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Spring Cleaning for Every Season

Do you ever wonder if you'll ever have enough room in your home for everyone and everything that live there?  I have a perfect solution for all of your clutter needs, called seasonal cleaning (yes, this is spring cleaning for every season.)  Ever wish you could have all the room for every decorating season of the year?  Well, after reading this article, you will.

First, lets begin with two goals: (1) to have room for everyone and everything in your home and (2) ensure your home is designed around the seasons.  In order to do this you will need a few key elements: (1) a POD for storing everything that won't fit inside your home with proper organization, (2) alot of plastic storage containers to store your items in, and (3) decor for every season.  

Lets first talk about organizing your home.  The goal here is to have room for everyone and everything in your home.  I am a firm believer in the idea that if you don't know where something is, there is no reason to have it.  Lets consider this as the basic organizational premise in organizing your home.  If you have too much stuff in your home, it is very difficult to enjoy living in it.  

The easiest way to deal with having too much stuff in your home is to store it.  I believe the most convenient way to store it is by having a portable storage unit delivered to your driveway where you can load the container yourself and have the PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) picked up after you have unloaded and then reloaded it.  

A POD is a portable container (of various sizes) that can be delivered to your home and then removed when you are done loading it followed by storage in an offsite warehouse.  This is a brilliant idea for those of us who like to collect things, especially for those of us who like to decorate around the seasons but don't have any place to store our collections.  The POD is rented on a monthly basis, and includes storage in an offsite location.  The pickup and delivery fee is extra.

To begin your spring cleaning for every season, consider the season you are in and keep only the things in your home that you will need for that season.  For instance, if you are spring cleaning just before Christmas and are putting out Christmas decor, put all spring, summer and fall belongings in storage that will not be needed this Christmas season.  This includes any and all home decor that will not be used for this season.  Keep only the home decor in your home for the current season you will need it.  This includes any and all pillows, dishes, towels, bed linens, dishware, siliverware, accessories, pottery, or really anything at all that you will need for the season you are currently in.  This means clean out your closests, armoires, dressers, cupboards of anything you will not need this current season.  You will be amazed at how nice it is when you go to find something to not have to dig thru anything that is not applicable to your current needs.  

The above advice also applies to clothing in your closets and in your drawers.  If you are spring cleaning for winter, you won't probably need all of those sun dresses in your closet, or sandals in your shoe rack.  Plan on storing these items if you don't plan on using them.  

Place everything you will not use this season in plastic containers that you can stack in your POD.   Remember to package them carefully.  Place these belongings in your container and take them back out the season you have a need for them.  Imagine the room in your closest you will have in the summer when all of your winter coats are not in the way of finding your summer clothes.  Imagine getting ready for work and not having to sort thru all of the winter clothes when it is 102 degrees outside.  Immediately you will feel a little less confused, a little more organized and a little more in control with a little more time. 

Clearing your house for the season you are in is called stripping your home back to bare.  Clear everything from your home you will not need for this season.  You will notice it should be very vanilla and plain after it is stripped back to bare.  This is the goal at this point.  From this bare pallette you should clean everything you can before placing any new decorations or items into your home.  Now is the time to break out the windex, wash the mattress protectors, wipe out the drawers, and reorganize the pantry.  It is easier to clean when things are empty.

When you place the appropriate items back into your home (for example towels or napkins that coordinate with the season) make sure you fold them and stack them nicely back into your closets and furniture.  Make it a point to keep your items organized so you can find them easier when you need them.  This too will save you time and spare you confusion.

This cleanout is your opportunity to reorganize your closet as you should only have the clothes in it that currently fit you and you will wear for the upcoming season.  If the item does not fit you, or you will not wear it for the upcoming season, store it or throw it out!  You will be amazed at how many clothes you did not know you had because you could not see were there!  

The same premise holds true for towels, dishes, linens, accessories, or any items related to your home.  If you are not going to use it in the next 90 days, store it!  If it is worn out and needs to be replaced, get rid of it!  This is a great time to check to see if it is time to replace towels, linens, dishes, socks, underwear, toothbrushes...basically anything you have that wears out.  By doing this seasonally, you can keep up with maintaining your life.  You will be amazed at how much more room there is for you and your family in your home after doing this and will not be ashamed when you go to dry yourself off in the morning with a ripped towel because you will have taken the time to throw that towel out.

After you get some practice at storing items in your POD you will have learned to always label the plastic containers of your POD so that the label can be removed as you will want to recycle each container differently for each applicable season.  For instance, once you unpack your holiday decor you will use the containers currently storing your holiday decor to store your fall decor.  

The first time you pack your POD, you won't have this issue as all of the containers will be new.  After you strip your home back the second time, however, you will need containers to store your current season to make room for the upcoming season you are about to design.  I recommend removing the items in your POD for the upcoming season you are decorating around and reuse the empty containers for the season you are packing.  This requires that you make room (I recommend using your garage) and temporarily storing the items in piles until you have unpacked some containers you will open for your current season.  

When you pack your items, pack them according to seasonal theme.  Be sure you store all of your seasons together in the same set of containers so that it is easy to unpack the containers.  For instance, if you are storing fall decorations, keep them together.  Put fall brown towels with fall orange pillows, etc.  Keep Christmas with Christmas, Fall with Fall, Spring with Spring, Summer with Summer, etc.  When you open your containers and begin redecorating for the seasons you will be happy you did so.  Also store the containers in your POD by season so that they are easy to access.  

Now that everything in your home is stripped back to bare and clean, the fun begins.  Begin decorating your home for the current season you are in (see our blog on designing your home for the seasons).  If you are in the Holiday season, use your favorite holiday colors to cheer up your home.  You will be amazed at how tuned into life you feel when you surround yourself with colors that are commonly found in nature during the current time of year.  

Colors found in nature during the season you are decorating for are a great way to connect your home with the seasons.  Use flowers from the grocery or flower store around your home to bring current colors found in nature to your world.  If you want to reuse the flowers, go to Michaels Crafts or Joanne Fabrics and purchase silk florals that you can store in your POD after the season and reuse the next year.  

After a few years of decorating your home around the seasons you won't have to buy any decorations as your POD will be full of them.  Consider towels and bedding that are the colors of the season, for instance orange and brown for fall, red and green for Christmas, white and green from January thru March, add pink to white and green for spring after March, and of course red, white and blue for summer.  Pillows, curtains, towels, napkins, placemats, tableclothes, throws, bedding, linens, plates, pottery, flowers, lamp shades, and pictures are all good items to create a theme around the season.  A good base decor is critical to designing around the seasons, so see our article on this subject with a how to guide.  

I hope this article brings insight into having a home that reflects the current spirit of each and every holiday we share.  May your home be beautiful, you live your life happily ever after, and enjoy every season to its fullest!

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