May 13, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 27 Home Improvement & Gardening Simplify your life by reducing clutter at home (ARA) Springtime means flowers, rain showers, and spring cleaning. It’s easy to procrastinate, but spring cleaning is an excellent way to simplify your life simply by reducing clutter. “Spring is a great time to go through your wardrobe. Remove items that are damaged or haven’t been worn in two years, and have a yard sale or donate them to charity,” says Mia Kile, member of the American Society of Interior Designers, the Interior Design Educators Council, and an interior design instructor at The Art Institute of Dallas. To reduce desktop clutter, Kile suggests burning music and data CDs onto an external hard drive. Earn a few extra dollars by selling the CDs to a used book or music store. Look for other ways to de-clutter by visiting a home store. Use spring cleaning as a time to check the batteries in your smoke detector and to change your air filters. “Take this opportunity to call your air conditioning guy and have him take a look before the busy summer season,” Kile adds. As for spring decorating, Kile suggests changing artwork or family photos as the seasons change. “This will keep things fresh, and you will notice things instead of walking by them every day and taking them for granted.” The same can be said for small decorative items like pillows and throws. Keeping a neutral color palette will allow you to add blasts of color depending on the season. Kile says muted, citrusy colors are in for spring. You can also bring in color through paint on walls, furniture or trim. It’s an inexpensive way to make a room look refreshed. Replacing heavy drapes with light, linen or sheer fabrics can open up a room and allow natural light to come in. Slipcover the sofa or chairs with a floral print or pale, springy colors. Even rearranging the furniture can make a room feel like new, just in time for spring. Of course, nothing says spring like fresh flowers. Choose a color scheme and be consistent when creating arrangements. These little changes can make a huge impact on your decor, and not on your wallet, so spring into action! Spring “Throwing Pots: A Day of Family Fun” with potterypeace will be held May 16 from 10 to 3 at Jacobsen’s Landscape Gallery, 11 Barnstable Court in Saddle River. Wendy Lee Morris, owner and art instructor at potterypeace, will give children and adults an opportunity to watch her create with clay while sculpting on her potter’s wheel. “Pottery is a great way to create, unwind, and just let go,” Morris said. “I work a lot with children and young adults and have observed so many who learn to relax and find creativity they never even realized they had. That’s the most rewarding part of what I do.” Located in Chestnut Ridge, New York, potterypeace offers the enjoyment of exploring art in a creative, professional studio. Art instruction is available for children and adults, and a summer art camp. Morris received a BA in fine arts and psychology from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Her art has been shown at various prestigious juried shows, including Lincoln Center Art Show in New York City and Westhampton Art Show in Long Island. Top: Wendy Lee Morris at the potter’s wheel. Bottom: One of the artist’s works. 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