Cottage Living


Finally summer has arrived and, for many of us that means driving to cottage country and enjoying long, relaxing weekends and leaving the stress of city living behind.

If you’re going to the cottage this summer, once you arrive…take a good look around. Has your cottage become a holding area for all the stuff you didn’t want, use or need at home? Was it easier to load all your surplus items into the car on a Friday evening and drive it out of town than it was to get rid of it in the city?

When you have decided to simplify your home, don’t relocate your clutter to your cottage! We all have too much stuff and this summer would be a great time to continue your downsizing efforts at the cottage! Start small, but start now!

Here are a few ideas of where to start…

BOOKS - Do you really need all of those books in your bookshelves? Consider donating some old favourites to Goodwill, Salvation Army or a charitable organization. Reading is a relaxing cottage activity, so this summer, share your books with family and friends and encourage them to take a few home!

LOTIONS AND POTIONS -- Check medicine cabinets and bathroom drawers. Identify all medications and ointments that are past their “best-before” date and take them to your local transfer station.

MUGS AND GLASSES -- How many coffee mugs and wine glasses do you really need? Select your family favourites and donate the rest!

PLASTIC CONTAINERS -- You only need to keep so many left-overs! Begin by recycling containers without matching lids and just keep containers that are stackable. Storage space is always at a premium; don’t waste it with all kinds of containers that tumble out every time your cupboard door opens.

TOOLS -- Cottage living may mean puttering in the garden or tackling home improvement projects and nothing is more frustrating than not having the right tools to do the job. Check the shed and tool box and make sure everything you will need is available and in good repair.

TOWELS -- Don’t hold on to faded, frayed and falling apart towels. Donate them to your local Vet’s office or Humane Society. As we Divas like to say… “the dogs don’t care what the towels look like!” Here are Downsizing Diva’s FOUR organizing tips to simplify cottage life:

  1. Keep only what you use, wear or enjoy.
  2. Store “like with like”
  3. Have frequently used items easily accessible.
  4. Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place

Here’s to another fabulous summer at the cottage...


© Copyright HTMU 2014

Karen Shinn

Karen Shinn

Downsizing Diva Co-Founder. Toronto East & North York

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