Fall Clean Up

rake leavesFall is a wonderful time to smell the air and walk noisily through the leaves that congregate into small piles. If you walk your dog every day you have the perfect opportunity to swish through those leaves. Fall is also a time for nesting. It is when we start to prepare the home for the winter months so between the soccer games and pumpkin picking we rake leaves, we prune trees, we mulch young plants and we store away the hammock.

hammockI wash everything before I store it-even the hammock gets a soap down with some nice organic soap, and then I hose it off. Once air dried, I roll it and store it in the cellar.  I also wash all the screens in the windows, and on that final day when I know we are not getting another wonderful warm day, I take off all the screens, and I store them in the cellar as well.  You would be amazed at how much dirt is on screens. Washed, you will be able to see more outside and let more light into your home.  When they come down for the winter it is a gift because you can see everything outside so much better. And in the dark winter months I want as much light in the house as I can get! If you read up on it, you actually gain some solar warmth as well, and it keeps snow from resting between the screen and your double-pane windows which could cause some damage.  And of course if you have single-pane windows you are replacing your screens with the storm windows.

I wash the patio furniture. I cover the furniture. I put the storage boxes I use for cushions and games in the cellar. I rearrange the smoker and the grill because we cook on them all winter. I make a nice spot for the small log pile that will become  a staple out there as we like to use the fireplace.

acornsSo about the nesting part…it is not just the outside. It is finding the boots and mittens and winter coats.  It is digging out winter sweaters and scarves and if you have kids, it is about what fits and what needs to be donated.  The mudroom or front hall changes it’s arrangement as we account for more wetness than we experience in the summer most of the time. The leaves outside are forever making their way in through my front door and tiny acorns must get in the sneaker treads because I find them all over the house.  I am taking my shoes off when I get in, but they find their way into all kinds of nooks anyway.

I like to think about where I am putting the holiday decorations this year. Is there enough space? Will I be having guest for Thanksgiving or Christmas?  Is the guest room a place to put stuff that I will get to later or is it ready and waiting at a moment’s notice for someone to sleep in?

As you sort and take stock of your home before winter sets in, Call 2 Haul is available in the Lehigh Valley, and now Carbon an Schuylkill Counties.  We can take away whatever you cannot use anymore. We recycle and donate whenever possible.  Some times it is easier to just make a giant pile of stuff in the garage or yard and have us come get it.

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10 Ways to Brighten Your Home and Mood in Winter

bright pillowsWinter. Whether you are stuck with rain or snow it is GRAY.  You want sunshine, and there is none to be found.  There are ways to brighten your home and your mood in the winter.  Here are 10 examples:

  1. If there happens to be any sun, open all your drapes and shades as wide as they can go during the day. Make sure your windows are clean so you get all the sunshine you can!
  2. plantsDe-clutter especially if you have lots of dark colors in your home.  Create space. It makes your rooms feel more open.
  3. Buy or make some new throw pillows with colors that are bright. Think yellow, pink, blue and green.  Pick colors that will match your decor and add a pop of color. Or get some bright new throws that will keep you warm and brighten a space at the same time.
  4. Fresh flowers in the kitchen and bathrooms are always a pick-me-up. You could also bring in some plants.
  5. mirrorIf your bedspread or quilt is dark, winter is a great time to think bright instead.  There are a ton of white sales in January, and you could take advantage of them.
  6. Some strategically placed mirrors can also create space and light.
  7. Switch to LED lights in your home. The light is beautiful and although they cost more, they last much longer than regular bulbs.
  8. If you have a fireplace, use it.  Fireplaces often create a peaceful feeling.
  9. If you can paint, paint white. White paint opens and brightens a room fast.
  10. And finally bring in a few more lights if you can.  Light is what you want so perhaps add some more table lamps or floor lamps and make sure all of your light fixtures are clean so they shine brightly.