Fall is a wonderful time to smell the air and walk noisily through the leaves that congregate into small piles. If you walk your dog every day you have the perfect opportunity to swish through those leaves. Fall is also a time for nesting. It is when we start to prepare the home for the winter months so between the soccer games and pumpkin picking we rake leaves, we prune trees, we mulch young plants and we store away the hammock.
I wash everything before I store it-even the hammock gets a soap down with some nice organic soap, and then I hose it off. Once air dried, I roll it and store it in the cellar. I also wash all the screens in the windows, and on that final day when I know we are not getting another wonderful warm day, I take off all the screens, and I store them in the cellar as well. You would be amazed at how much dirt is on screens. Washed, you will be able to see more outside and let more light into your home. When they come down for the winter it is a gift because you can see everything outside so much better. And in the dark winter months I want as much light in the house as I can get! If you read up on it, you actually gain some solar warmth as well, and it keeps snow from resting between the screen and your double-pane windows which could cause some damage. And of course if you have single-pane windows you are replacing your screens with the storm windows.
I wash the patio furniture. I cover the furniture. I put the storage boxes I use for cushions and games in the cellar. I rearrange the smoker and the grill because we cook on them all winter. I make a nice spot for the small log pile that will become a staple out there as we like to use the fireplace.
So about the nesting part…it is not just the outside. It is finding the boots and mittens and winter coats. It is digging out winter sweaters and scarves and if you have kids, it is about what fits and what needs to be donated. The mudroom or front hall changes it’s arrangement as we account for more wetness than we experience in the summer most of the time. The leaves outside are forever making their way in through my front door and tiny acorns must get in the sneaker treads because I find them all over the house. I am taking my shoes off when I get in, but they find their way into all kinds of nooks anyway.
I like to think about where I am putting the holiday decorations this year. Is there enough space? Will I be having guest for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Is the guest room a place to put stuff that I will get to later or is it ready and waiting at a moment’s notice for someone to sleep in?
As you sort and take stock of your home before winter sets in, Call 2 Haul is available in the Lehigh Valley, and now Carbon an Schuylkill Counties. We can take away whatever you cannot use anymore. We recycle and donate whenever possible. Some times it is easier to just make a giant pile of stuff in the garage or yard and have us come get it.
If you live where it is cold and snowy sometimes you feel like just hibernating. I know I do. 🙂
February is actually a great month to clean out areas you neglect. Cleaning out the drawers and under the sink in the bathroom can be daunting. Take everything out. Pile it onto of the sink and counter. If you haven’t used something in a year-do you need it? Old makeup should be tossed. Combs and brushes that are tired should be tossed. Get as much hair out of the brushes as possible, then soak the combs and brushes you want to keep in soapy water for an hour or so and rinse well. If they still look dirty take a tooth brush to the areas that are hard to reach.
Reorganize your cabinets. Any boxes or baskets that can keep like items together are always very helpful. Keep in mind if you don’t use something often and it really doesn’t need to be damp everyday from the steam of your bathroom, think about storing it in a linen closet or your bedroom. Makeup should actually NOT be in the bathroom. Electronics should not be in there and prescription medicine shouldn’t either. Extra razors should not be in humidity, nor should jewelry or nail polish. Towels can get moldy. Keep those circulating out of the bathroom. Many items do not do well with constant fluctuating temperatures and humidity.
Wipe down all the cabinets inside and out and apply a wood oil if you have wood in your bathroom. Scrub around the toilet and baseboards. Wash the floor.
Clean out the medicine cabinet. I know scary. Take it all out. Wipe it all down. Get rid of things that over a year or two old. Medicines should never get thrown out in the garbage or down the drain. They reek havoc on the environment. Instead take them to a place in your area that accepts old prescription medicines-pharmacies and the like. Every area is different so you would need to look that up on the web.
Storing kid’s toys can be a chore, but it also can be fun if you can get it set up so that it is simple. You also have to accept that toys are going to show and there are always going to be some out. If you have that mindset it is a much easier task. My very favorite way to store toys quickly is to have a large pretty basket in every single room of my home. This made a quick cleanup so easy. I just tossed all the toys in each room into the basket there. I found it to be very stress-free.
Legos are a world all their own. I tend to sort by style brick, but by color is a very easy way to sort. Keep them organized and there will be hours more of fun. And keep one draw free for all the odd pieces and all the wonderful people.
In a bedroom or a playroom a central spot for a lot of toys is a great idea. Remember to keep things LOW. You cannot make a game of cleanup if your children cannot reach the containers. Sort by like types. It teaches at the same time.
I could not resist this lovely way to store books instead of using a book case. What fun. And the wagon can be used outside as well.