How to Declutter and Brighten Your Home for Summer

By Peter Walsh on Oprah.com

Peter Walsh reveals four easy ways to lighten up your spaces—and keep them clutter-free.

Photo: Saverio Truglia

Photo: Saverio Truglia

1. Create a Winter Storage Area

Create a winter storage area in your attic or basement, using a canvas-covered clothing rack and heavy-duty plastic shelving. This makes everything easily accessible—and lets you annually appraise inventory and throw away or donate things you no longer use or wear. (Dry-clean your coats before storing them, and use cedar blocks to keep away pests.)

2. Replace Dark Throw Pillows

Replace dark throw pillows and slipcovers with affordable white or bright-colored versions; clean and store winter fabrics with your linens. Consider adding an extra lamp to further lighten things up.

Photo: Thinkstock

Photo: Thinkstock

3. Add Brighter Accents

Swap out dark photo frames on your shelves for white. Ask kids to pick their favorite piece of artwork each week and drop it into a frame; toss the rest (after photographing for posterity).

Photo: Thinkstock

Photo: Thinkstock

4. Keep Surfaces Clear

Keep surfaces clear by instituting daily cleanups ten minutes before dinner, when everyone puts away his or her own possessions. Cynthia Tobin, like many moms, finds it easier and faster to pick up after everyone herself, but "why bark when you've already got a dog?" says Walsh. 

See how Peter Walsh helped one family get organized for summer