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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Spring Cleaning Makes Way for Autumn Abandon

Spring Cleaning Makes Way for Autumn Abandon

The onset of autumn is not the most likely time to talk about spring-cleaning. After all, spring is the season of rebirth. It’s the time to throw open the windows and let the sun come pouring through. It’s a time to sweep out dust and leftover soot. It’s a natural time to put heavy blankets away and replace goose-down parkas with lightweight sweaters and fleece pullovers. But with all of that spring activity, you may feel a little disheartened by the lack of fanfare for the fall. It doesn’t have to be so though. Fall holds its very own rites of passage.

In America we have somehow cluttered ourselves with decorations and seasonal signs; most of which deal primarily with the string of holidays in October, November, and December. According to the National Retail Federation, between the three holidays  – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas – Americans spend nearly $697.2 billion dollars. Of that figure, can you imagine how much goes to purchasing gifts that will never be worn, fall victim to some dank, dark, basement, or even worse, be exchanged for money back or store credit? It is mind-boggling! However, if we allowed our minds to operate each fall with a more spring mindset, our homes would be less cluttered, our minds would be more at ease, and our pocketbooks would be a little heavier.

So, this fall when you are frantically pulling out cotton spider webs, candied tchotchkes, 15-yea-old turkeys made from finger paint, and broken strings of Christmas lights that “just need one bulb,” take a few minutes to declutter and give yourself more space to breathe and more room to live.

5 Ways you can give yourself the gift of a simpler life this holiday season: (+2 in case the first five are too difficult)

  1. It is quite likely that if your child has dressed as an angel this year for Halloween, she will not do the same next year. Consider donating the wings and halo so that another child can be just as angelic.
  2. Just because spooky pathway lights and tubes of fake blood are on sale at the five and dime doesn’t mean you have to buy them. Chances are the lights will never be taken out of the package and the blood will congeal in the attic.
  3. As wonderful as holiday plates are, refrain from buying new dinnerware simply because the Thanksgiving 2010 set has an adorable turkey couple design.
  4. Yes, canned pumpkin is tasty in the fall when baked into a large pie, but do you really think you’ll have a pumpkin pie craving in July? Don’t overbuy on the canned goods.
  5. As you prepare to wrap gifts, don’t reuse bows that are crumpled or crinkled. Throw them out, and consider not even using decorative bows this year.
  6. Have fun wrapping and do a patchwork wrap job using all the odd shapes and sizes you have refused to throw away this decade.
  7. Consider giving away or donating old ornaments you systematically hide in the rear of the tree. Be respectful of the giver, but be practical about the space they consume.

If you take even an hour to do a quick sort and purge each holiday season, you’ll have less to pack up, less storage space used up, and a clutter-free holiday kick off next year.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.