Spring Cleaning – Switching out Winter and Summer Clothing

under bed storage

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.

stackable shelves

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.


February Bathroom Cleaning

organize bathroom If you live where it is cold and snowy sometimes you feel like just hibernating.  I know I do. 🙂

February is actually a great month to clean out areas you neglect. Cleaning out the drawers and under the sink in the bathroom can be daunting.  Take everything out. Pile it onto of the sink and counter. If you haven’t used something in a year-do you need it?  Old makeup should be tossed. Combs and brushes that are tired should be tossed.  Get as much hair out of the brushes as possible, then soak the combs and brushes you want to keep in soapy water for an hour or so and  rinse well. If they still look dirty take a tooth brush to the areas that are hard to reach.

organize bathroom cabinetsReorganize your cabinets.  Any boxes or baskets that can keep like items together are always very helpful. Keep in  mind if you don’t use something often and it really doesn’t need to be damp everyday from the steam of your bathroom, think about storing it in a linen closet or your bedroom.  Makeup should actually NOT be in the bathroom. Electronics should not be in there and prescription medicine shouldn’t either. Extra razors should not be in humidity, nor should jewelry or nail polish. Towels can get moldy.  Keep those circulating out of the bathroom. Many items do not do well with constant fluctuating temperatures and humidity.

organize bathroom cabinetsWipe down all the cabinets inside and out and apply a wood oil if you have wood in your bathroom.  Scrub around the toilet and baseboards.  Wash the floor.

Clean out the medicine cabinet. I know scary. Take it all out. Wipe it all down.  Get rid of things that over a year or two old.  Medicines should never get thrown out in the garbage or down the drain.  They reek havoc on the environment.  Instead take them to a place in your area that accepts old prescription medicines-pharmacies and the like. Every area is different so you would need to look that up on the web.

Happy cleaning!