Wally Lake Fest: August 24-26, 2018

Wally Lake Fest is three days of fun, sun, sand and water on beautiful Lake Wallenpaupack and the surrounding region. From August 24th through the 26th, people of all ages attend the weekend-long event celebrating the third largest man-made lake in the state and all its 52 miles of shoreline has to offer.

The action packed festival gives people the opportunity to have fun out on the water and enjoy themselves on dry land.  Wally Lake Fest is the perfect way to spend the last summer weekend together as a family before back to school and the Labor Day holiday. Who says summer can’t last just a little bit longer? On Lake Wally, it can!

This August marks the ninth year, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. The party gets started on Friday with a variety of live music at the local restaurants and pubs as well as a comedic play at the local playhouse. The live entertainment continues throughout the weekend.

The thrilling festival continues with fanfare on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the exciting activities planned include an open market fair, a motorcycle ride, a bike ride, kayak and standup paddleboard demos, various artisan and craft fairs, a beer tasting, live music on a floating stage, a boat, watercraft and outdoor show, free tastings of local cheeses, train rides, sailboat rides, a sailboat regatta race, a kids’ activity zone complete with face painting, bounce houses and more, a car cruise, plenty of shopping and much more.

Wally Lake Fest is a non-stop adventure in the Lake Region with a plethora of activities for the young and young at heart. Gather the family and spend the weekend on Lake Wallenpaupack, whether you live locally or are visiting the scenic area for the day or the entire weekend!

To make it possible for people to get the most out of their Wally Lake Fest experience, multiple free shuttle buses will run throughout the weekend, making a variety of stops. On Saturday, FREE shuttle buses will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, buses run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wally Lake Fest is proudly hosted by the Downtown Hawley Partnership and presented by Lighthouse Harbor Marina and Silver Birches.

For more information, pick up a Wally Lake Fest brochure available at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors’ Center and other area businesses. The brochure lists the complete schedule of events for the entire weekend. Additional details and daily updates are posted on www.wallylakefest.com, and the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/wallylakefest.


HotTitleJuly18-optAudubon Art & Craft Festival

AudubonLogo-optRegarded as the premier wildlife art and craft event in the Pocono Mountains, the Audubon Wildlife Art & Craft Festival is an educational, fun-filled opportunity for all ages to learn about, and experience firsthand, many of nature’s mysteries.

The 2018 NEPA Wildlife Art & Craft Festival will feature continuous presentations of live animals by some of the top wildlife experts in the Northeast. These animals can be seen up close and in a way few people ever get to see. How they live, their habits, what they eat, and why they are a lot more afraid of people than people are of them will be explained in easy to understand detail that you and your children will never forget.  A large variety of raptors and birds of prey, snakes, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals will be our guests for the public to experience first-hand, with the help of our visiting experts.

Over 80 of the nation’s finest wildlife and nature artists and craftsmen will be exhibiting, as well as selling their work. Photography, acrylic and oil painting, serigraphy, and watercolor will all be displayed. Handmade craftswork, inspired by nature or wildlife, will be at the two day festival.  Jewelry, clothing, pottery, woodcarving, quilting, metalwork, leatherwork and furniture are just some of the many crafts that will be exhibited and for sale. Many of these artists and craftsmen are from our region and include the best artists and craftsmen in the nation.

The Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will be present the entire two days of the event. The Pocono Snake and Animal Farm will be presenting “Wildlife Adventures” at 1 PM and 3 PM on Saturday, and Rizzo’s Wildlife World, will be giving live educational performances at 1 PM and 3 PM on Sunday.

Sponsored by the Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society, the festival will have free conservation literature and a wide variety of environmental, conservation, and wildlife experts on hand. There will be door prizes, nature center exhibits, activities just for kids, and plenty of  delicious home-made food!

Funds raised at the festival help provide environmental scholarships to students in the area, conservation programs to schools and community organizations, nature books to schools and libraries, grants to local and international environmental groups and maintain two wetlands in Wayne County.

