It might be hot and humid, but there’s still time to get those last-minute summer projects done. Shaker Heights resident and Instagram influencer Leah Nowak has continued doing home decor projects ever since her family moved into their first house. “There’s really not a room in my house that we have not done something to,” says Nowak, who has been documenting her design journey on social media. This DIY guru gives her expert advice on how to get the most out of these last few hazy moments of summer.
Get organized for the school year
Wouldn’t it be great to finally have a nicely organized desk before the school year kicks off in the fall? Get rid of old papers, books, pens and random sticky notes. And make a plan for all your kids’ prized artwork. “I always tell people to just take pictures of the artwork instead of having 500 pieces of pictures that your kids drew everywhere,” Nowak says.
Preserve summer memories
Document those fun moments of the last few months by printing out your favorite snapshots. Put colorful paper behind your photo as a border or keep the pictures in long-lasting photo albums. “We signed up for a monthly subscription to Chatbooks, where anything I post to Instagram can go right into a photobook,” Nowak says. “It makes a new book for you every month.”
Give the garage a makeover
Nowak’s biggest advice for organizing the garage is not to wait too long. “We always try to organize a bit ahead of time so that when the weather changes and it’s suddenly snowing, we’ll have a place to put all the patio furniture,” she says. She recommends using plastic bins and labeling them so you know where the pool gear, bike repair kits or sports equipment should go.
Make the most of your garden’s bounty
Save all that fresh summer produce by canning it for jams, pickles, pie fillings and more. Use glass jars to store your creations and seal them with decorative cloths for a rustic flare. Canning salsa with homegrown vegetables is one of Nowak’s favorite summer projects. “We can always make salsa out of the millions of tomatoes we have from our garden,” she says.
Spend time in your closet
Dedicate some time to go through your closet and get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in awhile. Donate or sell them to secondhand shops to make room for new additions. “I always try to do two hours of a closet and dresser refresh to get rid of the summer stuff I know we won’t need next year,” Nowak says. “Then I’ll go through and see what we need for fall, especially before back-to-school clothes shopping.”