Free Your Space: Seasons of change

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus

Autumn has finally arrived. It is hard not to feel the changes that are so palpable in the air: Summer humidity is giving way to crisp breezes; fall clothing and crunching leaves are beginning to paint the landscape with vibrant colors; fresh apples, ciders and pies are appearing at farm stands and in grocery stores.

As with spring, this intuitive and seasonal transition in nature offers opportunities of new beginnings for us at home. Since the supplies that we will need to navigate the colder months will be drastically different than their warm-weather counterparts, now is a perfect time to pull things out, check your inventories and re-organize.

For a quick fall freshen-up, try assessing these four areas: clothing, kitchenware, décor and outerwear.

Clothing: Start by taking a look at your most easily reachable clothing storage – the drawers and closets you access daily. Pull out an entire drawer or section of your closet and review each item with this examination: Does it fit?    Do I still love it?          Will I wear it again?

If it passes this test with a resounding “Yes!” decide whether to keep it at your fingertips for this season or transfer it to storage until the spring. Keep donations bags on hand for items that haven’t passed the test.

Address a couple of drawers at a time or the whole lot at once. Depending on the size of your wardrobe, this process could take two or more hours. Once the drawers and closets that are closest at hand have been assessed and culled of out-of-season items, bring your warmer garments to the front and out of their storage areas. Put them to the same test before setting them into place.

Kitchenware: There’s no need to have cabinets overflowing because bulky, out-of-season items are making them impossible manage. Sets of summertime plastic-ware, like margarita glasses and chip bowls, mainly used for outdoor barbeques can be packed away in order to claim that extra space for seasonal mugs, serving plates and your crock-pot. Easy access to these items will better serve your cold-weather needs. Once again, use this time of transition to hold your kitchenware to a stringent pass/fail exam. Do you use it? Love it? Still want it? Maybe it’s time to send the unused waffle-maker on to a new home.

Décor: I find that the easiest way to handle seasonal décor is to trade out everyday items for seasonal ones. If you pull fall candles, vases or tablecloths out of a “Fall Décor” box, store the corresponding everyday pieces in that same box until it is time to switch them back. This system of switching décor keeps clutter from building up and allows for a fresh, new look.

Outerwear: Winter weather will mean bigger, bulkier layers to accommodate. Gather together your coats, jackets and accessories – are there any extras in a guest room or office closet? Is there something new that you purchased last season? Take an objective look at what you have. Hats, gloves and scarves can sometimes become unwieldy. Remove items that are torn, outgrown or otherwise unwanted. Are you keeping any coats for nostalgia sake? If you really can’t part with it yet, you may want to decide to move it into storage so that more useful winter jackets can fit in easily. For the remainder, there are many places that would gladly accept whatever warm, winter clothing you are ready to part with.

If addressed each autumn and spring, tackling these four areas can keep your home functionally organized and ensure that your belongings stay fresh and well-used, making certain that you will keep what you enjoy and enjoy what you have.

* Annette Reyman is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO®) and Immediate Past President of its Greater Philadelphia Chapter. To contact her for organizing work, professional unpacking, productivity support, gift certificates or speaking engagements call 610-213-9559 or email her at annette@allrightorganizing.com. Visit her websites at www.allrightorganizing.com and www.allrightmoves.com. Follow All Right Organizing on Facebook and Pinterest.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to: editor@chaddsfordlive.com.

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