Celebrating its 34th year, the Audubon Festival will be held July 21st and 22nd in Hawley, Pennsylvania. Don’t forget, this is an indoor air-conditioned event with plenty of free parking!

Steampunk Honesdale

Steampunk Logo-optThe Greater Honesdale Partnership and all of Honesdale’s wonderful merchants invite you to attend Steampunk Honesdale on Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., sponsored by Wayne Bank, Complete Health Dentistry of NEPA and Paulie’s Hot Dogs with support from Wayne County Tourism and The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.

Get ready for this fun weekend by signing up for Steampunk Jewelry Making at Bloom, being offered July 10 and 11 at 6:00 p.m. Create a pair of Steampunk earrings and a necklace. For more information, call 201-914-1414. Or, purchase a Steampunk Honesdale T-shirt! To order, please email the GHP at ghp@visithonesdalepa.com.

Featuring Honesdale’s historic Sidewalk Sales, Main Street will be filled with all kinds of great merchandise offered by its fine local stores, area vendors, Steampunk artists and vendors, and area non-profits. You are all invited to come and explore all that Honesdale has to share.

Come to Honesdale; browse through the great variety of stores, learn about the wonderful local history and services, and dine at one of the many area restaurants, cafes or taverns. Honesdale has great shops on every block, so wear your walking shoes. For a full list, stop by one of the shops in Honesdale and pick up our brochure, complete with a colorful map, list of events and historic walking tour, or go to visithonesdalepa.com.

We invite you to visit the past and enjoy the great exhibits at the newly expanded and remodeled Wayne County Historical Society, located at 810 Main Street. The Historical Society is celebrating their 101st  anniversary this year. Enjoy the great exhibits – 100 Objects of Wayne County, Moving Energy, Faces in Clay and the glass exhibit. And bring the kids to enjoy the interactive Children’s History Lag. The Museum will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Steam returns to Honesdale with rail excursions aboard a real steam locomotive on the Stourbridge Line Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please go to www.stourbridgeline.net or call 570-470-2697 for ticket information and departure times.

Enjoy the Wayne County Farmers Market, on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., (located in front of Dave’s Food Town, 220 Willow Ave.) featuring many items made and grown locally.

While Honesdale is an extremely accessible town, scooter rentals will be available at Stephens Pharmacy/NE Med-Equip, located at 1101 Main Street on Saturday, July 21, for your shopping convenience. Full day rentals are available for $25.00 per day and hourly rentals begin at $15.00 for the first two hours with $5.00 for each additional hour up to $25.00. Please call 570-253-7700 for additional information.

There will be many fun activities during this new event! Kick off the weekend with the Steampunk Ball at the Cooperage, Friday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. with music by the Whisky Killers and a cash bar. Costumes are encouraged! Visit the Library at 1406 Main Street for their Blind Book Sale, Friday, July 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Get your photo taken by Circa Photo in front of the Silsby Steamer under the Pavilion. Take in the Steampunk art exhibit in the courtyard of The Cooperage, 1030 Main Street, or enter the Steampunk Costume Contest at Black & Brass all three days. Plan on attending the Author Fest on Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m. held at The Cooperage. There will be plenty to do for young and old. Visit the Tarot Card reader in front of Turano Insurance and Financial and see what your future has in store for you. Top off the event by enjoying the Steampunk Film Festival, beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday at Loose Leaf Pages. And make sure to purchase your Coal Drop raffle ticket for your chance to win one of five cash prizes! Tickets are available at area merchants and will be on sale at the GHP tent all day Saturday, and up until 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Steampunk Honesdale T-shirts and window decals will also be sold at the tent.

Many more events are in the works! Stay tuned for details. Go to VisitHonesdalePa.com often for more updates.

With so much to do and see, why go anywhere else! We hope to see you at Steampunk Honesdale!





Think You’re One Tough Mucker? Muckstock 2018 is Bigger and Better!









