With cooler, yet still mild temperatures, fall is the perfect time to get your home cozy and organized for winter and the holiday season. This may mean catching up on projects that got dropped in the wake of summer vacation/staycation and other activities. Use the fall organizing checklist to help you get it all done.
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Fall Organizing Outdoors:
This may not be on your personal checklist, but taking care of things outside is just as important as organizing the inside of your home.
Gardening and Lawn Equipment
Winterize mowers and other engine-driven equipment. Clean and properly store tools.
Clean outdoor furniture and ensure it’s properly stored to protect it from the elements.
Pools and Other Water Features
All need to be properly winterized. If you have a birdbath and plan to leave it out all winter, be sure there’s a heating element properly installed and safely connected to a power source.
Gutters and Downspouts
Leaves, pine needles, and other debris get caught in gutters, clogging them. This can lead to ice dams and water backups in the winter, which may damage your home.
Replace Screens with Storm Windows and Doors
This truly makes your home more energy-efficient. It’s also a great time to clean and repair screens. If you’ve got older windows, use this opportunity to apply plastic shrink film for another layer of energy efficiency.
Since you’re there anyway, this is a great time to wash the inside and outside of your windows. They may not look it, but they’re probably dirtier than you realize.
Inspect the Exterior of Your Home
Look for areas that may allow the cold air. Seal them with caulk or other materials as appropriate to help you stay warm this winter.
For help organizing your home projects, check out Homezada.
Fall Organizing Inside
Now that the outside of your home is ready, it’s time to get the inside of your house organized for fall.
Replace the batteries and test to be sure they’re working. Dispose of old batteries appropriately via hazardous waste collection or other means.
Sweep and Inspect Chimneys
Soot and creosote buildup can cause a house fire. To prevent this, your chimney should be cleaned and inspected yearly. Don’t do this yourself. Please bring in a pro who knows what they’re looking for. If you’ve got a gas fireplace, it should be inspected as well.
Take the time now to clean the blades and reverse their direction. In summer, they should pull hot air up, and during winter, they should push hot air down.
Clean and replace filters, so your system is ready for the colder temps. Depending on your system’s age, you may also want to have it professionally inspected to be sure it will run all winter long without an issue.
Much like spring cleaning, fall cleaning addresses those places you don’t usually do.
Empty and clean both your pantry and fridge. Don’t forget the refrigerator coils! While everything is out, discard any items you can no longer use.
Take this opportunity to make a list of what you need for holiday baking and entertaining.
Clean the oven and vent hood, including replacing the vent filter if there is one.
Thoroughly clean toasters, microwaves, and other small appliances.
Vacuum upholstered furniture, including under the cushions.
Clean floors, including under furniture.
Dust baseboards, books, shelves, etc. and remove scuff marks from walls.
Clean electronic devices, keyboards, etc.
Properly remove any mold or mildew: Wash shower curtains, bathmats, and fixtures.
Clean out cabinets and safely discard any expired items.
Clean carpets and rugs, including under the bed and other furniture.
Vacuum and flip your mattress (assuming it can be).
Wash blankets and other winter bedding.
Store summer clothes and bring your cooler weather items out.
• Cleaning Your Winter Wardrobe
Wash any items you plan to store and donate any clothing items you no longer wear.
While it’s empty, vacuum your closet and inspect for moths or other pests that may ruin your clothes.
Is there an area of your home you’d like to organize for fall, but you’re not sure where to start? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to help!