Usually I save all my egg cartons for the farmers who sell their eggs roadside, but this year I am keeping a bunch of them for myself as they are perfect for storing small Christmas ornaments. No tangles! For larger ornaments I use the boxes you find in stores because they save me so much time when putting up and taking down the ornaments. Clear boxes let you see in before you even get started so if you like to put a certain type of ornament on first you can find them easily.
If you have a wine box with compartments use it for large ornaments.
If you have a great many ornaments and display items, consider having an “Open this Box First” container. Depending on you, it might be lights or it might be something that gets you in the mood to begin decorating. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
This year as you start to put up the holiday decorations take the time to evaluate them. Some are tired and old. Some you just REALLY don’t like anymore. Some are broken, and you meant to fix them. Some you have kept out of guilt because someone gave them to you.
Broken throw out and the rest, pack up and donate. Donate before Christmas, an someone else can use something you longer want right away.
If you just do the outside and tree, and you like to have items throughout the home, consider packing up the stuff that is currently out. Give the Christmas decoations a full beautiful showing. I have a girlfriend who adores Christmas and this is what she does. Her home is not cluttered because everything else is in a box in the attic and will come back out after January 1st.
Fall 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.
I 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.
So 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.