Is it really FINALLY Spring? 76 on Saturday! It is amazing how rejuvenated we can feel with warmer weather and sunshine. It always makes we want to start changing out winter clothes for summer clothes which is always a bit of a chore.
If you don’t have the luxury of enough closets for all your clothes like me, you have the summer clothing stored right now. I get everything out and on the beds. I start a pile of clothes that the kids have outgrown or are just too pilly and scary to wear. It is not just the kids, my stuff included. Yes, I do have to try on some clothes to make sure they are ok or not, but I have discovered that if I stay on task I can get this project done in a couple of hours. I figure about a half hour to an hour per person, and if anyone else is helping it will go so much faster!
Start a donation pile. Don’t forget all the drawers and your winter coat closet. Take out all the summer clothes from one container and sort. Once you have one empty-fill it with winter items including sweaters and the warm clothing. One container at a time. Otherwise there is a chance you will get overwhelmed and if you are interrupted and must take care of something else at least EVERYTHING is not EVERYWHERE.
Think about washing or dry cleaning outer winter garments before you store them. This includes coats, hats, scarves and gloves. Coming back to these in the fall all ready to go is a great feeling and not stressful.
After experimenting I have found the under bed clear topped storage bins with handles are the absolute best. I can see what is in there, and it is easy to slide out. If you cannot use under the bed storage-clear totes are tremendous as are shelves that go onto of your closet shelves. This picture shows it with potting supplies-however they can go allt he way to the ceiling in a closet and these interlock. The space used is ALL the space. Great product. I have only found them in The Container Store. Try not to think of it as a chore. Think of it as creating space.
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.
Some people are all about tradition and will keep putting up a Christmas tree, decorations and lights year after year. Others will stop once the kids are out of the house. Others will realize at some point that it is all too much or will move to a smaller home. Whatever the reason. many people decide to let Chrsitmas ornaments, lights and decor go.
If you hit that point and you have children or grandchildren ask first if they want anything you want to part with. Some may have very intense feelings for certain pieces or may even want it all due to nostalgia. Ask JUST in case.
You may end up keeping just a handful of favorite items and decorate once space in your home. You might consider putting all your favorite ornaments on a wreath and keep them that way.
If you no longer host Christmas at your home, don’t feel you have to decorate. Christmas isn’t about the lights and decorations unless you make it that. I find it to be a reflective time of year with some thoughts being joyous and others sad, Christmas is what you want it to be and if putting up a thousand lights stresses you out, then don’t do it.