10 Summer Nesting Ideas for When You Don’t Want to Go Outside

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Nesting is a behavior often associated with the winter months, when it’s so cold that venturing outside seems ill-advised or just plain miserable (or when mountains of snow are literally blocking your front door).

But nesting isn’t just for the winter! It’s great for all seasons, including summer. In fact, for some of us, heading out into the oppressive heat or humidity seems even less appealing than stepping into an Arctic tundra.

If that’s you, we hear you. So whether you’re keen to stay in your pajamas and eat bonbons all day or tackle that big project you’ve been putting off (while keeping cool and sipping on iced tea, naturally), here are 10 summer nesting ideas for when it’s unbearably hot, torrentially pouring, or you just don’t feel like going anywhere.

(Image credit: Shannon Douglas)

1. Start an herb garden (finally).

Herbs brighten up a space and bring the best of the outdoors inside, while also providing delicious accents to any dish. Even better, they can thrive practically anywhere — including your kitchen windowsill. They don’t need a ton of space and you don’t need a green thumb to make it work. Really.

For an inexperienced gardener, starting with mint is a good way to go. Follow our advice and it’ll be easy — promise.

Get Planting

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2. Organize your photos.

Raise your hand if you have thousands of photos taking up precious space on your hard drive, or actual photos sitting in shoeboxes, waiting to be put into photo albums or frames. Organizing your photos is a great summer project because it requires very little movement and you can do it from the comfort of that one air-conditioned room in your house.

Also: Consider getting your Instagram feed off your phone and onto your walls with an app like Social Print Studio or Parabo to print and frame those snaps that have been hanging out in digital limbo.

(Image credit: Gina Eykemans)

3. Clean out your freezer.

If you haven’t done this already, it’s time to organize and take stock of what you have in the freezer. Toss what you don’t need or anything that is covered in freezer burn and make room for more, particularly if you plan to freeze some of the summer’s end-of-season bounty.

See the steps: How to Clean the Freezer

(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

4. Get canning.

Summer’s abundance is not forever, and about halfway through winter, you’ll likely find yourself pining for the season’s peaches, tomatoes, and berries. Canning is the solution and it’s as good a time as any to get going. Maybe you have way too much produce from your CSA or you just want to buy all the fresh yumminess while it’s priced at a reasonable amount. Whatever the reason, learning to can will help you preserve your favorite foods so you can enjoy them year-round.

More on Canning

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

5. Make ice cream.

What’s better than going to your local scoop shop for an ice cream cone? Making your very own ice cream. We suggest starting with something simple and working your way up to more complicated multi-ingredient recipes.

Some Ice Cream Recipes

(Image credit: Samantha Bolton)

6. Netflix and (literally) chill.

Whoever came up with the idea of Netflix and chill was probably familiar with sticky summer days. Stay cool in the AC and tune into any of these:

7. Read a romance novel.

Hot and steamy August is, fittingly, Read-a-Romance Month. So pick up a torrid tale and get ready to read from the comfort of your favorite chair or porch swing.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

8. Bake a pie.

Why not use the bounty of seasonal summer fruits to bake up one (or three) of your favorite pies? You can take your time rolling out the perfect crust, savoring the cool(ish) air in your home. When you’re done, invite friends over for a pie-eating party!

(Image credit: Elle Decoration)

9. Organize your cookbooks.

If you’re looking for a way to feel productive while expending the least amount of effort possible, organizing your cookbook stash is the perfect low-energy project. You can do most of it while sitting down and, once you’ve sorted through what to toss and what to keep, putting them back on the shelf takes very little time or effort.

Get Inspired

10. Take a cool bath.

Warm baths are nice and all, but why should they get all the glory? Cool baths are the perfect way to chill out on super-hot days. Bring a glass of iced tea (or wine!) and you’ve got a great place to hang out for the afternoon. You can even do cool baths in your bathing suits with the family if you don’t have a pool or yard to play in.

What’s your favorite way to nest in the summer?