weight bags or boxes for items that you no longer need or want. Take a deep breath and head to your closets and drawers. Don’t forget to check out your kid’s closet, as well as the linen and sports closets. Determine if each item needs to stay or go by asking yourself if you need it now or if you will want it when the season changes. Don’t think too much, as you will know immediately what the answer is. Place those items that are not cool for the summer or wanted as the season changes and put them into your bags and boxes. Have fun with the process, but it shouldn’t take long so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy that beautiful, summertime sun!

2. Organize — Now that you are decluttered it will be easy to see what you have, and don’t have, for summer wear, so organize your items for easy, grab-and-go access. It may be time to make it to the store to pick up a few items, but chances are you’ll also uncover a hidden gem that you haven’t worn since last summer.

horizontal kitchen utensils hanging on rack

3. Donate — Even though you have no use for the clothes, shoes, old towels, and other items you tossed into bags and boxes, someone else in your community will love them. Schedule a free donation pickup today, and put those clothes back into circulation and at the same time help the Vietnam Veterans of America’s critical mission of supporting the men and women who served us all.

Now you are ready to soak up summer at its fullest! Grab your family and friends, don’t forget your summer safety bag, and get out there. You are prepared to look great and stay safe while you enjoy all summer has to offer and knowing that your donations have made your community that much better!