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Summer is here, or actually has been here and is passing rather quickly. The nice thing about Summer is the lack of schedules, especially if you have school-aged children, but the bad thing about Summer is, well, the lack of schedules if you have school-aged children. You know exactly what I mean. This hits the hardest for those of us who work from home and that population seems to be increasing with each passing year. During the school year, when the house is quiet during the day, it's easy to step away from the desk and throw in a load of laundry, or keep the clutter to a dull roar. Once the kids are out of school there seems to be no end to pool towels and wet bathing suits draped across every piece of furniture in the house. That little break you used to give yourself for lunch/decluttering is now occupied by monitoring iPad time, getting kids to a camp or just making sure that everyone is fed and where they need to be. That downtime that used to come with everyone getting off to bed is now used to load the dishwasher for the umpteenth time and folding laundry. It's enough to make me want to move some place that offers year-round school.

Now is the time to give yourself a bit of a break though. If you've never hired a house cleaning service, check into it for the Summer season. You might find that you can't live without it once you start, but at least give yourself a three month break. Ditto for lawn service and dog-walking. It may seem decadent at first, but we are all busier than we've ever been. Our emails come round the clock. we are always on our phones and we are never disconnected anymore. If you don't get to work from home this can become even more critical because chances are, you are rushing home to spend a bit of time with family before bedtime and having to spend those evening hours cleaning up can really take a toll on you. Check with your neighborhood friends to see if their teenagers will come mow your lawn once a week or will walk your dog. They would love some extra money for the Summer and you will love the extra time it gives you.

Now is also a great time to do some updates to your home or to begin planning them. Bring in a designer to help you with an accent art wall, or to update your lighting. If you start planning and purchasing now, you can probably find a contractor who is between large projects to come in and make those updates for you before Fall when they start to get really busy. Even if you're a DIY kind of person, please hire someone to help you find the right colours and to help you shop for, and install art. It's not an easy task and it's always better to have a trained eye when picking out paint or spacing art installations. Two pieces of art, hung side-by-side don't look good if they're off by even a quarter of an inch! The wrong colour of paint can absolutely ruin your living room.

Give yourself permission to enjoy your summer and, just like when you were a kid, give yourself a break from the daily grind. When you come home to a clean house, a tidy lawn and a happy, tired pooch, it's easier to say yes to dinner at the pool, a movie night or anything else your kids will ask of you.

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