by Kimberly Blackford
As soon as the weather outside starts to get chilly this fall, move your fall cleaning to the indoors and touch on some of the areas of your home that you may be neglecting during your spring cleaning. Often spring cleaning is where the real nitty gritty cleaning occurs. Tackling baseboards, floors, windows and other areas that need to be tended to after the long winter months. But, as you will see from many of the items below, there are lots of ways to “clean” and these ideas will keep your life clean and less full of clutter.
Home Improvement Ideas
- Set-up an appointment with your heating and furnace company and have your system inspected and cleaned before the chill sets in outdoors and your unit kicks on. It’s also a great time to make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly since the house will be closed up through the winter months.
- If your home has a fireplace, be sure to check the flue for any obstructions such as leaves or bird’s nests. If there’s a blockage of any type, call the chimney sweeper.
- Now is the perfect time to weatherproof the windows and doors of your home. Not only will this lower your heating bills throughout the winter, but it will also keep everyone from complaining that it feels like there’s a draft in many of the rooms in your home.
Organizing and De-Cluttering
- Many homeowners swap out their wardrobes from winter to summer and vice versa, so before you go through the motions of storing away your summer clothes, take a look at them. If you haven’t worn some of the items in the last two years, then now is the perfect time to donate them.
Photo to the right courtesy of ClosetMaid
- Hall closets are one of those dumping grounds that suddenly become crammed with items. Do yourself a favor and go through all of your coats and donate any that are no longer worn or do not fit. Then, when you really need one, you will have the right one in the right size right at your fingertips. Get rid of outgrown boots and other winter shoes at the same time. And, sort through and find matches for all of your gloves and mittens. Chances are, there are a couple of strays in the closet for sure!
- Linen closets are another areas that tend to have items added to it slowly throughout the year, but rarely things are ever purged. If you have sheets that are only used in the summer, then be sure to wash and store them higher than the cozy flannel sheets that will more likely be grabbed for use through the winter. Make sure any blankets are moved into the closet if needed, so family members know where to get them if they need one for the bed one night. If you find any worn towels or blankets you no longer want, donate them to an animal shelter; they will happily take them.
Areas Often Neglected
- Now that the days are blustery and you no longer want to spend time outdoors, why not purge old files? If you still have paper files, then you will most likely find plenty of things that are now outdated and can be recycled. And, be sure to shred it so someone can’t steal your important personal information. Also, take a look at your electronic files and archive anything you no longer need, so finding the things you do need takes less time.
- Whether you have a home office or a cubicle in a downtown skyscraper, plenty of items from your home have probably found their way into your office space over the course of the year. Take a look around your office and find the items that no longer need to be there. It will be a great feeling to have everything organized for the beginning of a new year.
Photo above courtesy of ClosetMaid
- Now that the office is clean, why not delve into the computer itself a little bit? Clean off the desktop and get rid of things that have accumulated there over the past year. Now, tackle your email. Most people hate deleting emails, so take a stab at getting rid of as many as you see fit. Or, if anything, create folders and archive older emails there so they don’t crowd your inbox. Then, take it a step further and unsubscribe to any email or mailing list you no longer want to be a part of. This will keep the clutter level down for your inbox in the future.
-Update your list of family phone numbers, addresses and email. Most likely you may be needing them very soon for holiday cards anyway, so this is the time to get a jump start since as the holidays approach everyone gets even busier. Then, make copies of your credit cards, banking information, insurance policies, etc.. and put them in a lock box for safe keeping.
- One final spot that tends to get overlooked quite often is your car’s glove box. In fact, most people probably don’t have a clue what’s in it other than a few insurance papers and an owner’s manual for your car. But, often random items like fast food restaurant napkins pile up, perhaps mints and other items end up there. So, take a look and clean it out.
Knock some of these fall indoor clean-up items off your list and you’ll find yourself feeling organized and ready for the holidays and the new year to come!
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