Registration $75 • Day of Race Registration $100

Be A Tough Mucker! Get your muck on for the 2nd Annual MuckStock 5K Race on Sunday, Aug. 19th. MuckStock Obstacle Course Race (OCR) will sorely test your muckin’ mettle as you face multiple spirit, strength and stamina obstacles strategically placed throughout muddy terrain. New this year, Paint Ball Obstacle!

AGE: 13 or older: Must have valid Photo I.D and waiver. Children 13-15 must have parent or guardian present to verify age and waiver. Children 12 and under participating in the Kidz Race must have parent or guardian present at all times and wavier.

RACE KIT: Shirt, Bib, Finishing Metal, Finishing snack, Free After Party.

RACE BIB: You’ll get a bib (race number) that you must wear on the FRONT of your body (shirt or shorts). The bib serves two purposes: (1) It lets our security know that you’re a paid runner; (2) Items at the bag check are organized by bib number, so you must have it in order to retrieve your bags. We do not keep records of who gets which bib, so be sure to remember your number!

T-SHIRT: You’ll be given whatever size shirt you requested when you registered. There are no women’s sizes. T-Shirts are unisex style and are true to size.

BAG CHECK: DO NOT BRING the following items with you onto the course: wedding rings or other expensive jewelry, sunglasses, your only pair of prescription glasses, your wallet, your car keys, your cell phone, or anything else you don’t want to lose/destroy. Leave belongings with a friend, return them to your car, or check them at our free bag check located at the BAG CHECK TENT. Be advised that Vetstock, LLC, Vetstock America, Muckstock or any other affiliates of Vetstock, if any, assumes no liability for damage to or loss of any items placed in a bag check.

PACK YOUR BAG: Be sure to bring a towel, a change of clothes (including shoes or flip flops), sunscreen, water, a plastic bag to put your muddy clothes in, a folding chair or blanket to sit on, and, if you want to skip the rinse-off lines, a couple of gallons of water to leave in your car, they’ll heat up throughout the day giving you a nice warm rinse while everyone else shivers from the supplied water! Coolers aren’t allowed into the event.

PARKING: $5 per vehicle. Cash only. Shuttle vehicle may be available.

TEAMS: Allowed. Individual registration for each member.

WAVES: Start at 8:30 am. Up to 75 racers per group. Waves go out every 15 mins.



Proceeds to benefit FOLDS OF HONOR (www.foldsofhonor.org) and other local Veterans organizations (New for 2018; Horses for Heros)

A VETSTOCK EVENT: EMAIL: VetstockAmerica@gmail.com    A 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION –  46-2563883

Scranton Jazz Festival

ScrantonJazzlogo-optFormer New York Yankee great Bernie Williams and the Bernie Williams Collective, Delfeayo Marsalis, a world class trombonist and member of the legendary Marsalis Family, and the multi Grammy nominated band Special EFX will be the headliners for the 14th Annual Scranton Jazz Festival on August 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2018 at the Radisson Hotel in Downtown Scranton.

Bernie Williams is a four time World Series Champion with the Yankees.  Following his storied career in baseball, Williams has spent many years playing and studying the jazz guitar.  In 2009, his album, “Moving Forward”, was nominated for a Latin Grammy.  The Bernie Williams Collective will headline the lineup for Saturday, August 4, 2018.

An exceptional trombonist, Delfeayo Marsalis was named one of the best, most imaginative and musical trombonists of his generation by the San Francisco Examiner.  He is the youngest brother of multi Grammy Award winners Branford and Wynton Marsalis. Delfeayo will be the guest artist playing with the 16 piece Big Band on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

Kicking off the festival on Friday, August 3, 2018, Special EFX will be celebrating 35 years in the jazz music industry.  With over twenty six releases to their name, Special EFX features some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz.  Led by three time Emmy Award winner Cheili Minucci on jazz guitar, the band also features multi award winning and Grammy nominees, Eric Marienthal sax, Regina Carter violin, Lao Tizer keyboards, Jerry Brooks bass and Joel Rosenblatt drums.

