Fall really is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp air. I love the colors that Mother Nature has on display and I love getting organized. Perhaps it is because I live in the upper Midwest where we often have to hunker down for winter. It is like a nesting urge takes over. I want to make apple crisp and pies from the bounty of my neighbor’s tree. Surely they will not mind if I grab a bushel? I am pulling out my soup pot out and perusing Pinterest on my search for the perfect soup recipe! Snow will be here before I know it and I am in denial as I would like live to live in perpetual fall. However I know the last leaves will fall from the trees and the wind will start to swirl the first snowfall before too long. But these are a few of the things that I like to get done and taken care of before that first dusting.
Fall Accessory Storage: We need transition pieces before we pull out the heavy winter gear. And often these transition pieces take up a lot of space. Kids may have four lights jackets that they could wear on any given day along with matching hats and gloves. The important thing here is to put all of the child’s items in one place. Give them an assigned hook or an assigned section of the closet. Vertical storage is great for this because the accessories could all be stored in a vertical shoe organizer with pockets to give quick access.
Flip the mattresses: A great way to extend the life of a mattress is to make sure that it gets even wear and tear by flipping it. Doing so ensures that your bed doesn’t all of a sudden become one where you have an outline of your body when you roll out in the morning. While you are taking the time to flip your bed vacuum it as well to help keep it clean.
Boot Organizing: Kids have the practical snow boots and moms and teen girls have multiple pairs of fashion boots. A boot tray to capture the drippings from snow filled boots will help keep the mess on the tray and out of the rest of the house. When you buy a pair of boots figure out where they are going to go before you make the purchase. A great tip is the one in one out rule. Before I buy my next pair of boots I know that I will have to have a pair leave. I always shop with that attitude in mind and it keeps my clutter under control. A cheap an inexpensive way to store your boots is with a cut up pool noodle, rolled up magazine or an empty wine bottle. I personally like boot organizers that can stay on my shelf and open from the end so I can slide my boots in and out without removing the organizer from the shelf.
Change or Clean your Furnace Filter: Some filters need to be replaced monthly and some less frequently. Save money on your heating and cooling costs by making sure you have a clean filter as your furnace and air conditioner will run more efficiently.
Schedule the carpets to be cleaned: Carpets will last much longer if you schedule regular cleanings. Did you know that a majority of household dust comes in from the bottom of your shoes? So if you want to cut down on dust in your home, have everyone leave their shoes out of the house. To encourage guests to take off their shoes you could have a basket of cozy socks waiting for them at the front door to slip on when they are at your house.
Check the smoke detectors: A reminder is often given that the changing of the time in the spring and fall is also a good time to check those smoke detector batteries. Grab a step stool and make your rounds around the house. Or grab a kid with a stick….just get them checked!
Disconnect hoses: Make sure that all watering hoses are disconnected from the house and water drained from then. With temperatures getting below freezing soon you don’t want a burst pipe caused by a hose that wasn’t disconnected. Also check for leaks and either decide to repair or get rid of the hoses with leaks. Don’t waste space by storing something that doesn’t work or is in need of repair.
Winterize the lawn mower and wash and clean it for winter storage. By keeping your mower nice and clean – and its blade sharp – you’ll help extend the life of the mower. Better check that snow blower out at the same time while you are at it….we may be needing that way too soon!
Wash the inside and outside windows of the house. Two easy tips: find a cloudy day to complete your task and use newspapers to dry the windows. They don’t leave lint behind and tend to result in streak-free windows. Also hose off the screens and store them for winter. Hosing screens is an activity that kids enjoy as they have fun getting rid of the dust and dirt with the hose.
Get your lawn ready for winter: For me that means putting down the last round of fertilizer, getting the yard aerated and mowing the lawn short. I have found that if my lawn is short, it tends to discourage winter rodent guests from taking refuge in my grass. Get those leaves raked and put in with the compost. If you have a sprinkler system you need to get it blown out and winterized. I am our sprinkler system, so no need to winterize me!
Grill maintenance: Give the grill a good cleaning and make sure it is stored in a proper place for winter. That may mean disconnecting the propane tank, or it may mean disposing of the old charcoal in a safe manner. I love using Soft Scrub to clean my grill as it cuts through the grease with minimal effort.
Check the gutters: Sadly I live in a part of Midwest where our trees haven’t grown tall enough to have our gutters filled with leaves. I pray that day will come soon…but we have been in our house for 14 years now and I am still waiting!
Now that you have all of the yard and house work done for the fall, pack a picnic and go on a bike ride or go for a drive to enjoy the brilliant display that Mother Nature has on display for us.
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!