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Fall Cleanup

I love fall. Honestly, I love everything about fall. The warm, bright colors, cooler temps, falling leaves, mums and pumpkin EVERYTHING. I have gone all out this time with outdoor fall decorations. I have a family of scarecrows (that are not scary), door wreath, pumpkins, mums, 2 garden flags and 1 large flag that says “welcome fall”. I even purchased some sort of windmill that rotates leaves and pumpkins when the wind actually blows! I will leave all this up until after Thanksgiving. I am a firm believer that each season should be enjoyed to the fullest. Our society today tries to cram all the seasons together like a certain restaurant that I recently went to that had summer, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all displayed at the same that really necessary?

With that being said, I have one question for you. How are you doing with your decluttering and organizational skills? You know that the next several months are going to be hectic with all the major holidays coming into play. Think about it. There are family gatherings, church events, parades, Christmas plays that will take up every week. If you have let your decluttering go then you may be on your way to a meltdown before the end of the year but if you have been on the straight and narrow path, the upcoming busy seasons will be a piece of cake.

As I told you earlier, I have decorated for fall so pretty much I will not have to change too much until December so that I can focus and start planning EARLY. In the next few weeks, I will get into the attic (very carefully) and start looking at Christmas decorations and determining what I am going to use. I will also be checking those lights BEFORE I hang them to a tree or string them up outside.

First thing we need to do is take inventory. Is there anything that you do not use anymore? Is there anything that you should have gotten rid of in 1972 that you are still holding on to? Donate the “don't use anymore but it is in good shape” to Goodwill. If you have lights that do not work, ornaments that are busted or out of date or wreaths that no longer look like Christmas, throw it away! This is a awesome opportunity to make the holiday seasons less stressful.

Second thing is have good storage boxes and a sharpie pen. Decorations need to be in their place and the best way to do that is to have good containers that can hold everything and then take that sharpie pen and mark what's in the box. It makes it so much easier when you have everything labeled so that you can just get the boxes you need instead of going through every box looking for decorations. I also like to invest in lots of tissue paper. I am talking about the tissue paper that you use in gift bags. I wrap all my ornaments in it. Extra tissue paper is just as important as having extra chicken broth in the cabinets to me.

Third thing is have a theme and a plan. Before you start decorating for fall or Christmas, do yourself a favor and know what “look” you are trying to achieve. Pinterest is a great resource BUT its also addictive! I am already thinking about Christmas. I want to do something that represents the simplicity of Christmas. I know what you are can you have simple and Christmas in the same sentence? Well, it will take some doing but I can't shake the fact that Christ was born in a simple manager, in a simple town, with simple parents but isn't that the beauty of it all? Simple but beautiful. I will keep you updated on what I come up with. Knowing me, it will send up being the complete opposite.

The final thing is to give yourself time to enjoy the changing of the seasons and to focus on the most important things. The fall season is a great time to meditate on God's majestic artwork such as the colors that burst forth from the trees, the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods or the smell of homemade bread. Take time to observe and to reflect on the goodness of God. Always give out lots of love and hugs to your family, pass it on to your friends and when you go to church, spread it on thick to your church family. Do not forget your community and all those in position such as the first responders. Most of all, put GOD FIRST in everything that you do and say. It's that SIMPLE!

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