Tickets range from $20.00 – $40.00 and will be on sale May, 2018.  For further information please go to www.ScrantonJazzFestival.org or call 570.575.5282.

Wally Lake Fest

WLFLogo18-optThis year marks Wally Lake Fest’s ninth year and it’s widely known as the biggest festival celebrating the Big Lake and the tail end of the summer season.

Residents and visitors flock to the shoreline and glistening waters to participate in the many scheduled water activities and also have a blast on dry land.

Be sure to check back next month for a feature article on all Wally Lake Fest has to offer this year!

Milford Garden Club’s Secret Garden Tour

Secretgarden_tour_ photo-optThe Milford Garden Club’s 26th annual Town and Country Secret Garden Tour will take place on Saturday, July 14th, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike eagerly await this self-guided tour each summer which is held rain or shine! Locations of the gardens are a “secret” until the day of the tour.

ADVANCE TICKET PRICE is $15.00, available to purchase at The Willow Store, 317 Broad Street in Milford, or at The Artisan Exchange, 219 Broad Street in Milford. You can order tickets in advance by calling Helga (570-409-6027.) Send check by July 7th, to Milford Garden Club, P.O. Box 764, Milford, PA 18337.

TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE THE DAY OF THE TOUR from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Remembrance Place, corner of West Ann Street and Elderberry Alley or at The Rotary Circle/Milford Community House, Broad Street (by the traffic light in town.) TICKET PRICE DAY OF TOUR IS $20.00 (children under 12 are welcome free!)


ROOTS SadiesJune18The cover of The Sadies’ new album is a powerful image of the northern lights made by photographer David Kilabuk in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, a sight few of us will ever get to behold with our own eyes. Yet the awe-inspiring natural beauty and mystery captured in the photo are an ideal reflection of the music contained within.

No further embellishment seems necessary.

That’s been the essence of The Sadies’ story ever since the quartet comprised of singer/guitarists Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky first exploded onto the North American scene 20 years ago. Back then there was still something called “alt-country,” a catchall for artists striving to carry on traditions with punk rock attitude. The Sadies certainly fit that description, but the breadth of their skills and musical knowledge was unparalleled since a group of fellow Torontonians left Ronnie Hawkins in the mid-‘60s to take a job backing Bob Dylan.

As the aurora borealis shifted with each album The Sadies made, the overall picture took on more defined colors. On top of that was the incredible list of collaborations—Neko Case, R&B legend Andre Williams, The Mekons’ Jon Langford, Jon Spencer, Robyn Hitchcock, John Doe, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gord Downie, Neil Young—each one pushing The Sadies’ own sound into new, unmapped territory. Eventually, more time was taken in between albums as focus shifted to their original songwriting, and what was once the best live band in Canada became the best band in Canada, period.

Is it fair then to call Northern Passages their masterpiece? Yes, at least until the next album comes along. With “Riverview Fog” setting a haunting tone off the top, the sense of time collapsing is palpable. The psych-folk touches are no mere homage; this is the sound of our inscrutable world, and how we manage to survive in it. The song began as a letter to their friend Rick White, whose contributions, both musical and visual, have played a huge role in The Sadies’ story. Although White wasn’t involved with Northern Passages, embedded within “Riverview Fog” is hope that White will return to the fold.

Conversely, other friendships are on display, specifically the track “It’s Easy (Like Walking),” sung by Kurt Vile who became a convert after touring in support of The Sadies years ago. Without a second thought, he laid down his vocal part in the midst of his own grueling tour schedule. It’s one of the album’s standouts to be sure, but resides in the shadow of Northern Passage’s centrepiece, “The Elements Song.” Perhaps never before has everything The Sadies do best been harnessed in the span of five minutes. And perhaps fittingly, it was the starting point for Northern Passages when the band convened at the home of Dallas and Travis’ parents north of Toronto to record throughout the winter of 2015, with Dallas once again handling production duties.

