Forget about spring cleaning! It’s time for fall organizing.
You think summer was busy with vacations and activities? Fall is the second busiest season, and always seems to fly by. Taking a few steps now to get organized can help you remain sane when the holidays arrive. We’ve got a few ideas!
Get back into a routine
First, if you and your family have fallen out of a routine, try to ‘fall’ back in line. Having a routine keeps you and the kids more organized and efficient. Where do coats, keys, backpacks and purses go when you enter the house? From now on, they always go in the usual spot. And if you don’t have one…
Create a space for everyday and winter gear. If you don’t have a mudroom, try cleaning up the family entryway, because the closer you can provide a spot by the door family members enter, the more likely items make it to the right spot and not some secret, forgotten, random place you have to search for on your way out the door next time. Simple shelving, a cabinet, hooks, bowls, baskets or bins serve as perfect spots for keys, phones, wallets and coats. If you have room, designate a spot for each family member.
If you haven’t already organized school kids, young and old, make sure everyone has the supplies and work stations they need at home. Update and maintain a calendar in a common area of the home, and insist everyone use it. And make sure that keeping work stations and common areas clean and organized is part of everyone’s responsibility.
Make a wrapping or craft station
Get ready for holiday wrapping, decorating and crafts. Are you tired of wrapping gifts on your bed? Clean out a closet or small area of your home and create a station for holiday crafts, gift-making and wrapping. You’ll be glad that you’ve designated a space for all of the holiday activity, even if it lasts only a few months. If you can make it permanent, even better. You’ll save tons of time looking for materials and moving them out of your way. And you might save money buying duplicate supplies. Not to mention replacing the bedspread you accidentally chopped up with scissors… Not sure how to build a craft or wrapping station? Check out our radio segment on YouTube.
Survey and straighten kitchen cabinets
Let’s face it, items get buried and even with the best intentions of organizing, well, it’s the thought that counts. If you’re going to be entertaining over the holidays, or even preparing food, spend some time now straightening out the pantry and other cabinets. Take an inventory of your staples, especially those you use less often during the year, but more over the holidays. Survey baking items and drink mixes, and maybe special serving dishes. Start stocking up a little at a time, especially if flour goes on sale, for instance. And while you’re at it, check for expired items in the pantry and fridge. Really, you would hate for your guests to find that salad dressing that expired seven months ago…
Use daylight savings time
You’ve probably heard before about the idea of checking smoke detectors when you set your clock to “fall back” for daylight savings time. This fall, use the date as a reminder to take care of a couple of other easy-to-forget fall tasks. For example, change the filters in the furnace, schedule a furnace inspection and/or a chimney sweeper. Reverse the direction of all ceiling fans in your house so they turn clockwise to force warmer air down. And wipe the blades.
De-clutter as you switch seasons
Finally, when making the heat to cold switch, de-clutter and clean as you go. For example, when you bring out the winter clothes, don’t just store or push aside summer items. Pull out items you never wore during the summer and donate some or all of them. Clean winter comforters and coats before the real chill sets in, and de-clutter as you did with clothes. If you haven’t used an item in years and don’t see a need to keep it, donate it.
Be sure to pace yourself and don’t try to do everything in one day or weekend. After you finish a project or some important steps, sit back with a nice hot pumpkin latte by your clean fireplace and enjoy some fall colors outside your window.
Listen In to Get Organized for Fall: