Out with the Cold, In with the New

spring-cleaning

In New England, you’re as likely to have a blizzard as to have 70 degrees in March, so it’s hard to tell when to start spring cleaning and shedding the vestiges of winter. While spring is official March 20, we all have our own signals that give us hope. When do you call it spring?

  • By the calendar?
  • Daylight Saving Time?
  • Red Sox Spring Training?
  • When you see bear tracks circling the bird feeder?

Whenever, that first sunny warm day—even if after a snowstorm—can spark a case of spring fever and motivate you to tackle the seasonal changeover.

First things first: out with the old (months of magazines, leftover holiday décor, clutter) and in with a fresh, cleaner look. Send snowman décor, heavily scented candles and warm throws back to the attic or basement. (Don’t store anything without cleaning it first, and get rid of things that are too worn.)

Lighten up!

You’ll be amazed at how much neater table and shelf surfaces look when you put away—or give away—those knickknacks and dust collectors. Polish the sleeker tabletops and you’ve already made progress.

Straighten out those bookshelves. Can you share some of your collection or donate some books? Eliminate a few accessories to let a little “air” into the shelves. How about a makeover: paint the inside a contrasting color or add wallpaper.

Clearing out things to make room for new, positive energy to enter is a principle of feng shui. To change winter’s stagnant, stuffy energy, move! Your furniture, that is. Experiment with new placement. If you’re having hardwood floors polished and rugs or carpets cleaned, consider this an opportunity to minimize the number of pieces in the room. Or pretend you’re “staging” the room to sell your home. Most of us have too many articles of furniture taking up space literally and figuratively. All that “stuff” can hold us back from more creative seasonal expressions.

Positive energy, practically speaking

In feng shui, entrances are important. An objective consultation with an experienced designer will help you streamline and give your home a fresh new perspective. This helps clear the way for more abundant “life force” (chi in Chinese) to flow and, according to ancient thought, blessings are sure to follow. To encourage positive energy flow, clear the decks and make the entranceway welcoming.

Winter in New England means lots of warm clothing clutter: hats, gloves, mittens, people and dog sweaters, boots, etc. So set aside some time to tackle the front hall or “mudroom.” Don’t have one? Click to our last article about mudrooms in NH.

Remember to keep a jacket and rain boots handy for that inevitable squall and mud season. Tired of wrestling with that top-heavy coat tree? Can’t squeeze another thing in that hall closet? A re-do may be in order. You’ll be amazed at how much more room a closet installation can you give you, while letting you see everything at the same time.

Speaking of closets, it’s a sure bet your pantry could use a purge.

Let the sun shine in by taking down heavy insulated drapes, replacing them with something lighter and brighter, maybe with sheers. To improve the outside view, wash those windows and screens.

Get the fireplace ready… for next fall!

Clean out the fireplace one last time and consider if this will be the year that you convert to gas. Schedule a chimney cleaning so you don’t have to worry about it next November when temps take a nose dive. Are the bricks in good shape? How happy are you with the surround and mantel? A fireplace is a focal point. Give it a facelift by adding marble, tile or molding.

Did you hatch any remodeling plans over the winter? Think inside out. If you’re replacing drafty old windows with broken seals, for example, add insulation too.

The vernal finishing touch

In the bedroom, clean and store those heavy blankets, reverse that comforter or duvet cover, or replace it with something spring-like and colorful.

Any home could use a breath of fresh air—literally. On the first warm, spring-like day, open all the windows and air your home out.

Florals are traditional expressions of spring, so if your daffodils haven’t bloomed yet, bring flowers in along with green plants. If your sofa is slipcovered, it’s time to wash and switch it out to a lighter, brighter one.

Put a spring wreath on the door—after a wash, fresh paint and/or new hardware—and you’re ready!

Whether your home needs a head to toe remodel or you just want to refresh a room or two, the designers at 3W Design Inc. can help, from new window treatments all the way to an outdoors entertaining space. So think spring. After all, when the Red Sox are in Fort Myers, can summer be that far behind?

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