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Halloween – a time to clean

Sometimes Halloween comes to remind us of how creepy and cluttered our life has become. I use Halloween every year as a reminder to clean up and get ready to receive all those guests during thanks giving and Christmas and create space for all the new things, thinks and memories we need space for.

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Halloween also tells us that we are going to set the clock back and that it is time to bring out all those heavy jackets and comforters that we so gladly put away last spring.
I use three bags and start with my closet…
I call them the green bag, red bag and blue bag
In the Green bag I place all those clothes and trinkets that I will use next year…summer shorts and T shirts and all those clothes that call out “sunshine”.
The Red bag is my gift bag… I place all those clothes that I want to give to someone who may not be as blessed as you or I and who would love those flip flops to wear at home or all those clothes you think you will not use.
The Blue bag is the my “maybe” bag…all those clothes that don’t fit but still carry a lot of memories. I cannot get myself to give my first marathon T Shirt away….ha ha!
Take the same bags to the kitchen, the shoes closet and to your study and do the same thing.
I sometime come back to the closet and will find more to go into these bags.
I usually do this after I am done. I take them to a self-Storage unit so that its out of my house and out of sight. Self-storage units typically have small units that will fit these bags and whatever else you want out of the house easily.
I will then wait for a month to see if I miss any of the things I put away in the red bag. By that time it is after Thanksgiving and I take the red bag to my favorite charity and feel good coming back to a clean uncluttered home every day and that someone is going to use all those things I could never use again.
So let’s get the holiday spirit started early !!!


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Organization and Storage: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

This is a great time to declutter your home before the summer vacation, the camps, and the swim lessons.

Here is the golden rule of cleaning and clearing: use a timer. Start with an alarm for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, put away whatever you have do so far and pick another day and time to come back to the job. This will keep you excited about cleaning and clearing.

Start with an area you use every day, like your closet.

The best way to store sweaters and coats is in plastic totes. If you don’t have plastic sealable bins, cardboard boxes will work too.

cardboard organization storage


Before storing your winter clothes, wash them. All the stains of winter coffee and snow muck will have less of a chance to sink into the fabric of the garment if you wash and dry them. This will also make it unappetizing for moths. Wash everything in hot water if the wash instructions on the garment allow. After drying well, make sure there are no remnant dampness in the garments. Once dry, fold sweaters tight rolled and place them in sealable plastic totes with a bag of lavender or a few blocks of fresh cedar to keep moths away and smelling wonderful when you take them out in six months.

For jackets, while it is best to hang them, you can fold them and lay them in plastic boxes with lavender.

If the boxes are not transparent, label them.

You can store your clothes in the basement or maybe in a compact climate controlled self-storage facility that can become your walk-in closet away from home.


Start a charity carton…

Once the carton is maybe half or completely full, move that away from the area you are working on and start a new carton. Do not seal these cartons.

Always wash these give-aways before donating them.

Do not give away a box of winter clothes in spring or summer. Ideally store them until it gets cooler in your basement or in a climate controlled self-storage facility near you.


Start again the following day or week and work for 30 minutes or an hour again. Suddenly in a month you will see your closet clean and every time to come back to clean you will find you can get rid or store away more….and you will have a neat and well organized closet in 30 days. When we try and do it slowly we appreciate what we have and enjoy the journey more than the destination.

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