The leaves are changing colour and the kids are back in school. Fall is truly here! Now is the time to get yourself and your home organized before the season quickly changes to Winter. Here are some easy tips to help you get organized.
In the entryway
With cooler temperatures on the way, it’s time to get out the warmer jackets and shoes. In order to keep your entryway tidy with all these extra items, you’re going to have to make some space. If you don’t have a coat closet, consider things like coat hooks to put on the wall and setting out baskets or a shoe rack for shoes.
If you haven’t done so already, you might want to set up a place where the kids can do their homework and put their school supplies. Putting up some hooks for backpacks can save you from tripping on them later. Create some sort of “inbox” for any papers that must be signed, and a binder where you can put any school-related info.
Clean the fridge & pantry
The best way to clean your fridge is to take everything out and only put back in what’s edible. This gives you a chance to wipe down shelves and drawers. Do the same in your freezer. As for the pantry, keep in mind that many non-perishable foods do eventually perish! Check things like spices, rice, cereals, etc. Use what you can, and toss the rest. Now that it’s cleaned and organized, stock the fridge and pantry with healthy after school and on the go snacks and ingredients to make quick and easy family meals for those busier evenings.
Clean those closets
It’s time to start digging out the heavier blankets, so wash and store away the Summer linens. You may also want to go through your closet and weed out anything you don’t feel like wearing anymore. Store Spring and Summer garments at the back, and bring your warmer ones to the front. The same should go for the kids’ closets if you haven’t already done so. This gives you the opportunity to see what’s left and purchase some new back to school clothes.
Purge kids toys by donating
Now is a great time to start purging old kids’ toys, as the holidays are quickly approaching, and more toys will surely be on the way with them! There are two ways you can go about this project. One way is not to tell your kids what you’re getting rid of, as they haven’t played with it in a year, and won’t miss it. The other is to have your children participate. It can be a rewarding activity, in that they can feel good about helping less fortunate children by choosing the toys they donate.
Organize the bathroom
The bathroom can be one of the busiest rooms in the house most mornings. You may want to assign everyone a shelf or drawer where they can store their morning essentials. Your medicine cabinet should be gone through as well to get rid of all your expired medication, but be sure to do it wisely. Old makeup should be tossed too, such as mascara and lipstick, as bacteria can build up on them. Don’t forget to change those toothbrushes too!
Attack the dust
After having the windows open during the summer, you might want to cleanse your house of the dust that comes in with the summer breeze. You can start by taking all window coverings down and washing them. If they’re not washable, give them a good shake or vacuum. (If you have blinds instead of curtains, just wipe or dust them off.) Wash the windows inside and out, including the sills. Artificial plants are notorious for collecting dust too, but you can easily vacuum them or wipe them down with a damp cloth.
Prepare for those cool nights
It’s a good idea to turn on your furnace before you actually need it, to ensure it works properly. If the furnace needs servicing, it’s better to have it done now, rather than when it’s zero degrees below Celsius! This is a good time to change your furnace filter too, and if you have a fireplace, have it cleaned/serviced also. Another good idea would be to check all your windows for drafts that need tending to.
Do a safety check
It’s good to do a safety check in your home at least twice a year. Check all smoke & carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in working order. You should have the pressure of your fire extinguishers checked. You may also want to reiterate or create an emergency plan with your family, to ensure that in the event of a fire or natural disaster, they are prepared and know what to do.
Don’t forget about your pets
Your pets don’t need back to school supplies or have closets to clean and organize, but they need to be prepared for Fall too! Ensure your pets’ vaccinations are up to date. Remember, fleas can survive until the first frost, so keep your pets protected! Clean their bedding and wash their food dishes and toys. If you use scoopable cat litter, empty the box completely and give it a good wipe down. If you have plans to travel during the holidays and your pets aren’t coming with you, now might be a good time to start planning where your pets will stay while you’re gone.