“That was the first song I wrote for this album, and it was completely an extension of our last record, Internal Sounds,” Dallas Good says. “It took the longest to write and took the long-est to record, so in a way it gave the record this daunting feeling.”

However, Dallas is quick to note that Northern Passages contains several humourous moments, albeit of the extremely dark variety he’s known for. One is the album’s most overt “country” song, “God Bless The Infidels,” a scathing takedown of religious hypocrisy perfectly suited to our current social climate. Although Dallas has never proclaimed any political allegiances in his work, there are times like now when reality checks such as this are absolutely necessary.

As Dallas has found his songwriting voice over the last several albums, so too has Travis on Northern Passages. That’s evident on the tracks “Through Strange Eyes,” “Questions I Never Asked” and “As Above, So Below,” some of Travis’ strongest material yet. “I always want to hear Travis perform songs that show what he’s capable of,” Dallas says. “He did that all over this record, especially the three songs on which he sings lead.”

The overall group mentality of huddling in a basement for several months, Big Pink-style, actually led to some parallels to the 2004 project The Unintended with Rick White and Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor. Northern Passages’ hazy instrumental “The Noise Museum” would have fit nicely alongside that record’s deep woods psychedelia, while closing track “The Good Years” (containing among other killer lines, “He haunted her before he was dead”), is a prime example of the “northern gothic” approach The Sadies have all but patented.

Despite the eclecticism at the heart of The Sadies’ sound, Northern Passages’ main strength is a cohesiveness that gives it a more consistent feel overall. Dallas credits this in part to recording with no time restrictions or distractions, and, significantly, by returning to the same space where he and Travis first started playing in bands. “We had nothing to lose by trying to make the record down there, and we weren’t sure if anything good would come out of it,” he says. “But removing any unfamiliar elements allowed us to focus a lot better. My parents’ basement turned out to be my favorite studio yet.”

Given all their associations and tireless touring regimen, it can seem at times as if The Sadies are everywhere, all the time. Yet they are a band that fans cling to like a closely guarded secret, with each new release fulfilling the promise to reach further, for all of our sakes, not just their own. With Northern Passages, the time has come to make room for more on this wild acid-folk-country-punk trip, and trust me, we’ll be better off because of it.

ROOTS SadiesJune18 R&R LOGO8.color(green)


After an exceptionally long and snowy winter, we deserve and are ready for some warm spring days. As nature finally awakens with longer days, budding trees and green fields, it’s an exciting time for us car enthusiasts.  A time to renew old friendships, see our old favorite collector cars, meet new enthusiasts and get our first view of the newest cars completed by dedicated car lovers who worked throughout the winter in their home shops to complete their latest vision.

One of the new cars being debuted this show/cruise season is a gorgeous black & white 1956 Chevrolet 210 two-door sedan, owned and built over last winter by Gerry Milidantri.  The 1956 is the middle year of one of Chevrolet’s most popular body styles ever introduced and is often referred to as the “Tri Fives” (1955-1957).  It is safe to say if you are a “baby boomer” you, a family member, neighbor or friend owned a “Tri Five” Chevy, and it is not easily forgotten!


Between 1950 through 1975, the Chevrolet division of General Motors produced the full size Chevrolet Bel Air in the United States. The 1949-1952 hardtops in the Chevrolet Deluxe Styleline model range were the first to carry the Bel Air name.  In 1953 Bel Air became one of three new distinct series introduced.  The other two series were the 150 and 210. The 210 was the midrange model from 1953 to 1957 that replaced the Styline Deluxe model available the previous years and was discontinued after the 1957 model year to be replaced by the Biscayne model.

