Preparing for colder weather and the hectic holiday season is always overwhelming. Get ahead of the game and tackle these 10 to-dos in early fall for an easy winter.
1) Get the Garage in Order
The crisp autumn air can make this task less of chore. Carve out some time between buying s’mores supplies and starting the bonfire to put garden tools, summer sports equipment and pool toys back in their place. A pegboard panel by Wall Control is a must-have when organizing the garage. It comes with shelves, hooks, bins and dividers to store just about everything.
2) Wipe It All Down
Dust and grease have built up all summer to create a lovely film on most of our home’s surfaces. Bid farewell to seasonal allergies by treating all surfaces, nooks and crannies to a thorough wipe down. Use these microfiber cleaning cloths to avoid damaging finishes.
3) Prep Cooking Stations
Cookies, turkeys and pies, oh my! Holiday baking season is upon us. Dig out all those mixing bowls, measuring cups and utensils from the back of your cabinets and give them a good scrub. This cutting board tonic uses all natural ingredients to sanitize and moisturize wooden kitchen items. Rosemary and walnut oils will give your kitchen a clean scent this fall before holiday aromas fill the winter air.
4) Deep Clean the Kitchen
While you’re at it in the kitchen, go a step further by deep cleaning appliances. Fall is the perfect time to run the self-clean cycle in your oven. The weather is still warm enough to open the windows and air out the kitchen, but not hot enough to make the kitchen unbearable. While the oven is doing its thing, de-crumb the toaster and clean the microwave too. This adorable microwave cleaner might be a nice pick-me-up in the midst of your hardwork.
5) Scrub and Polish
Take a close look at your floors before holiday visitors and overnight guests inevitably trudge mud and snow through your home. If a DIY spot-clean won’t do the trick, schedule a time to have your carpets professionally cleaned. What about the condition of your wood floors? If they don’t need recoated or refinished just yet, polish them up yourself. Dilute a splash of this naturally derived floor cleaner in warm water and mop any waterproof flooring including marble, tile, wood and travertine.
6) Declutter Kids’ Spaces
Get the kids involved by assigning chores like tidying up the playroom and making their beds with fresh linens. Dedicate a cubby to each child or each type of toy (Legos, books, stuffed animals, etc.) in this three-bin organizer. You could also ask your kids to separate which toys they’d like to keep, donate and throw away. These decluttering decisions can be difficult for children, but making room for new Christmas gifts is a great incentive!
7) Update Your Reading List
Cold weather is a perfect excuse to curl up with a good book. Take some time to dust shelves and lamp shades in your book nook as you replace books you’ve already read with new titles. If your current bookcase is on its last leg, consider this stylish shelving unit. Its diagonal display makes it an excellent candidate for giving the space under the staircase a purpose.
8) Put Papers Away
Holiday catalogs and season’s greetings will make that pile of paper even less manageable than it is now. Make yourself a cup of cocoa and sort through mail and other paperwork. Avoid having to do this all over again in the future by keeping a small file box by the front door so you can easily file things away on the go.
9) Launder Linens
‘Tis the season to be cozy, but what’s worse than curling up with a blanket of dust or resting our heads on a cloud of pet dander. Put your washing machine to work this weekend, but pay attention to care instructions. If you’re unsure, take a load to the dry cleaners. As for upholstered furniture, look into slipcovers for a fresh look and feel.
10) Keep the Heat In
There are a few savvy solutions for saving money on energy bills as temperatures drop. Replacing an outdated thermostat, lining doors with weatherstripping and switching to solar energy systems are all great investments. These blackout curtain liners are also helpful as insulation for drafty windows.