Lighten Up Your Interiors for Summer

Just like you’d winterize your home by putting out extra blankets and burning scented candles, you can #summerize your space by bringing a #cooler, lighter touch to your furnishings, says L’Image Design Studio. First, eliminate excess #knickknacks that make your space feel #cluttered or constricting. Opt for lighter colors and swap out heavy, dark blankets and comforters for lighter ones. Give your houseplants some outdoor time. Wash the windows and replace heavy drapes with sheers. And finally, store any off-season items you won’t be using in labeled bins or donate them if you don’t foresee using them again.

Help Mom Be More Minimalist

Moms — everyone has one. And this Sunday is the day many among us will celebrate them. You might do that by taking her out to brunch, giving her a day off, flowers, cards or a call.

There’s another option that can help you show you care, however, in combination with one or more of those classic options or separately throughout the year: Help Mom be more minimalist.

No two moms are alike, of course; some are packrats with closets full of clothes and big collections of tchotchkes and gewgaws; some are spartan neat-freaks. Wherever yours fits on that spectrum, she needs help managing and organizing her #stuff.

We at The Organizing Blog were fortunate to have moms who kept everything #neat and #tidy, never allowing unwanted or unused #junk to pile up. But there was nothing they liked more than a little help with their household tasks.

If your mom is getting older, it’s more urgent for you to help her #downsize. There may be many things that are easy to let go, says Aging Outreach Services, but handle sentimental items with care.

If a move to a smaller space is imminent, make an action plan to eliminate everything but the essentials, room by room. Recruit family members and friends to make a day out of a decluttering effort. And most importantly, be patient.

Repeat the process as often as as necessary to get Mom to a refreshed, #decluttered place. It might even be something you can bond over — especially if you have a #garage sale that helps fund a dinner out or a spa day.

Remember, you can schedule as many free #donation #pickups as you want at ClothingDonations.org to get any extra clothing or unused household goods out of Mom’s sight as quickly as possible.

Helping #Mom #declutter is a Mother’s Day gift that keeps on giving. Not only will she appreciate having a cleaner, more organized space, but both of you will cherish the time you spend together.

Celebrating National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Next Tuesday, March 29, is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Why March 29? Because on March 29, 1973, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was disbanded and the last U.S. combat troops departed the Republic of Vietnam.

Vietnam veterans first got their own holiday the following year — even before the fall of Saigon in 1975 — thanks to President Richard Nixon, who declared March 29 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. But not until 2012 did the push for a national observance get underway.

That year, President Obama issued a proclamation calling upon all Americans to observe March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day with programs, ceremonies and other activities that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

“One of the most painful chapters in our history was Vietnam — particularly how we treated our troops who served there,” President Obama said in his remarks. “You were often blamed for a war you didn’t start, when you should have been commended for serving your country with valor.”

In 2017, National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established as an official observance. Now in its fifth year, National Vietnam War Veterans Day is the occasion for hundreds of celebrations and events nationwide — all held to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

More than 3.2 million people served between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975. But those numbers are dwindling: More than 500 Vietnam veterans pass every day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. So the time to thank them is now.

Take some time out in the next couple weeks to observe National Vietnam War Veterans Day by visiting a veterans memorial or attending a commemorative event; thanking a Vietnam veteran personally with a call, card or visit; or volunteering your time with a veterans organization.

You can also donate your used clothing and household goods to ClothingDoanations.org year-round to fund programs that help honor those who served by staging commemorative events and offering direct assistance when needed. The nation’s veterans thank you for your support!

Make Your Home Into a Hygge Haven

As readers may recall from previous wintertime posts, hygge (pronounced “HOO-guh”) is the Scandinavian concept of creating warmth, comfort and conviviality in spite of the frigid outdoor temperatures. With temperatures dropping into the single digits, we at The Organizing Blog thought it was time to offer a hygge update.

With the pandemic entering its third year, it’s worth noting that hygge jibes well with the stay-at-home ethic. It doesn’t require dressing up — just the opposite, in fact. Your most comfortable loungewear, flannels and woolen socks will be the height of hygge style.

A hygge home always includes flickering lights, according to Self magazine. Whether it’s a crackling fire in the fireplace, an arrangement of candles or holiday string lights, lighting should be muted, soothing and romantic.

You’ll also need a warm blanket to hygge-fy your home. Quiet pursuits such as a good book or jigsaw puzzle are extremely hygge, but practitioners are also welcome to binge-watch their favorite television programs. Calm relaxation is the key.

Eating in a hygge household should also be geared toward warmth: Coffee, tea and hot chocolate; hearty roasts and stews; and home-baked breads, pastries and cakes are definitely on the menu. Indulgent but fortifying, hygge foods might be called hearth-healthy.

Practiced most assiduously in the world’s happiest country, Denmark, hygge espouses #simplicity over #clutter. Too much #stuff, and hygge becomes difficult to achieve. After all, a #cluttered atmosphere is a hectic and stressful atmosphere.

Hygge and #decluttering are a match made in heaven,” says Do You. “While hygge by itself offers moments of comfort, you might be distracted or stressed by feeling that you are in an environment that is #untidy, cluttered or reminds you of things pending.”

If you’re stuck in a cluttered home, start by setting aside a small hygge haven; a single room can be your #sanctuary. Remove anything that doesn’t contribute to calm and cozy feelings, and #donate the things you won’t need again to  ClothingDonations.org.

Then, curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate or whatever best warms your bones against the winter chill. You may just find that hygge is the #simplified lifestyle you’ve been missing!

Fall Cleaning: Just as Important as Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning always gets the spotlight. Why? Because people feel like they need to make a fresh start after a long and grueling winter. But fall cleaning is just as important; after all, you’ll be indoors for three months or more, why not spend it a clean place?

The first and most obvious thing to do is get your furnace inspected if you own your own home, and change the filter even if you don’t. You’ll want to enjoy consistent heat throughout the winter, as well as clean air coming out of the vents.

Then, you’ll want to initiate a thorough cleaning. The first step — as always — is to purge some of the things you don’t need. The holidays are coming, and you can make space for new stuff — or all of the guests you’ll be hosting at your Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl parties.

Town & Country magazine has a list of 50 things that you probably don’t need to keep: condiment packets, outdated reference books, canvas totes, unworn costume jewelry, extra mugs, leftover paint and old phones. They’re just taking up space.

Bag up any lightly used clothing and household goods that might be of use to someone else and contact ClothingDonations.org for a contactless #donation pickup. A truck will visit your house on the appointed day to take that #junk away for good.

Then, start a targeted, room-by-room dusting and cleaning. Take as many hours or days as you need, but concentrate your efforts to make sure everything gets organized, dusted, wiped, mopped and sanitized.

Dust, pollen and insects such as moths probably blew into your home over the summer. Don’t let pests set up shop and overwinter in your basement or rafters. “See who’s hiding where and giving them a squish or kick to the curb before they start snacking on you or your clothes,” Apartment Therapy says.

Think of fall cleaning as a fresh start on a new season — one in which you’llbe spending a lot of time indoors. Don’t you want to live in a clean, sparkling and healthy home? Get started while you can still can!