The second generation of the Bel Air is categorized as the 1955-1957 (“Tri Five”) model years. The 1956 model year, the year of this month’s featured car, was the center year of Chevrolet’s three-year market share growth, fueled thanks to buyers’ enthusiasm for the new style Chevrolets and the new optional V8 engines. The ’55, ‘56 and ‘57 Chevy’s looks, power and engineering made them among America’s most popular cars in the mid- fifties during a time in which consumers bought cars as never before.  The fresh styling and updated design provided great market flexibility across a broad spectrum of the car market in response to the needs of both personal and business vehicles.  Unique grilles, “wrap around windshields” and a beltline dip below the rear side window added to the “Tri Five” Chevy’s new “longer-wider-boxier” style, which was somehow magically fitted on the new 115 inch wheelbase frame.  The Bel Airs came with the same features found on cars in the lower model ranges (150 & 210) plus interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings and full wheel covers. Models were further distinguished by the Bel Air name script in gold lettering later in the year.

The true catalyst for the consumer excitement was the introduction of Chevrolet’s first modern V8 engine, the 265 cubic inch “Turbo Fire” (the start of Chevrolet “Small Block Dynasty”).  The new engine was lighter than the six cylinders and much more powerful, rated 162 horsepower with a standard transmission and 170 horsepower when equipped with the PowerGlide automatic transmission. An optional 180 horsepower version tagged “Power-Pak” featured a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts.  The reliable 235 cubic inch six cylinder rated at 123 horsepower was still available, but the V8 was what people wanted.  In support of the V8 option Chevrolet introduced an updated chassis with new ball-joint front suspension and standard tubeless tires.

Featured Car

The 1956 Chevy was purchased in October of 2016 from the estate of its past owner by Gerry Milidantri. The car was rust free, had its floors and rocker boxes replaced, had a beautiful body and the original 6 cylinder engine with a manual three speed transmission. Gerry’s vision for his “Tri Five” project was to create an all stock looking 1956 Chevy, but update the engineering and mechanical to the speed and performance level of a modern muscle car.  By starting with a beautiful original car, Gerry saved months if not years of build time, thousands of dollars in sheet metal work, (smartly avoiding the one area of automobile expertise he doesn’t do which is “body work”) and was able to focus on the car’s transformation from a “Granny special” to truly something very special!

Once home, Gerry removed the original engine, transmission, differential, front suspension, interior and wiring. The now shell of the 1956 was pressure washed, all undercoating was removed, the chassis painted and the following activities competed;

  • Installed new front suspension with Heidt tubular control arms, new spindles, coil springs and shocks.
  • Installed new steering box with CPP power assist unit, new tie rod links and   idler arm.
  • Modified the rear chassis and relocated the leaf springs to facilitate wider tires.
  • Installed new high performance fabricated 9” Ford rear equipped with adjust-able Cal Trac traction bars.
  • Installed Wildwood Disc Brakes all around.
  • Wanting an old style gasser engine for  his ’56, Gerry started with a 1966 Corvette 327 block that was modified and rebuilt with the best of new components into a 430 Hp “tire spinning beast”.
  • To get the power to the rear, Gerry installed a Hay’s steel flywheel, a Center Force clutch, a pressure plate, aluminum titanium lined blow proof bell housing and a Tremec 5 speed manual transmission.
  • Installed all new wiring harness, MSD distributor and digital ignition control.
  • Interior floors were insulated with Dynamat and new carpeting installed.
  • Replaced all window crank handles, door levers, and outside door handles.
  • All of the cars bumpers, emblems, tail lights, grill, parking and headlights (over $4,000.00 worth) was replaced.

Gerry’s painstaking effort, commitment to detail and quest for perfection has created another timeless beauty destined to be one of this season’s newest head turning, smile generating crowd pleasers!


Gerry is now semi-retired and living in Durham, Connecticut running his own consulting company providing managerial and technical support to the aircraft and industrial turbine marketplace. When not in his office, he can usually be found in his huge barn (garage/workshop) doing what he loves, tinkering.  Whether he is working on his latest car project, planning his next, fixing his tractor or grandkids’ quads, as long as it has an engine he is happy. When most kids are young, they played with cars pushing them around making noises, building models, eventually got bored, lost interest and stopped playing with cars and trucks.  Gerry hasn’t stopped yet. He loves cars, always has and always will!  He has owned and built numerous great cars across the spectrum of the car hobby including Corvettes, muscle cars, antiques, race cars and street rods starting back to his early teens.

