By Kathy Jenkins, Professional Organizer, Come To Order
Have you noticed that the nights are getting a little cooler? Maybe you're considering breaking out the flannel sheets and blankets to ward off the initial chill in the morning. And if that hasn't gotten your attention, how about the alarm going off in the morning and it is still dark. These are sure a sign that fall is already upon us, so now is the time to get ready for the colder weather.
Kathy Jenkins, a Professional Organizer with Come To Order, suggests that you create a fall checklist in preparing your home for winter. "We all lead busy lives, so in order to not miss something, it is important for you to have a list ", says Kathy. Here are some of the items she suggests you include on your list: check windows and doors for drafts, clean out those gutters and down spouts (once they are clean consider gutter covers so that you can permanently cross this off your list), remove and clean window screens, and check the roof for any needed repairs.
"Don't forget the lawn and garden. Autumn is the perfect time to trim trees and shrubs, plant new plants and prepare your perennial foliage for next year," suggests Kathy.
It is also a good idea to add winterizing your lawn equipment, water features, and irrigation system to your list. And before your store or cover your patio furniture, give it a good cleaning. Come spring when all you want to do is relax in the warm sun you will be happy you have that little job behind you.
Inside your home you will want to have your furnace serviced and adjust your thermostat. If you have a window air conditioning unit, now is the best time to remove it for winter storage. Finally, check your carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. For a more comprehensive list, check out the Come To Order Web site at www.cometoorderva.com.
So now the house is in order, but what about your family. Betsy Frazier of Organizing Solutionz recommends starting with your wardrobe. As you begin to put away your summer clothes put aside all of those things that you never wore. Chances are it has gone out of style, don't fit, or you just don't like it anymore. This is the time to donate it! As you begin to evaluate storage of your off-season clothes make sure you take advantage of every unused space in your house. Under the bed is good for more than just dust bunnies.
"There are so many wonderful under-bed storage options to choose from these days", says Kathy, "and if you plan on using your attic or basement just make sure the container is air and moisture tight so mold and moths don't become an issue."
Then as you begin to take out your cool season clothing check to make sure it fits and that you still like it. If neither of these criteria is met — get rid of it — someone else will get good use out of it this winter. Don't forget to set up an area for catching all the winter clothes that will strewn about as your little "snow people" come in out of the cold. A simple carpet square where the shoes and boots can be deposited will save your floor and there is no better storage system for coats that hooks!
Betsy also suggests that you put together a Winter Storm Kit to be prepared for a power outage. Include in it a battery powered radio, flashlights with extra batteries, bottled water, a can opener and canned food. And start planning on what your alternative heat source will be if that is needed.
The change of seasons always serves as a marker for evaluating what needs to be done to get more organized for the coming months.
© Kathy Jenkins, Come To Order
As a Certified Professional Organizer and Certified Family Manager coach, Kathy Jenkins can help you run a more organized, efficient, and happy household and raise happy, healthy, responsible, and well-mannered children! Visit http://www.cometoorderva.com to learn more about her professional organizing services and one-on-one family manager coaching sessions. You can also follow her tips, advice, and recommendations by liking Come To Order on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cometoorder.