He is a perfectionist who enjoys the challenge and restoration/build journey as much as the final product.  He is unselfish in giving of his time and expertise to help a fellow hobbyist.  He continues to host Tuesday night barn nights where his friends gather to share their projects, knowledge and camaraderie.  So if you happen to be cruising in Connecticut and see a bunch of kids eating ice cream in a beautiful black and white 1956 Chevrolet 210, honk and wave, the big kid’s name is Gerry!



While most aspects of spring are revitalizing, homeowners may find themselves dreading that inevitable spring cleaning.  But tidying up for warmer months doesn’t have to be hard – just look at it as a way to allow your home to breathe.

“The snow is melting away, and the grass is green,” says professional organizer, Nancy McKinney, owner of S.O.S. Solutions, Madison, WI. “It’s just nice to get rid of that extra dust, open the windows, and feel refreshed in your house.”

Breathe in that fresh spring air and follow these expert tips to get your spring cleaning done right; you may never have to gear up for a massive home cleaning again.

RedCircleWithNumberStart with a purge splurge

“Many of us live with items we don’t like and never use that just clutter our homes,” says Annette Besaw, owner of Design Matters, South Burlington, VT. “When you give the items you absolutely love space to breathe, that is when you can finally see and enjoy them.”

But parting with items is a struggle for many.  To decide what stays and goes, Besaw says to honestly answer the following questions:

  • Have I used this item in the last six months? “Excluding holiday decorations, if you haven’t used an item for half a year, chances are you don’t need it,” Besaw says.
  • Do I love it? Do I even like it? “We all have too many excuses to hold on to things – it was a gift, it was expensive, it was my family’s,” she says.  But if disaster struck and you lost all your belongings, would you repurchase it?  “If you wouldn’t, then maybe it is time to say goodbye,” she says.
  • Is it worth the space it takes up? “Figure out what your home costs per square foot each year,” Besaw says. “Now, when you look at an item, ask yourself if the item is worth the space it sits on.”

Once you’ve recycled, donated, or tossed all of your “no” items, you’ll have already conquered a huge part of your task, and the rest of your spring cleaning will be a much lighter load.

RedCircleWithNumberGear up

Before you start scrubbing sinks and polishing wood, make sure your home is stocked up with all necessary cleaning supplies, McKinney says.  “Make sure you’re prepared. If you want to wax the floor, make sure you actually have the wax.”

RedCircleWithNumberClear out cabinets

Shannon Bartley, ASID, interior designer for Rembrandt Interiors, Ferndale, MI, says even after a major purge, cabinets and drawers often get left behind.  “People tend to shove their items out of sight, out of mind,” she says.

Bartley recommends wiping out every drawer and cabinet to ensure you’re truly looking at each item they hold.  And don’t forget the pantry.  “I make a note if an item is going to expire within the month. Take everything out of that deep pantry and deep cabinet.  Wipe it out and put everything back in.”  And remember: Prescriptions and other medications expire, just like food.

RedCircleWithNumberDitch old clothing

Parting with old clothes is one of the biggest challenges homeowners face, especially those who aim to lose weight.  But owning clothing in four different sizes is a bit excessive. “If people really truly believe they’re going to lose weight, then keep a size up and a size down,” Bartley says.

As for the rest of your closet, Bartley offers a helpful hint to figure out what needs to go.  “Turn all of your hangers one way, so the hook of each hanger is facing the same way.  After you’ve worn an item, turn the hanger the other way,” she says. “Then, in six months or a year, look at what you’ve worn.”  If an item hasn’t been used, you know what to do.

RedCircleWithNumberMake it a family affair

“Spring cleaning your home can be fun and can bring a family together,” Besaw says.  Put on some music and get your family together so you can all appreciate the work it takes to keep a clean home.  Afterward, do something fun to celebrate. “Come up with an activity you all love to do as a reward for getting it all done.”

© CTW Features